4 Reaons I Should Have Loved Spin the Dawn

by - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I want to start this review out by saying that this isn't going to be a negative review. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is an incredible book. I'm not dishing out any shade, but I want to discuss the very strange experience I had while reading this book. There were SO MANY REASONS why I should have been absolutely dazzled by this book...but I wasn't. Let's dig into it.

Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf
Genres: YA Fantasy

Official Synopsis

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

4 Reasons I Should Have Loved Spin the Dawn

Why oh why didn't I enjoy this book? I finished the book and just felt disconnected. I truly don't think it's the books fault. I mean, there are just so many good things about it!

1. It's inspired by Mulan and Project Runway. How amazing are those comps? I was excited for some designing competitions and Maia hiding who she is. And the book certainly delivered that. But maybe not as much as I expected...? This section of the book ends about a third of the way through the book, and it didn't sate my hunger for competition.

2. The world building is phenomenal. There are so many lush details about the world, and they're woven into the story beautifully. I never felt like there were moments of info-dumping. And the mythology. Oh my word. The myths that are told in this book are so beautiful. I seriously wish I had that talent.

3. Edan. Does anyone need any swoony book boyfriends? Because Edan is your man. He seriously oozes personality--even more than Maia, in my opinion. His magic, his circumstances, are so fascinating. He was an awesome love interest.

4. Beautiful descriptions of clothing. This is probably a silly reason to love a book, but I'm such trash for beautiful clothes in books. I mean, this is a book about designing and sewing clothing, so it had to be there. I was so there for that.

These reasons seem like they should be enough for me to be completely taken over by a book. But I'm starting to realize that the reason might be because of my expectations. This book has been SO hyped. Oh my word how it's been hyped.

And I'm starting to realize that journey books are probably just not my thing. Not that the book dragged on through the journey, but it just felt a lot more stagnant than the rest of the book. There's no competition, not as much danger (or so it felt to me. The stakes were high.)

But neither of these reasons are the book's fault. That's all on me.


I totally and completely recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy. Just because I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have, doesn't mean you won't. There are still some awesome influences, world building, and descriptions of clothing. Plus Edan. So go read it. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

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Have you ever had an experience like this where nothing was wrong with the book but you didn't like it? Please help feel like I'm not alone!

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  1. I liked it better than I thought I would, because I was thinking "how could a book about sewing clothes be that exciting?" But if you don't care for journey books I can see how this one might not be your thing.

    1. It's so funny how different things appeal to others! I don't sew, but I love watching/reading people do it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. That happened to me with The Sun is Also a Star. I loved the love interest, Daniel but wasn't too thrilled with Natasha (I think that's her name). There were cute moments and everything but I just wasn't feeling it

    1. Interesting! I haven't read that book yet, but I see that happening in YA fairly often. So much personality is imbued in the male, and not a lot is left for the female protagonist.