20443207Title: The Winner’s Crime

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar Staus Giroux

Publication Date: March 2015

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two



Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Well, now what am I supposed to do?

The Winner’s Crime picks up so fast you never noticed that you were waiting so long for it! Kestrel is trying to keep all of her allies and allegiances straight but it’s hard when she is so close to the enemy.

Meanwhile, Arin is trying to sort out the emotional roller-coaster that he’s been on. A lot of their interactions broke my heart (well done, Ms. Rutkoski) leaving me feeling breathless and sad. But it was really hard to read also because at some point, I really wanted to slap them. The motivations were there and I totally understand why everything was being done the way it was, but it’s really hard to not want to yell at Kestrel that she’s making a mistake. And not yell at Arin that he’s being slightly a wet mop. There was a lot of romantic teenage angst, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it was evened out by the spy stuff. And I still love these two characters as a couple. But I felt like it was just slightly over the edge? I mean, there’s a lot of very hard conversations between them, but it’s all centered around one point.

Overall though I think it worked and added a lot of tension and heartbreak to this sequel.

The story is centered around Kestrel and her plans to sabotage the Emperor’s plans. I don’t want to give anything away but I will say that the entire story is high with danger and tension. I liked how the plot moves, fluidly and well balanced. I was totally absorbed.

And the ending. Well, I’m sorry but how can you give me that ending and then make me wait for the third book, which probably won’t come out for another year?!



Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream




What is my Winner’s Curse?

A winner’s curse is when you have gotten what you sought, but the price was too high.

It’s hard to think about because there are so many wonderful things/people/experiences in my life, I would not want to give up any of them.

Let’s think big – Win The Lotto. Let’s say the bargain is I could win the lotto, a bah-zillion dollars, but I have to give up something important to me. I’ll be honest, that does sound nice. I wouldn’t have to work. I could donate money to schools and libraries and animal rescues. I could give money to my family, friends, strangers and homeless. I could do a lot with a lotto jackpot.

But what is the price? What if my friends and family see me differently now because I am so wealthy? The very nature of our relationship will change. I would be seen as more of a cash cow, a person who can invest, a bank or a lender. People’s expectations of me would change. Am I willing to give up my friends? Maybe I would become isolated because people couldn’t relate to me anymore. Or maybe I would grow paranoid that everyone is trying to take advantage of me, ask me for something and I shun everyone.

Would I be willing to give up my hearing? My sight? For a musician and a reader, these things seem impossible to willingly give up, even for a bah-zillion dollars. How about my bunnies? or my health? Nope. Some things are priceless.

That is tricky part of a Winner’s Curse. You don’t know what price you’re paying until it’s too late. It’s an underbelly of our modern day society. We strive to want, to gather, to keep and upgrade. And with each goal met, do we lose sight of our original enjoyment towards that journey? Are we so wrapped up in getting what we want that we forget to enjoy the ride, or remember the initial reasons why we are doing what we’re doing?

I don’t know. I try to be mindful in everyday life, thoughtful, objective, sensitive. I try to enjoy today, this moment.

I enjoy my life without the lotto money, away from a Winner’s Curse. Some things are too precious to give up.

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