**spoiler alert** I liked this book. I wanted to really like this book. It had such great potential. For an author's freshman entry into the world of...more**spoiler alert** I liked this book. I wanted to really like this book. It had such great potential. For an author's freshman entry into the world of published books, it is well written and a great story.
I felt that the character's complexities could have been developed more and illustrated. It was more like viewing the characters as a neighbor than being inside of their heads. Keturah is a complex teenage girl on the cusp of womanhood and fully eligible for marriage in her culture. She longs to protect her family and friends and join the war instead of sitting at home raising children and cleaning house. There is so much potential here that the author didn't exploit.
Though this book is a girl-power book and works well being inside Keturah's head, I wonder if this story might have benefited following a second person, perhaps Gideon, around in the occasional chapter. His insights into her courage, unusual thinking for her situation/culture, and his growing respect and feelings for her would have greatly strengthened the presentation of Keturah.
While the author worked to present a clear picture of the area, culture, activities (which she did quite well) perhaps she could have presented more than highlights of Keturah and her thoughts and activities as we followed her to her goal of joining the Army. Also, I sometimes felt that her desires for fighting bordered more on revenge than the desire to protect. Another character pointing this out to her for her to deal with would have been wonderful to read.
Keturah's relationships with her immediate family were decently portrayed, however if she really was as close to her friends and neighbors as was suggested I would have preferred some more insight into those relationships. (Which in turn would have begged for an increase in immediate family relationships to balance out the presentation of the friend relationships.) There were moments when the author could have confronted the interrelationships and conflicts head-on yet chose to run or glaze over the issue. I felt robbed.
The only time where Keturah faced the conflict was when she threw her "boyfriend" to the ground for a comment he made. We then were given a glimpse of the reality of what just happened hit her, but just a glimpse and he forgave her almost immediately. Do teenage boys who were just insulted in front of their entire village by a girl forgive that easily? The attack on the village and her roll in the attempted raping of one of her best friends is quickly brushed by. The girl just killed someone for the first time in her life. Are there no mental repercussions for her to deal with? If they don't hit now, they will later, which could get in the way when she is on the battlefield. Either way, let me know this is bothering her.
I assume this book is part of a series as the book leaves me hanging and desiring for more. There was really no closure to any issue beyond her getting into the Army, only set-up for more. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future as she grows in her abilities and I anxiously await the sequel to this book. I genuinely want to know more about Keturah and her adventures as a member of Helaman's Army.(less)
Nice modern retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Takes place in New York. Definitely not for the young young adult, unless they a...moreNice modern retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Takes place in New York. Definitely not for the young young adult, unless they are capable of realizing the elite private schools and the kids that go there are not the type of kid to be a role model. Kyle deserved to have the curse placed on him!
It was interesting reading from the Beast's point of view; hadn't done that before. I'll probably do it again sometime.
The only thing I didn't like: I have to wonder why she made the characters so young. Kyle is cursed when he's only fourteen and the spell is broken at age sixteen. Maybe cursing him at the end of his junior or sometime during senior year of high school and using the transition into an elite college would have been better.
Oh, I also had trouble with the occasional txt/im interpretation. I don't spend my life reading and writing in that language, so I wasn't always sure what was being said. Maybe a dictionary should have been included for the other clueless readers.(less)
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Honest. But like the author says. "The marvels you hoped to find might not be waiting inside the covers, s...moreI wanted to like this book more than I did. Honest. But like the author says. "The marvels you hoped to find might not be waiting inside the covers, so then you closed the book, sorry that its promise had not been kept."
This book had such great potential. It is well written and the language is quite illustrative. I found myself easily picturing what was happening and I don't find that often. However, after awhile, I found it as too much of a good thing. The book was dragging on and never seemed as if it was going to end. The plot and characters are not that deep! The climax ended well because the author finally focused on the story and not illustrating everything.
I am undecided about reading the sequel, but I still may because the characters are good and I would like to know what is going to happen to Dustfinger and Fenoglio.(less)