REVIEW: the winner’s crime; marie rutkoski


8.9/10 ☆

genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

series or standalone? series. trilogy to be specific; second book

published: on march 3rd, 2015 by farrar straus giroux

pages: 416

i read the: advanced reader’s copy (arc), reread in the us hardcover

began: january 26, 2015 // finished: january 28, 2015

where can i buy this? here via the book depository!

goodreads summary: right here.

first sentence: “she cut herself opening the envelope.”

this is the second book of the trilogy. if you haven’t read the first book, please redirect to my review on the winner’s curse here. i would not advise reading the rest of this review if you have not read the first book. it will contain SPOILERS on the winner’s curse!

okay, so i’m assuming if you’re still here, you’ve read the winner’s curse but not the winner’s crime. the first and most asked question is almost always: did you enjoy it more than the first? quite honestly, no. it was good, but i still liked the winner’s curse better. they were different, but it felt like you didn’t know what was really going on (conclusion: all the second books of dystopian trilogies follow this pattern. see: insurgent, catching fire, prodigy, etc.). but here’s the main reason for my disliking:

kestrel and arin became unbearable. meaning: they would try to protect each other, claiming they know what’s best, resulting in lying and betrayal. *cough cough june in prodigy, ruby in never fade, tris in insurgent, katniss in catching fire…* the main characters in the second book of dystopian trilogies are almost always like this, too. i don’t know why i expected different. it was frustrating to no end. you should’ve listen to me, kestrel and arin. look at your regrets. i couldn’t stand it because a lot of their problems were just misunderstandings. one character would jump to conclusions, and the other would say, “it’s for the best.” please, stOP. why are you doing this to my feelings?!


everything else, was more than the first book. not necessarily better, but more: more intense, more emotional, more shocking, more action, just more. you really see the conflicts grow and you begin to think, “oh no. there’s no way this is going to work out. i’m not going to have my happy ending.” but, kestrel and arin’s feelings grow stronger as well, so they have to have a happy ending.. right? there are more plot twists, betrayals, and the cliffhanger is just plain cruel. marie rutkoski, i’d like the next book PRETTY PLEASE WITH CHERRIES ON TOP.

the story is now told from both arin and kestrel. in the winner’s curse, there are only small snippets from arin. you see his betrayal coming before kestrel knows what’s happening. now, we hear from him nearly every other chapter. we get to know him more; there are flashbacks to moments in the first book and you see his perspective of things. before he was mysterious and hard to read, but now we see who he truly is.

although the characters change, they are still themselves. sometimes when characters develop, authors would change them into a completely different person. that didn’t happen here. kestrel continue to impress me with her brains and goodness; arin continued to impress me with his strength and fiery passion. it felt as if everyone was alive and living. you wouldn’t be able to guess what’s next, but it was never out of context.

the mood of the book was sad, which is another reason why it wasn’t as enjoyable. don’t get me wrong; i did love this book. but i grew so attached to the characters that since they were sad, i became sad. i felt the character’s struggles and depression; i felt their sorrow and guilt. there were happy moments but the overall mood was negative, which is another big reason as to why i liked the first book better. (claps to marie rutkoski’s writing! making me feel all the things, yet again.)

the writing was so beautiful. i fell in love with it in the first book, but this one was even better. there would be pages and pages of scenes and moments and i would tear up because it’s so beautiful. there isn’t another adjective for it. usually when we hear from two povs, they have no relation to each other. it goes like: ___ did this, ___ did that. arin and kestrel’s chapters intertwine. they could be across the world or in the same room, and their thoughts are together; they are completely in sync.

its so beautiful


you’ve read the winner’s curse, so what are you waiting for? buy/read this book right now. it is definitely worth the read and i cannot wait for the next installment! (if you finished, let me know your thoughts in the comments!)



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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: the winner’s crime; marie rutkoski

  1. Pingback: farewell & foresight: jan/feb/mar ’15 | twirling pages

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