Is it really any surprise that I loved this book? Not only is it written by the same author that brought us Throne of Glass but it's a fairy tale retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales- Beauty and the Beast.
My biggest fear going into ACOTAR was that it would be too similar to Throne of Glass. It's not that they're super similar concepts or anything, but I know it can be hard for author's to continuously right unique characters. And sure, there was some overlap with Celeana, but it wasn't really that noticeable as I was reading. And the stories are completely different- they don't even sort of feel like each other. The fey in this book are different from the fairies in Throne of Glass, too. (I like them better in this book.) The ending did bring back memories of reading Crown of Midnight/Heir of Fire, but not terribly and I'm okay with it.
The writing is as wonderful as ever in this book. And, dare I say it?, better than her writing in Throne of Glass. I really look up to Sarah J Maas because she somehow manages to get abstract feelings down on the page without missing a beat. It's almost prose, the way she writes, and it retains an epic feel to it the whole time.
I did think the plot was slightly predictable. But I also didn't think there was any major twist intended until the very end. I liked the straightforward nature of the story telling, and I enjoyed that so much happened in it. You've noticed I didn't tell you what this book was about at the beginning of the post like I normally do? Because it's better to go in not knowing anything at all. Don't read the back/inside flap, because that spoils a lot. Just enjoy the ride! Because it's beautiful.
Her world building is top notch. Although we only got to explore a small amount of the world in this book, it already feels like a huge place. In the next books I'm sure we'll see much more of it, as well, and I can't wait to explore alongside Feyre.
Which brings us to the characters. I must say, the names were a mouthful. I tried explaining the book to a friend and gave up because I couldn't really pronounce them all correctly. There is a guide in the back of the book, which was very nice (and I wish more authors did this with pronunciation guides...) and helpful. Even still, the spelling really messed me up. Feyre is a memorable character. She's not weak, but she also doesn't compare to the fey around her, strength wise. Rather, she needs to use her head. And she's never really the "best" at anything. She had clear character flaws and drawbacks, like her illiteracy. But all the same, she was still her own hero and the hero of the story. You don't see that very often in YA and New Adult stories, and I really liked it. Her only motivation for being a hero- love. The other characters are all awesome as well! I liked Tamlin, though he wasn't my favorite. That would have to be a tie between Lucien and Rhysand. You'll see why when you read the book...
I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series (how long do we have to wait?). Good thing that the next Throne of Glass book comes out in a few months. If you want to add ACOTAR to your goodreads shelf, click here.