Hype or Like Friday: Review of The Winners Curse

Happy Friday to you all,

For this weeks Hype or Like Friday it is a review of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.


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.

The Review 

I first read this book  last year, when I heard nothing but good things to say about it especially from the booktube community. Everyone saying how great and epic the series is and how you should read it. I read the book and I did not finish it. The book really disappointed me and it was one of the first time a book let me down.

I recently read the book again and while I actually finished the book, I still had many problems.

One of the problems I had was the characters. I just felt the characters was bland and uninteresting. I know the story was suppose to a  “Romeo and Juliet”  retelling but I felt the story and characters didn’t warrant it.

I was also disappointed in how they handled the subject of slavery. I know it is a YA book, but slavery is a tough topic and if the book handled the topic better, I felt the book would have been better.

I also didn’t feel transported into the world the book is set in. I also blame the poor world building for it.

While I felt towards the end the book gotten better I found myself bored with the story, and it didn’t get me enthusiastic about reading the next book.

Now if you liked the book that is fine, the book just wasn’t for me.

So my grade is Hype.

Did you like the book? If so should I continue with the series. Let me know in comments below.


9 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday: Review of The Winners Curse

  1. Your point on how slavery is treated is excellent. I felt like, from the very beginning, Arin wasn’t treated as a slave in a capacity that really weighed on the story. It started out well, his first chapters where he didn’t even name himself really served to press the slavery issue home, but then he just seemed fine with it?
    Honestly speaking, I don’t see why everyone is raving about this book. It did nothing for me, and placing the climax in the middle of the book only put me off for the second half because I felt like all of Kestrel’s time at the mansion should’ve been the beginning of the sequel.And speaking of Kestrel, why is she the main character? This book would’ve been x100 better if the story had been focused on Arin and the whole romance aspect had been dropped.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you, I think Arin should have been the main protagonist, and focus on the issue on slavery. I think that would have made a stronger book. I may read the sequels because I heard it gets better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea this book was supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. I never would’ve thought that based on the synopsis. I did not read this one. 😂 I know, I’m the worst co-host, but this really didn’t interest me. And all the bad reviews served as a deterrent for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sassgasms says:

    Honestly, the author’s careless handle of slavery is what killed the book. I did not like that it was being romanticized in such a romeo and juilet way. I don’t care if its a YA book, it could have been handled better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Could not agree more!
    I had no idea this was supposed to be a Romeo and Juliet retelling. I would not have guessed just by reading the book. Where are the beautiful prose and the great love?
    The characters were so annoying, I could not find any depth in their words, actions, or … card playing. The world building was too superficial to transport me.

    Liked by 1 person

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