Title: Tess of the Road
Author: Rachel Hartman
Summary: In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose. Tess is none of these things. Tess is. . . different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can’t seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she’s done is so disgraceful, she can’t even allow herself to think of it. Unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess’s family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.
But on the day she is to join the nuns, Tess chooses a different path for herself. She cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She’s not running away, she’s running towards something. What that something is, she doesn’t know. Tess just knows that the open road is a map to somewhere else–a life where she might belong.
Belle Rating: DNF
Bookworm Rating: DNF
Overall Rating: DNF
Target Audience: Young Adult
D – I was extremely disappointed with how this book started out. As you can see, I could not finish it.
L – Like Rachel Hartman’s other books the prose was good. She is good at immersing you into the world. Which in this book quickly became awkward.
D – This particular book is about Seraphina’s half-sister, Tess. Which is fine. Until you realize that the problem is all about her losing her virginity, becoming pregnant, trying to hide it all from the rest of the world, and trying to make up for it by getting her twin sister a rich husband so she could run off somewhere.
L – Then we enter a world of awkward that eventually culminates in Tess having to watch her sister and her new husband have sex for the first time. Something I was not interested in at all.
D – I couldn’t get that far. It got so awkward so fast. It’s okay to have a character who is having to overcome that situation. But Hartman crossed the line when she went into detail about the role sex plays into the society that she’s created. Which is not something I care to read!
L – This book prompted me to do something I never do…skim ahead. This book (eventually) follows Tess as she rejects being forced to become a nun and runs away. As she travels she slowly comes to understand those who hurt her and know herself better.
L – If you can get past the sex scenes you might enjoy Tess’s adventure of self-discovery. But it wasn’t for me. Even looking past the incredibly awkward beginning I just didn’t like Tess much as a person. Even as she “learned and became a better person” I didn’t connect with her. This seems to be a well-written book but it wasn’t something I was interested in.
D – I felt that those things were unnecessary and I was incredibly awkward reading it. Like Lauren said, if you are ok with that sort of thing, then this might be a good book. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.