I just don't think this book and I have a connection. Although I liked Tessa and enjoyed the writing style, I was extremely bored for the first 3/4 ofI just don't think this book and I have a connection. Although I liked Tessa and enjoyed the writing style, I was extremely bored for the first 3/4 of the book. There was no sense of danger or intrigue. Nothing much seemed to happen until the end, and then everything happened so fast that it seemed a bit rushed. There was no tension. I was never particularly curious who the killer was. I felt no sense of connection to the victims. I'm not sure what the point was.
Tessa didn't seem to grow much as a character. We're told she was needy and clingy, but she is anything but. She seems quite capable, especially in comparison to Callie. She's a nice girl, someone I wouldn't mind being friends with, but she does lean toward boring. I'm not really sure who she was. As for Callie? I feel nothing for her. Her relationship with Tessa seemed random and while I was hoping for their friendship to deepen, it never really goes past the surface.
The best part about this book is that there is NO romance. Thank you for that.
There was one aspect at the end that surprised me, even though I has guessed part of it. The reveals were done in a way that made them anticlimactic and I found myself not at all caring. I think it's a matter of personal taste rather than quality. The book is well-written, just not my thing. It didn't evoke any emotion in me....more
It was just very anticlimactic. I was very interested at first, but then it started to grow boring. It never really went anywhere and didn't seem to hIt was just very anticlimactic. I was very interested at first, but then it started to grow boring. It never really went anywhere and didn't seem to have much of a point. Wes' behavior made no sense, and Annie's behavior made no sense, and I'm not going to get into the implied reasoning behind their "love" for each other, which I guess was meant to make the two of them likable...which it didn't. Wes is a bit boring for me, and I liked Annie at first, but then I just didn't know what the heck she was doing/why she was doing it. She and Wes have no chemistry. And guys don't *always* have to slap each other on the back in a "manly" way while hugging. Be the exception. Be different.
I read all of this long book and still have no idea who Wes is. What is up with him? I'm not sure I much care about the answer. Also, I got tired of reading "a young male voice" from both Annie and Wes' POVs.
Wes, toward the end of the book...is a mess. One moment he's all distraught and heartbroken, the next he's totally fine and moving on with his life as normal. He and (view spoiler)[Maddie (hide spoiler)] as a couple makes no sense, and I guess I'm supposed to believe in their love for each other because of the aforementioned "implication" that is never outright stated, but I guess we're meant to assume it, and it's supposed to be subtle and mysterious but it's just annoying. Like how I'm writing this review. I'm saying things in a roundabout way that people will probably assume means one thing, but since I'm not actually saying anything, I'm probably REALLY annoying them too. Wes is just really hot and cold, and why the heck (view spoiler)[does Annie smack lips with Wes so much, anyway? Because of the "implication?" Which technically wouldn't explain anything, since she doesn't even know about said implication, and even if she did...hello, her "love" is still right there with her, so WHY would she get all cozy with Wes? Ohhh he's the only one who can really see her...so that means...SMOOCH TIME! (hide spoiler)]... ...more
Normally I like character-driven stories, but the characters have to have enough depth, have to be interesting enough for me to care. Honestly, I feelNormally I like character-driven stories, but the characters have to have enough depth, have to be interesting enough for me to care. Honestly, I feel like nothing at all happens in this book. Despite his being the center of the only real "plot" to be found in this book, Oliver seems very much an outline to me. I was never able to get a grasp on who he is, nor get to know him as a character.
Of course with Emmy as our narrator, she has more depth, and I did enjoy her voice and find her quite funny - but I didn't find her interesting. I just didn't care what was going on, and since this is told in 1st person POV by Emmy, you would expect her to be a bit more involved in the action.
Nothing really happens with Emmy. She has a few fights with her parents and gets into college. That's about it. That's all very nice and all, but boring as heck. I would have found it more interesting to see Oliver adjusting to his new home, to his mom, step-dad, and sisters, but we saw literally none of that at all. Considering the kidnapping is the only interesting part of the story, I'm not sure why it is so glossed over and tucked into a dusty corner in favor of, I don't even know, teenagers sitting around and talking.
Oliver comes back and really only interacts with Emmy. He doesn't actually make any friends, nor does he really become friends with Drew or Caro, who belong to Emmy. It's just so thin. Too many pointless conversations that are supposed to be romantic and too little development of anything else.
Character and dialogue-driven books are only engaging to me if the characters actually have enough depth and are interesting enough to want to unravel. Emmy just...is. She's a nice girl who wants to get away from her parents and go to college. Not exactly ground-breaking originality here. Which would be fine, if the book had an actual plot to pick up the slack, which it really doesn't.
I just didn't feel anything while reading this. I admit, it is not my kind of thing, and I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy this more than me.
That being said, I do think the romance was done very well. Emmy and Oliver's relationship progresses in a nice, slow fashion. They start as friends, then become more, but it never crosses into the annoying territory of OMG I WILL DIE WITHOUT YOU, YOU ARE MY OXYGEN, so I appreciated that. Also, it didn't get corny, with Oliver suddenly spouting flowery words of love and showering Emmy with compliments and pet names. They have a sweet, healthy relationship, and I do sort of like them together, despite my boredom....more
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
I don't get it. Lottie and Zan have absolutely ZERO chemistry. If someone who hates Zan as much as Lottie does is going to start dating/fall in "love"I don't get it. Lottie and Zan have absolutely ZERO chemistry. If someone who hates Zan as much as Lottie does is going to start dating/fall in "love" with him, then they better have some serious chemistry. To me, though, their interactions were totally flat. I couldn't see why either would ever be interested in the other. Why on earth did Lottie fall for him? Zan, to me, was a pushover. A totally uninteresting and totally whipped pushover. He let Lottie treat him like garbage. I don't care what her "reasons" were for treating him that way--if these people are going to be in a relationship, neither can treat the other like crap.
At one point Zan actually says to Lottie that she is "in charge." Ugh, that's just really gross. I guess 'cause I'm female I'm supposed to swoon, thinking how UHMAZING it would be to have a guy wrapped around my finger, but really it just made me sick. Come to think of it, who WAS Zan, anyway? Despite Cameron listing various interests he had, he felt like a non-person. Lottie wasn't much of anything either. To me, she was simply a pissed off girl obsessed with the past.
And Zan's constant "pretty girls" and "beautiful girls" were just waaaay too much for me. And what's up with all these poetry-quoting guys? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for deep, emotional guys, but the poetry quoting, especially while high/plastered etc., comes across as ridiculous.
Then there was the whole "Brothers of Doom" stuff. No. Having every character in the book threaten to murder/maim/torture the hero, as well as warn the heroine away from him and blather on about how he's evil blah blah blah...like I said, no. First off, it's just unrealistic. That's not how life works. Pretty sure when I was in college, the guy who treated me like crap was loved by the entire campus, including my best friend. This dude pretended to want to date me, then laughed in my face later on, saying it was all a big joke and why would he date me? But did ANYONE AT ALL chase after him, name-call him, threaten to hide his body? Nope. But my "best friend" did become bffs with him and post pictures of them together all over Facebook.
I mean, REALLY, the part in which Trish freaks out because Zan, GASP, becomes friends with her brother!!!!!!!!! God forbid the guy have a single friend!
Point is, it's just unrealistic and weird. And about Lottie calling Zan "Alex" so she could pretend she was dating someone else? Does no one else see how wrong this is? We talk about red flags in relationships when it comes to abusive guys, but I guess it's fine as long as it's the girl who is abusive. Speaking of Lottie, can the girl ever shut her mouth, or does every breathing person need to know all her business. Woman, you don't have to tell everyone you meet about your sad past. It's pathetic.
I just don't believe that Lottie would ever date, let alone fall in love with Zan. Nor do I believe that every character would be calling Lottie "Lot." I've gone my whole life without anyone ever giving me a nickname--and there are certainly no nicknames for my nicknames.
When they have sex for the first time, Zan's all "this is your show, pretty girl." Really? REALLY? I'm unconvinced. And then they start talking in poetry blah blah blah. Maybe I just can't do romance anymore, because it all seems so sickly and over-the-top. Reading about Zan doing...that...to Lottie. Was it supposed to be hot? Maybe I'm an ice-queen, but I'll pass on sex scenes between these two non-humans.
Also, enough about Katie. I frankly don't care. This girl is an absolute imbecile, and I'm sorry but I fail to feel sympathy for you. No matter what bad thing Cameron decides to have befall you, I'm still not gonna care. You remind me of my former best friend, and have her name, too. And her obsession with pink.
I thought Will and Lottie's relationship was sweet at first, but then it became too much. And Will, nope, just didn't do it for me. In fact, I didn't like a single character in this book save Stryker, who ends up with, um, that...particular girl...name starts with a K. How nice for him. I hope he enjoys his life as Katie's whipping boy.
Honestly, how many times do I have to read about this or that person "ripping out" some guy's "spine" in defense of some girl. I get that it is impossible to write a romance novel in which at least two people do not threaten to murder/maim the hero, but in this one we've got not only the hero being maimed and murdered for no reason, but also his friend and various other side characters. It's just too much. I'm not touched by it. I'm creeped out by it. If my friend threatened to rip out some guy's spine just because he was baking cookies with me, I think I'd be like, "Friend - you crazy?" and then never speak to her again. 'Cause really. Who acts like this?
Really wish I hadn't spent money on this book. I made the mistake of thinking I could like books once more after reading Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters. ...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