• This is my (apparently) third time reading Graceling, and as before, I LOVE it. Like YES. Please Katniss has nothing on Katsa despite the first syllable of their name being the same. Nothing like this familiar, engaging read to pull me out of a slump!
  • OK, here we go. Let’s get going.
  • Already 60 pages in and the mention of menstruation is giving me life. I mean, literally EVERY girl on the face of this planet, fiction or otherwise has to deal with this and I’ve read maybe… less than 5 mentions of menstruation. And most of them aren’t actually discussing menstruation, most of them are in reference to being like, “Yeah, not having a kid would be optimal at this time in our life.”
  • Giddon, although is nice and protective, still is victim to the mindset that Katsa is his to boss around/govern. And I like him as a person, just not how he thinks he can say anything and talk about her as if she’s not there.
  • Katsa doesn’t let anyone tell her how to live her life whether morals (Saving Po at the first heist) or comforting her (denying Giddon to leave the dinner with him). Also, I know some people see this as being headstrong and prideful, but to me it gives her an exorbitant amount of agency, security and self-power.
  • Katsa has bad comebacks, I’m specifically talking about the “Your hair is blue!” comment to Raffin on page 89. I mean, seriously.
  • Also Katsa doesn’t need Giddon defending her ty v much. She’s her own person. Like this is the problem with people sometimes, I’ll be talking and then someone who also knows the story or the answer to the question—about me, that was directed at me—will answer for me. This is what bothers me so much about Giddon, he still thinks she’s a person he can talk over and brag about and act as if she isn’t there. Which is frustrating af.
  • Observation third time reading: Po’s mind reading/sensing/whatever you want to call it is a lot more obvious when you’re expecting it. Like right after he tells her about his castle and beautiful views.
  • I remember the sex scenes a lot more descriptive from when I read this when I was 14, but maybe I’m just desensitized after reading some NA *cough ACOMAF* and it now pales in comparison.
  • Maybe because it’s in medieval times or something that she feels how she feels about marriage, but I kind of feel like she hasn’t had a proper look at what marriage can be like. Call me crazy or traditional if you want, but I love my spouse and right now is the best time in my life. I feel a little sad she has such negative feelings towards it, but I also can understand where she’s coming from bc she has been used and hasn’t really ever been able to trust people. Also, it’s her choice, so if that makes her happy go for it.
  • My SO expressed disappointment that Katsa was supposed to learn to rely on others, but then she just ended up beating King Leck anyway, and I do understand that. But I also think although she ended up defeating Leck at the end, she still grew as a character to trust and grow and develop. I mean she makes friends with Skye and takes to Bitterblue and Po’s mother. Also, she still trusted Po enough to go and try to stop King Leck by himself. Even though Po wasn’t successful, it doesn’t change the fact Katsa still trusted him and let him try.
  • I also like how Kristen Cashore addresses PTSD with both Bitterblue and Po. Katsa doesn’t really deal with that, although maybe she should, but I like that we see Po’s healing process and him coming into his own with his terrible situation.
  • 7/10, I just love this book to death honestly. Yes, I can see why some people don’t like this book, but this was the first book I read where I had a main character who I looked up to and felt like I understood her. She’s definitely still one of the first heroines I think of “brave”, “BAMF” and you know, “all around skilled.”
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