Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jen's Picks: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Greetings! I'm Jennifer Hawes, and I work with young adult books at the Charleston County Public Library. Welcome to my random thoughts about books for teens. If a book grabs you, click on the title to reserve a copy, or click here to search CCPL's e-books. Happy reading!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Elise is a 16-year-old princess about to marry a king she’s never met – and she actually hopes he’s old or ugly or fat or smells or something, anything, that will keep him from being disappointed with her.

You see, Elise loves to eat. She eats when she’s stressed out, bummed out, or just plain bored. The result: She’s overweight and insecure.

But Elise has this to offer: She is God’s chosen one, according to the magical stone she was born with in her belly button. Trouble is, she has no clue why God would choose her to do anything.

Sadly, just as she gets to her new kingdom (with her hot new husband), Elise is betrayed, kidnapped, and thrown into a world in which food is scarce and many want to rip the stone from her navel to use in a mysterious dark magic.

Can a spoiled, overweight princess possibly take them on? Of course!

Rae Carson
Author Rae Carson's lyrical novel occupies an awesome space between faith and fantasy. For instance, Elise's faith doesn't feel preachy but rather shows in epic fashion the value of each person fighting for a better self and a better world.

Carson also avoids preaching about Elise’s weight. She uses Elise's reliance on food for comfort as a barometer of the princess’ self-esteem. This isn't a book about an eating disorder. Instead, open the pages and leap into a lavish world of black magic, bloody betrayals, and the importance of finding one's purpose in life. I loved it!

If you’ve already read this book, please leave a comment (yes, even if you disagree with me!).

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