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A Blogger's Bookshelf: The Winner's Curse

Hey everyone!
Happy Monday :)
So today's book, you may not have heard of (I know I hadn't!) but it's called "The Winner's Curse" by Marie Rutkoski, and is the first book of a trilogy, known as "The Winner's Trilogy" (though the other 2 books are yet to be released).



So, I actually received this book for free, as I entered a giveaway for it on Goodreads. So thanks for that!
And on Goodreads, this book has an average rating of 4 stars. Yes, 4 stars. What am I giving it?
I'm giving it 2 stars. 
Before I get into why I'm giving this 2 stars, here's the synopsis on the back of the book:

"Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart."


After reading the blurb I got really excited, thinking "ooo a book about romance and betrayal mixed with some typical social-ladder and military stuff! Awesome!" Well... not really. 
Basically, this book is not the most eventful book ever written- it's pretty slow at the beginning. I feel like it focuses a lot more on the living conditions and unimportant social events than those events which are helping to progress the sides of the plot.
The plot seemed to drift from this society-based story into a revolution one. All I could think about while reading it was "this is so not what I signed up for." I wanted a full-on romantic betrayal plot, not it as a side story. And from the blurb, I expected the romance- it even says that Kestrel has to "hide her growing love for Arin." I'm sorry, but this is just not portrayed through the writing. I felt odd moments of it, but it never seemed like a common theme through the book.

On to the better things of the novel! The characters are really interesting and mysterious- each of them are described in a way that has detail but lacks it too, which personally is great because it gives you a nice opportunity to mould them yourself in your own imagination. The names of the characters, too, are just beautiful. Kestrel; Arin; Enai; Ronan; I just love them all!

I have a kind of neutral point for you now- I can't decide whether it's a good or bad thing, so I'll let you decide for yourselves, and you can let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below! Here goes... The book is kind of predictable. It's not in a simple "this will happen next" kind of way, but more of an "oh, there's something... and here's something... ohhh I think I know what's going to happen" way. It's as if you're making equations with the events to get the answer you want. So you make a lot of theories, which is both interestingly fun and distracting at the same time. But then again, I feel like the reader is sometimes writing in riddles, begging you to work it out before you continue reading the next chapter, as if you've missed something and have to go back again- which I do. It's an easy read... yet not, at the same time.

So in conclusion, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this book. It's confused me, and even after writing this 24 hours after finishing it, I'm still feeling confused. I'm confused on the character's actions, confused as to why it was so revolutionary and just confused in general I think. I'm still wondering if 2 stars is a little harsh and should be bumped up to 3... But I won't be getting the next books of the trilogy.
Though! I'm sure many people will (and obviously already have) enjoyed the book, so if the above descriptions appeal to you then go get it! You can buy it on amazon here

Let me know what you think and whether you're going to buy the book!
See you soon!
~Rachel

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