Review: The Replacement

May 23, 2011 at 4:00 am (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Pages: 375, paperback

ISBN: 9780857071385

Publisher:Simon & Schuster

Date Released: October 1st 2010 (first published September 21st 2010)

Genre: YA / paranormal / urban fantasy / faeries / romance

Source: library

Premise:

Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. Thought he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement – left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass guitar or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place – in our world, or theirs.

(Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: Book Depository / Amazon

Okay so I was a bit reluctant at trying this story out. On the one hand, the premise sounds awesome. I mean, the main character is a boy AND a changeling, which makes me really curious. On the other, I’ve heard some less than spectacular reviews about this book, and I was worried that the MC wouldn’t sound like a boy–like Ethan from Beautiful Creatures and Sam from Shiver. Thankfully, he doesn’t sound like a girl, but that might be the only good thing about him.
It seems that most of my problems with this book stems from the characters, so expect a lot of ranting about that.

From the very beginning, I found that the writing was awkward. It was purple, it was fragmented at times, and sometimes, it just didn’t make sense at all. It was as if the writer was trying too hard to craft her words. Underneath the awkwardness, I could see bits and pieces that stood out, but they were overwhelmed by the flower-y, tryhard lyrical prose. An example of the awkward prose:

“[Emma was looking] lonely as a lighthouse. Sad as a nun.” -pg 40

Now, I’m not sure that nuns are particularly sad about what they do. In fact, I would think that they’d be happy, since that’s sort of what they’re devoted to.

There were a lot of things to the story that left me confused. For starters, Mackie’s sister, Emma, somehow remembers the event of her brother being replaced. I forget what age she was supposed to be at the time, but it’s still highly unlikely that she would remember it. And on the very unlikely occasion that she were to remember it, why on earth would she believe it to be real, even several years after it happened?When I was her age, I was certain that I was adopted and that my parents were either royalty or faeries. Doesn’t mean that it’s true. It just seems unlikely that she’d believe it so much. It makes this whole issue so unbelievable, and every time Emma mentioned it, I rolled my eyes and scoffed, “yeah, right.”
And why does Mackie believe some random creep that tells him he’s dying? Especially when that creep corners him in a club. If I were Mackie, I’d think the guy was high or drunk, and I’d try to avoid him, not, y’know, believe him.

My biggest problem with Mackie was that he was a loner and a major emo, and blamed other for it. He blames his popular best friend, Roswell, for his awkwardness around people and his inability to effectively communicate. He blames his father for people having expectations of any kind of him, and the list goes on. Everything wrong about him, Mackie points fingers and shifts the blame to someone else. Which is ridiculous and disgraceful. Maybe if he actually tried talking to people instead of actively avoiding them, he’d have more friends and wouldn’t be seen as a freak (but actually, he does seem to be popular, despite what he says. I mean, he made out with the most popular girl in the school. I’d think that one has to be pretty high up in the school’s hierarchy to be able to do that).
And I really really really hate how Mackie constantly whines about the threat of being lynched for being different. Um… what? As far as I can tell, Mackie is not black, nor does he like in the 1940’s. People do not get lynched for having quirks, not in this era. He has nightmares and is told a story of a guy who was lynched for being different… IN GODDAMN 1930! Every time he mentions that, I just want to hit him with the book, and tell him to shut the fuck up and to stop being such a drama queen. I swear, 85% of this book is is Mackie angsting over how he’s different, and 10% about Tate, while the other 5% is actual plot.

Speaking of plot, for the most part, it doesn’t exist because of the ANGSTING. Most of the time, there’s severe angsting for several pages, with maybe a paragraph or two of actual plot developments, and then back to angsting. I wonder if Yovanoff knows that angsting =/= character development?
And because of the lack of plot, there won’t be much in this review on plot.

Now, back to the characters.

What the hell is wrong with Tate? Why is she so convinced all of a sudden that Mackie knows something–anything–about her sister? He’s never given her a reason to suspect him of anything, yet she won’t get off his back. She just keeps harassing him, and it makes me want to hit her with a mallet. She is such a disgusting character. She makes rude comments and sarcastic gestures towards girls who act ‘girly’ and not as ‘tough’ as her, as if wearing pink is a sign of weakness. She’s a horrible person, and from the beginning, her attitude made me hate her vehemently. And she constantly goes on to insult Mackie, while at the same time, demanding that he help her. Why should he, when she’s constantly demeaning him? This is a case of abusive relationships, but with the tables turned. And Mackie is weak against her, and is passive whenever she says something insulting.
Being tough doesn’t make a character strong. And I don’t see Tate as strong, just as a person who needs an attitude check.

And then there’s the relationship between Tate and Mackie that seemed to pop up out of nowhere.When Mackie told Tate that he liked her, I was surprised. Up until then, he showed signs of liking Alice–even going so far as to find out that she has a tongue ring, kekeke–, and hating Tate. And why the hell would Tate be such a horrid person to someone she liked? What had changed? They showed no romance, not even any friendship. It felt like Yovanoff suddenly decided that she wanted Mackie and Tate to be together, so she made them both do an about-face concerning their feelings. And um… what’s with the part where she gives him a handjob behind the churchyard, soon after? It didn’t do anything to further the plot, and hardly did anything to develop their relationship and selves. If I were an editor, I would have cut it.

I do have to admit, though, that I really liked the character of Morrigan and the other fairies. They acted so mystical, so all-knowing, yet so cryptic, almost like I imagine fairies would really be like. Their descriptions were fantastic, and I believe that the story greatly improved once they were introduced. In fact, I was almost my wit’s end and was thinking of dropping the book, just as the fairies were introduced.
The fairy lore that Yovanoff had created was fantastic, and it’s a shame that the rest of her story didn’t seem to follow suit.

So, no, I didn’t really like this story. I found it to be a waste of time. Yovanoff needs a better editor, and better beta readers, ones who know what a plot is, and that wangsting is NOT character development. At all. Ever.

Cover Art: 2 (why is there a light shining from his ass?)
Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 2

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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Review: Delirium

May 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm (2 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Pages: 393, hardcover

ISBN: 9780340980910

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Date Released: February 3rd, 2011

Genre: YA / dystopian / romance

Source: library

Premise:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book DepositoryAmazon

Dystopia is a hard genre to write in. Usually because it takes a topic and magnifies it, and in this case, the topic is love. So my question is: why the hell is love outlawed? Usually, dystopian only really works if the issue is a current issue that we’re facing, and dystopians explore what would happen in the future if the problem hasn’t been handled (for example: global warming [though I haven’t come across many dystopians that handle that]). Already, before picking the book up, I have problems with it. How had it gotten to the point where love could be considered a disease? For a dystopian, it sounds rather unbelievable.

On page 3, Oliver already managed to piss me off, though, I’m sure it was unintentional on her part. There is a passage that goes:

“Instead, people back then named other diseases–stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder–never realising that these were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amour deliria nervosa [love].”

Now, as someone who suffers from 4 of the 7 things named above, I take offense to the idea that these are merely symptoms to something like love–something they tried to eradicate. And once these people are ‘cured’ of love, they are also cured of these ‘symptoms’. I find it really frustrating when people act that way towards mental problems like the ones mentioned. Their lack of understanding is the reason why there is this stigma towards mentally ill people.

I will have to admit that I loved how much like sheep the society acted like, and how determined Lena in to do well by her governments standards. I think that an important part of dystopians is the realisation–the epiphany that the main character has–that everything is a lie. In this book, it’s done fairly fantastical. In the beginning, Lena is just like the rest of society, but after things start turning awry, she starts questioning the rules. And that’s when shit hits the fan, and the moment that I cheered.

There are some innaccuracies in the story that could have easily been fixed with some simple research. For example, I don’t get how six months can make any difference in a procedure, especially when everyone is different. Technically speaking, some people might be physically matured enough to handle such a procedure from a younger age, and others when they’re in their 20’s. It seems as if Oliver just didn’t bother picking up any books on neurology and psychology. And unfortunately for her, one of my hobbies is reading those kind of text books for fun, so I’ve picked out all these mistakes.
Also, this baffles me: Lena’s father apparently died of cancer. So, they can cure a non-existent disease INSIDE YOUR BRAIN, but not cure cancer. It makes little sense.

I disliked Lena. She was so passive. She was worse than Bella Swan, and we all know what that girl is like. Lena just let people push her around, and she hardly did anything active, except for the last 100 or so pages, but even then, she’s only so active because of some guy.
I’m not sure how I feel about Lena and Hana’s friendship. On the one hand, they contrast each other in a way that it works; they’re dependent on each other’s strengths. Lena is so passive, and Hana is rebellious and strong and has a mind of her own. There were often times that I found myself wishing that Hana was the main character, because she wasn’t some weak pansy.

Lena also seems to be only capable of making stupid decisions, like trying to go to a secret house party to warn people that there’s a raid going on. She puts herself at great risk trying to do something that has a very unlikely chance of working, since the raiders were literally right behind her. If I were her, I’d have stayed at home, where it was safe. After all, everyone at the party knew the risks. They knew that there was a fairly good chance of getting caught, and they all knew that the punishments would be severe.
Then, at the party, she gets mauled by a dog. While she is profusely bleeding from her leg, all she can think about is how sexy Alex is without a shirt on, while she’s in a shed that smells of animal piss. In fact the entire time she’s with Alex after the raid, she doesn’t think about Hana, even though she was the main reason Lena went to the party. Instead of worrying for her best friend, she’s making out with some random guy.

I really liked the writing. It felt like one of the few good things about this story. Oliver really has a way with words. It made it hard to put the book down at times. Also, I liked the world-building, even though the reasons behind the world were unbelievable.The setting, the history and the people made the world feel realistic, and I wanted to know more.

For a while, the only thing that kept me fairly happy was that Romeo and Juliet wasn’t used in a positive “twu wuv” light like most other books that done. The society believed it to be a cautionary tale, which I could believe in that instance. But then Alex went and ruined that notion by claiming it to be a “great love story”, and I wanted to hit him with a heavy, blunt object several times over his thick noggin. It seems that anyone in publishing that refers to Romeo & Juliet seem to kind of totally miss the whole point of it. I mean, have they read the ending? They die.

For about 200 pages, nothing seems to happen. All we get from the narrator is 200 pages explaining why she loves Alex so much. She’s known him for a month of two. How can she love him? She barely knows him. I was hoping that Delirium wouldn’t follow that trope, but alas. As I expected, there’s the unhealthy viewpoint of love, that without love, you don’t have anything else and life isn’t worth living.

“I’d rather die loving Alex than live without him.” – pg 379

I don’t understand why this sort of stuff is allowed when books like The Bermudez Triangle (Maureen Johnson) are being banned for having a gay character. Gay people are harmless. Telling impressionable young teens that their lives are worthless if they don’t have their true love is dangerous.

Sorry for this rant-like review, but I didn’t like this book too much. I would recommend reading it, though, in case you do end up liking it. I’m just fairly critical.

Cover Art: 2
Plot: 2
Characters: 1
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 2/5 stars


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Review: Bumped

May 6, 2011 at 10:30 am (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , )

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Pages: 336, hardcover

ISBN: 9780061962745

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: April 26th, 2011

Genre: YA / romance / dystopian / satire

Source: galley from the publisher

Premise:

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

So, this is supposed to be a satirical piece regarding teen sexuality, where teens are both encouraged (for example, Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant) or chstised for having sex in the first place. This is the first thing that interests me. I’m a fan of satirical pieces regarding modern society.

I’d heard that the biggest problem that most people had with this book was the slang. And now I see what they meant. This book is almost impossible to understand at the beginning, and it hardly gets any easier from there. There are all these made up words, and abstract definitions of preexisting words.
There is a part where Harmony says “I’m able to understand approximately one in every five or so words that came out of Zach’s mouth.” I laughed so hard, and had to agree with that, but I’m so thankful that there were a few explanations for some of the terms–even if they come several pages after the word is first used.

The differing viewpoints of the sisters was annoying at the beginning. The changed constantly, were so short that sometimes they were even a page long at times. While they had very unique and differing voices, it was still hard to keep up with.
Harmony, I felt, sounded forced. She overused saying the same religious phrases, such as “Oh my grace!”, and the repetition didn’t sound realistic, just fake and overused. Melody, on the other hand, actually felt fairly realistic, even with the overabundance of slang. Her intentions and actions just felt right for someone in her position.

I didn’t like Harmony at all. For someone who tried to do so good in the eyes of God, she really turned into this massive contradiction. People with beliefs that ingrained into their mind don’t just change in an instant. In fact, even the average person doesn’t change so drastically. Harmony was the cause of all the conflict, and I couldn’t understand her actions, nor could I understand why Melody was so calm about it.

I found it bad that the entire basis of the story centered around the mistrust and secrets between two twin sisters. As a result, I had a hard time feeling the relationship between the two sisters grow, and, I couldn’t see much individual character growth. I suppose most of that came from the lack of sympathy I had for them, I simply couldn’t relate to them in any way.

Overall, this story didn’t stand out much to me. It felt bland and really fell short for me. I was rather disappointed, and think I might not bother with this growing trend of dystopians. The biggest disappointment was the language. How is anyone supposed to enjoy a book if they can’t understand it?

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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Review: The Eyre Affair

April 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Pages: 373, paperback

ISBN: 9780340733561

Publisher: Hodder

Date Released:July 19th, 2001

Genre: literary fiction / satire / mystery / sci-fi

Source:library

Available from The Book Depository

Premise:

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again… (Taken from Goodreads)

It took me a while to get into this book, and to understand what the hell was going on. What I found out was that unless you’re either British, know about British history, or are a classical literary student, then you’ll have a hard time understanding just how witty the author is being in making the Crimean war (go on, Google it. I did) last 130 years, and other obscure British history references.

It takes a while to understand that this is a sort of parallel universe, set in 1985m where technology is amazing (to the point where dodos have been genetically brought out of extinction) and time travel is possible. When you discover these abstract things, it really feels like being hit in the face. I found myself crying out “why? WHY?” often.

The writing reads almost as if Douglas Adams were a pompous literature student sitting on his Macbook in Starbucks. When I read this, I couldn’t help but compare the weirdness of this to that of Hitchhikers. But of course, this is much different, mainly because Hitchhikers was fun, and this is forced, and almost as if Fforde was so impressed by his knowledge of obscure literature, and wants his readers to be impressed too.

It’s written in first person, but is badly done, as a lot of the time, things that Thursday Next, the main character, shouldn’t know are narrated to us. For example:

“My room was exactly like all the other rooms in the hotel.” -pg 119

Now, I have a few issues with that sentence. First off, how does she know what all the other rooms in the hotel look like, especially when this is her first time at this particular hotel? Secondly, how is it relevant? It isn’t, and it just clutters the story with unnecessary details. Sadly, the novel is littered with things like this, and it gets fairly distracting after a while.
Also, pretty much all of chapter 11, and quite a few parts near the end of the novel are written in 3rd person. Now, this awkward, random just from 1st to 3rd person pov is tacky and needs to be heavily edited. If you’re going to have a book written in 1st person pov, the person telling it needs to actually be present during all of those scenes.

Also, I really wanted to know why this world is so immersed in literature. There’s no reason, no explanation, no background. We’re just led to believe that it’s normal for people to be selling bootleg first editions of books on the black market, and it’s totally normal for there to be vending machines that only exist to quote Shakespeare. While I have no issue with a world such as this, and I wish I lived in it, I still want to know WHY they love literature so much that there’s a police force dedicated to it. It'[s such a big thing and surely needs explanation.

The villain wasn’t much of a villain. His motives were all over the place, and he seems to only be evil for the sake of being evil. Plus, he’s almost a Mary-Sue with his invincibility and vast intelligence and whatnot.

And finally, the romance: I thought it was a bit shoddy. In the beginning, Thursday is pretty much obsessed with the man she dated 10 years ago, and when they end up going out again (y’know, 10 years later, and he’s engaged to someone else. No biggie), it’s fairly unimpressive. That Thursday Next steals someone else’s man infuriates me, and does not at all seem endearing or strong. It makes her look desperate, and bitchy.

I had a lot of issues with this book, as you can see. I dunno, if you’re into witty and satirical stories that try to be sarcastic and play with classical literature,, then you might like it.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 2
Characters: 1
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 2

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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Review: Impossible

April 11, 2011 at 4:37 am (2 stars, review, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Pages: 288, paperback

ISBN: 9780141330303

Publisher: Puffin Books

Date Released: March 4th, 2010 (first published September 18th, 2008)

Genre: YA / romance / fantasy / mythology

Source: library

Premise:

When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

First things first: LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Now, onto the meat of the book:

As I read the first few sentences, I notices that there are a lot of pointless sentences. Things that don’t even contribute to the story, in desperate need of editing. The writing style sounds contrived, sloppy and unimpressive. From the start, it left me stumbling through the book, struggling to finish. It felt even more awkward with the various “uh”s and “oh”s and whatnot. In third person, this just sounds completely amateurish, unless in dialogue. Even in first person, if done right. And you all know from my review of Fallen how much I hate that sort of stuff in third person narratives. THEY DO NOT BELONG. *angry face*

Lucy seems so boring in the way she talked, acted and described. She just ended up being this two-dimensional character that I barely cared for. Her character changes every few pages, from athletic to girly to tomboyish. The inconsistency in character was confusing and hard to keep track of. Honestly, there were times where I wondered if there would be a massive twist near the end where she turns out to have multiple personality disorder.

The chapters were short, about 3 pages each, which was really annoying, I thought. They were so short that I just couldn’t get into the story quickly enough until the next break. They just weren’t long enough for me to keep an interest in.

The point of view, whilst in third person, focuses on various people and the constant change gets distracting and frustrating. At the time I was reading this, I was editing my first story, and it was suffering from the same POV inconsistencies as Impossible. Now that this problem has come to my attention, I find multiple POVs to be the most annoying thing ever, and amateurish.

I loved the basic idea of the story, being a retelling of a poem called The Scarborough Fair. The fantasy elements were subtle, yet strong, which made for a nice, original fairy story. It shows the elf in a negative way, which I found delightful, as I’m sick of everyone and their grandmother romanticising every paranormal and fantasy creature they come across. It features a human/human romance, which I was relieved about.

This book deals with rape, and the outcomes of it. I thought it was poorly demonstrated. That Lucy’s rapist was unaware of his actions seemed to be this really weird message that it’s not the rapist’s fault, that they can’t control themselves. Now, I’m sure that wasn’t Werlin’s intentions at all, but it still felt like that.
Also, after Lucy was raped, it sort of seemed like it was no big deal to her, that she was passive about the whole incident and not really shaken up about it. I would have loved to see a rape survivor actually surviving instead of forgetting it ever actually happened.

There was something odd that bothered me, a really massive contradiction that I picked up. On page 104 of my copy, it says:

“If her friend Sarah Herbert were pregnant and came to Lucy for advice, Lucy would certainly think of abortion. Perhaps, she’d even urge it.”

Then some 40 pages later, Lucy is telling her friend, Zach, that she could never ever abort her child:

“We can’t just ‘deal’ with this. I can’t have an abortion. Miranda [her mother] didn’t abort me, did she? I have to have the baby. I just–I can’t explain; it’s just how I feel. I have to go ahead. And it’s my decision. That’s what you’ve always said–it’s a woman’s decision and her right to choose.”

And yet, Lucy would have urged her best friend to abort it if she were ever pregnant. So much for the right of choosing and deciding. I don’t know, it’s that sort of stuff that makes me uneasy, because this is a very delicate topic in books, and the way I see it, it wasn’t done properly here.

I was glad that Lucy’s parents were heavily involved for the most part, unlike most YAs these days. And that they were so supportive of their daughter and her decisions was sweet. It’s unusual for a parent to be so close to the main character in a YA, so this was a sort of breath of fresh air, and made for an interesting story.

This book focused on a romance that I thought was tacky and bland and had no real depth to it. Chapter 32 was one and a half pages on how Zach had confessed his undying love for Lucy, how he would kill for her, die for her, yadda yadda yadda. That’s great and all, but he never mentions what it is about her that he loves. And when he tries, he contradicts himself horribly, making his love seem forced. I was left very unimpressed with that. And then when Lucy confesses her love for him, I was thinking ‘where did that come from?’ Just a few chapters ago, she was thinking about how hot he is, but not how she actually liked him in any way other than his OMG supah hawt body!!~. Ugh, so shallow. It annoyed me.

And one last thing: after they get married, they stop trying to break the curse and instead have hot wild sex?  Wow, what a way to end the book.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 1
Writing: 1
Level of Interest: 1

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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Review: Fallen

April 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Pages: 452, paperback

ISBN: 9780385618021

Publisher: Doubleday

Date Released: December 17th, 2009

Genre: YA / paranormal / romance / angels

Source: library

Premise:

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from The Book Depository

I have to begin this review by stating that I did not enjoy this book at all. It struck me as a generic copy of Twilight, or Hush, Hush, as the craze seems to be lately.

The writing was plain, and it had no redeeming qualities to speak of. I thought that the point of view didn’t seem right. As much as I hate to say this, I think first person would have worked better. I mean, I’d hate to be any closer to Luce than I already was, but the third person  just felt awkward as I tried to trudge on. The use of third person lost any potential voice that would have otherwise been given to us.
Also, the phrase “Oh my God” is often used. Now, in third person, that just sounds sloppy and trashy. Like I said, better off suited for first person.

The chapter titles are easily forgettable, and often didn’t seem to hold any relevance to the chapters themselves. After a while, I ended up ignoring them completely, because they were just a distraction.

Now, onto problems with the story:
The setting was odd; it was set in a sort of school-slash-detention center for troubled teens. The students are forced to wear black–what the heck is wrong with Ms. Kate? Sure, make the students who have mental problems or aggression issues wear black, and force them to take random pills for the sake of it.
Now, I’m very knowledgeable in the ways of therapy, pills and the treatment of people under extreme stress, but Lauren Kate doesn’t even seem to have the basics. When it comes to pills, there’s a lot of trial and error in trying to find the right kind, but Luce seems to just have been given some random pills from some seedy guy in a back alley way (well, not quite, but she might as well have), not a real doctor who actually knows what he’s doing.
In fact, everything that goes on in this place–this asylum, just about–is insane. I literally just can’t understand the stupidity of it all.

So, after Luce moves to this new school/asylum, she sees this uber hawt guy. Who gives her the finger when he sees her, clearly indicating that he’s not interested. This guy is Daniel, the man who will steal her heart. So, instead of ignoring him, or hating him for being a dick to her without even getting to know her, she goes through his school files to search for information on him, searches his family history on the internet, and actively stalks him until he finally caves in from her pressure. No joke! Fallen is essentially telling girls that it’s okay to stalk the love of your life–even though he doesn’t know it–in order to gain his affections.

The story itself was hardly anything original. It was a dark, wannabe-goth version of Twilight with angels, and the main character is the creepy stalker instead of the love interest. Although, the love interest hardly makes things right.

The whole concept of Daniel and Luce’s reincarnation, and how they’re supposed to be together for eternity just bothers me. It takes away all the choice in relationship. Luce and Daniel hardly have any choice in anything pertaining to them. They might think it, because they do get together but even in the second book–and if you haven’t read it yet, then SPOILER ALERT–Luce finally figures out that she has a choice, but it’s far too late for that. That time and time again they’ve been together through time, unable to be with anyone else. There’s just something wrong with the idea that they’re forever stuck with each other. At least, that’s just the way I see it.

The story picked up in the last fifty pages or so, but by then, I just wanted it to all end. I was sick to death of everything that was happening.
When Miss Sophia, the apparent bad guy, tries to kill Luce and tells her how much of an idiot Luce is, I found myself nodding along, agreeing with everything the old woman was saying. Which is not a good sign, just sayin’.

So, would I recommended this book? Sure, if you want to read a long and tiring book about a girl who is TSTL. Not gonna lie, though, it was all of the above that made the book hilarious to read.

I suppose this just wasn’t for me. This is clearly not a book you should read if you analyse everything you touch, but I could totally see it becoming a big hit with the younger, Twilight influenced crowd.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 2
Characters: 2
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 2

Total: 2/5 stars

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