Tournament of Losers - Megan Derr

Oh damn! I think I'm sick or something. What's this? I have this thing plastered on my face that refuses to let me be. A parasite? An octopus?

Oh, it's just a stupid charmed smile. Go figure.

I was most of the time like that, smiling like an idiot. No, happier than an idiot when finding a pencil. No difference at all.

This book is a fairy tale, the Cinderella with a big heart struggling to keep her head above water day after day in a miserable life, working for a little amount of money and selling her body when that’s not enough. But it doesn’t end here, because things can always get worse, like every time her father doesn’t pay his debts.

But now Cinderella is a guy. A cynical and a little of a rascal, with experience to prove that there is no such thing as wishes that come true, because reality will shatter them all. But still, he has dreams of his own, very very deep inside. You only have to scratch a little and a little more.

I loved Rath, he was just that kind of person. The genuine character that you immediately like in movies. Sort of Tyrion Lannister charm. Since page 1 I wanted to be with him at all hours. He has that kind of honesty and sense of humor and charisma that makes you want to pursue him everywhere.

Tress included. I can’t believe how much I liked to see his stupid handsome face appear, as much as Rath does, even though he doesn’t understand why he fancies this hoity-toity man so much. I don’t have words to express how much I longed for Tress to sneak out of home and find Rath yet again to do mischievous things I’m not going to tell here. Very mischievous. For him to smile and smile and kiss Rath every time he could. Any excuse was valid for that.

Yes, I’m head over heels for these two. They indeed fit together, their banter was hilarious and smile-inducing. They invited you to go on with them and never stop following and spying on them. They were literally A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E and I love cute characters with all my being.

Because the MCs were NICE, capital letters. Not in a way that make you feel like punching their smug handsome faces but in that sincere and raw way there is no sense to escape from. They had that vibe about them that intoxicate you into believing you can’t live without them. I didn’t expect to love the characters so much and enjoy the time spent with them like that. They were funny and impossible to get bored of. I wanted to squeeze and squeeze and never let go. It was a blast.

About the world building, it’s kind of a Medieval setting, with griffons and invented herbs and foods included. I liked the acceptance of pairs of the same sex. Nobody made a fuss about it here. I really appreciate the author decided to avoid the intolerance and prejudices that takes place in our reality. Simply everybody competed in the Tournament, and everybody had the same chances to win, and everybody could marry a man or a lady if they achieved to accomplish every challenge. It worked the other way around, there were female soldiers, female announcers and other female characters just everywhere. I liked that, although I will never truly buy ladies can punch men in the face like they do in some of the tasks and still win with equal results. However, I don’t care about that right now.

But then the Tournament makes a little less sense. It’s made for commoners to compete to marry aristocracy members and improve the “species”. But same sex pairs can’t have children, so what’s the point in mixing up with the commoners when there is no way for that to happen? I understand that blood is not the only important matter here, it’s keeping the feet on the ground that counts. Anchoring nobles to reality, reminding them the needs of the kingdom, in order to change the circumstances for the better. But still, it’s a little detail that nagged at me from time to time.

It goes without saying that the plot is predictable. Just because it’s a fairytale you already expect some kind of secret to be discovered and some misunderstandings to take place. Sometimes I resented bad people were that bad whereas good people where straightforwardly good. This dichotomy usually annoys me endlessly but here I just couldn’t bring myself to care after a minute or two. Because this book is to be read with pleasure. It brings out your Disney side. It’s a funny and entertaining read, but it’s also a heart-melting tale of love and the moral that, if you are a generous soul, you will always get your HEA with the prince of your dreams and do mischievous things together forever.


***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***