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A Court of Jealousy and Haters: ACOTAR chapter 2 or “Woe is me.”

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As promised, I’m importing the A Court of Thorns and Roses recaps here from Patreon. These were originally written beginning in August of 2020, so there will be references to upcoming or seasonal events that won’t fit with our current timeline. I am not a time traveler and you’ll never be able to prove that I am. I will also include editors notes like this every now and then as we go, mostly to amuse myself but to give re-read value to those who’ve already been on this awful, awful journey with me.

At what point in a book do you usually want to slap a character and tell them to quit whining? To slap all the characters and tell them to quit whining? Because it’s chapter two and from past experience, when I feel this way in chapter two, it’s all downhill from there.

Our heroine, Feyre, has just come out of the forest with a deer wrapped in a wolf-pelt on her shoulders.

Not even the carcass could ward off the deepening chill.

This is not how the cold works. She’s been heavily exerting herself, so she’s going to be hot under her clothes. Face and extremities that are exposed will be cold, but once you get really, really cold, you start to feel super hot. This didn’t read right to me, probably because I’ve read so many books in the past couple of years about doomed cold-weather expeditions. The colder you get, the hotter you get, especially if you’ve been laboring intensely in many layers of clothing. And unless you’re wearing fur, your sweat is probably freezing in your clothes, making you colder and hotter.

But I need to stop reading such grim books, for sure. ed.—But definitely everyone else should read The Terror by Dan Simmons.

The world was awash in hues of dark blue, interrupted only by shafts of buttery light escaping from the shuttered windows of our dilapidated cottage. It was like striding through a living painting— […]

Yet another detail about this fantasy world: they have heard of Thomas Kincaid.

As she approaches their humble cottage, she hears her sisters talking inside.

I didn’t need to discern their words to know they most likely were chattering about some young man or the ribbons they’d spotted in the village when they should have been chopping wood, but I smiled a bit nonetheless.

This was my red flag the first time I tried to read this book. I was like, “Wait, is this one of those ‘I’m not like other girls’ books?” I have to admit, I didn’t even get through this chapter that first attempt. I DNFed and blamed it on myself, thinking I was just suffering through a really bad book hangover.

No, as it turns out, I actively loathe this entire family. Even the dead mom.

As Feyre goes inside, she mentions that there are wards carved into the door frame.

My father had once convinced a passing charlatan to trade the engravings against faerie harm in exchange for one of his wood carvings. There was so little that my father was ever able to do for us that I hadn’t possessed the heart to tell him the engravings were useless … and undoubtedly fake.

We’re at the beginning of this kind of cascade of Feyre being the only smart, reasonable person and everyone else is dumb, dumb, dumb. And it gets old pretty fucking fast. ed.—However, once fuckable male characters enter the story, Feyre becomes much less intelligent.

Feyre enters the house and gives us a great opportunity to discuss solutions to the pesky “how do I describe my protagonist in first person?” problem:

Though she was bundled in a threadbare blanket, her gold-brown hair—the hair all three of us had—was coiled perfectly about her head. Eight years of poverty hadn’t stripped from her the desire to look lovely.

She describes her sister Elain and throws in the hair color of all the sisters in one sentence. That is a hell of a way to knock that off that checklist. Hat tip to that.

Feyre notes that Elain is more concerned about the deer than the blood all over her sister. 

I’d long since given up hope of them actually noticing whether I came back from the woods every evening. At least until they got hungry again. But then again, my mother hadn’t made them swear anything when they stood beside her deathbed.

I’m getting the feeling that Feyre and I aren’t going to be besties. Look, I’m not disputing that her sisters are shitty. I don’t know them. It’s how we arrived at Shitty Sister Junction that I find so jarring. Feyre has been out hunting. Elain knows that. And Feyre has walked into the cottage with approximately 1.25 animals. And I’m kind of like, IDK, if I saw a person carrying a deer and a freshly skinned wolf pelt on their shoulders, I would just assume the blood was the result of…all that. Would that really be callous of me to assume with the information presented?

The thing is, the mother’s vow part is a big theme woven throughout the chapter to explain why Feyre is bothering to take care of her sisters at all. But when presented the way it is throughout the chapter, it starts to feel less like, “I, the heroine of this novel, have iron-clad principles and will never break a vow,” but “I, the heroine of this novel, would like your pity, please.” Feyre can still resent the position such a vow puts her in but the author missed a chance to flesh out more of her character by choosing to go the pity route. How Feyre views this vow says a lot about her character but I’m not sure it’s what the author intends for us to pick up on.

But whatever. Feyre has some real issues with her family. Buckle the fuck up.

“Will it take you long to clean it?” Me. Not her, not the others. I’d never once seen their hands sticky with blood and fur.

Feyre also notes that the only reason she knows how to hunt at all is that other people helped her learn. I’m not sure why that’s a slight against her family; if they didn’t know how to hunt or do things, how were you expecting them to teach you?

It wasn’t that Elain was cruel. She wasn’t like Nesta, who had been born with a sneer on her face. Elain sometimes just … didn’t grasp things. It wasn’t meanness that kept her from offering to help; it simply never occurred to her that she might be capable of getting her hands dirty. 

I don’t want anyone to assume that I’m sticking up for her awful sisters. However, I also believe that, to a point, we train people how to treat us. Throughout this entire scene, Feyre never once asks for help from her family. Here she is thinking, well, my sister isn’t a bad person, it just never occurred to her that she could help…and then blames her for not helping without ever once suggesting the idea. You can’t have your main character complain about how nobody helps her and point out that she knows one of them would probably help her if they thought about it and then have the main character beg for pity from the reader for the whole damn chapter when she never once asks anyone to help her.

One of Elain’s problems, Feyre points out, is that she doesn’t seem to grasp that the family is poor, even eight years after their reversal of fortunes. But despite this, Feyre still buys her sister flower seeds for the garden (grow some fucking food, jackasses) and Elain once bought Feyre some paints so she could Tangled up the house:

It was the only gift she’d ever given me, and our house still bore the marks of it, even if the paint was now fading and chipped: little vines and flowers along the windows and thresholds and edges of things, tiny curls of flame on the stones bordering the hearth. Any spare minutes I’d had that bountiful summer I used to bedeck our house in color, sometimes hiding clever decorations inside drawers, behind the threadbare curtains, underneath the chairs and table.

All I could think of is Rapunzel singing, “I’ll paint the walls some more/I’m sure there’s room somewhere.” Note, this isn’t me saying it’s stolen or copied or anything, just that it made me think of Tangled and as a result, I vomited that thought onto the page for all you wonderful folks.

Feyre’s father comments on what a good job she did bagging the deer. Now, it’s time to meet the other sister:

From beside my father, Nesta snorted. Not surprising. Any bit of praise for anyone—me, Elain, other villagers—usually resulted in her dismissal.

With the introduction of Nesta, we get some background on what happened to Schitt’s Creek this family. Feyre notes that Nesta has hated their father ever since he messed up some business investment and creditors had come and driven them out of their manor. So, now we know that they were super-duper rich and now they’re penniless.

Their father, we learn, has hopes of rebuilding his fortune. I guess the way we have to look at this now is that Father is Johnny Rose, Nesta is David, Elain is Alexis, and Feyre is one of Moira’s wigs because she’s doing all the damn work.

Feyre explains that they can eat half the meat that week, save the other half, and that she’ll take the hides to market. And then, CRASH! HERE COMES THE KOOL-AID MAN ONLY HE’S NOT FILLED WITH KOOL-AID HE’S FILLED WITH LAZY ABLEISM AS CHARACTERIZATION! Come with me, on a shitty, shitty journey.

My father’s ruined leg was stretched out before him, as close to the fire’s heat as it could get. The cold, or the rain, or a change in temperature always aggravated the vicious, twisted wounds around his knee. His simply carved cane was propped up against his chair—a cane he’d made for himself … and that Nesta was sometimes prone to leaving far out of his reach.

 He could find work if he wasn’t so ashamed, Nesta always said when I hissed about it. She hated him for the injury, too—for not fighting back when that creditor and his thugs had burst into the cottage and smashed his knee again and again.

Now, on an earlier page there was a throw-away line about her father’s “limping presence,” and now we’ve got this character going oh, it’s terrible that this horrible bitch Nesta moves daddy’s cane so he can’t get around and she blames him for being injured in this horrible, violent attack, right? We’re supposed to be outraged at Nesta here, especially when Feyre adds this detail:

Nesta and Elain had fled into the bedroom, barricading the door. I had stayed, begging and weeping through every scream of my father, every crunch of bone. I’d soiled myself—and then vomited right on the stones before the hearth. Only then did the men leave. We never saw them again.

CLEARLY FEYRE IS THE REAL VICTIM OF THE ATTACK ON HER FATHER! The other sisters selfishly ran away from their father’s attackers…eight years ago…when they were…children (which we find out a bit later in this chapter).

Anyway, it’s clearly Nesta who blames their father for his injury and not Feyre. I mean, sure, Feyre does complain about the fact that they had to use a lot of their money to, you know, pay for his medical bills. And she also says people only bought his wood carvings because they pitied him. Oh, and this gem:

Five years ago, when the money was well and truly gone, when my father still couldn’t—wouldn’t—move much about, he hadn’t argued when I announced that I was going hunting.

That’s right! Poor, long-suffering Feyre is forced to care for her lazy, disabled dad who just doesn’t care enough to even try to overcome his disability. I mean:

He hadn’t bothered to attempt to stand from his seat by the fire, hadn’t bothered to look up from his wood carving. He just let me walk into those deadly, eerie woods that even the most seasoned hunters were wary of.

I mean, he didn’t attempt to stand and walk as if healed by a televangelist? A disabled person didn’t even try to not be disabled for your benefit. Poor you, Feyre. Poor, poor you.

He’d become a little more aware now—sometimes offered signs of gratitude, sometimes hobbled all the way into town to sell his carvings—but not much.

A dude with a mangled leg, who relies on a mobility aid he is sometimes intentionally denied, doesn’t walk “all the way into town” to make money? Well, at least the useless cripple is being grateful.

Feyre, again, I have this feeling that you and I aren’t going to be BFFs.

Elain and Nesta begin fighting over the hides that Feyre intended to sell.

I kept quiet, knowing better than to get in the middle of one of their arguments, but I glanced at Nesta’s still-shiny pair by the door. Beside hers, my too-small boots were falling apart at the seams, held together only by fraying laces.

Try this, Feyre: “If you want a cloak or boots, you can help me do shit around the house.” I’m sorry, but I absolutely cannot get behind a character this spineless. I’m supposed to believe she’s this tough, brave person, but she can’t even say no to her freaking sisters? What are they going to do? Skin the deer and make their own cloak? Go into town and buy new boots on their own?

At least Elain gives us a primer for how to pronounce the heroine’s name:

She drew out the two syllables of my name—fay-ruh—into the most hideous whine I’d ever endured, and Nesta loudly clicked her tongue before ordering her to shut up.

I guess I was mentally mispronouncing her name. She definitely needs it to be pronounced in a hideous whine.

Feyre’s dad starts looking at the wolf pelt and I pick a nit:

His fingers, still smooth and gentlemanly, […]

Okay, but he’s been a woodcarver for eight years.

Feyre’s dad is concerned about the wolf pelt, saying she took a huge risk. I think the underlying implication is that her dad knew it could have been a fairy? But Feyre tells him that she didn’t have a choice.

What I really wanted to say was: You don’t even bother to attempt to leave the house most days. Were it not for me, we would starve. Were it not for me, we’d be dead.

Wow, this is totally not the type of shit that runs through a disabled person’s head constantly! We don’t ever sit around worrying that our relatives think we’re lazy and resent us constantly for not doing enough! This is super fun to read!

Because we really need to understand that beneath her spinelessness and disgust for the disabled, Feyre is the true victim of the entire situation, Nesta makes fun of how Feyre smells and calls her an “ignorant peasant,” hurting Feyre’s feelings.

I didn’t let the sting and ache show. I’d been too young to learn more than the basics of manners and reading and writing when our family had fallen into misfortune, and she’d never let me forget it.

So, Feyre had been too young to have learned a whole bunch of manners and graces, but we’re supposed to, IDK, hate? Dislike? Blame? Nesta and Elain, who would have had to have been quite young, themselves, for running and hiding from violent intruders rather than nobly standing their ground and shitting their pants. Feyre even mentions that Nesta is three years older than her, so it’s not like there’s this huge ass gap between them where Nesta is so much older.

Feyre asks her sister to put more wood on the fire but there is none; her sisters didn’t chop the wood, as she predicted. Nesta refuses to chop wood because it will ruin her beautiful hands or whatever. Feyre tells her that if she doesn’t get up at dawn and chop more wood, they won’t have a way to cook breakfast. Then she goes upstairs to the room she shares with her sisters and thinks about all the hard work she did painting their dresser drawers.

I’d done it to brighten the otherwise dark room. They’d never commented on it. I don’t know why I’d ever expected them to.

Is there literally nothing our sainted, selfless Feyre won’t do for her beloved, ungrateful sisters? Like, IDK, did they ask you to do this? A gift is a gift, not a contract. You chose to do this thing to make the room look better not just for them, but for you. Grow up.

After a section break, the family is eating dinner and Feyre is thinking about how she’s going to take the stuff to the market and they’re not going to give her a fair price because GOD FORBID FEYRE HAVE ONE THOUGHT THAT ISN’T FULL-ON SELF-PITY MODE.

Seriously, what editor picked up this book and was so gripped by the characters that they just had to keep reading and then offer a contract? When I was an editor, this would have been a revise and resubmit. Because while I’ll stand by unlikeable characters, ableist, self-martyring whiners who make it a point to denigrate other women for caring about how they look do not make for the compelling read the author thinks it does.

Of course, I have yet to have a fantasy series take the world by storm, so maybe I’ve been writing them all wrong.

And here, we hit kind of a big inconsistency. Upstairs in their bedroom, Feyre notes that their bed is the only rich people thing they have left. It’s huge and it was a wedding present for her parents, right? Now, in this scene where the family is eating dinner, Feyre says this about their eating utensils:

[…]the fork was part of a shabby set my father had salvaged from the servants’ quarters while the creditors ransacked our manor home.

If they were only able to grab mismatched silver as they fled the creditors…how did they bring the bed along?

But we’re onto other things:

My mother. Imperious and cold with her children, joyous and dazzling among the peerage who frequented our former estate, doting on my father—the one person whom she truly loved and respected. But she also had truly loved parties—so much so that she didn’t have time to do anything with me at all save contemplate how my budding abilities to sketch and paint might secure me a future husband. Had she lived long enough to see our wealth crumble, she would have been shattered by it—more so than my father. Perhaps it was a merciful thing that she died.

Let’s sift through Feyre’s grievances with her mother and take some useful stuff away from this paragraph. This helps us establish the timeline, somewhat by telling us that their mother had died before they lost their fortune. This is important to note, as the chapter goes on.

But holy shit, cold as fucking ice, Feyre. It was merciful that your mother died because she couldn’t handle being poor? WTF.

This next part throws me for a loop:

Every time I looked toward a horizon or wondered if I should just walk and walk and never look back, I’d hear that promise I made eleven years ago as she wasted away on her deathbed. Stay together, and look after them.

This makes very little sense to me, in terms of deathbed vows. She doesn’t care about her family but she’s desperate for them to stay together, despite their total lack of hardship at the time?

And this is a vow Feyre can’t break, because…reasons.

But I’d sworn it to her, and then she’d died, and in our miserable human world—shielded only by the promise made by the High Fae five centuries ago—in our world where we’d forgotten the names of our gods, a promise was law; a promise was currency; a promise was your bond.

And who, exactly, is going to hold your reputation accountable here? And did your mother also say that you weren’t allowed to ask your family to help survive in case you lost your fortune?

Surely, there must be a reason that she dropped this burden on her youngest child, making her suffer for her entire life? Had she been so far gone at that point that she just didn’t know who Feyre was?

Or maybe impending death had given her some clarity about the true nature of her children, her husband.

Oh, that makes sense. It’s because she knew, in her last moments, that Feyre was The Best One.

Of course, that’s why. Of course.

And I love that we’re blaming Disabled Dad for his “true nature,” which is to be lazy and useless?

Over dinner, Nesta complains about how everyone is a peasant except her or something because the more we hate Nesta, the more we love Feyre, right? That’s how it works when you write female protagonists? Every other female has to be the super fucking worst?

I took a sip from my cup of hot water—we couldn’t even afford tea these days—as Nesta continued her story to Elain.

 You’ve been starving for eight years and you never thought to forage for leaves? I feel like you’re making a lot of your own problems at this point.

Nesta reveals that she’s had a marriage proposal from…the son of a woodcutter.

My father shifted in his seat, blinking, and though I knew it was foolish to react to her taunts, I said, “You can’t chop wood for us, but you want to marry a woodcutter’s son?”

IDK, Feyre. That actually sounds like the perfect solution for someone who doesn’t want to chop wood.

Oh, wait, sorry. I’m supposed to hate everything about Nesta. Yeah, fuck Nesta and her woodcutter boyfriend.

Instead of pointing out that thing I said earlier about how it makes total sense to marry someone who does a job you don’t want to do and therefore you can reap the benefits of not having to do that thing, Nesta insults Feyre’s paintings.

She sneered at the pillar of foxglove I’d painted along the edge of the table—the colors too dark and too blue, with none of the white freckling inside the trumpets, but I’d made do, even if it had killed me not to have white paint, to make something so flawed and lasting.

OH MY GOD IS THERE NOTHING SHE WILL NOT DOUSE IN SELF-PITY. She hates her sister but values her opinion so much that in the next paragraph she’s like, guess I’ll just scrape it off since it sucks.

Anyway, Feyre announces that there’s no way Nesta is going to marry this woodcutter’s son because he’s…not worthy of Nesta?

I have developed an actual headache doing this recap. I think it’s a combination of the eye rolls and trying to understand what this chapter was meant to accomplish besides making me actively loathe the heroine.

Feyre’s argument against this potential betrothal is that the woodcutter’s family isn’t any better off than they are and Nesta will be just another mouth to feed. So, it’s no longer a matter of Feyre watching out for her family but also inserting herself into the business of the whole damn town.

How poor are the woodcutters?

I’d seen the gleam of desperate hunger in his eyes when he spotted me sporting a brace of rabbits. I’d never killed another human, but that day, my hunting knife had felt like a weight at my side.

Feyre, willing to potentially kill a fairy and endanger her entire village for the benefit of her family = good

Tomas the woodcutter’s son, willing to kill one human being for the benefit of his family = irredeemably terrible

I know some of you said you really liked this book. I…I need to know why.

“We’re in love,” Nesta declared, and Elain nodded her agreement. I almost laughed—when had they gone from mooning over aristos to making doe-eyes at peasants?

First, they’re too snobby. Now, they’re not snobby enough. This is never going to be tiring.

“You’re just jealous. I heard them saying how Isaac is going to marry some Greenfield village girl for a handsome dowry.” 

So had I; Isaac had ranted about it the last time we’d met.

I mean, obviously the guy Feyre’s interested in doesn’t want to marry someone else. Just the guy Nesta’s interested in, right?

Also, anyone from Michigan cracked up at the idea of Isaac marrying a girl from Greenfield Village? Her dowry is just a bunch of train-flattened pennies.

Their fight gets even more personal so we can see just how awful and cruel Nesta is, and the sisters storm off.  Feyre tells her father he should “talk some sense” into Nesta, noting that Tomas only wants the proverbial one thing from her.

Her father says that she should just let Nesta hang on to hope for “a better world,” which leads Feyre to feel more self-pity over the flowers she painted on the table that nobody appreciates.

When I looked at my father, my gaze was hard. “There is no such thing.”

I’m pretty sure that this chapter was supposed to make us go, wow, what a horrible life, I hope things turn around for Feyre, but I can’t cheer for a character who’s…

Well, who’s Feyre, frankly.

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18 Comments

  1. Karen
    Karen

    The idea that her mother had made an eight year old girl promise to look after her two older sisters and her dad – a freaking grown adult – made me roll my eyes painfully hard when I read this. I get it’s meant to invoke the ‘rule of three’ in old fairy tales, where the youngest son or daughter is the one who finally succeeds, but really? Sorry, just too stupid.

    August 28, 2023
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  2. Tina
    Tina

    This book is gonna be horrible, but oh so much fun to have you review! Thank you for this gift 🙂

    If Feyre were as smart and cool as she claims, she‘d know that you can make paint from all sorts of stuff you find in nature. Also: she never practices her art, but of course she is naturally awesome at it.

    By the way, how does she want to make sure that meat is not gonna poison anybody next week? She can‘t leave it outside, she has no wood to smoke it and is probably too poor for salt. I don‘t hunt but I‘m relatively sure that you can‘t just let it sit on the table.

    August 28, 2023
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    • Verdande
      Verdande

      I mean, she could bury it in the snow?

      August 29, 2023
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      • Tina
        Tina

        Wouldn’t that attract predators? I have no experience with real life ones, but there are at least giant wolves and faeries in this book and I would not want to set the table for them.

        August 29, 2023
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I mean, you can leave it on the table overnight and butcher it the next day, it’s not a huge deal, but usually you hang it upside down to drain the blood. Even after that, I’ve helped process plenty of times and generally the meat has always been room temperature for most of the day for that, unless it froze outside overnight. I can’t remember if she field dressed the deer or not, but if she didn’t, the meat is going to be poisoned pretty quickly when the guts blow.

      August 31, 2023
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      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        I know “dressed” is a technical term, because I’ve seen it in those farm-to-fork cooking shows.

        But there’s still a part of me that imagines hunters putting a shirt and hat on the animal 😉 (Perfect for a sitcom.)

        September 1, 2023
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        • Verdande
          Verdande

          Amelia Bedelia Goes Hunting

          Actually I think Amelia Bedelia did literally do that to a turkey in one book. Like, dressed it up in lederhosen

          September 1, 2023
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  3. Mk
    Mk

    Yaaay! I hope some of your readers who love this book come share their perspective in the comments, I’d love to read that!

    August 28, 2023
    |Reply
  4. Emma
    Emma

    “You’ve been starving for eight years and you never thought to forage for leaves? I feel like you’re making a lot of your own problems at this point.”

    OH how I cackled. Never read the books and this is the absolute best way to continue not reading them.

    August 29, 2023
    |Reply
  5. Because it’s called a Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m going to go with this being a Beauty and the Beast type retelling. Can’t wait to see if I’m right.

    I love the fact that Fay-ruh thinks her sisters are snobbish but then she mocks them for having eyes for peasants. Girl, if you are still viewing others as peasants I think you need to reevaluate who is the actual snob in the family.

    August 29, 2023
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  6. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    The Terror is so awesome! I second that recommendation wholeheartedly!

    August 30, 2023
    |Reply
  7. Akri
    Akri

    I’ve read a few of Maas’ Throne of Glass books and enjoyed them well enough (although somewhere in book 3 I lost steam) but the whole time I felt like I was reading a rough draft that would be good with a few editing passes. I’m getting the same vibe here, and I’m very disappointed about it.

    Also, making Feyre the youngest is an odd choice. Having her be the one taking care of everyone would make a lot more sense if she was the oldest child, especially if in the past her father’s work and mother’s partying had left her taking care of the other kids all the time.

    August 30, 2023
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    • Sr4f
      Sr4f

      I had more fun with ACOTAR than with the throne of glass one.

      Likewise, the books felt… Unfinished? But I enjoyed them for what they *could* have been, I think. I enjoyed the moments of pretty prose where they happened, enjoyed the descriptions, the different characters – actually! One thing this could have in common with twilight, is that everyone else is more interesting than the main.

      Gotta say, though, Jenny – for saying you couldn’t explain why you enjoyed Grey’s Anatomy, it’s harsh to ask us to explain why we liked ACOTAR! Heh.

      September 7, 2023
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    • allthatnas
      allthatnas

      It could have also made sense if there had been an indication that some part of her mother despite being shallow and neglectful knew that Feyre was the one most capable of taking care of their family, if she had shown signs of being built slightly differently even at that age. I feel like that probably is what the book wants us to think but this book is just bad and it comes off as ridiculous.

      September 8, 2023
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  8. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    I wish Fay-ruh would have gotten eaten by that wolf.

    Fay-ruh’s fantasy is for her sisters to get married off so she can have the house and her dad all to herself, but she’s against Nesta getting married? Ok.

    September 2, 2023
    |Reply
  9. Amanda C
    Amanda C

    I’m a few days late to the post, but there was a request to hear from someone who liked this book, so I’ll chime in. I’ll also note that I think there are two kinds of people who like SJM books; one group being proper fans, and the other that reads her through the lens of the books being bad-good. I count myself in the latter.

    When it comes to the first ACOTAR book, even the diehard fans tend to say that the series gets a lot better after this book. I agree that’s true, though not in the sense that the writing improves per se. For someone like me, what that means is that SJM’s bread and butter is worldbuilding and chewing through plot (not necessarily characterization of her protagonists – a lot of her secondary characters end up stealing the show a lot of the time.) So the problem as it were with this book is that it’s kind of a slow start, with a lot of Feyre being kind of a weak, passive character, and the stuff that actually makes SJM books dumb fun doesn’t really kick in until later.

    Still though, she’s playing in a sandbox and with tropes for which I have a high tolerance for pain from the writing. I just like Horny Fairies, the genre, so her brand of camp fits the bill for when I’m looking for a dopamine hit. I usually have tons of complaints after every book when I’m done with them, but I still read them because for better or worse I have a good time.

    September 5, 2023
    |Reply
  10. Dove
    Dove

    I’m late to the party but I just can’t help wondering how the fuck a Woodcutter is poor in the first place. EVERYONE needs wood and as long as he can, IDK, chop trees or chop up fallen branches, then he should be good! Plenty of people should pay him, like, maybe not Nesta although that’d be a much better argument right there.

    “You chopped the wood? Oh, thank goodness! But that’s a first; usually I have to get on you for it.”

    “I asked my boo to do it.”

    “… did you SPEND MY HARD EARNED MONEY doing a job you had all day to do??”

    “It’s harder when it’s snowing! Besides, I didn’t spend anything… I fucked him.”

    “…Girl, I know you like him, but he’s just using you.”

    “No he isn’t! He loves me, he always offers to chop our wood, and one day I’ll lower myself to marry him if no one better comes along.”

    *sigh* “Okay, whatever. Just… don’t spend any money without asking me, Nesta? I’m the one who handles the budget, I’m the one who usually goes into town to make money and buy essentials, so I’m the one you have to ask first, especially since you won’t help papa in the slightest with EITHER of those two things!”

    “Bah! I’ll cart the donkey next time, just so I can buy some new dainty things. I’ll wrap that man around my finger next time he sees my panties… oh ho ho.”

    “Heaven sake, if it was still fall, I’d tell you to just do without and flash him with your bits. Probably get him through the chopping quicker so the house doesn’t get so damned cold from the wait!”

    “Ugh! You’re so crude… I’ll have to remind you what the finer things our next time we’re in town and make no mistake, I’m going with you, Feyre! See if I don’t.”

    “Bah. I’ll beg papa do go early and you’ll still be in bed, snoring like a bear.”

    September 7, 2023
    |Reply
    • ShifterCat
      ShifterCat

      That is a MUCH better way to write contentious relationships between teenage sisters.

      September 20, 2023
      |Reply

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