The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson I think this book could have been wonderful, but a few things ruined it for me. 1. It was hard for me to get into the present tense. However, that's just a personal bias for me. I prefer the past tense.2. The author tells me a story, but doesn't make me feel it. As a reader, I feel totally disconnected from the events and characters, especially the main character. Some of the main character's opinions and thoughts make her seem selfish and like she's been reading too many teen magazines. I don't necessarily think she's flat, but I just can't feel that she's as strong as every character claims she is.3. The body issues/beauty theme is poorly done. She only attracts attention from someone when she's...skinnier? I mean she did attract someone when she was heavier, but then a character implied that the man only liked her because she had some weight. So...that implies men only like her for her body. Horrible. I think the author should've emphasized the other reasons why men were falling in love with Elisa. The absolute biggest problem I have with this book are the scenes where Elisa throws up. She threw up because she ate too much and felt bad. The why the scenes are written sound like they promote bulimia. I understand feeling nauseous when you're depressed or upset, but I don't think the author emphasized the bad feelings as much as she could've. To make the scenes less pro-bulimia, she could've added something along the lines of, "The food churned in the dark pit of my stomach. This war...my friends...they were all suffering. Thinking of their pain while I feasted left a vile taste in my mouth. The rich food wretched upward and forward onto the tiles of my bath. I didn't deserve such goodness while they suffered." Something extravagant like that instead of, "I felt bad about my situation, so I ate more and then threw up." At least make it clear that she's throwing up because she feels like an emotional wreck rather than just eating too much.4. There isn't enough description about emotions. Elisa did this. She felt this. OK. That's nice I guess, but how did she physically feel? Did her thoughts race or turn black? I mean what's going on with this character below her skin that not even she may realize at first? I feel like the author does a somewhat good job of telling the reader what's on the surface but isn't hinting or describing anything below the surface.5. The ending seems very forced and convenient for the main character.6. Elisa compares herself to other people, but then nothing deep comes from those comparisons. She just claims, "I'm not my sister" and moves on. She could've at least put in a little more effort than a shallow observation and realized how the comparisons hurt her or hindered her.As a side note, I like the godstones in the story. They add a mystery and help Elisa to grow. The ending has undeniable Christian influences, which aren't so bad, but it's kinda cheesy.