Down the Rabbit Hole is my absolute favorite find of the year. Not only is there excellent novel commentary and fun memes—there’s also hundreds of YA fiction recommendations just waiting to be discovered! I have been following the blog for months, and I’ve recently started to get library books from the website’s recommendations. Holy dinger, do I wish I’d done that ages ago!
I have been reading so many amazing YA novels because of this blog. One novel that I just finished is called Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. It’s the incredible story of Katsa, a girl born Graced with the ability to kill. If you like strong female characters, fantasy, and light romance, you MUST read this book.
Many people in Katsa’s world are Graced with different abilities from birth. Their eyes are two different colors and they may be able to climb a tree well, or cook, or fight. Katsa is deadly in that her ability is considered to be killing after she accidentally murders a lecherous cousin at age eight. Since then, she finds herself being used by her uncle, the king, as his goon.
But Katsa isn’t going to let one man rule her. Not only does she refuse to marry, she also starts a secret society to help people in all of the kingdoms that her uncle doesn’t know about. During one of these secret missions to save a kidnapped prince, she meets another prince by the name of Po who helps her see who she really is—not the king’s dog, but a woman of her own mind with her own choice to make.
The adventure and the character Katsa are downright amazing in this book—in fact, I’d call them near perfect as far as any adventure story I’d want. Katsa is like an older, even more stoic Katniss Everdeen. She will make you cheer her on throughout the entire novel. And Po isn’t like many other male characters you’d come across, either. He’s masculine and strong, but he admits to being bested by the fierce Katsa as well as being smitten with her. He also wears more jewelry than he does, courtesy of his kingdom’s customs. Indeed, some of the scenes between them—though not explicit in any way—are verbally luscious.
There was a shift in the end with the love interest that I didn’t care for that seemed to alter characterization a bit, but between the fights, voyages and straight survival against insurmountable odds, this is one heroine that will never be forgotten once you read about her.