The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I can totally understand why this got so much love... for me, though, it was merely a good, not great, read.
Elisa is fat, not particularly smart, a second daughter and just turning 16. She's also being (rather hurridly) married to Alejandro, King of the neighboring country - she's the price for a treaty between her father and Alejandro that guarantees help as Alejandro defends his country from the Inviernos. The world that Elisa lives in is populated by humans, brought there by God as their world died; every hundred years, God "chooses" someone via a Godstone implanted in their navels. Elisa is that chosen one, kept ignorant of any prophecy surrounding the Godstones and how they interact with the magic in that world.
She manages to grow beyond our initial impressions of her, but the other characters failed to surprise me. Alejandro, Humberto, Ariña and Cosmé all seemed "types". Ditto the events - perhaps knowing that this is part of a series spoiled my "wow" factor? As for the religious aspects, there both was and was not enough: we don't learn enough about the Sacrifice of Pain or how the religion evolved (we do hear about the differences between the three kingdoms, though), and more would have helped us and Elisa. It was also a little annoying how much time we spend dwelling on Elisa's weight.