Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Book One of the Cruel Beauty Universe series
Published January 28, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Buy this book from Amazon
I read this as an ebook on my Kindle Paperwhite.
“I wanted to hit him again. I wanted to cry. Most of all, I wanted to forget my mission and lose myself in the embrace of the one person who had ever seen my heart and claimed to love me after.” pg. 206
Promised to the evil ruler of her land by a bargain struck by her father, Nyx was raised to be the last hope for her people in defeating him but no one prepared her for the possibility of falling in love.
For a full synopsis, visit Goodreads.
There has been no buzz about a movie adaptation for this book.
At first, I was taken by surprise by Nyx, the heroine/protagonist of this book. She was definitely different from the other heroines I read in YA Fantasy literature before–she was so resentful and bitter. A part of me was excited to get a more “realistic” feel for a young girl who was thrusted into a fate she didn’t choose. But that feeling of excitement faded real quick and I found myself not liking Nyx at all. Because it got so tiring. I wanted to yell at her and shake her and make her stop being so damn annoying. She hated her family. She loved her family. She hated him. She loved him. The constant back and forth was warranted in the beginning but when it went on and on and on…UGH.
I was hoping that maybe the love story would save the book for me (because, I mean, I’m such a romantic sap) but nope. Not that either. One second she was hating his very existence and then a second later, she was wondering what it would be like to touch him. What. The. Hell. It wasn’t like the love interest was extremely gorgeous and the attraction was primal. And it wasn’t his charming personality either. So what was it? Who the hell knows. All I knew was that I wasn’t buying it.
So the protagonist was a fail. The love story was a fail. What about the overall story, you ask? Well, that was kind of a fail too because it made no sense. Not to me anyway. I had mentioned before that I believe one of the most important factors in writing fantasy books was making readers believe the world the author created. Unfortunately, the world of Cruel Beauty was so lost on me. And I don’t think it was because I wasn’t paying attention or anything. There was just too much chaos and confusion. Add that to my apathetic-bordering-hatred towards the main character, well, it was not a good mix.
This book lacked foundation. Events occurred with no real justification or thorough explanation of how or why it happened. The only thing I liked about this book was one part of the ending. And even that might be an overstatement. Because the ending was rushed and it didn’t make much sense how it could end like that. Maybe I was just relieved it was over.
Oh, and the references to Greek mythology were cool too, I guess.
1 OUT OF 5 STARS
The overall repetitiveness of the heroine’s confusion with her loyalty was too frustrating and overdrawn.
How Rosamund Hodge became a writer:
“When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry. I didn’t actually start writing until I was twelve, but after that I never stopped.” (source)