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ROMANTIC READ: The Winner’s Curse

February is unofficially the month of love thanks to the heart-filled holiday, Valentine’s Day! I’m a total sucker for cute cards, candy, and stuffed animals so I’m all about it!

In the spirit of the month, I’m sharing my latest read since it’s a love story. The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski, tells an interesting tale of an unlikely romance that blossoms amidst the backdrop of rebellion, war, and slavery.  

Amazon Synopsis:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.
They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Intrigued? I was excited to dive into this book after hearing a raving review from my sister-in-law and seeing how well rated it is online. (It’s also an NY Times best seller!)

Before I offer praise, I want to be upfront about some of the issues I had with the book. First, the beginning portion moved at a snail’s pace! Once you get to the end of the book you’ll realize the reason for this is that a lot had to be set up in order for everything else to play out but even so, I wish the book didn’t have such a slow start.

Secondly, I’ve never felt so little empathy for a main character! Kestrel’s personal story didn’t resonate with me enough to make me care a lot about her which was strange. On the bright side, there’s plenty of other elements to focus on, like hottie tottie Arin and the fate of the Herrani nation.

On to the positives! YA love stories are so fun and dramatic. Yes, this is another “forbidden love” story but this book actually does a great job of diving into the reasons their love is forbidden and that helps the reader feel the weight of this couple’s struggle.

I also love exploring a new ancient (oxymoron?) world. The book feels like a romanticized version of history which makes the story feel even more real! The plot turns are also very unexpected and turn the concept of right & wrong into nothing but a grey area.

Overall, The Winner’s Curse is an enjoyable read! It’s especially perfect for the month of February!

I hope you enjoy this book! After reading it, be sure to come back and share your thoughts!

Until next time, happy reading!

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