Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What I've Been Reading: The Winner's Curse and Neverseen

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
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Series: #1 in the Winners Trilogy
Release date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (Macmillan)
Length: 304 pages
Source: finished copy from publisher

This was a reread, since I got The Winner's Kiss from Macmillan and OOPS, it's been THREE YEARS since I read The Winner's Curse. I read it as a bound manuscript in JUNE of 2013, and while I actually remembered the plot very well, I was hoping that reading it again--and reading the finished, polished, perfectest version--would give me more of the feeeeelings.

My original review

And it did! Quite a bit more than the first time, even if I'm still not as emotionally RUINED by this book as I want to be. That's because i still feel a film of distance between me and both Kestrel and Arin, but honestly, that is just me. Because I standby my original assessment of this book: that it's pure fucking genius. Marie Rutkoski is brilliant and brutal and a TOTAL GENIUS. The themes and the world building and the PLOT OH MY GOD. The way she carries the idea of a pyrrhic victory all the way through, how nothing and no one is black and white, and then BRUTAL she is. AND HER PROSE GAHHH. How does she manage to be poetic and stark all at once? It so perfectly reflects this world and these characters--beautiful and brutal all at once.

I've already headed into The Winner's Crime, which is a first time read for me, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the uber feels the way I want. Her sucker punches are still affecting me, don't get me wrong, but I want them to PULVERIZE me. I want to be breathless and rocking on the floor and cursing Marie Rutkoski's name.

Neverseen by Shannon Messenger
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Series: #4 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series
Release date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
Length: 688 pages
Source: purchased

Oh, my little guilty pleasure series. (I know that is a poor expression and we should never feel guilty about the things we read but as Christina pointed out in her review SHE FEELS GUILTY AND I FEEL GUILTY AND I JUST CAN'T HELP IT). This is the fourth book in an extremely silly series about beautiful elven children trying to save their very silly world using their special snowflake powers, and it stars Sophie, the specialest Sophieflake in the elven world, and her three jealous love interests, and there are sparkly unicorns and gnomes and ogres and magic crystals and YES IT IS ALL RIDICULOUS.

I'm sorry, legolas, but it's true. It's all very silly. there are fart jokes and sparkly poop jokes and NO JOKE, an entire page and a half on unicorn mating. And yet. I am so. Emotionally. Destroyed. By. This. Book. The obsession is so, so real.


I've become invested in this series to such an insane degree that I honestly cried at the end of this, and that's because a) Keeeeeeeeefe, the greatest character ever created by man oh my god, and b) SHIP. OTP. SHIp. SHIP SHIP SHIP SHIP.

Seriously, the world building in this series doesn't quite hold water (but is, admittedly, very fun for the age group this book is INTENDED for i.e. not me), and the plot is both rambling and full of holes, but the humor and the characterization keep me turning the pages obsessively. I could not put this gigantic book down, and that is because of KEEFE, my precious hilarious wounded baby who I just want to be HAPPY and HE IS SO VERY NOT HAPPY in this book and honestly has Shannon Messenger been reading Marie Rutkoski and taking notes in how to be VICIOUSLY CRUEL TO YOUR CHARACTERS because Neverseen is essentially 600 pages of Keefe character development/ACTIVE TORTURE/OTP ship baiting to the max and oh my god

I know, you're just as sad as I am, Legolas. I, too, wish to stand silently and beautifully in a dark misery cavern. With silvery firelight glancing off my cheekbones, only further highlighting how dark and miserably and silently beautiful I am.

After finishing this evil book NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN WITH FRAGILE EMOTIONS or grown ass woman, clearly, Christina and I went on g chat and SCREAMED at each other for like three days after finishing this book because we were so devastated/obsessed/YES WE HAVE A PROBLEM I KNOW THIS BOOK IS FOR 11 YEAR OLDS BUT I WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS BOOK AT AGE 11 OKAY

I just need Keefe to be happy. And for Sophie to tell him she loves him even though they are fourteen YES I KNOW BUT YOU CAN'T HELP WHO YOU OTP CAN YOU

 Legolas, clearly, is also Very Concerned about Keefe and ships Sokeefe because he understands the important things in life

My feelings are in shreds and I may never be happy again it's fine

Lets all laugh at Legolas being silly to feel better


  1. I guess I should get to The Winner's Curse already lol

  2. Thrilled that you loved re-reading The Winner's Curse. <3 YAY! :D I have read it four times, I think, hih. And I still love it just as much. Ahhh, I hope you are loving The Winner's Crime :D And The Winner's Kiss. <3 Best books. SO GOOD. Happy reading Gillian :D And oh. Neverseen. I have still only read book one and two o.O Because I'm a bit sad about the non-romance, lol, but will be reading them all right before the next book is out :D I cannot wait. SO glad you loved it sweet girl :D YAY! But.. I do not ship Sophie with Keefe at all ;) And I don't think they will end up together. I just don't :D But yeah. These books are just SO PRETTY. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie :)

    1. So far I'm LOVING The Winner's Crime.

      Agree to disagree on Sophie and Keefe, but just know, MY SHIPS NEVER LOSE (also you should DEF read Everblaze and Neverseen. They're the best of the series and not just because they have a ton of Keefe haha)

  3. It is interesting how opinions can change when you reread

  4. I loved The Winner's Curse a LOT when I first read it (5 stars, favorites shelf?!) so I'm really confused as to why I still haven't read Crime lol. I think I'll have to reread Curse too, it's been so long. I'm glad you enjoyed it more this time around! The prose really is gorgeous. OMG your hatelove for this series hahaha. I love it so. How many more books are there?

  5. I think The Winner’s Curse is a really excellent story that I would definitely recommend picking up on an evening where you can sit and read it all the way through. I am eagerly awaiting the next book. Seriously, when does it come out? There are things I need to know!


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