You guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately, but I have just been feeling super uncreative. Every time I go into the sewing room, I look around at the mess I will have to clean up before I can really get anything else done, and I just turn around and walk right back out. For the past two months, at least one person in the house has been sick, and it’s wearing me out, all this sniffling and coughing and general malaise. We have probably used a forest’s worth of Kleenex. I’m thankful that none of us had the flu, but I still wish everyone were back to 100%.
I haven’t posted any books lately, I know, but I haven’t read anything that I wanted to recommend. In fact, I was so unhappy about the way one ended, I almost didn’t want to start another. I almost posted it yesterday, but I didn’t because I knew I would end up ranting about it. You know what, though? I’m totally going to rant about it now. Spoilers ahead!
Here’s how Amazon summarizes The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson:
“Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king who needs her to be 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 save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. 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.”
Sounds pretty good, right? The concept wasn’t bad, really, it was the characterization that really annoyed me. Elisa is fat – not just pleasantly plump – she is so fat that she can’t see her feet. The author actually points this out on more than one occasion. Her father and sister are perfect and slim and have swan-like necks. Her mother was also slim and perfect, but she died giving birth to Elisa – probably because she was fat, then, too. She is married off to a widowed King with a six year old son and a mistress – who are all also slim and perfect, by the way. The wedding is a political match, but Elisa still hopes that the King will eventually love her as his wife. On top of all of this, Elisa has a Godstone in her navel, given to her by God on her naming day. It means she has been chosen to perform a task that will…. Well, she doesn’t really know what her task is, and so neither does the reader. The fact that she has the Godstone – something that only appears every 100 years – makes her the target of kidnappers who think she can save their people. The kidnappers live miles away, across a dangerous and desolate desert (yay for alliteration!), and in the course of her being forced to travel with them – because to try to escape would mean certain death – she loses weight. She can see her feet! It’s a miracle!! She becomes sympathetic to the kidnappers and realizes that she might not be able to save them, but she can help them fight. The war planning goes on for awhile, she and some others sneak off to spy on the enemy, she learns more about the Godstone and her task, and of course, one of the kidnappers (Humberto) falls for her. I actually liked this part of the story since Elisa wasn’t constantly comparing herself to all of the other…. Oh wait, yes she was. ALL THE TIME. Even as she was explaining her totally brilliant strategy, she was lamenting the fact that she was fat and clumsy. Finally, FINALLY, Humberto kisses her, and she FINALLY realizes that maybe she isn’t a “worthless princess” after all. Yay! (Maybe.) Part of her strategy is to sneak in to the city and basically blackmail the Prince (Councilman? Mayor? Post Man? I forget.) into helping her. They are caught, of course, and HUMBERTO IS KILLED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!!! What the poop??!?!?!?? Of course, she goes on to fix everything, but I didn’t even care because I was so annoyed that Humberto had been killed, I wanted to throw the book. I can’t even… Ugh, the whole thing just ticked me off. The entire story could have happened the exact same way without ever mentioning how anyone looked. I could almost forgive the author for making such a big deal about it, if she hadn’t killed off the love interest. So glad that I got that off my chest!!
Have a good weekend, everyone! Is anyone planning on watching the Super Bowl?