Other reviewers have mentioned this is the third book in a trilogy, which is baffling me, because this is the book where things really started gettingOther reviewers have mentioned this is the third book in a trilogy, which is baffling me, because this is the book where things really started getting complicated. If this is actually a trilogy as other reviewers suggest, then this is a poor ending, leaving way too many unanswered questions and plotholes. If not, then this is a decent continuation of the story, although it began to feel like filler to simply extend the series....more
My first thought upon finishing this novel was, "I am legitimately angry that I wasted hours of my life reading that." My next was, "This got picked uMy first thought upon finishing this novel was, "I am legitimately angry that I wasted hours of my life reading that." My next was, "This got picked up as a seven book SERIES? Movie rights were purchased? THIS got all that hype?" Good thing I was already laying down; I might've needed to, otherwise.
As other reviews will attest, this is a info-dump-tastic hot mess. It is VERY heavy on the telling, not showing, which is kind of the opposite of what any writer is ever told to do. It reads very much like a first novel, and one that needed a more competent editor, at that. Characters have no depth, not even our protagonist, Paige, from whose perspective the entire novel is told. Seriously, I spent the entire (looooooooonnnnnng) novel reading from her POV, and she still felt like a placeholder. Slang is flung around like a cat flailing in a litter box, with no rhyme or reason. I shouldn't feel like I need to take notes while reading; I shouldn't have to flip to the glossary every few paragraphs to figure out what is going on.
Many characters have names, then aliases, then nicknames, then tagged names. There are also a million characters, so reading certain scenes becomes utterly draining in respect to keep track of who's doing what--which, because no one has any distinctive personality, really doesn't even matter: Bob killed 12? The Black Weasel's talking to XIX-23? Sure, OK! (I made those names up, but you get the idea.)
Time has no meaning in this book. Paige, once taken prisoner, describes her days in detail. I thought maaaaaybe six days had passed, and was surprised at how quickly certain characters had adapted to their new positions. Turns out, WEEKS had passed. Weeks. There is no indication of this in the text as far as I could see (and, granted, I was bored and irritated while reading this, so I may have missed a reference or two, but STILL.).
Flashbacks (actually, dreams, but that's never really made clear until later) tell us Paige's earlier story, and really should've been where this book started: Paige, learning she is clairvoyant, then joining her gang. This would not only allow a slower, easier-to-grasp introduction to this world's history, vocabulary, and setting, but would also have granted the reader a deeper connection to and understanding of Paige's gang and her attachment to that group. Unfortunately, that isn't where the book begins, which makes for a jumbled mess of too many plot points (Really, this entire book could have been two books if it'd been written differently), confusing world-building, and left me feeling cold where the Seven Dials gang was concerned (near the end, when certain events transpire, I suspect that I was supposed to care that certain people were in danger; I didn't because the author had never let me spend any time with them. Or given them any personality.).
There is a stupid romance in this book. It is with exactly with who you think it'd be with. It is (view spoiler)[Stockholm Syndrome (I don't care if he's on their side) (hide spoiler)] and it is boring and it is creepy.
I absolutely cannot recommend this book to anyone, unless it's used as an example of jumbled writing, poor characterization, and terrible, confusing world-building.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book is written in first person present, so if that drives you crazy, you've been forewarned.
Up until the last bit of this, I was leaning towardThis book is written in first person present, so if that drives you crazy, you've been forewarned.
Up until the last bit of this, I was leaning toward giving this four stars. It's almost up there with (though not quite as adorable as) Anna and the French Kiss for me. Caymen's got pretty good dry sarcasm, Xander's thoughtful and a nice rich guy (instead of the asshole, stalker billionaires that seem to be populating adult romance lately). Their relationship feels organic and develops over a long period of time--there's no "We just met and now we're destined to be together forever!" here. One point: from the blurb, you might think Caymen would be a bit wary and uninterested in Xander, with her disdain toward rich people, but she seems to very quickly warm up to him; the blurb tells us more than the book shows us re: Caymen's relationship with the wealthy population of the town.
But then we get to the denouement and everything kind of falls apart. There is, unfortunately, a traditional Big Misunderstanding that falls into the "if you just talked to each other, this wouldn't be an issue" category. But of course our hero and heroine don't talk to each other (or, rather, Caymen gets weirdly stubborn and distrustful all of a sudden). Xander stops being a Dreamy, Unlikely Seventeen Year Old Boy and weirdly turns into Super-Understanding, Thirty-Five Year Old Therapist Guy (seriously, I was waiting for "Tell me your thoughts, Caymen. And how does that make you feel?")
And then there's the side plot with Caymen's mother, Susan. This was so awfully resolved, and it didn't even feel like a resolution. A broken relationship is mended in about three minutes, no explanation is given for a particular character's presence in Susan's life (or, rather, it is not-so-subtly alluded to, then felt unresolved to the point where I wondered for a second if this was the first book in a series, with that as the overarching storyline), and everything ends up super-awesome, I guess through the power of money? Ugh. That's when stars were dropped to three.
Side thingies that drove me insane throughout the story: Caymen's poor and hasn't applied to colleges, let alone looked into scholarships. Not only is no one aware of this (what?), but everyone--her mom in particular--totally expects her to go to college. Now, I researched and see that the UC system has a tuition/student services coverage for families making under $80k (and that's awesome!), but there ARE other costs to going to college. I thought Caymen's plan to take two years off was actually pretty sensible (especially since she leaves school early every day and may not even qualify to get into certain programs). Also, Caymen wants to major in "science." WTF does that mean? Physics? Chemistry? Biology? These are all very different disciplines, but she seems to have no idea which she prefers. It reads very, very oddly, almost like the author heard that people get Bachelor of Science degrees and thought that was an actual thing instead of a B.S. in Astrophysics or something....more
This annoyed me less than Soulless, which I've tried to read about 5 times and am unable to finish due to cutesy dialogue and a feeling that CarringerThis annoyed me less than Soulless, which I've tried to read about 5 times and am unable to finish due to cutesy dialogue and a feeling that Carringer is just a bit too pleased with her own wit. E&E retains the cutesy and ridiculous ("exploding wicker chicken", for one), but it seems to work better in a silly young adult book. I mean, this is a world with a giant, floating finishing school, werewolves, and "flywaymen" (highwaymen who, uh, fly). A Black character feels shoehorned in, and there are some plotholes, but this is a light and fluffy, fairly entertaining read....more
Compelling story, with decent pacing. Some problematic things going on here, though: Carey's language is odd and out of place; I'm not sure why she spCompelling story, with decent pacing. Some problematic things going on here, though: Carey's language is odd and out of place; I'm not sure why she speaks as she does, given she's apparently read all of Western literature while living in the woods, and that her mother is away for large periods of time, leaving her without any other human contact than her sister. I did not like that Carey and Nessa were shockingly, stunningly beautiful. It just felt like "Sure, your life's shit, but at least you're PRETTY!" The social worker's recommendation to just throw the kids into school seemed odd, as well. Socialization skills? Age-appropriateness? Pah! We don't need those! Finally, I do not understand the author's decision to not have these girls in psychiatric care. I mean, you find out (view spoiler)[ your kid's been living in the woods for years, with an abusive, drug-addled mother, starving and freezing, and nobody thinks, hey, maybe these kids might be traumatized? I mean, it's not like one of them literally doesn't speak or anything! Gah. (hide spoiler)]...more
Weirdly addicting page-turner, but I spent probably 60% of the time like this:
because many of the plot points involved, though with something of actuaWeirdly addicting page-turner, but I spent probably 60% of the time like this:
because many of the plot points involved, though with something of actual purpose overall, read like something from an insane fanfiction written by a 15 year old. (view spoiler)[Let's take the best and brightest out of their senior year of high school and intern them at a hotel, full-time! Child labor laws? Liquor laws? PAH! Teenager with practically no photography experience? Sure, we'll hire her to take our professional portraits! Our muralist is gone and the mural isn't finished? Yeah, let's get two teenagers with no art experience to finish that up! (hide spoiler)]
Dante is Haven's sassy gay trope of a best friend. He's fashionable! He's a hairstylist! He's a brilliant cook! He's a stereotype! He is, however, thankfully not overwhelming as he's not in a good portion of the story.
This needed some editing to cut it down. It just goes onnnnnn forever, and the pacing at the beginning's a bit slow.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The writing here is beautiful, though it doesn't evoke enough of the terror and confusion you'd think would occur should the planet actually start goThe writing here is beautiful, though it doesn't evoke enough of the terror and confusion you'd think would occur should the planet actually start go slow down, causing the end of life as we know it. As other reviewers state, this is more of a coming-of-age story set in a disaster scenario than a story about the disaster scenario itself, but it's still a page-turner. This is still really only 2.5 stars for me, though because (view spoiler)[ uh, if all of the plants are dead... exactly how are these people still breathing? Did I miss something? Because that stood out as a MAJOR plothole, even as I was willing to handwave away some of the other problems of physics in this book. (hide spoiler)]...more
Utterly engaging action with a Bourne Identity feel to it, and why isn't this already a TV show? That being said, HOLY CRAP do I wish this had been wrUtterly engaging action with a Bourne Identity feel to it, and why isn't this already a TV show? That being said, HOLY CRAP do I wish this had been written as New Adult instead of Young Adult! 17-year-old Anna reads more like a 15-year-old, and that just drags her character down almost into too-stupid-to-live territory from time to time. I just felt this would've been even more engaging had she been a written a bit older, as a young twenty-something.
The romance in this just didn't work for me; it's immediately told instead of shown, and is unfortunately barely developed throughout the book, so it feels forced and stilted. It also feels neutered, which (again) may have worked better as New Adult.
More, spoilery issues: (view spoiler)[Seriously? Dudes just HAPPEN to show up at the mall exactly when you're there and you don't wonder, "Hey, how'd they know we were here?" I kept waiting for a cool implanted-GPS-chips subplot, but no. *sigh* Also, I reallllly had to work to get past the stupidity of "La la la la! Let's just walk into the enemy's headquarters! No biggie!" It's like, once Sam was out of commission, everybody else turned dumb. Again, see: TSTL heroine. (hide spoiler)]
Thanks to a friend for the rec; I enjoyed this a lot. I just wish it had been . . . more.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
More 3.5 than 4, but leaning toward 4. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written this was. Mac is a fantasMore 3.5 than 4, but leaning toward 4. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written this was. Mac is a fantastic protagonist dealing with grief, stress, and general life stuff in a believable way. Wes is also a great character whose friendship with Mac is realistically slowly developed. Histories as a giant archive of the dead? Awesome! My only problem was (view spoiler)[that the system and reasoning behind the Archive was never really delved into too deeply. I had MAJOR issues with the concept of Histories getting into the Narrows/Outer, primarily because it was never explained HOW they get out. They're in locked drawers, in a massive branch library. How are they getting out? I don't know if that's something for a later book, but it was completely distracting from the first time Mac mentions that her role as a Keeper is to reign them in. (hide spoiler)]...more
Historical wallpaper with a too-stupid-to-live heroine. This is written as if Cabot went down a checklist of Romance Novel Cliches. Young women new toHistorical wallpaper with a too-stupid-to-live heroine. This is written as if Cabot went down a checklist of Romance Novel Cliches. Young women new to the romance genre would be better off reading some Heyer than this insulting mess of a novel....more
Has all the makings of a great story but just didn't gel for me. Main character Ananna was alternately interesting and aggravating, and her voice drovHas all the makings of a great story but just didn't gel for me. Main character Ananna was alternately interesting and aggravating, and her voice drove me INSANE: things like "I ain't never seen no..." made me cringe constantly, especially since her voice wasn't consistent. I'd rather have read about Naji's life, quite frankly. Also, this book just sort of stops, with no resolution. I actually had to sit here and ponder whether I'd finished it or not....more