i really wanted to like this. but the story was just so over the top and cringe-worthy in its corny dialogue and the flashbacks to the past where both...morei really wanted to like this. but the story was just so over the top and cringe-worthy in its corny dialogue and the flashbacks to the past where both main leads met each other the first time and continue saving each other ... too much forced symbolism and 'oh-we-are-fated-for-each-other' 'thou-art-my-soulmate'. honestly it was all eye roll inducing pretty much from start to finish and i cannot believe this is the same author who wrote the much subtler 'flat-out love'!
this arc has been kindly provided by the author(less)
the slut shaming always makes me angry. and there is some of that going on (girls > girls, boys > girls):
i watch people a lot. normally it’s not an issue because no one really looks at me, and if they do, i'm pretty adept at looking away fast. very fast. but damn if that girl wasn’t faster. i know she’s new here. if not, she’s made some drastic, unfortunate transformation over the summer, because i'm more than aware of most of the people on this campus, and even if i wasn't, i'd remember the girl who comes to school looking like an undead whore.
i felt manipulated by the author a lot of times, because i thought the book was overly dramatic and i had a lump in my throat. it was (melo)dramatic in a very 'hollywood' way (view spoiler)[ (ugh and i hated that 'sunshine' nickname) (hide spoiler)], but sometimes frighteningly spot-on honest and real and gritty too with some awesomely beautiful moments.
had i read this a couple of years back, i know it would have easily made it into my 4 or 5 stars book shelf. and i'm curious as to what the author's next book is, because this book caught me totally off guard in a good way and for all the complaints i had, i am still glad i read it. true story.
i know at that moment what he’s given me and it's not a chair. it’s an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that i am accepted here. he hasn’t given me a place to sit. he's given me a place to belong.
i haven't started counting yet. i wonder if it's just me or if it's like that for everybody; that every time someone dies you start counting how much time has passed since they've been gone. first you count it in minutes, then in hours. you count in days, then weeks, then months. then one day you realize that you aren’t counting anymore, and you don't even know when you stopped. that’s the moment they’re gone.
note: besides the female lead, the characters were not that defined or fleshed out. lots of gore and goosebumpey moments which i thought were well done. i liked the overall plot, setting and tone better than the author's writing style. the hallowed ones lacked .. something and yah, i cannot quite pinpoint what it was in particular the book lacked. (view spoiler)[
in the hands of another author it would have been pure magic with its potential realised to its fullest which i know is an unfair thing to say, as that could be applied to any book. *shrug* maybe make the sequel longer?
(hide spoiler)] anyways, even with that complaint of mine, i cannot ignore what a page turner it was, -- hence the rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
born in april 1996, tavi started blogging at age eleven – then rapidly became a bona fide fashion icon. in 2009 she was featured on the cover of pop magazine and was invited as a special guest to ny fashion week. (..) she’s currently the editor-in-chief and founder of rookieag.com and writes thestylerookie.com and has written for several [magazines]. [ted.com]
the female lead jeane is all about being your own person and not succumbing to peer pressure. michael, the male lead (view spoiler)[bonus: he's half asian (hide spoiler)] on the other hand is what everyone wants him to be. adorkable alternates between two povs: jeane (view spoiler)[the tavi-lola hybrid (hide spoiler)] and the school's jock michael lee, as their slap-slap-kiss relationship changes to something more.
the best part is probably the healthy pro-sex & body image messages it sends out to teen girls and how really it is okay too, because girls have "wants and needs and desires". jeane is comfortable in her own skin and embraces all her flaws. can't say that either character completely won me over, but anyway -- here's an extract from michael's pov:
(view spoiler)[i hadn’t had performance anxiety either, although i’d been worried that once jeane was naked i wouldn’t fancy her. she was kind of chubby but a bit flat-chested out of her clothes, and that shouldn’t have been sexy, but it was. maybe it was because jeane’s clothes were so hideous that looking at her naked was the better option.
or it might have been because jeane was comfortable with her own body. not once did she moan about her thighs or her pot belly or about how fat she supposedly was like every other girl i knew, even the really skinny ones because they wanted you to say, ‘oh, fat? i think what you meant to say is that you’re really fit.’ that wasn’t jeane’s style and anyway her skin was soft and smooth and i liked that she had proper muscles in her arms and legs. sometimes when i’m with a girl, even just hugging a girl, they can feel so fragile and frail that i’m frightened of breaking them.
“What can you give your parents and Toby for Christmas?” Suzie had asked me a few weeks earlier.
“I don’t mean a traditional present. More like, some way to honor them. Or honor the gifts they’ve passed on to you, as a person.”
I’d thought long and hard. It was the toughest shopping list anyone could hand me, but I wanted to do this.
For Toby, I emailed Emily Heinz to tell her I wanted to come back to help her run the Tutoring Club, and asked her to look for a student to match me up with.
For Dad, I bought an intermediate crossword book and started on the first one, with the goal of eventually completing every puzzle without looking at the answers.
For Mom, I began work on my first-ever portrait of someone I didn’t mind mangling in the process: myself. So far it was just a sketch of the shape of my face and my hair, done while leaning over a mirror on my bedroom floor. Don’t erase too much as you go, Mom said in my head. Let your hand channel your impressions of what you see.
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible...more1.75/5
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible slang and fairly heavy use of symbolism. should probably read it again.