What a disappointment. There are elements of an interesting story here, but ultimately, it's nothing more than a vehicle for the love story to develop...moreWhat a disappointment. There are elements of an interesting story here, but ultimately, it's nothing more than a vehicle for the love story to develop around. And even the "romance" isn't very complex--just a lot of lustfulness and primal urges. Building a relationship anchored primarily on physical needs is hardly any better than an arranged marriage that you grow into over many years, but I guess for some people, it's titillating enough to pass as good fiction.(less)
The only way to describe this book is DINGY (that's din-gee, not ding-y); an old, tired, run-through-the-wash-till-it's-threadbare, piece of collegiat...moreThe only way to describe this book is DINGY (that's din-gee, not ding-y); an old, tired, run-through-the-wash-till-it's-threadbare, piece of collegiate fug.
I've read this type of story in at least 7 different books, but what sets this one apart is that it just doesn't feel *real*. I mean, the characters are fine, or whatever, but they felt like bad D-list actors who deliver canned lines, over(or under)-emote, and feel overly self-important about their big break into the "industry".
The title may as well have been "Ten Idiotic Things That Shallow, Self-Absorbed Teens Would Do If Left To Their Own...moreWow. What a colossal load of crap.
The title may as well have been "Ten Idiotic Things That Shallow, Self-Absorbed Teens Would Do If Left To Their Own Devices, But In Real Life Would Never Get Away With."
This is where we need all those reviewers who rant about lack of parents in YA fiction. At least in most stories the teenagers are at least trying to be mature. In this one, they're conscientiously making irresponsible decisions without blinking an eye. It's not all that hard to believe, but the impossibility of it all happening is. Especially how there are pretty much no consequences for any of it.
The only thing YA about this book is its predictability. If even * I * can guess all the twists halfway through, then it's not a very difficult read.
W...moreThe only thing YA about this book is its predictability. If even * I * can guess all the twists halfway through, then it's not a very difficult read.
What I didn't expect, was that this story equates to a hard R in movie rating terms. And not in the raunchy teenager type of way, but in the dark, disturbing, ugly sort of way. It fit the story, but aiming it at a YA audience was inappropriate. (less)
What do you call it when a series is totally lame, and tedious to read, yet you still want to see how the s...moreSeriously NOT looking forward to this book.
What do you call it when a series is totally lame, and tedious to read, yet you still want to see how the story turns out, even though you can't stand the characters?
I must come up with a term to describe this phenomenon.
Update: Interesting way to reinvent the love story, I'll give her that. Romantic tension is always a crowd pleaser.
But besides that, this book is JUST LIKE every other college set story lately. (Seriously, they're all exactly the same.)
Pretty much all the things that made the story original-- Death, death lists, Voodoo princes, etc.-- are significantly underutilized. They're mentioned a couple times, but to me, all that world building just fell apart and got swept under the rug. The story really isn't about all that anymore. The flimsy premise of book 3 isn't taken seriously by the author or the characters, and everything wraps up all too neatly in the end.
Whatever. It's over. I've been released from the series and will try to forget it ever happened.
P.S. What in the world is that preview for Glines' "New Adult Contemporary" in the back? Ew. Even if you rename the genre, it's still just trashy, grocery-store romance. Still no dignity in that.(less)
Ya know, this sounded like a stupid book to me, but a few positive comments from popular reviewers convinced me it might be worth a shot...
Apparently...moreYa know, this sounded like a stupid book to me, but a few positive comments from popular reviewers convinced me it might be worth a shot...
Apparently I'm not up to date on my immunizations for crappy teen fiction.
It was such a transparent plot, that even I, the one who can never predict endings, had it figured out half way through.
And none of the characters were even remotely likable. They are cynical, bitter, and verbally aggressive, often escalating into mental and physical aggression as well. Every single personal relationship is threatened by mistrust, abuse, judgement, and betrayal. Even the few nice things that happen are quickly sucked into the ugly tar pit of malice.
Perhaps this darkness is meant to make the story all tough and gritty, and less schmaltzy-supernatural-teen-romance (I do appreciate the effort), but it felt all too reminiscent of the lowered expectations/trailer park soap opera of Melissa Marr with Wicked Lovely and Erica O'Rourke with Torn (should have seen it coming when her blurb was on the cover!). I get what they're trying to do--make a story that's maybe a little more realistic, not so sunshine and lollipops-- but so far no one's really been able to hit a balance that makes it work.
Becca's trouble at school was the only part that did work; it was believable and real when everything else felt forced and contrived. It was ugly, but at least it was honest ugly.
But ultimately, it just wasn't enough to make it worth the effort.
On one hand it has a fresh and interesting perspective on the angel/demon mythology, especially concerni...moreI'm just not sure how I feel about this book.
On one hand it has a fresh and interesting perspective on the angel/demon mythology, especially concerning their origins and methods. Nearly every 'angel book' cites the Bible (and usually Milton) as concrete evidence of how and why all of it is possible, but hardly EVER do you see anything supporting that reference. In other words, there is usually nothing very holy about these angels; nor do any of the characters who find out about them, (or discover they are one) seem even remotely interested in God himself. ((I'm not saying it needs to be overtly religious, but the assumption seems to be that this part of Christianity is common knowledge. And since there can be a wide disparity of beliefs even among Christians, there really needs to be more from an author about where their story stands in it all. I mean, what's the point of tying it to God if you aren't really going to tap into the 'lore' or whatever you want to call it. Might as well forget the whole angel concept and just make them magical unicorns.)) BUT, that is where this book is different: Anna goes to church. Anna prays...in front of her crush. Its mentioned, it comes up a couple of times, and it's really just a tiny blip in the story, but it is just enough to pay homage to the broader religious iconography and give her character a moral tradition by which to justify her actions. It's incredible!--- all these stories about girls who are weird or different, but they're all cut from the same mold. Anna is legitimately unusual, in the story and in the genre.
Having this background makes the crux of the story that much more poignant-- she had that much farther to fall. Its interesting to see her clear-headed internal struggles with the things she is most vulnerable to, contrasted with the temptations and doubts of the regular people in the story who aren't aware of how they're being influenced. All because you can actually see the angels and demons doing their work instead of traipsing about all the time with no real idea of what they're supposed to be doing.
And since this is mostly about the demons/fallen angels/nephilim, most of what they do is evil. There's a lot of naughtiness going on in this story, primarily because the the dads- the Duke of Lust and the Duke of Substance Abuse- have quotas to be filled. I'm sure you can imagine how that could be glamorized, but what's surprising is how the characters come to deal with their roles in it, discovering they have morals because they believe in free-will, and that ability to choose is what the whole deal with God and Lucifer was all about.
In fact, the recounting of Lucifer's Fall is done in such a way that you can see similar patterns and parallels laced throughout the entire story, while the story itself illuminates real life situations.
It was kind of unexpected.
But despite all that, the story was sometimes a little ho-hum and honestly, made me a little uncomfortable. I think it was because the evil in this book was a lot about individual, personal temptation so easily manipulated as to be degrading. This wasn't just some faceless crowd of victims or far-off acts of violence. It's way more chilling to think there are demons who can't hurt us or make us do anything, but that simply whisper and suggest and we do all that evil on our own.
So, to get to the point, this is another case of 'not exactly likable, but not necessarily poorly done.' I never know how to rate that. (less)
Really not as bad as I was worried it might be. I mean, the book tells you right on the cover that it's a cheesy romance novel about cheesy romance no...moreReally not as bad as I was worried it might be. I mean, the book tells you right on the cover that it's a cheesy romance novel about cheesy romance novels, but it was a cute premise nonetheless. At any rate, even though these characters are 18, so technically still teens, they are in college, which apparently means a YA book can go from a PG-13 rating to an R.(less)
It's been a while since I've read Rebecca, but I gotta say this recreates the creepiness just about as well.
Rebecca was chilling enough to attract Hi...moreIt's been a while since I've read Rebecca, but I gotta say this recreates the creepiness just about as well.
Rebecca was chilling enough to attract Hitchcock, and I honestly think New Girl would meet his criteria for psychological mystery, which really just comes down to the fantastic characterizations of Becca, Dana, and the new girl herself. Becca is a flat-out sociopath, Dana is a deliciously disturbed reincarnation of Mrs. Danvers, and the new girl is, thankfully, not as wimpy and pathetic as the young Mrs. De Winter.
As an updated retelling, I think it was an ingenious way to interpret the story, appealing to the culture and attitudes of modern readers. While the whole Gossip Girl type slut-fest was rather nauseating, I think in a way, it holds true to the reckless abandonment of the society Du Maurier writes about.
What differs, is that Rebecca was about the dark secrets of adults, and New Girl just transfers those same secrets to a bunch of teenagers. It's way more lecherous. Especially because the delicacy and propriety of Du Maurier's era is not ascribed to in this modern version. Forget nuance and innuendo, this is graphic and in your face. Not nice at all.
But again, maybe this is an accurate equivalent of how Rebecca was initially received. Maybe it was shocking and disturbing for its generation. (Not that that justifies New Girl's awful parts, but it's something to think about.) And really, this leaves me in the difficult position of not liking a story, but still being able to appreciate it. It really makes it hard to rate.
Well, hey! That was sort of surprisingly refreshing!
Pretty much the same old story, but the ozark twist was unique. I kinda of liked it.
Interesting si...moreWell, hey! That was sort of surprisingly refreshing!
Pretty much the same old story, but the ozark twist was unique. I kinda of liked it.
Interesting side note- the ozark Mage theme reminded me of Orson Scott Card's Lost Gate book I tried to read a couple months ago. Turns out this author started the story in a workshop Card gave. Obviously not the same kind of story, but her pacing kept me interested, while his did not.(less)
Ok, so the cover is gorgeous and all, but seriously this book is trash. I'm downgrading it to one star. I mean, it's like Edith Wharton for modern tee...moreOk, so the cover is gorgeous and all, but seriously this book is trash. I'm downgrading it to one star. I mean, it's like Edith Wharton for modern teens, minus the good writing, meaningful subtext, social implications, etc.. Without these, it's just a whole lotta self absorbed rich kids with no conscience and nothing better to do than be extremely permiscuous.
I swear, all John Green does is chase the white unicorn girl of his teenage fantasies from one book to the next: Alaska = Margo (in Paper Towns).
And w...moreI swear, all John Green does is chase the white unicorn girl of his teenage fantasies from one book to the next: Alaska = Margo (in Paper Towns).
And while his writing can get dreadfully ugly (see my lengthy review for Will Grayson, Will Grayson), it is in this book that he actually transcends the ugliness to reveal the beauty (the lack of, coincidentally, was my argument in the aforementioned review). The last few pages were especially powerful, but I'm not sure if it was worth reading some of the other stuff to get to it.
What it comes down to, is that I just don't care for his flavor of grittiness.(less)