Monday, June 14, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Graceling

I finished Graceling, by Kristin Cashore this week. I'm really enjoying what's happening in the Young Adult Genre recently. Stories in that area are becoming more imaginative and adventurous. It's refreshing.
So. Graceling. My husband bought it for me for my birthday this year, and I powered through it in about a day and a half (If one thing can be said for the young adult sector, its that the books are easy to get through).

In 10 words or less, the world in the book is populated by normal people (the ungraced), and a handful of "Graced", or people who are distinguished by a special gift. Katsa, our main character, is a Graced fighter, with speed, skill and stamina to spare. She and Po, the male lead, travel together to discover the mystery behind the kidnap of Po's grandfather. On the journey, they discover a terrible secret about a neighboring king and set out to rescue his young daughter from his treachery.

The story has many great points. It's a story of bravery, friendship, love, and discovering the fact that, even when you feel trapped by circumstance, you have choices. The characters were crafted beautifully, with all the shortcomings that make a good character seem real and human. It had all the ingredients of a great story.

Then I met Katsa. Don't get me wrong. Our female protagonist is strong and brave and wants, more than anything, to fight for what is right in the world.


Katsa drove me to distraction, she did. I have little patience for protagonists who will insist that they need NO ONE's help, that they are not DESERVING, they are not WORTH it. Obnoxious is what it is. Also that she has decided that she will never marry, so she and her love interest decide that the obvious solution is to simply be each others lover. That way, there is no commitment, but they can be....intimate. I'm sorry, but really? Maybe I'm a prude or old-fashioned, or whatever, but that seems like a shady message to be putting in a book aimed at teenagers. A sequel is coming out, though, so maybe she'll change her mind.

It's a decent read, but I recommend checking it out from the library rather than purchasing.

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