For those of you wondering, DNF means "Did Not Finish"
It breaks my heart when I don't enjoy a book (I'm looking at you, The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick), even more so when it leads me to quit without reaching the ending.
One of the reasons I may have been disappointed was the sheer amount of hype surrounding this book, and upcoming movie (starring and executively produced by Emma Watson). All the press about this book have raved about the strong female protagonist who is a queen in her own right and does not have the distraction of a love interest (as is very popular in YA novels) while she is trying to run her country, The Tearling.
Though I did not finish the book, I agree with that assessment. It was clear from the first chapters, and even more so in the second. Rather than go on complimenting Kelsea, I will plainly state that the main character was not the reason I put down this book.
The plot moved too slowly for me, and simultaneously, certain events seemed to happen so fast that I felt as though I was missing something. The premise had pulled me in, but the execution did not keep me interested.
However, that being said, there are definitely still merits to Queen of the Tearling. As I said before, Kelsea is being heralded as the new standard for YA female protagonists for her independence. And while I love that she doesn't have a love interest, I think there is an annoying trend of people assuming that a girl or young woman is only strong if she never accepts help and forsakes all forms of femininity. Newsflash: strong is not a strictly masculine or asexual adjective.
As you can see from My Character Profile, there are plenty of admirable female characters who are more than a pretty face, but can also accept their female status in stride. And, most of the ones listed depend on at least a few friends (except maybe Elphaba, especially in the book as opposed to the Broadway musical).
My point is, Queen of the Tearling is making a counter-statement to the oversaturation of weak girls falling for alpha males in the YA category (and arguably in the Adult and NA markets, too).
Also, I am not trying to discourage anyone from reading this book. I still plan to see the movie because if Emma Watson is involved, it must be good. Also, I'm always slightly wary of reviews when choosing my To Read list, so if the book description (below) sounds interesting to you, give Erika Johansen's book a shot. I've conveniently posted buy links under the book synopsis, too.
About the Book
Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Series: The Queen of the Tearling, 1
Author: Erika Johansen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 17, 2014
Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it. It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers. But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous. Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week. Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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