And, boy did I ever enjoy this book!!
I hadn't heard of Rae Carson before last week, when a (very generous and possibly delusional) friend of mine compared my writing to hers. It was a flattering comment, but after reading (edit: devouring) The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I have to decline the comparison. Carson's writing is genius. It's not just her beautiful and effortless prose; her plotting is absolutely fantastic. She manages to weave together several complete stories, allowing them to mingle and braid in such a way that draws the reader in until you can't get out again. In addition to that, her character arcs are incredibly well-constructed (though not overly obvious). Elisa, the main character, grows and changes in ways that both make sense but also surprise the reader. The flow is very natural and not forced at all. I've read so many books where the character arc is forced, as though the author thought to themselves, "Well, I want her to get from here to there by the end of the book, so we'll just make that happen." In the Girl of Fire and Thorns, every single thing that Elisa goes through contributes to her transition across the novel in subtle ways. These subtle changes add up to create on kick-ass arc. And, while we're on the subject of characters, I'd like to add that the relationships between the characters were also surprisingly different from the typical YA cliches. First off, I want to both congratulate and yell at Carson for not being afraid to "kill her darlings." There were definitely some kleenex box moments. And, while there is something of a love triangle (or, V maybe?), it isn't the run-of-the-mill "she likes him and he likes her but she also likes him and he also likes her; which one will she choose?" The relationships in this book were more realistic, and along with the characters, the relationships had their own arcs, which I appreciated. For characters you'll love, a plot that will draw you in, and writing that is exquisite, I'd totally recommend this book. Sorry, I'm gushing. :) Let's move onto the nitty gritty.
Favourite character: I found Humberto to be the most likeable character. However, as far as complexity and intrigue, I was very interested in watching Cosme and Alejandro's characters unfold.
Musical Accompaniment: Did a lot of reading in coffee shops, so whatever they had on. :)
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Have any of you read this? Any thoughts?