Review for ACOMAF... and the havoc this book has wreaked on my life.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Why I Chose This Book:
I think it is very clear why I chose to read this book. Most of you know I am a huge fangirl of anything SJM writes, so I was painfully waiting for this book to hit the shelves. I got it on my Kindle so I could start reading it IMMEDIATELY, then I got the Target edition that featured the extra Cassian and Nesta scene, and then I bought the audiobook… because why the hell not?

Be prepared, this review will contain MAJOR spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book, I would not read the rest of this review, just know that it is one of the best books I have ever read and you should own a copy for yourself because it is so beyond worth it. Also, I’m sorry in advance for how long it is… I just have a lot of emotions and words, okay?


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. (Goodreads)


My Bookish Thoughts:
Where to even begin? It has taken me weeks to figure out exactly what I feel for this book, and in those weeks, I have read this book four damn times… FOUR! And every single time, it just gets better and better.

Okay, so first I’m going to start with characters. I think the characters have always been the most important part of writing for SJM because from the characters flows most of the conflict.

Feyre:
Oh my soul. Feyre. She is the character I have been waiting to read since I was brought into this life. After the tortures and experiences under the mountain Feyre continues to be a girl who is scarred by her past, and now that past contains the blood that she spilt in order to save Pythian from Amarantha.

I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I was that Maas included Feyre’s PTSD and how exactly and truly she conveyed experiencing such a thing. It’s one thing to say a character has PTSD, and another thing to show it. Personally, I deal with anxiety, and so to see a character in a book deal with the same types of emotions was a beautiful shock to me. I’m not going to lie, there were a couple times that I had to take a breather because I was beginning to get a panic attack while she had her attack. That’s when you know that it’s good writing.

Not only that but you see such a growth in her in this book. This book is ALL about agency, and I loved it. I mentioned in my review for ACOTAR last year, that there were a few things that gave me pause about Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship. And here, you see Feyre confronting those problems in her relationship with others and actually making choices for herself and not for anyone else. I FREAKING LOVED IT!

Rhysand:
Oh, be still my heart! A hot fae high lord AND a feminist?! Dear God, catch me while I swoon! Rhysand is without a doubt my favorite character in this entire series because he is all about allowing Feyre the choice. Unless Feyre is making unhealthy choices, like not eating or something like that, he ALWAYS gives her the choice.

Not only does his feminist ways make me love him all the more, but so does his journey as a character. Under the Mountain, we saw him as somewhat of a villain. As soon as he came on the scene, I knew I was a goner, but this journey of his is a long and arduous one as well. In ACOMAF we see so much more of Rhysand and what has made him into the person he is now. He has a back story and a reason for why he was so cruel Under the Mountain, but he doesn’t allow that to be an excuse. He apologizes for who he had to be, but everyone understands that there was also a reason to do so. A reason that kept thousands of people alive.

Okay so this is the major spoilers part… When they mated I freaking lost it. I was so over the moon with love for this couple… I mean let’s talk about the king of the OTPs right here. But more than that he mentioned that Feyre would never be his consort or forced to be a mother and raise children and go to parties. She was his equal in every way…. Every way in that he actually made her High effing Lady! (I say while I pin Tamlin with a judgy stare… no such thing as High Lady my ass!)

That choice in and of itself spoke such volumes to me… and I will explain why when we chat about Tam the Tool…

Tamlin:
Okay, so I will start by saying I liked Tamlin so-so when I read ACOTAR. He was a hunk, but there was no emotional pull for me in their relationship… not the kind that mattered at least. I mean, I wanted her to fall for him because I knew that would allow her to get to the bottom of the curse put on everyone, but I didn’t want her to fall for him for the sake of falling in love.

In ACOTAR, I had a MAJOR problem when he bit her neck and didn’t apologize about it. It stank of “you tempted me, so I don’t have to take blame for my actions.” So I had major problems with him. That being said, starting on page one in this book, I knew that I would forever hate him. The fact that he didn’t even comfort her when she awoke from nightmares enough to go be sick in the bathroom…. And he did NOTHING?! No. Just no.

Then at every turn, he treated Feyre like an object, something to be envied by outside courts, not a person, not someone who had feelings and needed some MAJOR therapy from the sh*t that happened Under the Mountain—sh*t that she did in order to free him! Instead, he locked her up… and there was even a scene where it sounded way too much like a wife-beater telling the girl he just beat that he would get better, try harder… which also ended up being bull sh*t.

A lot of people say that SJM did Tamlin an injustice and made him into the villain in this book, but I disagree. Tamlin’s character NEVER changed throughout the whole of this series. Tamlin has always been a very passive person. He sat on his ass for nearly 49 years waiting out the curse, then he didn’t help get Feyre out Under the Mountain (instead he just wanted a quickie in a closet… which was a dick move, btw), and then at the end, he was on his knees begging for Amarantha to stop hurting Feyre, while Rhys acted and went after Amarantha head on even though he was sure he would probably die for it.

Now, tell me again how that makes Tamlin out to be the good guy?

And I'm so happy that even Feyre sees this:

“I forgot to tell [Rhysand]…that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key… [Rhysand] was the one who let me out.”
Now finally, let me just say something short about one of my fave characters:

Lucien:
Lucien… I loved you in ACOTAR. I really thought that you were a jerk, but I loved that sassy jerkiness about you. But this book… I have some beef with you now that I pray you will deal with in the final installment so I can love you again.

Okay, so seriously, I understand the progression of Lucien’s character, and why he did what he did, but his loyalty will be to his downfall if he keeps this up. He allowed loyalty to take charge even in the midst of seeing things were not going well for Feyre.

I leave you with two of the hundreds of quotes that I think summed up this book:

“Lucien had been prepared to take me against my will. Fae males were territorial, dominant, arrogant—but the ones in the Spring Court… something had festered in their training. Because I knew—deep in my bones—that Cassian might push and test my limits, but the moment I said no, he’d back off. And I knew that if… that if I had been wasting away and Rhys had done nothing to stop it, Cassian or Azriel would have pulled me out. They would have taken me somewhere—wherever I needed to be—and dealt with Rhys later.”

“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.”

Oh and one last thing… it’s my only complaint about this book, and it’s less about the book and more about the narrator of the audiobook… Jennifer Ikeda. I love this narrator with my whole heart, but she totally messed up some of the pronunciations from her first audiobook to this one. She even pronounce the Bogge, and Rhysand’s name weirdly… which was a bit frustrating for me, but again overall, this has nothing to do with the book really.

Final Thoughts:
I really can’t quite sum up my feelings, because I could go on for ten thousand more words and still have things to say about this book, but ultimately you should know that this is one of the most important books to grace the YA category, because of how SJM tackles topics like abuse, agency, and healing.

I know a lot of people don’t want to read it because she pulls an “abandon ship” (like only SJM can), but it’s for such great reasons. It’s NEEDED, so for even those of you who are hesitant to read this book because you fell so madly in love with Tamlin, I will tell you that things become very clear after you finish this book, and you will understand why Feyre chose the person she did… and if we are being honest, I’m not so sure that she picked Rhys. I think first, she picked herself, and that was the most important choice in this entire book.

I gave this book 5 stars… If I could I would give it a million stars.

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