Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.Goodreads
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Here are the things I liked about this book:
- The concept – long lost fae daughter? Boom love it. New type of fae coming into being due to changing beliefs of humans? Sign me up!
- The plot – it was a solid adventure plot. A bit predictable (though I did read this book several years ago lol) but still enjoyable.
- Meghan’s love for her brother – I mean what’s not to like about that? They had a really good relationship that I felt was realistic. Minus her calling him squirt because who does that? That’s not a thing people say in real life.
- Puck and Ash – idk man. They were clear tropes and the hint of a love triangle was not my cup of tea but the characters individually were fun. Puck was Puck-like (obviously) and Ash was your typical bad boy hot guy.
Now onto things I didn’t like.
OH MAN was this book not written well. What it had in plot and concept it severely lacked in execution. The writing itself was mediocre. Not terrible, but not good either. Another thing was the cliches/tropes/whatever you want to call them. Now this book was written in 2010 so I understand why this book has these cliches but it made the book read as incredibly immature.
These cliches included:
The “I’m not like other girls” main character who hates on girls who wear makeup, dress nice, and (god forbid) cheerlead. Please, someone tell me why the hell there are characters like this and if the authors who write them think it’ll make their character likable. Because if that was Kagawa’s intent then it really didn’t land. Meghan, except for when she was interacting with Ethan, annoyed the shit out of me.
All the fuckin high school stereotypes. You know what they are. They were all the rage in book written in during the 2000s but it wasn’t even good then. Also, that shit’s not realistic at all??? Granted I went to a weird high school so we didn’t really have cliques like that but I seriously doubt it’s like that.
The “my family hates me and doesn’t even remember by birthday” trope. I don’t know if it started with Sixteen Candles, but it wasn’t even good then. Can we all agree that it doesn’t work? Unless the book is about a ghost who recently died and doesn’t know they’re dead and still lives with their family, let’s not use this trope anymore.
Also! There was girl hate (somewhat covered above). Ladies? This ain’t cute, it’s 2019 and we’re above this and above accepting books that promote it. Moving on. There’s fucking insta love. I don’t think I have a quote but literally from the minute they make eye contact for the first time Meghan and her love interest (just guess who it is, it’s really not that hard) are into each other. There is literally no build up. It’s just like oop here ya go you’re both in love…. Ugh.
Also, according to kindle, Robbie (Puck) calls Meghan “Princess” about 74 times throughout the book. SEVENTY FOUR TIMES! It was, to say the least, very irritating.
There’s more but it’s hard to configure my thoughts about them so I’ve compiled some quotes with my what I wrote down about them while reading.
I’m not like “inflate-a-boob” Angie, Ms. Perfect Cheerleader, who’d flip out if she saw a caged gerbil or a speck of art on her Hollister jeans.
First, let’s appreciate the Hollister reference. I can tell it was written in the late 2000s or early 2010s solely due to that. Second, this is what I said, “hooooo boy she’s an I’m not like other girls girl” … yikes.
“What?” Robbie’s lip curled in a grimace of disgust. “The jockstrap? Why, does he need you to teach him how to read?”
To which I said: “I’m not like other guys” lol.
This requires a bit of explaining. So she’s acting all surprised when her mom remembers her birthday because, like I said earlier, this book has ALL THE WORST FUCKIN TROPES. Anyway, this is what I said: “Bich I think she would remember what days he pushed you out of her vageen. Jesus.”
Covering my face I turned and fled the cafeteria before I started wailing like a two-year-old. Shreiking laughter echoed around me, and tears stung my eyes like poison. I managed to cross the room without tripping over benches or my feet, bashed open the doors, and escaped into the hallway.
It reads like a really shitty rom-com and has all the tropes like one too:
1- MC thinks her parents hate her
2- One of the parents is dead (supposedly)
3- The fuckin high school cliches
4- She’s not like other girls
The image of the boy on the horse suddenly came to mind, and my stomach did that strange little flop again.
I literally snickered to myself just now when I read what I wrote. I said: “If this is insta love I’m gonna shoot myself”.
Briskly, as if he’d done this kind of thing before, he began rolling up the cuff of one pant leg.
This is some really heavy foreshadowing.
At this point it was the end of chapter three and I was already getting annoyed. I wrote: “this is getting annoying” and it didn’t even stop there!
I will admit that I was getting nitpicky at this point but I don’t even care. I wrote: “This is a really stupid name” which is kind of rude of me but if I’m being honest it’s really not the best name I’ve ever seen for the name of the fae worlds. Like, be creative! Look up old gaelic names for that stuff or even make up your own name that’s not as basic as Nevernever. I mean really.
I flaunted my grunginess and sneered at the shallow rich girls who spent hours in the bathroom perfecting their makeup.
I said: “Jesus Christ on a stick”. Which pretty much sums up how I feel about that.
Ash stepped closer. His fingers came up to brush the hair from my face, sending an electric shock through me from my spine to my toes. His cool breath tickled my ear as he leaned in. “I’ll kill you,” he whispered.
Talk about mixed signals lol.
I wrote: “WHAT’S WITH ALL THE SMIRKING?!?!?!?!?!” and tbh there really was a lot of smirking going on.
Literally what does this even mean? Jesus I hate high school clichés.