Lately Instagram has been my go-to for finding new books to read. The Young Adult #bookstagram movement is as strong as it is fabulous.
Summary: Feyre lives in a small town with her depressed, emotionally dead father and two older, ungrateful and nasty sisters, in a shack that is all the family can afford since their fall from grace, money and power. In order to survive, Feyre does what she can to put food on her family's table. She hunts, she trades and she works twice as hard as she should to keep her family alive. During a hard winter with death looming over her shoulder, Feyre takes to the woods to find meat - any meat - for her family. She spies a deer in the forest and can't believe her luck...until she sees a larger-than-life wolf hunting the same prey. On instinct, Feyre shoots the wolf, killing him almost instantly while the deer gets away. Feyre soon learns that the wolf wasn't an ordinary wolf, that she in fact killed a member of the high Fey in disguise.
In order to keep peace between their two peoples, Feyre must trade her life for that of the Fey she murdered. But there's a twist. Instead of being put to death, Feyre must live in an enchanted castle at the Summer court of the Fey, surrounded by creatures she can't always see and magic she can feel but cannot touch. What at first seems like a land of plenty and prosperity soon begins to wither, as Feyre learns that even the Fey are not all powerful. An evil greater than she can understand threatens all she knows and all she's come to care for.
My Thoughts: I loved this book. The pacing was excellent, the story unique, characters vivid, and the plot as twisty and deep as an old river. What starts out as a Beauty and The Beast retelling soon turns into its own saga, complete with magic, forbidden love and a battle to the (literal) death.
I mostly liked Feyre...as much as I can like any teenager. Maas does a superb job capturing the iron will of someone who's had to grow up too soon and mixing it with the rash decisions and selfcentric world view of the young. Feyre is both strong-willed yet scared, cunning yet naive, compelling yet shallow. She is real in all her imperfections and I couldn't have asked for a better young adult heroine. (Note: I had no idea how to pronounce Feyre, so I called her Farrah the whole time.)
I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Tamlin is fascinating in his strong yet silent way. He suffers in a role he did not want yet works hard to succeed at anyway. He loves, but must hide it. And he comes off sexy in an alpha-male sort of way. Rhysand is the classic bad boy/dark lover character. He is both evil (like really evil) and alluring and I can't wait to see where book 2 takes his character. (But please not a love triangle. That is too expected and honestly, that would be disappointing.)
I did feel like the book was 100 pages too long. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but good lord did it take forever to read. If I was the editor, I would have cut the scene where Feyre goes home to her family. I understand that her family finally comes to appreciate her, and that this is (hopefully) set up for the sequel, but it was slow going for me. I also would have shortened the final challenge scenes, because this is where the book feels disjointed and rushed to me. I understand that Feyre needs to kick ass and prove her worth, but in the end it felt like the entire sequence was set up for Rhys instead of closure for Tamlin.
Rating: I'll read it again. Check it out if you like Young Adult or Fantasy.
Also Read By: N/A
Reviewed By: Tami