YA Audio Books The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) [Audio Book]

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) [Audio Book]

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/1a/fc/f0/_the-girl-of-fire-and-thorns-rae-carson-1352153444.jpg
 
2.8
 
0.0 (0)
1154   0
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
13+
Release Date
July 24, 2012
ISBN
B008OCS79W
Buy This Book
      
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her 16th birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king - a king whose country is in turmoil. 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 be his people's savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

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.

Editor reviews

I have always loved rereading, and with my memory it's both a necessity (if I want to remember any details of my favorite books) and a pleasure. Even once I have a book pretty well ensconced in my head, I love to revisit the characters, to discover intricacies of the plot or little jokes that previously escaped me. On first rereads, I can be caught off guard by twists I had forgotten. In this case, though, my first reread of a book I've reviewed on my blog, I am rereading a book I didn't care for originally. You see, I read it and it left a bad taste in my mouth, but then everyone with similar taste read it and thought it was awesome, and I just felt I had to try again. Unfortunately, I still don't love it, but I do think I was a bit overly harsh in my first assessment, when I simply was not in the mood for the story.

I have two main issues with The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Elisa and religion. I'll discuss Elisa first. Initially, I was very excited to read a fantasy novel centering around an overweight heroine. Such a thing simply isn't seen. You do get some muscular heroines (like Kel from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet) who stand out from the svelte, trim crowd, but an unfit heroine...not so much. Then I met Elisa. She irritates the heck out of me. When the reader first meets her, she has sister issues like crazy, no self-esteem, hates herself for being fat, and eats everything in sight. Because of her inferiority complex, she moans and whimpers, blaming everyone else for her own shortcomings.

What I hoped for was a plus size heroine who would be okay with her size, but, instead, Elisa hates herself for it, yet refuses to do anything about it, taking a sort of perverse comfort in not trying, because she doesn't think she could live up to Alodia anyway. She does, through the course of the story, lose some of the weight, though she never becomes slender. With the loss of weight, her sense of self improves, and she looks at her previous clothing and deems it a tent, judging her former self. If she doesn't have sympathy for herself, why should I? She does sort of comes to term with her size, whatever it may be, to some degree later, I felt, but only because she found a boy she knew would love her no matter what she weighed. Again, I would really like this to come from inside. Maybe I'm being too picky because something about her narration just grates on me, but this is how I felt.

Pretty much the only thing I like about her in those first couple of chapters is how she wishes for an old, ugly husband or one with pock marks, even if it is so he won't be disappointed in her. Of course, what she actually gets is the most beautiful man she's ever seen, King Alejandro. For all that she hates how attractive she is, she kind of swoons all over him for a while, falling prey to his charms without really knowing anything about him.

I will give Elisa this, though. When the chips are down, she usually steps up. In quiet moments and social situations, she feels awkward and comforts herself with food and hatred of herself and others. In the midst of adventure, her mettle shows through. I like that Elisa so much better, and, thankfully, she comes to the forefront as the novel progresses. Even at the end, though, there's something about her that just grates, though I can't put my finger on precisely what. Oh, and I know this isn't a smooth transition but this thought doesn't merit a full paragraph, I could have done without a full chapter that kept mentioning how she'd pissed herself. Mentioning it once is good enough; I can remember it happened without constant descriptions of the acrid smell, okay?

Anyway, moving on to religion, Elisa happens to be the bearer of the Godstone, the Chosen One. This sounds really exciting and comes with some nice bling (a big jewel in her belly that appeared when she was a baby), but mostly just means she has to pray a lot and likely eventually give her life in service. For those that don't know, I am not religious, but I did minor in theology, so I do have some tolerance for religious discussions. I do not, however, generally like it to be a main theme in my novels. Sure, this religion has been made up, but aren't they all? The constant praying and such just wears on me. Again, this is my own issue, and other readers obviously weren't bothered, but, for those who are sensitive to such things, be forewarned.

As far as the other characters go, I really wasn't interested in most of them. The only female character I like is the prickly Cosmé. I appreciate her candor and her refusal to pretend to like people when she doesn't. Alejandro, Elisa's hottie husband, is incredibly weak and pathetic. He just bores me to tears. Hector, his man-at-arms, hasn't been given a ton of personality yet, but fits into the same archetype as the heroes from Grave Mercy and Touch of Power, so I like him thus far. Humberto, Cosmé brother is a sweetheart and reminds me a lot of a puppy. Rosario, Alejandro's son, actually was one of my favorite characters. He already has way more sense than his father.

The best thing about the novel, what really saved it from being all the way down in the 'didn't like it' end of my rating scale is that Carson does do some surprising things. While much of the book did feel unoriginal, she throws in some genuine twists. She's not afraid to hurt her characters, and I love that in an author. I hope she continues to take the plot in somewhat surprising directions.

I will be listening to Crown of Embers shortly, and I hope I like Elisa a bit better in that installment. I've seen The Girl of Fire and Thorns compared to Kristin Cashore's novels or Maria V. Snyder's and so far, I don't see it, but I'm going to give the series another shot.

Jennifer Ikeda's narration fits the story very well. She has a gift for accents, which helps keep the characters clear and separate in my mind. The voices she gave suited the characters well, and at no time did her narration make me roll my eyes. Her tone suited Elisa quite well, I felt. Her voice was an easy one to pay attention to.
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Narration 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Pacing 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0

Better on Audio

I have always loved rereading, and with my memory it's both a necessity (if I want to remember any details of my favorite books) and a pleasure. Even once I have a book pretty well ensconced in my head, I love to revisit the characters, to discover intricacies of the plot or little jokes that previously escaped me. On first rereads, I can be caught off guard by twists I had forgotten. In this case, though, my first reread of a book I've reviewed on my blog, I am rereading a book I didn't care for originally. You see, I read it and it left a bad taste in my mouth, but then everyone with similar taste read it and thought it was awesome, and I just felt I had to try again. Unfortunately, I still don't love it, but I do think I was a bit overly harsh in my first assessment, when I simply was not in the mood for the story.

I have two main issues with The Girl of Fire and Thorns: Elisa and religion. I'll discuss Elisa first. Initially, I was very excited to read a fantasy novel centering around an overweight heroine. Such a thing simply isn't seen. You do get some muscular heroines (like Kel from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet) who stand out from the svelte, trim crowd, but an unfit heroine...not so much. Then I met Elisa. She irritates the heck out of me. When the reader first meets her, she has sister issues like crazy, no self-esteem, hates herself for being fat, and eats everything in sight. Because of her inferiority complex, she moans and whimpers, blaming everyone else for her own shortcomings.

What I hoped for was a plus size heroine who would be okay with her size, but, instead, Elisa hates herself for it, yet refuses to do anything about it, taking a sort of perverse comfort in not trying, because she doesn't think she could live up to Alodia anyway. She does, through the course of the story, lose some of the weight, though she never becomes slender. With the loss of weight, her sense of self improves, and she looks at her previous clothing and deems it a tent, judging her former self. If she doesn't have sympathy for herself, why should I? She does sort of comes to term with her size, whatever it may be, to some degree later, I felt, but only because she found a boy she knew would love her no matter what she weighed. Again, I would really like this to come from inside. Maybe I'm being too picky because something about her narration just grates on me, but this is how I felt.

Pretty much the only thing I like about her in those first couple of chapters is how she wishes for an old, ugly husband or one with pock marks, even if it is so he won't be disappointed in her. Of course, what she actually gets is the most beautiful man she's ever seen, King Alejandro. For all that she hates how attractive she is, she kind of swoons all over him for a while, falling prey to his charms without really knowing anything about him.

I will give Elisa this, though. When the chips are down, she usually steps up. In quiet moments and social situations, she feels awkward and comforts herself with food and hatred of herself and others. In the midst of adventure, her mettle shows through. I like that Elisa so much better, and, thankfully, she comes to the forefront as the novel progresses. Even at the end, though, there's something about her that just grates, though I can't put my finger on precisely what. Oh, and I know this isn't a smooth transition but this thought doesn't merit a full paragraph, I could have done without a full chapter that kept mentioning how she'd pissed herself. Mentioning it once is good enough; I can remember it happened without constant descriptions of the acrid smell, okay?

Anyway, moving on to religion, Elisa happens to be the bearer of the Godstone, the Chosen One. This sounds really exciting and comes with some nice bling (a big jewel in her belly that appeared when she was a baby), but mostly just means she has to pray a lot and likely eventually give her life in service. For those that don't know, I am not religious, but I did minor in theology, so I do have some tolerance for religious discussions. I do not, however, generally like it to be a main theme in my novels. Sure, this religion has been made up, but aren't they all? The constant praying and such just wears on me. Again, this is my own issue, and other readers obviously weren't bothered, but, for those who are sensitive to such things, be forewarned.

As far as the other characters go, I really wasn't interested in most of them. The only female character I like is the prickly Cosmé. I appreciate her candor and her refusal to pretend to like people when she doesn't. Alejandro, Elisa's hottie husband, is incredibly weak and pathetic. He just bores me to tears. Hector, his man-at-arms, hasn't been given a ton of personality yet, but fits into the same archetype as the heroes from Grave Mercy and Touch of Power, so I like him thus far. Humberto, Cosmé brother is a sweetheart and reminds me a lot of a puppy. Rosario, Alejandro's son, actually was one of my favorite characters. He already has way more sense than his father.

The best thing about the novel, what really saved it from being all the way down in the 'didn't like it' end of my rating scale is that Carson does do some surprising things. While much of the book did feel unoriginal, she throws in some genuine twists. She's not afraid to hurt her characters, and I love that in an author. I hope she continues to take the plot in somewhat surprising directions.

I will be listening to Crown of Embers shortly, and I hope I like Elisa a bit better in that installment. I've seen The Girl of Fire and Thorns compared to Kristin Cashore's novels or Maria V. Snyder's and so far, I don't see it, but I'm going to give the series another shot.

Jennifer Ikeda's narration fits the story very well. She has a gift for accents, which helps keep the characters clear and separate in my mind. The voices she gave suited the characters well, and at no time did her narration make me roll my eyes. Her tone suited Elisa quite well, I felt. Her voice was an easy one to pay attention to.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Books Aren't Dangerous Campaign

      Do you remember that book that changed your life as a reader, or maybe just your life in general? You do? That’s great!        Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, have started a campaign called BOOKS AREN’T DANG ...

  • TOMORROWLAND - Drive Through Movie Review

    **********NO SPOILERS************ The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, give their thoughts on the new Disney film TOMORROWLAND.    QUESTION: If you could go to an alternate universe what would you want to see there? ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hi, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu, releasing September 1, 2015 from Running Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Maria:   YABC Readers!  I’m so excited to share the pape ...

  • May 2015 YABC Book Haul

    Hey YABCers! Once again, our office has been innundated with books, books, and  more BOOKS! We've run out of shelf space which can only mean one thing .... it's time for the May Book Haul! Enjoy the video and let us know in the comments which books you can't wait to add to your TBR. &nbs ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Insidious by Dawn Metcalf + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for INSIDIOUS by Dawn Metcalf, releasing August 25, 2015 from Harlequin TEEN. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dawn:   You know when you finish a story, you never really finish because there' ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

      This month's theme for the Librarian's corner is all about picture books you can share with teens! Picture books aren't just for kids and babies anymore. In fact, teens love storytime too!    For May, I am featuring some of my favorite picture books to share ...

  • The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

        The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival--TBF 2015 Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer   Here at Young Adult Books Central, we LOVE YA! Fortunately for us, The Greater Rochester Book Festival held at Nazareth Collge devotes itself to s ...

  • Giveaway: If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski (US Only)

    If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For By Jamie Tworkowski Release Date: May 26, 2015   About the Book In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, ...

  • Giveaway: Nova by Margaret Fortune (US Only)

    Nova by Margaret Fortune   Release Date: June 2nd   About the Book *36:00:00* The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

    Happy Friday, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for BRIAR ROSE by Jane Yolen, releasing April 19, 2016 from Tor Teen.      Ready to see? Scroll, YABCers! Scroll! ...       ...     ...

  • Giveaway: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (US Only)

    EVERY LAST WORD By Tamara Ireland Stone In stores June 16th   About the Book If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.   Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The Stick Dog series continues in author-illustrator Tom Watson's hilarious Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream. In the follow-up to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever, is back for the second book in Kate Messner's new chapter book series. This time,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
22635844.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Rye O'Chanter was shocked to discover that her father was the leader of the notorious band of outlaws known as...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first...
 
3.7
 
3.7 (2)
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
23111784.jpg
Will this Mad Tea Party put Alice in hot water? Alice is rebellion-ready, eager to save...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is...
 
5.0
 
4.3 (1)
Alias Hook.jpg
"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative...
 
3.8 (2)
 
3.2 (2)
The conclusion to the bestselling InterWorld series, from Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves! Joey...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship,...
 
3.7
 
3.3 (1)
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he...
 
3.3
 
3.7 (1)
61i%2BU8zcJcL.jpg
Category: Kids Nonfiction
This set of customizable gizmos includes a book of games, pranks, and jokes that make the most of them. The...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
I’m the daughter of murdered parents. I’m the friend of a dead girl. I’m the lover of my enemy. And...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)