BOOK REVIEW: The Winner’s Curse – by Marie Rutkoski

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Title: The Winner’s Curse
(The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 4th 2014
Finished reading: September 29th 2015
Pages: 368
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“She saw, yet again, that her friend’s compliments were just bits of art and artifice. They were paper swans, cunningly folded so that they could float on the air for a few moments. Nothing more.”

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The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski was my previous TBR jar pick and I was really looking forward to it. There has been quite an hype around this trilogy and unfortunately the first book turned out to be a disappointment. Yet another case of an overhyped book… The Winner’s Curse had a really slow pace and I had the feeling the same story could have been told using a lot less pages. Most of the plot was quite cliche or at least predictable and I’m not sure I liked the characters or prose for that matter. The fact that the daughter of a general (Kestrel) buys a slave (Arin) just to end up falling in love with him was something that I saw coming from a mile away, and the fact that the same slave turned out to be an important rebel was just plain predictable. How both Kestrel and Arin behave throughout the story is not exactly natural either… And the cliffhanger ending was more than frustrating. All in all definitely not a read for me, but if you are a romance fan, you will most likely end up enjoying this story a lot better than I did.

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Kestrel is the daughter of a general and has only two choices for her future: join the military or get married. She doesn’t really want either and mostly just wants to enjoy her music and freedom, but her father doesn’t give in. One day Kestrel buys a slave at an auction in a whim and this will change her future forever… Arin is not the normal obeying slave and seems to defy everything with his eyes. Soon Kestrel doesn’t know what to do with him… And she has to hide her growing feelings for him. But Arin has a secret as well as rebels are trying to take back the land that has been stolen from them in the past. What will happen to them?

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Keeping in mind that romance is not really my thing, I still couldn’t get myself to give The Winner’s Curse a rating over 3 stars. The pace is just too slow and the storyline too predicable to turn it into a read that is actually worth the hype. Sure, the worldbuilding is quite interesting and the cliffhanger left me wanting for more, but I’m not sure the second is actually a good thing. Many cliches and a love triangle didn’t really help me enjoying this read either. Still, I can understand why some people love this read and I would recommend it to those who enjoy reading romantic stories. I’ve heard the sequel is actually better than the first book, so I will probably try to read it some time soon since I already own a copy.

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The Rabbit Ears Book Tag

Book Tag

Rabbit Ears Production Blog created this new book tag called “The Rabbit Ears Book Tag” last month and was nice enough to tag me. Thanks again for the tag! 😀 I always find it almost impossible to pick just one favorite, so I’ve decided to just pick a title I’ve read within the last year or so for each question…


1. The Fool And The Flying Ship: Book That Made You Laugh

thehundredyearoldmanwhoclimbedoutofthewindowanddisappeared

It’s a hard question, but I guess that The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson was definitely pretty funny.

2. The Velveteen Rabbit: Book That Made You Cry

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I normally don’t cry that much when I’m reading, but I remember not keeping it dry when I was reading The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand.

3. John Henry: Book That Inspired You

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The fact that in The Martian by Andy Weir the main character was able to survive alone on a different planet is pretty inspiring if you ask me!

4. The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow: Book That Scared You

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Without doubt The Shining by Stephen King (and Doctor Sleep as well). Delightfully creepy and definitely not the best read if you’re home alone at night! 😉

5. The Emperor and the Nightingale: Book That Took Place In A Foreign Country

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I really enjoyed Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas which is set in Aruba. The plot twists and unreliable narrator had me on the edge of my seat until the very end!

6. Follow the Drinking Gourd: Book about Diversity

noneoftheaboveNo doubt one of my most recent reads None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio. Such an inspiring story about an intersex teenager!

7. East of the Sun West of the Moon: Book about Romance

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I’m not really a fan of romance novels but Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was a pretty cute read.

8. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin and How the Camel Got His Hump:  Most Unusual Book You’ve Read

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I’m still not sure I actually liked this read, but it cannot be denied that Me And Earl And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is highly original.

9. Pecos Bill: Book That Was Adventurous And Action Packed

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Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (and the rest of the series for that matter) was definitely full of action.

10. The Bremen Town Musicians: Book About Friendship

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a good example of a story about friendship.

11. A Gingerbread Christmas: Book That Was Holiday Themed

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I haven’t read many holiday themed reads so far, but A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is without doubt a true classic.

12. Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby: Book With A Rivalry Between Two Characters

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Of course one of my favorite childhood series couldn’t be missing is this list… Harry Potter and Voldemort are classic rivals in the series and have their final battle in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

13. The Five Chinese Brothers: Book About Family

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio is definitely an example of a family that does everything to protect each other.

14. Anansi: Book That Has Animal Characters

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Who doesn’t know the lion in the classic The Wizard Of Oz story? Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is an interesting retelling full of (magical) animals.

15. Rip Van Winkle: Book You Fell Asleep Through

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I had a really hard time finishing Black Roses by Jane Thynne without actually falling asleep… Such a shame, because I had high hopes for this read!


And I nominate… YOU! Feel free to do this tag if you want to.

Have a great week everyone!