I Skimmed It: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

TheWinnersKissCoverOof. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski was a tough book for me. The first 38 pages took me 7 days to read. That is how much I wasn’t into this book. I then read probably the next hundred pages, and realized that life is too short to read bad books, so I skimmed the rest. And I don’t think I missed anything.

I skimmed it instead of DNF’ing because I’m super behind on my Goodreads quest to read 100 books this year. And darn it – I had already wasted enough time on this book, I was going to count it as read! So I skimmed the rest of the book and have no desire to go back and read it later.

Here’s why I started skimming:

  • nothing was happening. There was tons of dialogue, but the same thing was being discussed and argued about in every conversation. Time to move along!
  • Too much back and forth with Kestrel and Arin. Again, same conversation/argument every time. And this was basically the same as in the previous book.
  • Kestrel was drugged and lost her memories. I really dislike this plot device, so I was done once this happened and she didn’t immediately regain her memories. You’re telling me that she just happens to remember a certain memory at the right moment? Riigghhtt.
  • The book felt too young for me. This is a YA series, and while I like that YA typically is not graphic and just has younger characters, this particular series felt like it was actually written for a younger audience. Now, there are heavy themes in the book (rape, slavery, drugs, warfare), but the characters felt a bit flat and one-note. I want a bit more from my characters. If I would’ve read this say around age 12, I think I would’ve really loved this series. But as an adult? There are better books out there.

I actually feel really terrible that I didn’t enjoy The Winner’s Kiss. Marie Rutkoski has put a lot of effort into this series and the books aren’t badly written, I just couldn’t get into books two and three. I did enjoy book one however! Read my review of The Winner’s Curse (Book One) here and The Winner’s Crime (Book Two) here.

Bottom Line: Not for me.

Have you read The Winner’s Trilogy? Do you ever skim books? What is worse: skimming a book or not finishing it? As bloggers do we have an obligation to finish what we read?

And is anyone else having difficulty with these titles?  I can’t remember which title goes with which book.



24 thoughts on “I Skimmed It: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

  1. Too bad you didn’t liked The Winner’s Curse. I have similar experiences in recent books I’ve read, mainly ACOMAF. It got repetitive at some.

    I skim a lot of times, especially when nothing important is happening in the story. Hahaha skimming is still partly reading so I see nothing wrong with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read ACOMAF yet! Bummer to hear that it gets repetitive. Especially because those books are soo big! I bought a copy of them and was surprised at how big they were!
      I totally agree that skimming is partly reading 🙂 that was why I figured I could still count the book as read on my goodreads shelf 🙂


  2. The Winner’s Curse is one of my absolute favorite series of all times! However, I do get why you didn’t like the Winner’s Kiss. The first book was a lot more romance-oriented, and the other two started to pack a lot of world building and plot into the story. The pace and overall feel of the books changed. It was a big transition. Still, I personally found it was fitting and only made it better. But I’m a sucker for tragedy and war, so…
    To answer your question, I never skim books. It feels wrong haha. I either finish them or not. Unless I’m re-reading and want to get to the good parts 😛
    Nice review! I always like to read about different opinions from my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I feel just awful that I didn’t like the last 2 books of the series. I did enjoy the first one, but couldn’t get into either of the last books. I agree with you that the pace and the overall feel of the books changed.
      I felt so guilty skimming the book…. I feel worse about it than if I just would’ve DNF’d it.


      1. Don’t feel bad! By skimming it, you may find something to make you love it again. Or you’ll reach the end and be sure it was the right decision. I guess I’m just incredibly OCD when it comes to reading. I rarely even DNF a book, unless I really, really despise it. It’s a quirk of mine, but to each his own 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha, I loved the title of this post. 😂 Hey, at least you admitted skimming it. I bought it and still haven’t read it. I don’t get all the hype with this series. So far, only one blogger I know liked this book, but I don’t think she read the rest of the books in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve skimmed tons of books. I don’t blame you. When I read all the negative reviews for this book for Hype or Like Friday, I was happy I never opened it. I’m a pretty tough critic so I have no doubt I wouldn’t like this series.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can totally identify with what you felt. I’m having a hard time myself with a romance/YA novel here. Far too cheesy and uneventful for my taste, although I do think I’ll finish it by the end of the next week. I read somewhere that we as readers must step out of our comfort zones. Looks like you (and me!) need to try again.
    Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree – we must read out of our comfort zones every once in awhile! It teaches us new things and a new way of looking at things, and a new understanding. It’s what I love about reading! I don’t always get that with YA or romance though… hard to get through the cheese sometimes!
      Looking forward to your review of the YA/romance you are reading 🙂 definitely a change from your usual!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha. Yeah. I picked it up thinking it to be some kind of romance/mystery, but I was naïve I guess. Still, will finish it. And yes, the cheese isn’t to pur liking. We are better served when we take lean meals. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t skim books because it feels like pretend reading, like rising off dishes instead of washing them. I’d rather just close the thing and be done! What are these books about? You said they are a drag, but not what they’re about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Pretend reading is a perfect way to explain skimming. That’s why I felt so terrible – like I couldn’t even make the decision to just not read it.
      Yeah, I didn’t include a synopsis in this post because it was the third in the series, and so many series get spoiler-y synopsis-wise towards the end.
      The series is a YA series involving warring countries. The two main characters are Kestrel & Arin. Kestrel purchases Arin as a slave, and they end up forming a sort-of friendship, even though Kestrel’s country has basically taken over Arin’s and now rules over them. It’s mainly about warfare strategy and romance. It’s a bit different than other YA books out there right now in that there is no magic and our heroine, Kestrel, isn’t much of a fighter – her strength is in her mind. Same thing with Arin. He’s smart and emerges as a leader of the rebels, and Kestrel is the daughter of the highest ranking general on the opposing side. I did enjoy the first book of the series, so it wasn’t all bad.

      Liked by 1 person

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