I have said it once, I will say it again, I am a hypocrite. I take back ALL the bad things I said about Crescent City, I was wrong. Well, I wasn't really wrong, my thoughts, feelings and opinions just changed. I know, you are probably confused, let me just get into it and say it. clearly. I love Crescent City.
I love it so much that I am going to the release party, which this blog features, but more than that. I love Crescent City so much I decided. to have my 25th birthday be themed around what I think Bryces Drop Party would be like!
Okay, now I'll be honest, me loving Crescent City is ONLY a recent development. It took me re-reading the books to actually like them this time around. And let me just lay out where my issues were, and how things progressed, and well, how I got to where I am now.
Link to Drop Party:
This book is 100000% different than any other fantasy book. I've read a lot of fantasy, even some modern fantasy, but the writing style and world building the first time through Crescent City #1 was overwhelming. I was constantly questioning, what the FFFF I just read. When I say it took me reading the first quarter of this book about 4 times to finally let it click, and not even click in place, more like when you were in high school math class and had an equation and just tried to use the same equation and change the numbers and hope that it would bring the right result kind of click.
The theories, I start both CC 1 & 2 immediately when they came out, I was already bought into the SJM world at that point having consumed both AOCTAR and TOG multiple times each h already. But, y'all, you all took the theories in the CC series to a whole NEW level. Like I was barely getting the plot, meanwhile everyone else was seeing details I overlooked or straight up didn't understand.
Honestly, my BIGGEST BEEF was with TikTok having spoiled the end of CC2 or me, even thought I got the book when it first came out and soared through it. I was in the last quarter of it and literally said, WTF I don't care at this point. I NEVER picked up the book again and actually finished it until, and yes drumroll, LAST WEEK.
Fast foward to the 2nd week of 2024, everyone is talking about doing their re-reads before CC3 comes out and I straight up said, 'I don't care, I'm not doing it". But I could open a single form of social media without seeing something, if not a million posts, about it. Well, since I had recently read both ACOTAR and TOG just before Starfall, I decide what the heck, maybe it will be better this time around. So, to my dismay, I started the Crescent City series over for a re-read.
OKAY, so I read pretty fast. But make note of what I said above, it took me WEEKS to make it through Crescent City the first time I read it. This time, I thought okay, I'll give myself a week for each book and finish it JUST BEFORE the release of CC3. I read the first book in a day and a half, I all nightered it, which isn't that uncommon for me, but for me to do it for CC, is a BIG DEAL. Then I soared through CC2 in just over 2 days. I did have to read and listen to a few sections of this book a couple of times over again, but I made it through the entire thing for the first time.
So, this time around, I loved Bryce. I felt for her, especially in her depression, anxiety and coping mechanisms. Basically, I am the same person as Bryce, especially after something traumatic happened to me. I think the first time I read this book I was just stuck in this state of confusion that I didn't really allow myself to connect with the characters or truly to see their development. Since I understood the world of CC this time around it was easier to really pay attention to the details (but I still missed so much).
I had a greater appreciation for the plot. I think the first time it went over my head, there was too much happening, I kept waiting to find the importance in some detail and just really wasn't feeling it. I will say, even on the re-read I still was questioning things and trying to figure out the bigger picture, but still it was better.
Sarah just has a way with words, a way to break and destroy me. I know a lot of people get emotional throughout these, and during AOCTAR and TOG I did cry at times, but I didn't in CC, not even on the re-read. This was a bit disappointing for me. While I enjoyed it more this time and have a huge appreciation for it, and a desire to finish this story and see where SJM takes it, I still haven't had the emotional experience that a lot of other readers have had.
Okay, now another moment of truth, like a harsh truth. A big reason I re-read these and gave them another chance was because of the #BookTok community, specifically within the cosplay community. Because I am a fantasy event planner, I have seriously stepped into the cosplay side of #BookTok, and I'm not mad. All of the Bryce cosplayers, the way they all about Bryce, connect with her, love her, they are all who kinda forced me to go back into this series without my bias and open eyes. Their creativity in bringing Crescent City encouraged me to start over with open eyes and heart.
So, my thoughts and feelings regarding these series have definitely changed and developed a lot. I truly think that I grew as a reader by making it through this series, and by not hating it this time around. I am proud that I made it through this series in record time for me. I am excited for CC3, for where this story is going to go, how the worlds will overlap, and to see how other readers interpret it. I can honestly say, I liked it this time. It isn't my favorite, I don't think it ever will be, but it isn't a series that I hate or loathe anymore, its a series that I respect, that I look forward to, and that I would read again, and love. Now, the kind of love that I feel for Crescent City is not that of a parent or sibling, or even a best friend, those spots are reserved fro Zodaic Academy, Frankenstein (yes, you read that correctly), Throne of Glass, and Fourth Wing. But it is a love, more of a cousin kind of love. But, love is love is love.
Anywho, thank you for going on this adventure of experiencing Crescent City with me. Be sure to check back for details about the release party and then of course my journey of reading Crescent City #3.