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Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Hey! I’ve been pretty inactive in this, so I just wanted to post a small “mini review” that I wrote on the book Damsel. I’ll try to add more content in the future!
I was basically lured into reading Damsel by the nice cover and the description. Unknowingly, I thought that this was going to be a casual retelling, but the author really packs a ton of difficult topics into the reading. I’m just going to list all the trigger warnings (that I wish I had known prior to reading this): sexual assault/rape, mental and physical abuse, harm to animals, suicide and self harm, as well as imprisonment. I might have been okay with this book if these issues were present once or twice, but they were scattered and filled the entire book to its core.

Damsel is a very dark book, and went the opposite way that I expected altogether. The entire book is a metaphor of feminist issues in society, and it covers a ton of dark ones. The “twist” wasn’t even a twist, and the entire book is stuffed with so much disgusting content that it became repulsive. It is also very dark, and the supposed good ending is dark in its own way. The messages that are portrayed in this book are horrible, as the King’s mother simply tells the damsel that even if you’re suffering, it’s simply the way it’s always been. I won’t even bother talking about the king, as he is a horrifying excuse for a “evil” protagonist. There are so many trigger warnings present in the book, that make the book uncomfortable.

I don’t really want to rate this one, as the content wasn’t for me. I think that this book is definitely aimed for the upper ages of young adult, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re on the younger side. I’ve read many reviews and honestly, it all comes down to whether you’re comfortable with these topics. This book is brutally honest about feminist issues in society, and if you’re willing to overcome that, it might have the potential to be a good book. However, if you have any doubts about those topics, I suggest that you pick up another book to read.

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