Beautifully designed book! Unfortunately, that's the only good thing I have to say about it. Flashy design does not make up for the inconsistent writi...moreBeautifully designed book! Unfortunately, that's the only good thing I have to say about it. Flashy design does not make up for the inconsistent writing, weak plot, and bad characterization. Disappointed as I had high hopes for this one.(less)
Didn't finish this one either, and I'll tell you why. This was the first time I've picked up a Melissa Marr novel. I knew she was a YA author, she is/...moreDidn't finish this one either, and I'll tell you why. This was the first time I've picked up a Melissa Marr novel. I knew she was a YA author, she is/was very popular, and I sold her well as a children's bookseller. I was curious about the premise, it appeared suitably creepy for an end-of-October read, and a lot of blogs were buzzing about it. But here's my problem with it, and why at over 100 pages into it, I stopped reading:
I'm supposed to be reading about adults, but they are FILLED with the angst of teens. This would be much better served as an intended YA book, meaning the main characters should still BE teenagers, not these adults who have lived around the country and are still so emotionally unsure, insecure, and somehow damaged even though the people who love them most have been protecting them their whole lives. It just wasn't believable to me that the two main characters wouldn't be more mature, have asked more questions of the rest of the townspeople who clearly knew more than they did, and wouldn't have grown into themselves as people just a little bit more. Also, I thought the spacing and timing of the writing was just off. For instance, someone hands Rebekkah a letter, but instead of taking the reader there right away, we have to wait an entire chapter for Rebekkah to read it and then when she does, it's completely anticlimactic.
That's what I felt reading most of the chapters, as far as I got - anti-climax at every turn. The suspense wasn't there because the author kept dragging it out in a way that made it lessen, not increase.
Ultimately, I was disappointed and I'm sorry to say, did not continue reading it.(less)
A few years ago, I gave myself the gift of a New Year's resolution to stop reading any book I wasn't enjoying. I think Libba Bray and I just don't get...moreA few years ago, I gave myself the gift of a New Year's resolution to stop reading any book I wasn't enjoying. I think Libba Bray and I just don't get along as reader/writer. I understand that everything she was writing was tongue-in-cheek, but it was SO over the top and SO heavily caricatured that I didn't enjoy this book at all. Reading this made me feel like she didn't respect my intelligence as a reader; as if she had to hit me over the head with fake teen-speak jokes mirroring a potential reality for some of today's teens, and the jokes were SO funny, no really, SO FUNNY - OMG, LOL, because it means, like, the exact opposite of what she's, like, writing about, you know? - it frankly kind of disgusted me. I chuckled over one or two things, but basically, this book wasn't for me.
That said, I can see its intrinsic value for teenagers, specifically girl teenagers, who would get a real kick out of something like this. In a way, it's almost subversive teen literature. As a former bookseller, I often wrestled with this question: What do you hand a girl who loves the Gossip Girls (or similar) series, but you personally wish she was reading something a little less trashy with a little more substance? This book.
Let me be clear. I stopped reading around page 45. I just could not read any more about a rich white guy and his problems. Yes, he HAS legitimate issu...moreLet me be clear. I stopped reading around page 45. I just could not read any more about a rich white guy and his problems. Yes, he HAS legitimate issues. His wife, from whom he is estranged and is trying not to suspect has been having an affair, is in a coma and soon he must decide what to do about that. He barely knows his two daughters, and both are a handful at two very different ages. He's apparently a workaholic, high-powered attorney in his own right, and is also in the midst of needing to make a decision about the land trust that he owns the dominant share of that has been in his family for generations. Perhaps this is the author's intent, to make the character less likeable at the beginning so his transformation into sympathetic father and caring human being is all the more potent, but I just couldn't make myself care enough to continue reading. I'm sorry, truly, if I've done this book a disservice, but it just didn't grab me.(less)