Synopsis from Goodreads
Ok, fine, I've joined the world's love for Sarah J. Maas and the ACOTAR series. And yes, I wholly regret my decision to wait so long to read these books! Although I'm only done the first of the series, I'm already hooked and can't wait to dive into the rest of her books.
Love the Different Relationships
Maas does an excellent job building the different relationships between Feyre and other characters. Personally, I was the most intrigued by her relationship with her sisters and with Lucien. Nesta’s disdain and Elaine’s hopefulness are so at odds with what Feyre gives up for them, so I love when she meets them again and we get to see a different aspect of their relationship. Nesta, in particular, is so interesting and incredibly different than I thought she’d be. Likewise, Lucien has so much more depth than when we first meet him. I’m not surprised by the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin, but the tentative friendship (maybe loyalty is a better word?) between Lucien and Feyre is great to watch develop. I can’t wait to see how these characters will grow with each other in the next book.
A Very Graphic Beauty and the Beast
Is it just me or is this basically a more vicious and sexually explicit version of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale? I really don’t have a problem with it, but I just noticed so many similarities that it definitely bears mentioning. This is probably why it wasn’t a big surprise that Feyre and Tamlin end up falling in love. HOWEVER, the vicious and vindictive faerie element added so much to this story, especially the trials that Feyre endures to save Tamlin. I'm also really excited to see what happens with their relationship. They don't really have the time to get to know each other fully while Tamlin is cursed, so I'm interested to see where their relationship goes next.
This Should Be NA, not YA
If you're not sure, while this book is classified at being Young Adult, I'd argue that it should actually be listed as New Adult - basically like YA but with more explicit sex scenes. This might seem like a small thing, but marking it as NA would make me more comfortable in knowing who this could be recommended too. Would I give it to a 13/14 years old like I would other YA novels? Absolutely not. But I'd still recommend it to my older students looking for a new fantasy series. I don't have any problems with the way Maas writes her sex scenes, but they are definitely more descriptive than any of her contemporaries.
Overall, this was a great introduction to Maas as an author and I'm hooked on the ACOTAR world. So far, I'd definitely recommend this series to anyone who has enjoyed authors like Cassandra Clare, Alexandra Bracken, or Holly Black. While it's definitely more graphic than any of these authors, Maas is an excellent storyteller and I can't wait to see where this series goes next!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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