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. (from Raecarson.com)
(why this part is in all caps, I'll never figure out. But I'm too tired to keep trying to fix. Just imagine me screaming this. It makes it more fun.)
You know....the buzz about this book was something of a
strong force from most of my friends, and I figured it wouldn't be long before
I too would be reading it. Thankfully, my book club picked it up by the ever
insistent Katie Brogan, librarian, friend, and drug dealer. (books goobs and
find her on Twitter: @jusbeinkt, she's cool as dope.) Now, I have to say I've
enjoyed this book club very much, as I'm forced to read things that I normally
wouldn't and really enjoy giving my opinion about the entire ordeal. I'm also a
member of the Vaginal Fantasy book club, which is an online book club, but
there is something very enjoyable about real people and a more intimate group.
(Plus the cocktails after are always wonderful!)
Now saying this, let's just dive right in.
I found myself having a hard time truly grasping the pages
and diving in. I've been rather busy in my life, and for one reason or the
other I didn't have that instant pull. I did enjoy the book, I will say this,
and I can see why so many readers have truly enjoyed Elisa. She wasn't the
'perfect' little queen, frankly she wasn't little at all, but as an avid fan of
Tersa Medeiros The Bride and the Beast this wasn't my first rodeo into a plus
size princess. However, Teresa's plus size girl didn't "become
skinny". Granted, Elisa worked her ass off to save her people, so I have
to support that.
I felt that Elisa's food habits were borderline signs of an
eating disorder, but that wasn't addressed. I think it should have been. But
that is the fear of Young Adult, as you have to be careful not to trigger these
sorts of behaviors in the young impressionable youths. However, I had to really
respect Carson for this, it couldn't have been easy.
I can't relate to this book like I felt a lot of the people
around me did, and I relate that to my own growing up story. (Teen Mom here,
turned 40 at 18) My body transformed a lot, so this whole "YES I CAN EVEN
THOUGH I'M FAT" just didn't flip that GIRL POWER switch in my head, but as
the book went on the 'even though I'm fat' became a very much 'yes I can
because I am ME'. I can dig it.
Let's Get Technical
Ok, so I've not kept this quiet how much I hate the word 'smear'. I feel it's one of those English words that should have died a long time ago, and again...perhaps it comes from being a mother.
"Today Brenna smeared her own vomit all over the back of her already poop stained dress."
The stars were smeared, the sand smeared, the building was smeared with reds and golds, and I guess I was so excited to see this totally different beautiful world that Carson already built just illuminated. I felt like I was in The Kingdom of Heaven all over again, with a beautiful mix of the Roman Catholic and Muslim culture. But instead I was treated to vomiting mountains that sometimes expelled gold.
My only other complaint was that there are a few people that I feel I should have been more attached to, and I wasn't. Humberto being one of them. I guess I had a hard time finding any common ground with him, or even just getting inside his mind. And all of a sudden she loves him? I found that really hard to follow. I know a lot of time passes, and I totally get that. However, I don't think that Rae Carson did very well with the passing of it, and I think the book would have benefited from just a little more detail on how much time truly passed. I mean shit fire, I've only lost five pounds in the last three months (granted I'm not carrying myself through the desert, but still). I guess I would have liked to have had a little more time getting to know him deep down enough to care that his throat gets cut. What? Book has been out for a while. I'm not a spoiler free zone for older books. However, when Ale-Ale-jandro's passing came...I went awwww, no lie, no tears, but there were feels, even if he did suck as a King. He redeemed himself a little there at the end, and there is always Hector!
To Sum It All Up...
**Edit** I totally lied. I couldn't stop thinking about the other book and read it all in a single sitting. So much awesome happened.