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White Stag: A review
by TeenHelp July 5th 2019, 03:29 PM

White Stag: A review
By Jenna (.:Bibliophile:.)

White Stag, by Kara Barbieri, is a novel about seventeen year old Janneke who is taken captive by an evil goblin named Lydian. While being held captive by Lydian she is subjected to a lot of cruel things. After a while of being held captive she is forced to work for his nephew, Soren. The novel focuses on Janneke trying to cope with the abuse she was forced to endure at the hands of Lydian. This novel has trigger warnings for rape and abuse.

The novel handled the topics around rape and abuse quite well and it was apparent that the author had experience with coping with trauma. While reading it I was reminded of my own trauma and how I struggled to cope with it for years. The author does include an author's note that explains that she wrote this novel while trying to cope with her own trauma. This note made me want to love the novel because writing was something that used to help me cope with the my own trauma. After reading the author's note I felt like I probably would love the novel but unfortunately I didn't.

I tend to read fantasy more than I read anything else but this fantasy novel fell short. While the author did a great job of making me believe Janneke had been severely traumatized, I felt bored for the majority of the novel. I don't believe fantasy novels should be boring and due to the slowness of the novel I contemplated putting it down. I chose to listen to this book on audio and I felt that the narrator of the audio book did a great job but you can't make a boring novel entertaining, even if you are an excellent narrator.

For me, the entire time listening to this I kept wondering when something was going to happen. There were a few times where I found myself saying I didn't care about the characters because of how bored I was. I felt bad disliking the novel as much as I did but when I pick up a novel I want to be entertained or feel connected to the characters and I didn't. Given Janneke's trauma I feel like I should have connected more to her character.

I ended up rating this novel one star because I struggled so much to get through it. I can understand why some people might have enjoyed the novel but it ended up falling flat for me and I can't recommend it.
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