The Holy Terror

A possible retreat from goodreads ... though I'm tempted to yell "get off my lawn" at this site's tumblresque-ness. Yes, that's totally a word.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) - Rae Carson If you caught even just a couple of my updates I think it would've been plainly obvious that I didn't enjoy this book. It's disappointing, really, because I think Carson was attempting to create a heroine that many girls could relate to. Elisa is overweight, unsure of herself, overshadowed by her prettier and skinnier sister, and chosen for something she's not sure she's worthy of. It sounds like the beginning of a compelling story, but ultimately Elisa only proves her worthiness by changing everything about herself. And walking. A lot.Elisa is fat and likes to eat. You will hear about the food she eats and the sweets she craves so often that you'll start to wonder if you're reading a thinly veiled advertisement instead, or if this book was sponsored by the coconut or lamb industry. This girl eats so many scones. And when she's not eating, she's thinking about her next meal or about what she had the day before. Even after Elisa loses some weight and doesn't need to shove food down her gullet 24/7 to stave off headaches and fatigue, the story still revolves around her meals. I didn't need to know what she was eating every single day, or how it was prepared or who prepared it or how it tasted ... really. Cut out the food descriptions and this book would've been half as long. I get it, Elisa likes food and has a love/hate relationship with it. Am I reading a fantasy story or the food diary of a girl with an eating disorder?After food, a large amount of the story is spent on Elisa walking from point A to point B. Sometimes with other people, sometimes against her will, sometimes alone. So then all of that walking means fat Elisa becomes skinny Elisa and all of her problems start melting away along with the pounds; people think she can win their war, boys fall in love with her, girls want to be her best friend. And the Godstone in her belly (that she can now see without parting her breasts and moving her stomach fat out of the way - wut) starts to react to danger, helping her elude her enemies. Because God rewards you when you're not fat!There are also plot holes (and really, not a whole lot of plot to begin with) and at one point a character remarks that they have no idea why the enemy is attacking. The magic is incredibly underdeveloped and mostly relies on praying and hoping something will happen. Generals, guards, and the King all look to Elisa for war counsel when all she had ever done was read this world's version of The Art of War. The first person I'd look to for advice during war would definitely be a 16-year-old girl.Elisa's hair-brained schemes work because the author wants them to. Everything is conveniently tied up with a neat little bow and there's not a single surprise. In the end, I was so unattached to any of the characters that I barely even blinked when someone died. Elisa has a magic stone in her belly button, she's good at memorizing stuff, has blind faith in God, and knows the best pastry recipes. Those are her special powers. Elisa is a boring character surrounded by other boring characters living out a boring story with food being a much more developed entity than any of the people or the plot. I will probably not continue with this series.

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