A really cute, albeit cliche, novel about a poor girl and a rich boy who find love despite their differences. It doesn't set out to be anything more tA really cute, albeit cliche, novel about a poor girl and a rich boy who find love despite their differences. It doesn't set out to be anything more than a light, fun read that makes you go "aww." It contains everything a good YA novel needs: some family drama, a quirky friend, charming love interest and a realistic, down to earth lead. This would be a great summer read....more
I wish I read the reviews for this book instead of just looking at the overall GoodReads score before borrowing it from the library. I wasn't expectinI wish I read the reviews for this book instead of just looking at the overall GoodReads score before borrowing it from the library. I wasn't expecting the plot to be 80% based on a love triangle between Calla and her two love interests - Shay and Ren. I don't know what my thought process was when I read the plot summary and didn't register that it screams love triangle but I digress.
My main concern with the novel stems from Cremer's approach to feminism. The most problematic example stems from Cremer's need to make Calla an anti-girl. YA authors need to stop this nonsense of believing that they can make their female characters strong by making them dislike everything that's feminine. Heroines can be strong and still enjoy dressing up and wearing make-up - they don't need to hate on everything "girly" to be taken seriously or be seen as a hero. Continuing on this topic, I picked up lot of weird vibes from Shay. It felt as though every interaction he had with Calla was some feminist movement. Many of their conversations were based on Calla not needing to follow the rules of her society and to fight back and live her own life, to choose him over Ren because he doesn't sleep around, etc. blah blah. It gets redundant to hear the same argument constantly rehashed and it makes Shay seem more like a voice in her head tempting her into rebellion.
Speaking of Shay, what does Calla see in him? There is literally nothing interesting about him and the fact that she drops a guy she's known her whole life for a stranger she knows nothing about it is ridiculous. Their entire relationship is built on lust and his need to interject himself into her life. What's even more disconcerting is that I found Shay to be borderline abusive. Calla is always worried about how Shay will react to decisions about her lifestyle and to Ren - he doesn't respect her boundaries nor her history.
The redeeming points to this novel are Ren, the other pack characters and the last third of the book. Ren is such a great character, he's emotionally charged and demonstrates vulnerability despite being the male alpha. His insecurity over his relationship with Calla really made him 3D and showed that he actually cares about those around him (unlike Calla who (view spoiler)[risks everything and puts her pack in danger all for a boy (hide spoiler)]). The other pack characters were great and added some much needed depth and character building to the otherwise lacking plot. I really liked Ansel and felt the sibling bond between himself and Calla.
Overall, the plot is completely lacking minus the last third of the book where the non-love triangle plot takes priority. The book in general wasn't a very interesting read but it reads fast and keeps you entertained.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If there is anything I hate more than instalove its when characters don't react like normal human beings in clearly defined situations. Oh a creepy guIf there is anything I hate more than instalove its when characters don't react like normal human beings in clearly defined situations. Oh a creepy guys stalks you to your car and DEMANDS your personal information and you give him your drivers licence? You're off on a run and this said guy joins you out of nowhere and corrects you on how far you are from home? This said guy goes into his house and fills your water bottle even though you wouldn't normally let someone do that? Oh and all of this is excused because he's hot?! Please tell me more, the character development is so intriguing.
I liked the novel when it started off. We had a girl who was confident in herself and used boys to feel numb. I liked how she was different from the hoards of female characters in YA novels - not the sweet virginal good girl. However, once the love interest shows up, she's cured and turns into every other girl in a YA novel.
There was potential in this novel and its a shame because I really like Slammed. The blatant disregard for personal safety and "borderline" stalker behaviour made this a fail for me. I want books with characters who don't have to put up with obsessive, stalker-like and abusive relationships because they find those attributes hot because said love interest is hot. Stop the madness!...more
Sarah Dessen, what happened? Your books used to be so wonderful but now they all seem to be lacking something. I'm not sure if it's because I've readSarah Dessen, what happened? Your books used to be so wonderful but now they all seem to be lacking something. I'm not sure if it's because I've read the majority of your books and I know your formula or if it's time for me to take a break from you.
Let's start with how absolutely unlikable Emaline was. I've never been so put off by a character before. A character, in my opinion, can whine all they want as long as they're taking the initiative to better themselves and those around them. Emaline is a pushover and has no voice of her own. She can't even (view spoiler)[talk to her father about the college fiasco (hide spoiler)]. She complains about how her small town is smothering her but doesn't do anything to change her situation. She judges her friends quite harshly, especially that of (insert her BFF name that I can't remember here) and Theo. When someone can't see their own faults, I fail to connect with them.
Dessen plots are usually slow but they always feels like they're progressing. The Moon and More's plot felt like a car riding its brakes with the driver, Dessen, never letting anything take off. Each time progress was made, something would come along and stall the plot. For example, we have a great story developing between Emaline and her estranged father but then Theo comes into the picture and stalls the plot to a crawl. Also, what was up with all the "deep, philosophical" sentences that ended each chapter? When it becomes blatantly obvious, tone it down a bit.
The main notion that killed this book for me was Emaline and Lucas' relationship that was just a convenient plot device. In the beginning, Lucas was a great boyfriend that Emaline would gush about but as the story progressed she started hating him and would bitch constantly about his flaws (and refusing to see her own). There was a lot of talk about how he was deteriorating as a boyfriend but we didn't see any of this regression happening. Furthermore, (view spoiler)[Lucas cheating was completely out of character. It was a convenient action created by Dessen so Emaline can go be free with Theo and it had no merit to it (hide spoiler)].
Despite my complaints, there were definitely redeeming aspects to the novel. I enjoyed Emaline's family, especially that of her and her sisters and Benji. Their interaction was fun to read and completely believable. Dessen has always been great with interweaving great familial subplots amongst her romances. I also enjoyed Theo despite him being a complete pushover. His ambition reminds me of many people of my age who will do anything to score their dream job. Having worked at a fashion magazine, I've definitely witnessed such ambition.
Like any Dessen story, this is one of self-discovery and finding what's true to yourself. I abandoned this book 2/3 of the way in because it didn't have the same spark as her previous novels. I think it might have been because her characters were a bit more privileged than I'm used to and they had no "real" struggle like overcoming rape culture, escaping an abusive relationship, etc. Emaline's struggle was escaping her small town and finding her potential and it was a little too bland for me. Fingers crossed Dessen gets her spark back.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more