This book is SO bad. It’s a steaming, putrid mess of a book, and it doesn’t deserve any love. I expected so much better from Marissa, but this is what I got. THIS. I put off reading this book for so long, worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the lunar chronicles. I should have thrown it out when I had the chance.
First off, even though Cath is supposed to a sympathetic character, she was so simperingly stupid and unthinkingly callous that I despised her. I understand that she’s all pretty and all (though what does that really mean when one is surrounded by almost entirely Wonderland creatures), but her vanity and pride is too evident. I know that her “best friend,” Margaret, isn’t an entirely nice person, but the emphasis placed on her less-than-appealing looks are bound to give some girls (who may feel they fit the description too closely) serious body issues. Why does this sniveling bitch, Catherine, feel it’s her duty to condescend on Margaret when she attracts a suitor? There are like five quotes in which Catherine turns up her perfect shapely little nose and sniffs pityingly, while thinking things like “though why anyone would be attracted to Margaret, I have no clue.”
In that vein, why the HELL is Jest attracted to her? Besides the baking, she has nothing interesting about her, and she’s such a vain little jerk. There’s a serious case of instalove here, and Jest is one of those “too perfect for words” tropes with no personality and a dazzling array of skills, plus some “dry” (unfunny) humor that he somehow spews while smirking soulfully.
Call me jaded, but there’s no plot. Okay, so there’s some pumpkin eater villain guy and a Jabberwock (seriously? why???) that sometimes attacks, but the main plot point is that the king wants to marry Cath, but Cath wants a bakery and Jest and for some reason the vapid little girl can’t think for herself and just say “no.” Sure, her parents would be mad, but they got mad about the bakery, and she gets herself into a huge inexplicable mess by just staying silent. (view spoiler) There’s literally SO many chances, and 300 pages of this book are made up of just her complaining and complaining and complaining and never doing anything.
There’s so much more to complain about. The only character here I cared about even A LITTLE was Hatta, because he at least had a motivation that made some sense, and he did something about it, and he made cool hats. I can’t believe I finished this eyesore, but I felt obliged. Up until the last page I held out the hope that maybe it could get better, but it never, ever, did. So Marissa, I will not be reading Renegades, even though I have a signed copy. I don’t want to go through that again.