I absolutely hated it, 100% hate.
I hated hated hated...
That I cried so much.
This book was absolutely spectacular, though a bit confusing at first. The writing was gorgeous and lyrical, poetic and beautiful, but there was a complexity to it that, if you couldn't figure it out, led to a lot of hard thinking about what this meant, who that was, etc. and honestly, it was sometimes hard to know until the straight-out tell! But it did create an atmosphere that added to the story--both the story and the fairy tale.
Honestly, while I did love the actual story, I found that the fairy tale actually captivated me more--just a tad! But I've always loved fantasy stories where nothing makes sense. But I was just as eager as Anna and Micha to find out what would happen next! Because this story was just what happened, what's happening, and what happens, in a more innocent and magical way.
Beyond anything, even how beautiful and touching the writing was, was how absolutely real the characters were. They were so...broken. All of them had their problems, even Anna who seemed to have a perfect life. There wasn't a mean girl, necessarily, who was a jealous (insert word), and there was no real evil person. It was just...life. How we decide who's our antagonist is really up to us and this book does accent that. (Ironically, I'm doing a presentation for Teen Leadership called "There is no Reality, Only Perception.") and I felt just sick how some people could seem so...kind and then have something ugly beneath. And this isn't just one character. I think this is, by far, the most accurate description of the world translated into a book. And I've read a lot of tries.
This book was absolutely touching and insanely emotional. I was almost SOBBING in math and that's not comfortable with people giving you strange looks and muttering "There she goes again", but the ending...Oh my GOD that ending. I think I melted into a puddle of tears. I couldn't...couldn't understand it, couldn't fathom it. I was just...shocked. Or maybe, like Anna, not shocked at all. This book didn't really have one conflict either, it was just...life as it sometimes is. I don't think there's ever going to really be another book that can beat it--it surpasses The Fault in Our Stars! (And I'd say 13 Reasons Why, but I never liked it anyways.)
Should you read it? Absolutely. Will you cry? Almost certainly. Will you wish you never read it, just so you could experience it over again? Without a Doubt. And will you love it? Of Course. Will you thank me later? OH, YOU BETTER. Because this WILL become one of your favorite books, and I can guarantee that you won't forget this. This is one that will leave it's own imprint on your heart--after it tears it up, glues, and breaks it again and again.
(Only reason it's not 10, though, was because of how depressed I felt afterwards. Not that it's necessarily bad...also, I just didn't see the romance. And Bertil creepeed me out)