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Rae Carson's THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Giving up reviews is much harder than I thought. My gosh. I have too many thoughts and not enough space to put them.

So while WORD will continue to be discussion-oriented, if I have things to say about the books I'm reading, I'll review them; if I don't, I won't. We'll see what happens. Unlike before, the reviews can appear or disappear at any given time depending on my life.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns (#1)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
How Received: publisher ARC

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

I really loved the second half of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The problem was getting to that second half.

See, a lot of Elisa's character development has to do with how she views herself and her own weight. In the beginning of the book, she views herself as a useless lump of lard. Literally. In the first eleven chapters, she out-rightly refers to her weight - "I'm a sausage, I'm fat" - 18 times. This isn't including the numerous mentions of eating, of other character's thinness, and of other characters calling her out on her weight. Carson hit us over the head repeatedly with it, and I wish she had lessened that blow a little, because the second half would have been as good without it. Between that and a Godstone located where you would normally find belly button lint, I had a hard time getting through to the second half of the book.

But the second half was great. Fantastic. Took Elisa's weaknesses and made them strengths; let her develop and learn and become strong in her own right, and I loved that. There were scenes where I basically fist-pumped the air because of how pleased I was by her development.

But the problem was still getting there.

If you're willing to wade through the thick and heavy-hitting first third of the book, I highly recommend The Girl of Fire and Thorns - but if you have little patience, it's not the book for you.

If this hadn't been a YAcker book - you can read our discussion here - I probably wouldn't have gotten through it.

What did you guys think?

Fantasy, and more:

Rae Carson's THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS + HarperTeen