The next book I'll tell you about in my new not-a-book-review column is The Girl of Fire and Thorns. This is a YA (Young Adult, i.e., teen) book that my friend Shonna read. She wanted me to read the Kindle sample and tell her what I thought of it so we could discuss a few things.
I downloaded the sample and immediately thought, “Ugh! First person, present tense. I hate first person, present tense.” If you're not sure what that is, it's when the main character talks in terms of “I” at the time they're doing things, not telling you what they did some time ago. So it's “I walk into the room and see everyone staring at me. I wonder if I put my shirt on inside out this morning.” I usually hate that.
I only read a couple pages and then told Shonna that I hated the present tense part, and I didn't want to read any more. She laughed and said, “I know, but try to get through it because I really want to talk to you about it.” The fact that I read the whole sample shows you how much I love Shonna. 😉
The thing is, by the end of the sample, around chapter three, I was dying to know what was going to happen next. The book is kind of strange in that it's a fantasy book, but it uses a practically Christian religion as the basis for this character's upbringing. Then it adds in more of the fantasy element in that she's the chosen one, one person born every century as part of a prophecy.
I found the book in the library and read some more, and some more. Despite the fact that the main character is a completely unlikeable teenage girl (and it's written in that awful present tense), I couldn't stop reading. The characters got more and more interesting as the story progressed. There were a few things that annoyed me about some aspects of the story and how it wrapped up, but I still liked it.
I found it really interesting to read all that “religious stuff” in a mainstream book. (Shonna and I had a really interesting conversation later.) It gave me some ideas on how I can incorporate the religious views of my characters in a way that's inherent to the story, not an annoying add-on.
It's the first book in a series, but I'm only going to read this one. You could just read this first book and enjoy the story without missing out on necessary explanations.
4 stars, Really Liked It