Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

uprootedGenre: Ya (possibly adult or NA?? I thought it was YA and the protagonist is 17 but then I saw it on the adult shelf at a bookstore here and I saw someone else call it NA so I’m very confused) | fantasy
Goodreads rating: 4.16
My rating:  2.5 stars 

summary

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose (Goodreads).

review

I had completely forgotten to review this one – woops. Since my memory is a bit fuzzy, let’s do a list review! Also spoiler towards the romance (who she ends up with) though if you read the synopsis you can already guess who it is.

Whatiliked

  • Agnieszka and Kasia’s relationship. It was a beautiful friendship: they loved each other so much and they’d do anything for each other, including risking their lives. Because they didn’t want to live without each other. I loved it so much. Going in I knew who Agnieszka was going to end up with, but I still hoped that it would be Kasia (and honestly I thought that made more sense because we’re actually shown that they love each other and it would have been beautiful and HEALTHY)
  • The concept. Not the Dragon taking girls to live with him in his tower, but the Wood being the villain of the book. Though I’m not too excited about the execution of it, I found it really unique

whatididn'tlike

  • An old man (I don’t care that he looks young he’s old) chooses a young girl from one of the villages every *insert amount of years because I can’t remember* and it turns out that of course he has a good reason for that! And he never touches them! But it still incredibly disturbing! And why is everyone okay with this!
  • Said old man is not very nice. He continually looks down on Agnieszka and insults her all the time. Basically it’s abusive. This would’ve been fine if Agnieszka realises this, stands up for herself and ends up with Kasia and leaves him. But of course instead she jumps him. Literally. He treats her like trash (pretty much literally except he doesn’t throw her out), there’s nothing pointing to their ‘feelings’ before that and it really came out of the blue even though I knew they were going to end up together. And it’s not like he changes or anything. Nope. Can we please stop romanticising abusive relationships
  • The pace. I was just so bored at some point, even when things were supposed to be exciting

So great concept, beautiful relationship between the two girls, but an abusive relationship that I just can’t overlook and am SO DONE with and it was quite boring. It’s a shame because I enjoyed the beginning; I didn’t like the Dragon, but I still had hope until the ‘relationship’ started and it wasn’t that boring yet.

Have you read Uprooted? How did you feel about it? I hope you enjoyed it more than I did. Did anyone else ship Agnieszka and Kasia instead? Please tell me I’m not alone. Let me know in the comments!

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15 thoughts on “Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

  1. I loved Uprooted and Im sorry you didn’t enjoy it that much. They were some things that could have been done better but still. I think that it’d be better if it was a series! Ohh and that edition is gorgeous!
    Great review even though I preferred to see more of the Dragon.

    • Yeah it would’ve worked better if it was a series! There was so much going on and it felt like it all was just pushed together if you know what I mean. Isn’t it? Even though I didn’t enjoy it, it at least looks pretty on my shelf :P I’m glad you enjoyed it though!

    • Yeah luckily I won it so I didn’t waste any money on it haha. I read a lot of negative reviews as well, thus why I put it off for an entire year, but then I read some positive ones and figured I had to read it sometime. The cover is gorgeous, such a shame. It is disturbing – if he hadn’t looked young and wasn’t described as handsome, a lot more people would have a problem with this, but alas :/

  2. I’ve still got it on my bookshelf and I’m still pondering whether to take it with me on holiday. I’ve heard mixed reviews, so I think I’m still going to give it a chance and see what I think :)

    • Yeah definitely do! There are so many mixed reviews and right now the general rating on Goodreads is 4+ so definitely give it a go to see if you do like it :)

  3. I only heard positively GLOWING things about this book when it was released, so I really enjoyed reading your review. I never fully trust a book when everyone is raving about it, because it usually means that I won’t like it because most of the time the hyped up books have literally no diversity, which does not make for a good reading experience for me.

    I had a friend who read this book and mentioned the abuse and the semi-rape scene (at the hands of the prince character), and I have never seen anyone mention it. Which is kind of terrifying because it means that it’s just accepted and romanticised and just … no?

    Initially, I wanted to read this book because it is a Beauty & the Beast retelling, but after I read more honest thoughts about it, I’m not entirely sure I want to.

    Also: if I read this, I would 100% ship the main character and Kasia. I already know this. You are not alone.

    Great review! :D

    • I read a lot of mixed reviews when it came out last year, so I was really hesitant to pick it up. Then this year I read some really positive reviews so I figured it was time to pick it up. The almost rape scene is thankfully not romanticised in the book (and I assume the readers don’t romanticise it either I hope) and the prince is portrayed as a jerk and antagonist, but the abuse? Nope nope nope. I’ve read reviews in which they praise the romance and I’m just sitting here like ‘???’ The problem is that a lot of people don’t recognise abusive relationships, so when an author writes one as romantic, a lot of people won’t even notice. Thankfully I have read a few reviews that also thought the Dragon was abusive, but most people really seem to praise it :/ Can’t blame you for not being sure about it! I had it on my shelf for over a year before I finally picked it up (I had won it so thankfully no money was wasted haha).
      I’m glad I’m not alone on the Agnieszka/Kasia ship :D Let’s sail ⛵️ Thank you! :)

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