Hype or Like Meme

Hype or Like Friday: Why I DNFed The Winner’s Curse

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

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Friday, May 27th: Review of The Winner’s Curse or a review of a Hyped-Up book of your choosing.

the winner's curse

I did try. I swear. But some books are just not for you. I cannot review The Winner’s Curse because I could not bring myself to finishing it. But I can tell you why I chose to DNF if.

First of all, The Winner’s Curse was never my favorite choice for the book of the month. I did not let that bother me, though, because I recently learned I could enjoy book that screamed “I’m not your type!”. I try to implement the same rule I apply to covers. Love at first sight is uncommon, a cover, a genre or a -meh- blurb should not prevent you from giving a book a try, even though the better the blurb, the higher the chance I pick it up. But that’s a subject for another post.

So, why did I give up at page 101?

#1 No connection whatsoever with any character.

I can’t say the characterization is so bad that I did not care for anyone, but I found it superficial enough for me to miss an element that would have made the magic happens. I never warmed to anyone, nor did their actions spark any reaction in me.

The auction felt rushed and I could not figure out the motivations behind Kestrel’s decision to buy a man. I would have appreciated knowing Kestrel a little better to fully understand what happened and how it affected her.

#2 The blurb promised me a richly imagined new world, but I only caught a glimpse of it, the story being more focused on the beginning a love story than a proper world building. Maybe it comes later in the book, but it was too late for me. I wanted more explanation, a better description of the world they were living in. I was expecting a fantasy with a bit of romance, not a love story with bits of fantasy around.

#3 Nothing happened. Playing cards, wandering around a market and attending parties was not enough to keep me interested. I expected some action, but all I got was a girl playing the piano.

It might feel a little light to DNF a book, but if you cannot find a reason to like any character or care about the plot, I don’t see the point in reading the story.

Did you read The Winner’s Curse? Did you find it worth the hype?

29 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday: Why I DNFed The Winner’s Curse”

  1. This. All of this.

    If you couldn’t make it past the first hundred pages, I’m glad you didn’t put yourself through the entire trilogy; in my humble opinion, it only goes downhill (first slowly, in Crime, then VERY RAPIDLY in Kiss). Definitely wise of you to save yourself the annoyance and focus on something better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I heard it gets better towards the end, but I did not want to stick around to check. I read some great reviews about the rest of the series, and some very bad ones, so I am sure that in the end I don’t miss much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually made it through the book and it did not get better after the first hundred pages. It’s so weird because there’s this huge climax with the rebels making their move, Arin rushing to protect Kestrel, and everything you’d expect from the end of a first book. Except this happens halfway through the book and makes the rest of the book feel like it belongs in a sequel. That was my chief complaint because I just couldn’t bring myself to focus on Kestrel’s problems after that (admittedly awesome) rebellion.
    (Well, actually, the fact that Kestrel was the book’s focus also didn’t help much because she is So. Boring.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, indeed that is weird! Congrats on finishing it. I really think the story has an issue with pace. And action! I know, she’s so boring! A more interesting main character might have helped me stick for another 100 pages.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one! I haven’t read it yet, but I’m planning on getting to it soon. I’ll be really interested to see how I feel. I think you DNF-ing it was justified 🙂 There’s no point reading something you’re not enjoying!


  4. I actually forced myself to finish reading this and believe me when I tell you that you are not missing anything at all. The book was average and insulting to me as a woman of color.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that took a lot of devotion to finish it, I admire you. There’s something off with the story and I was not sure what the author wanted us to think of the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I actually liked the book. I just posted my review of it. I will read the rest of the series, although I didn’t have to race out and purchase book two, I just got it from the library. I liked the lack of action aspect to it. Sometimes it feels that YA books are all about the action, and I appreciated that this book was not all about action and that Kestrel wasn’t a fighter. Neither was Arin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will go and check your review 🙂 I hate being away because once I’m back I have a thousand posts to read, haha. It’s nice that you liked the book. I haven’t read enough to get a full opinion on the characters but I had the feeling from Kestrel’s strategic mind that she was not much of a fighter indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can completely agree with all these points and I don’t think that this book is actually worth the hype either. I did finish it and I remember I liked the last part slightly better, but I still wasn’t convinced by it. I just reread my review from last year and from what I can see it’s a miracle I gave it 3 stars after such a negative review haha. Slow pace, cliche/predictable plot, love triangle, nothing really happens, characters I didn’t connect to… Yes, I definitely didn’t like this book either. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds so dull, like paint drying boredomville drivel. Oh, please regale us with your amazing tales about playing cards. Boohoo! I was shocked when I read this was inspired by Romeo and Juliet. The synopsis doesn’t give any indication that some rich girl who falls for her slave is somehow Juliet. Um, no. And it’s also sending a very negative message. Another reason I don’t like this book. I never wanted to read this for HLF. No more group polls, I suppose. I hope next month’s book is better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait, this was inspired by Romeo and Juliet?! Oh God, I had no idea. I am not a big fan of Shakespeare because I hardly understand anything he’s written, but wow, The Winner’s Curse lacks all the magic and love and.. well everything that makes Romeo and Juliet the amazing story people still talk about. I can’t see any connection at all. I am pretty sure next month’s book will break the series and be amazing. What, a girl can hope!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s what I heard. I didn’t make the connection either. This book doesn’t sound like it has the makings of Romeo and Juliet. And I doubt it has prose as beautiful as Shakespearean verse and prose. I’m hoping next month is a winner because I need to read one good book for this group. So far, it’s been a bust.


  8. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t like this one – I’ve had it on my TBR for a while but have been cautioned that it’s more political/slow intrigue rather then action (which is what I’m in the mood for), so I’ve been keeping away from it. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t connect with the characters – that’s always a downer. Hope your next read is better! 🙂


  9. Ah shame you didn’t like it- but that’s totally fair enough. I enjoyed the book, but I get why people found it unexciting- it’s not the best book out there, but it’s decent enough- so I do get why people found it overhyped. I think I was lucky enough to read it before I read loads of reviews saying how incredible it was- otherwise I probably would’ve found it overhyped too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading it before the flood of praise surely must have helped! I really thought I would like it, at least as much as I had liked Passenger. But you can’t win all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

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