Book Review: ACOTAR | Fun and Saucy but is it worth the hype?

TITLE: A Court of Thorns and Roses
AUTHOR: Sarah J. Maas
SERIES: A Court of Thorns and Roses
RELEASED: May 5th 2015; Bloomsbury Publishing
GENRE: YA Fantasy
FORMAT: Paperback

KEY INFO: Fae, Romance, Court Politics, Series
REPRESENTATION: Female MC
CONTENT NOTICES: N/A

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While everyone else is currently losing their minds over A Court of Frost and Starlight (or not as the case has been for some), I’m over here still only having read ACOTAR and am waaaaaaay behind everyone else, but to be honest, I’m ok with that.

I originally rated this 4 stars when I finished the book back in Mid-April but actually after having some distance from the book I’ve decided to change it to 3 stars because in hindsight it wasn’t THAT good… like… it was definitely enjoyable and I am looking forward to reading A Court of Mist and Fury but also it didn’t blow me away or stood out to me at all?

Things I liked:

  • A fairly enjoyable YA fantasy in which a human woman, Feyre, ends up being exiled to live among the Fae and kept under the watchful eye of her captor, Tamlin
  • Full of court politics, intrigue and fantastical mystery which I always enjoy
  • I really enjoyed a lot of the characters especially Tamlin, Lucien, Alis, & (towards the end) Rhysand. And on that note, I really don’t get why so many people don’t like Tamlin?????
  • I also enjoyed a lot of the worldbuilding and learning about the history of the world as the story slowly unfolded
  • I liked that Feyre, the main protag, was illiterate and that she was able to expressed herself more fully through art
  • Surprisingly saucy sex scenes which I did NOT expect at all *fans self*

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Things I liked a lot less:

  • The fact that the MC is called “Feyre” which is just too close to “Fae” for my taste and actually really irritated me after these two names being mentioned on pretty much every single page of the book
  • Totally a Beauty & the Beast retelling and I’m a little bit disappointed in that, especially as I didn’t twig until I started reading the book and haven’t heard it mentioned by others before. Personally, I’m not super into retellings either so it’s not a good selling point for me.
  • The fact that Feyre’s family falls into the ‘temporarily poor’ trope rather than, you know, actually being poor
  • THE F*CKING RIDDLE. THE F*CKING RIDDLE THO. I was absolutely SCREAMING. When we were first given the riddle I said to my partner “if the answer is what I think it is I will die” and guess what, I WAS RIGHT. It was so obvious and it literally just made me want to throw the book across the room. I love a good mystery, but a terrible mystery and an MC who can’t work out simple riddles… nah
  • Predictability of the story and the ending

So yeah… all in all, I liked it enough. It’s pretty enjoyable in a fun kind of way and, ngl, some of the scenes made me b.l.u.s.h. I really don’t get why everyone hates Tamlin though, please explain it to me or why on earth everyone is so on Rhysand. WHAT AM I MISSING? I also don’t get why ACOTAR is so hyped either… It’s not anything that great, the writing is super mediocre, and the plot is pretty meh.

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EST. 2015 (1)

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14 thoughts on “Book Review: ACOTAR | Fun and Saucy but is it worth the hype?

  1. Hmm-hmm… i really liked the colouring book they made for this, but i don’t think i’ll ever read the series. I’m not generally a fantasy fan, so unless there’s some cool addition to it (like western bits in Dark Tower, or magic=science like in Name of the Wind) i usually can’t get into them.

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    1. I think there are some fantasy books which have done really new and exciting things, like Children of Blood and Bone which I’m REALLY enjoying. But personally I find fantasy books to very quickly blur together and all become a bit meh. I never used to read any fantasy but since I started book blogging I’ve tried a few out but none have really wowed me very much.

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  2. I agree, this series is pretty meh for me, and moved into “dislikable” with the problematic content of the second and third. But as to the hype for Rhysand over Tamlin….read Mist and Fury. All will become clear within like, ten chapters.

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      1. Yeah, a large portion of the book blogging community doesn’t really talk about it very much because of SJM being such a big deal, but there is an anti crowd on book tumblr that has explored it a lot in depth if you’re at all interested (just type ‘anti-SJM’. I won’t give you any spoilers for ACOMAF or ACOWAR, but my problems with this series are the slut shaming, bad treatment of LGBTQ+ identities, and the normalising of toxic masculinity/rehabilitation of sexual abusers. There isn’t a non-white character until book 3, and then they get a bad deal. These problems are at there worst in book 3 but I think the groundwork is there in book 2 (and book 1 tbh).

        But I don’t want to dissuade you from discontinuing the series if it’s something you want to read!!! I actually remember reading ACOMAF and enjoying it a lot the first time but then (a bit like with Twilight) coming out of the book binge and thinking “shit, what did I just read??” I’ve decided I don’t want to buy her books anymore, but I think there is something to be said about reading it to join in the conversation.

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      2. Ahhhhhhhhh ok. I did wonder if there was something that would come through a lot more in the second book, so I’m curious to read it and find out more, even just so that I can understand the issues with the book! It’s sad that not more people talk about it though because I had absolutely no idea before I picked the first book up that anything like that would be in the books!

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      3. I think SJM is just a very popular author so the outlook on her work is primarily positive and people can come under attack for criticising her. I primarily blog on tumblr still, and when a few high profile bloggers spoke out against her racism and heteronormativity they got a serious amount of hate.

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  3. I felt the exact same after reading the first book, then I read the second book and fell in love. I mean, the writing’s still mediocre, but I was so invested in the plot and characters I didn’t even care (and I always care about the writing). If you read the second book, you’ll be mad at Tamlin too 😂

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  4. I never liked Tamlin because there were just so many red flags for me, like that whole relationship is problematic af for me. But most people don’t start hating Tamlin until ACOMAF because that’s when the dark side comes out ahah.
    I didn’t get the hype at all after reading ACOTAR but then I saw it once I read ACOMAF. It’s just so much better and if you think the scenes from ACOTAR were steamy…Just you wait!
    I’m also behind everyone else, I still haven’t read ACOWAR yet…I’ll get to it eventually ahahah

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    1. Ahhhhhhhh ok. That makes more sense. I did wonder if there was something in ACOMAF that I didn’t know about so I will see soon. I have the book already as I got it and ACOTAR at the same time, so I will definitely be reading it at some point – even just to be nosy and understand what everyone is talking about.

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