Let's star off with Willa, our main character. She's funny. She made me laugh aloud. Even during the scariest scenes, Willa would make these remarks tLet's star off with Willa, our main character. She's funny. She made me laugh aloud. Even during the scariest scenes, Willa would make these remarks that would have me creepily chuckling to myself. She's not exactly unique when it comes to YA fiction, but her voice stands out from the rest.
The only thing that bothered me about Willa is her need to keep repeating the word "psycho" over and over to describe everything. Would it kill her to use a few different words now and again? The psycho person did this psycho thing in such a psycho way and it was so psycho that that psycho thing happened!
Although I like Wyatt and appreciated the fact that he is not the typical love interest at all--he isn't a bad boy or a golden boy, he isn't charming or smooth-talking or cool in any way, really. I'm telling you, when I found out he'd be a potential love interest, I was SO excited. But in the end, his character fell a bit flat for me, and became nothing but an idealization, a boy created specifically for Willa and Willa alone.
(view spoiler)[At the end when they confess their love for each other, I was mentally gagging. Seriously? When exactly did this come about? Did I miss it? Why was it necessary? We can just assume that they might have something going at some point without them actually going all "I love you" out of the blue when neither of them, especially Willa, had made any such advances before. (hide spoiler)]
I think it's worth mentioning that I've read a lot of mysteries, a lot of paranormal, and a lot of books about killers chasing after heroines, but this is the first time I can ever recall feeling any sense of urgency. I was genuinely creeped out at some points, scared at others, and felt like I was right there with Willa when she was in the most danger. I was on the edge of my seat.
I don't know how she did it, but Katie Alender made a mini miracle - seriously, books don't make me "feel things," but this one made me feel genuine fear along with Willa.
Oh, and having recently moved to the LA area myself, it was even more creepy but kind of in an awesome way.
Also, I like romance if it's done well, but where are my friendships? Why are friend relationships always so throw-away in YA? ...more
This book was tolerable, and I say this as someone who used to love romance but now avoid it like the plague. That doesn't mean it's good. It's all riThis book was tolerable, and I say this as someone who used to love romance but now avoid it like the plague. That doesn't mean it's good. It's all right.
But seriously, let's talk about Ben's dad. No. Just no. I get that the author wanted to make his home life all sad and pitiful so that he could be excused for his womanizing ways, but if you're going to go the sad and pitiful route, you have to follow through and make it believable. And no, I don't mean that Ben (view spoiler)[ not really defending himself against his dad (hide spoiler)] is unbelievable, as others have said, because it can happen and I have no room to judge, but his dad's character was SO FLAT I just can't even...he literally had like 1 line of dialogue, which he repeated in each scene he was in.
Really? Just b/c he's a drunk a-hole does not mean he has to make paper look like a mountain range. I just got really annoyed reading the two or so scenes that involved him (view spoiler)[before he was killed off like the totally disposable and un-thought-out character he was, (hide spoiler)] because I could tell the author didn't bother to think of him as a character and just made him the stereotypical angry drunk. PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who thought this?
Call me crazy, but I take the time to think about even my a-hole character's backgrounds, personalities, quirks, ANYTHING that makes them more than a stereotype listed on Wikipedia.
I'm not even going to talk about the romance, because 99% of romance stories make me want to claw out my eyeballs, and so I don't know how accurate I would be. I'll just say that it was cute at first, but quickly turned pointlessly over-dramatic and why does high school love always have to be so freaking I-WILL-DIE-WITHOUT-YOU-BEFORE-I-MET-YOU-I-WASN'T-REALLY-LIVING-esque? Give me a break. There's such a thing as dating without all the rip-out-my-soul nonsense. ...more
1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly,I'm only going to make a few points.
1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly, she actually defends him. I'm sorry, but this is the first time in my life I have ever encountered a heroine who stuck up for the guy she loved. It was because of this that I was able to truly believe her love for him, able to believe in their love for each other.
2. Clay has issues...that are not solved by love. Seriously. When he gets together with Maggie, he's not miraculously cured.
3. Their relationship works because Maggie is strong as hell and can totally handle someone as messed-up as Clay.
4. I'm so thrilled (there are no words) that a book has FINALLY addressed the fact that when a guy acts the way Clay does, it's not simply because he's an ass, but because he is sick and has a mental disorder (or in his case more than one!) People tend to brush off characters like Clay as "just a psycho." But for once, the author understands that, no, actually, there is more to it than that. I think a lot of people can learn something from this, and possibly become less ignorant about the seriousness of mental health. Contrary to what some people believe, individuals like Clay do not "decide" to be assholes. Mental illness is real. This book tells you that.
5. Clay is mature and self-aware enough to understand that he is not in a place where he can be in a relationship with someone. He knows only more destruction will come if he stays with Maggie, so makes the decision to try again to get help so that he can be in a healthy relationship with Maggie and stop hurting her.
6. Love Clay. Love Maggie. And I never love heroines. These aren't just characters. They are real people. And THIS is why I read books. I'd forgotten for a while, there. ...more
Roden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, nRoden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, no, won't you please be my bestie and the captain of my guard instead? Roden: YESYESYES! A thousand times yes, MY LORD! *falls down on knees* I never really could have killed you!!!
Okay, I am so confused. I mean, did I miss something here? Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. Jaron/Sage is my man, and I adore him like no other. The new characters, especially Fink and Harlow, were awesome. Seriously, the characters in this book are a vast improvement from the last one, in which it was basically Sage vs. The World.
The one thing I don't really love is Imogen. She's all right, but to be honest she comes off as a bit bland and uninteresting compared to Jaron. I feel like someone else would suit him better. I don't think she can match up to him. Sure, she can get angry and "have words" with him, but it never really feels to me like they are on the same level, and NOT because she is a servant. I like the servant/king forbidden love stuff, but Imogen's personality is just too run-of-the-mill, so she really fades into the background.
I feel as if Jaron could really banter away with the right girl. Of course, this will not happen, but since I'm not in this for the romance I don't mind.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the glimpses we got of Jaron's softer side, of his inner child, the child wanting to be loved unconditionally, wanting his parents to be warmer to him. I think that really made me sympathize with him on a very deep level. His decisions come across as totally rash, uncalculated, and based more on emotion than logic (although he claims otherwise). I mean, do you really want the guy who just broke your leg and almost caused your demise to be in charge of your guard? Just because at one point in time you didn't hate each other?
My memory may be failing me, but I never felt as if Jaron and Roden were friends in the first book. I thought Roden grew to tolerate him at best, but Jaron seems to think they had a nice bromance going on. Is it just me? Maybe I need to do a re-read?...more
I don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feeliI don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feelings" garbage, but she turned out to be an awesome, caring, kind young woman who, with Ryan's help, really grew as a person. Their romance bloomed from friendship, which is the best way. Jenna's dad, though. Oh, man. If he was my dad I'd have run away from home when I was her age! And don't get me started on Ryan's mom.
She has two sides. I loved her at first, and then...But Cole was awesome. I love how he was Ry's mom's boyfriend, but also really cared about Ry as his own son. Meh. I'm gushing. Just read it. ...more
One of her "misses." Malic is ridiculous and unlikable and spends more time cuddling with the supposed enemy than with his love interest, who he treatOne of her "misses." Malic is ridiculous and unlikable and spends more time cuddling with the supposed enemy than with his love interest, who he treats like crap until the last chapter. It barely feels like a romance, considering Dylan isn't even in the book that much. There is no plot. It's just a bunch of random things happening to Malic, as if I cared. I was relieved when it ended.
Dylan. Who the heck IS he, anyway? No, really. We know next to nothing about him, and he's as flat as paper. Come to think of it, Malic is pretty flat himself. He's a scary, muscle-man and that's about it. Dylan is a clingy, horny teenager. That's about it. ...more
This is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored,This is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored, because the only likable character is our narrator, Sage. Thank God for Sage. He saved what could otherwise have been a very mediocre book, and made it into a good one. Often, authors don't bother to make their MC interesting, but Sage is very interesting. He's a bit crazy, but entertaining.
At first, the other characters come off as utterly unlikable, but the more you read the more you learn about them, and although they don't become characters you really love, they at least become ones you can understand. And that's where this book falls short. Even with the characters growing on me, the only one I truly cared about was Sage. Take Imogen, the love interest. Honestly, I found her a bit lackluster in comparison to Sage. I'd rather have disliked her than felt the indifference I did toward her character. In the next book, I truly hope the author takes the time to flesh out her character more, and this is coming from a girl who does NOT enjoy reading about female characters--or, barring that, have her spend more time on any character other than Sage (not that I want less Sage!).
The False Prince reminds me of The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, although not nearly in the same league; that's not to say I didn't like it, but it isn't nearly as sophisticated. Sage has a tiny bit of Eugenedes in him, which is always a good thing.
Now, about the twist. I figured it out about 1/3 through. It's just so obvious. Even though I saw it coming, I was rooting for it to happen, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The end was certainly the best part. But, really, Sage's (view spoiler)[utter lack of background (hide spoiler)] made it painfully clear that (view spoiler)[ he was really the prince. (hide spoiler)]...more
In case you were wondering, the hero who needs punching is Zane. Come on, man, I love you but there's only so much I can take. It's been six years. PuIn case you were wondering, the hero who needs punching is Zane. Come on, man, I love you but there's only so much I can take. It's been six years. Put Becky behind you and move on. And while you're at it, when Ty says he needs your help, HELP HIM! Do NOT blow him off like that. Being drunk is not an excuse. And jump on the love train already, will ya? It's been three books. Where is the love the love the love?...more
I enjoyed this not for the story but for the characterization of Brenna, who I became attached to right away. I like Dane's writing style, and she reaI enjoyed this not for the story but for the characterization of Brenna, who I became attached to right away. I like Dane's writing style, and she really brought to life Brenna's voice. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with her mom develop. Considering Brenna's devotion to White Bird, I feel Dane could have included more flashbacks detailing their relationship to make her love more understandable. As it is, his character comes across as way too old for his age, and just a hastily sketched outline of a character. All the side characters have much better characterization and depth to them.
White Bird's only trait seems to be "I am an Indian and proud of it." Kind of stereotypical. Even his psychologist has more depth than poor White Bird. I mean, who is he anyway? We're told he has no parents. Why? Who does he live with? Even just a sentence or two explaining his background would have sufficed, but we don't even get that much.
As for the mystery....there were aspects I didn't guess, but the culprit is far from shocking. His/her motive is a bit trite, and I wished the whole thing had been more creative, considering it is the main plot and all.
Still, I found Brenna fascinating and relatable so I did enjoy the read....more