Release Date: November 8th, 2016
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
“I don’t know. But I would stay. For you. If you want me. If—”
“I want you.”
I’m highly unimpressed, although I’m entertained just enough to not rate it one star.
As usual, let’s start with the good stuff. I like how the love story is unfolded; at least it’s much better than The Notebook. Meyer reveals the complicated feelings the main character Catherine goes through and how she struggles with the fact that the reality is going the exactly opposite direction of her heart. Jest the Joker has to be my favourite character in the book. He’s very sassy but selfless, and he always takes the bigger picture into consideration. And oh, the book smells really nice! (Yeah I don’t have many good things to say about it.)
The biggest problem with this book is that it has an extremely corny plot: A King falls in love with a girl who falls in love with one of the King’s subordinates. I can tell that Meyer tries really hard by meticulously shaping key characters and adding interesting elements here and there, but none of those attract my attention, because I know where the story is going already. It’s hard to bring new things such a cliché, and this is clearly a failed attempt of Meyer’s—not to mention that I haven’t even read the original fairy tale this book is based on.
The first 8 chapters offer nothing interesting. There is a lot of unnecessary details on the main character Catherine’s hobby of baking (I will return to this later) and on the ball, and all they tell you is: The King is going to propose to Catherine, but the girl runs off. I don’t appreciate so many details, because everyone is more than familiar with such a situation, and even situations worse than that—Ross said the wrong name on the altar in Friends, for crying out loud. Of course, while she’s running away from the King, she meets her love! And shit is destined to go south henceforth; otherwise, it wouldn’t make a good story. Good heavens, haven’t we had enough novels about star-crossed lovers?
Another problem is the huge role Catherine’s hobby of baking has taken in the story. Her hobby isn’t related to the main plot in any major ways, and it could be taken out of the story without affecting it much at all. Perhaps it is Meyer’s attempt to build the character, but I honestly don’t care about it or about what ingredients are used in whatever. Not to say that the hobby is completely irrelevant to the main plot, but it, including the many other unnecessary things, could have had way less weight, which could make the book less clunky but packed with the nitty-gritty.
Lastly, the ending is so bad. It’s not a happy ending, but that’s not why I don’t like it. Throughout the book Meyer introduces us the world of Chess and ways to get there, but we never get to see it. Gah! What a disappointment.
I’m struggling to write more in this review, but the book is so ordinary and underwhelming that even though nothing much is wrong with it, nothing is impressive either. It is a huge book—over 450 pages—and when I finished it, I felt like only one thing happened.