Friday, December 3, 2010

Graceling: a review

First let me say that overall, I did enjoy this book. The plotting and characterization were excellent, two important elements of a good story. I loved Katsa, the main character, and her romantic interest, Po. And I loved Cashore’s idea of Graces, or gifts, like Po’s abilty to feel/know what others feel about him – which is how he knows Katsa likes him, much to her dismay.

My problem lies with the execution of the book, which, I’m sorry to say, could’ve been better. I got the feeling it hadn’t been edited, or not edited enough. There was telling where there didn’t need to be, awkward sentences, odd sentences, and lastly, Katsa’s strange abhorrence of marriage and children. This might have made sense if there were a reason for it but Cashore never explores the why behind Katsa’s feelings. I think I would’ve liked it if she had.

I do think another revision could’ve made this book so much better, tighter, cleaner. But in spite of this the characters always pulled me forward with them as they fought for what they believed in – and I do mean fight. Because both Katsa and Po are true fighters and Cashore writes these scenes like she was there. It will be interesting to watch her progression as a writer, I think.

As for that other book…well…I’m not sure I’m interested enough to finish it. Which means I now need something to read. Any suggestions?


  1. I enjoyed your review. Sometimes I read stuff and think, boy, this is a great first draft but it needs more work. Nice to read your review.

    Suggestions on reading, well, I'd say Dairy of a Wimpy Kid - all of them. That kid cracks me up.

    Happy reading :-)

  2. Roald Dahl's Matilda, too. I never saw the movie, don't care to, but the book ... loved it.

  3. I haven't actually heard of this book until now. I just googled it and have to has the cover is lovely.

    Books to read? I have a stack to go through on my TBR list. Clockwork Angel is one. I also just finished Before I fall, which is also YA.

    Btw I wanted to say I just had a quick look through your WIPs - they sound wonderful. Good luck with the querying! ;)

  4. happy, thanks for the suggestions :)
    and Talei, yes, the cover is beautiful. I've heard before I fall is good, thank you!

  5. Great honest review. I guess it goes to show that great characters can compensate for a lot. I'm looking for a new book as well. The last one I read was the Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund and that was really good.

  6. That's interesting. I really enjoyed your review. I loved this book, and got sucked right into the creative ideas and great voice--which maybe made me miss some of the clunkiness that you experienced. It just goes to show you that different readers experience books so differently! Thanks for the honest review.


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