Author: Marie RutkoskiPublisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Page Count: 355 pages, Hardback
Date Published: March 4th 2014
Find it on Goodreads: The Winner's Curse
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
I honestly feel like I missed something. All I've heard about this book is how awesome it is and how much everyone totally loved it, but I wasn't really feeling it. Yeah, sure, I liked it and I definitely was intrigued by the concept, but I felt no connection to the characters in the end and had not much of a desire to keep reading. While I was happy there was no insta-love, there's something almost worse.... A LOVE TRIANGLE. And well, one that I didn't really care about at that. I felt nothing for either Ronan or Arin, which made Kestrel's questioning just a bit... boring for me. While I did get a sense of character development, nothing truly pulled me in, wanting to know more and more about these characters. I skimmed quite a few pages, as a lot of the story just dragged on in my opinion, making it difficult to keep reading. However, I did appreciate the fact that Kestrel was not your ordinary "strong heroine" in the Katniss and Tris sense. She had a choice of being a warrior, but she turned it down for something she loved more: music and knowledge. I believe everyone should have a choice in what they want to be and that there are different types of strength, so I was pleased to see Kestrel's in an area that is a bit different from what we've been seeing a lot of in YA lately. That being said, while Kestrel's character was interesting, I wasn't all too interested in her relationships. I have very mixed feelings about this book in general, so I'm just going to leave this before I start repeating myself some more, but I guess here's a GIF to summarize how I felt about The Winner's Curse.
I both liked it and I did not and therefore came out of its world a bit confused. However, I will say once more that I loved the concept and I might just not have been in the right mood for this book at the time!