Because there is so much to cover already with this book, I have decided to start writing a review in the middle of reading it, so I don't forget my pBecause there is so much to cover already with this book, I have decided to start writing a review in the middle of reading it, so I don't forget my points as I slosh through the remaining pages. So with that said, I am currently on page 115/250 (So says my phone ereader), and this is what I have to say so far:
Ruby... why aren't you dead yet?!?!?!
I always imagined events like these (killer rain) to be natures way of cleansing the earth, and that at the end of it only the fittest will still be alive. So with that assumption firmly planted in my head I cannot figure out why Ruby of all people is still breathing. Well, okay, I suppose Simon is responsible for keeping her heart beating, but man did he have his work cut out for him!
Don't turn on the faucet, Ruby.
Don't fill the kettle with tap water, Ruby.
Pee and poop in the bucket, Ruby, don't use the toilet that has WATER in it.
JUST LET HER DO IT AND BE DONE WITH IT!!! PUT HER OUT OF HER GOD DAMN MISERY ALREADY!!!
I especially loved the list Simon wrote out for Ruby, of dos and don'ts in a world with contaminated water:
Don't go out in the rain
Don't touch anyone who's touched any water. Or any animal. Or anything. Don't touch anything that's touched any water.
Don't touch anyone who's sick or dead.
Don't touch or drink any tap water.
Don't use the toilet. No baths. No showers. Don't eat anything that's been outside. No fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat.
And her responses and thought processes to these rules. Let's just say at this point, if I hadn't done so sooner, I would have just killed Ruby myself.
By this point I am on page 50/250 and Ruby has seen first hand what the killer rain is capable of - her neighbour is sitting on their front law, dead for Christ's sake! A DEAD BODY IS ON THE LAWN, THE NEWS IS REPORTING PEOPLE DROPPING DEAD LIKE FLIES, and Ruby's main concern: Her fucking cell phone. Yep, she left her phone at her friend's house, and DESPITE THE PHONE AND INTERNET BEING DOWN, she just HAS TO HAVE this stupid phone.
I'm paraphrasing here, but her list of priorities went something like this:
Get my cell phone - which would mean seeing my friends, which is great, get my foundation. Go see Caspar. Get a shower first, no check the Net then shower. Figure out my outfit, then do emergency makeup, possibly having to borrow AKA steal makeup and perfume from Mom. Ask then borrow, or just borrow? Just borrow - it's an emergency after all. MY CELL - priority mission.
Yes, Ruby dear, you're on the right track...to meeting an untimely death. The entire world has gone to shit, the population is dwindling, but forget that! Quick, go and rescue your cell phone! The horror of being without it must be too much to cope with.
50 pages in and Ruby's focus doesn't shift from going to get her cell phone. She isn't even listening to Simon talking to her about the seriousness of what's happening because in her head she's angling for a way to get him to TAKE HER OUT IN THE KILLER RAIN so she can get her cell phone - oh, and see her friends (this is the after thought. Cell phone is mission critical, friends are a nice added bonus).
Moving on from the cell phone, let's address a few more things that highlight the fact Ruby is a flaming imbecile. KILLER RAIN = KILLER WATER = DO NOT USE WATER. Erego, Simon tells Ruby she has to poop in a bucket. She does, but not without some internal dialogue that basically amounts to how humiliated and embarrassed she feels at being degraded and having to poop in a bucket, and life was just so unfair that she had been reduced to that!
And she returns to the kitchen just BRISTLING from her ordeal, and her first comment is: "I suppose I can't even wash my hands."
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT, PLEASE!!! WASH YOUR HANDS RUBY, I'M BEGGING YOU!!!
Why has the severity of the situation not kicked in yet? How can she still be walking around like death isn't imminent? Why hasn't ANYTHING remotely intelligent crossed her mind? SHE'S SEEN DEAD PEOPLE, NEWS BROADCASTS ABOUT THE HOW BAD THINGS ARE and yet she STILL walks around with her head in the clouds, and I'm sorry, but I can't even put it down to denial.
She's just that stupid. And if this is supposed to be a reflection of the intelligence of today's youth in general, I'm sorry to say the species has no hope of survival.
REST OF REVIEW TO COME LATER
UPDATE: HAVING CONCLUDED THE BOOK, I WILL ATTEMPT TO ROUND UP MY REVIEW. BEWARE, LOTS OF ENRAGED RAMBLING TO FOLLOW. NO PROMISES THAT IT IS IN ANY WAY COHERENT OR COHESIVE
It took a lot of willpower to see this book through to the bitter end. Ruby is one of the worst heroines I have ever read about, and given my love of reading, that's saying a lot.
It's the end of the world, and she is more concerned with looting high end fashion stores and pilfering top brand makeup than with survival. Instead of gathering supplies like food and water, she goes shopping for flashy dresses, killer heels, tiaras, every shade of lipstick she's ever wanted but could never have afforded before the killer rain. But the only food scavenging she does is raiding the mini fridge in one of the boutiques.
Just. Die. Ruby. Seriously, just step out into the rain, I'm begging you!
She had no survival instincts whatsoever. Zip. Nada. Didn't check the sky for rain clouds before leaving the house, refused to dress up in waterproof gear or even plastic trash bags to protect herself from the rain because EW THAT WAS SO NOT COOL.
The water she did collect she WASTED by dying her hair - because hey, her mother was dead so now she could color her hair however she wanted.
I absolutely despised Ruby Morris with every fiber of my being. Hated the bitch and often hoped she'd die with every turn of the page - of course, I knew it wouldn't happen seeing as the entire story is a reflection piece she's writing of the apocalypse. Sigh. But I can still dream.
The reasons I'm giving THE RAIN a solid three stars:
1) The level of writing was pretty decent. It flowed well, and the tone was reflective of the character's age and portrayed her clueless, naive personality perfectly. Ruby wasn't a very intelligent character, and the writing demonstrated her mediocrity.
2)The premise was promising - it's execution could have gone down a hundred other different ways, all of them WITHOUT a Ruby as the main star, but the idea of killer rain was pretty intriguing. I also liked that everything was explained.
3)Simon. I really liked his character. He was a nerdy accountant, and Ruby's stepfather, but he really stepped up and without him Ruby would have died because she's so thick and needed constant reminding about turning on the God damned faucet. So I probably should hate him - what with him standing between Ruby and the death I really wanted her to experience, but I don't. Without Simon, I would have stopped reading the book altogether.
4) Darius Spratt and Princess. They gave me a reason to keep reading after Simon. Darius was, in Ruby's eyes, a legit nerd. Not a cool geek, just a loser nerd. But I liked him. He was sensible, smart, appropriately scared, and sometimes funny. Princess got bonus points simply for not liking Ruby. The one question that popped up though, was what happened to Princess when Ruby found Darius again while she was on the bus? She saw Darius, and Saskia, but where was Princess and the dog? Had they been cast off as well? I don't see Darius accepting that, but who knows?
So yes, while I hate this book with a passion, it did have a couple of redeeming qualities that kept me reading to the very end. Will I bother with book two? Unless someone tells me Ruby dies on page one and another protagonist with at least half a brain takes over, then it is extremely unlikely.
I'm actually starting to think these "New Adult" books are segregated to their own genre for one or two recurrWHAT IN THE FLYING FUCK DID I JUST READ?
I'm actually starting to think these "New Adult" books are segregated to their own genre for one or two recurring themes, not just because of their target audience.
THEME #1: The relationships are disgustingly dysfunctional and oftentimes insta-lust is mistaken for true love.
THEME #2: Most if not all characters are vapid and shallow, are so far from multi-faceted it's laughable, and the main character is usually a big fan of turning on her fellow women and labeling them as sluts, whores, bimmbos, all the while thinking the sun shines out of her ass.
But I digress... or maybe not, we shall see. After all this is probably going to devolve into one major fucked off rant to let off some steam while I wallow in misery over yet more precious hours of my life wasted on a book.
Where do I even start with this? Oh! I know, how about the obvious?
EDITING, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY!!! I spent most of my time reading this... this - ugh, I can't even call it a "book" without screwing my face up - trying to decipher what it was actually saying half the time. There were dozens of mistakes PER CHAPTER, some as simple as mixing up their, they're and there. At one point the author is saying "coward" instead of "cowered" and "perspective" instead of "prospective".
But the worst, God awful part was the use of commas and periods. At the end of a sentence a period is used. Not a comma, not a semicolon. To break up a particularly long sentence, commas are implemented. One does not just ramble on into oblivion WITHOUT THE USE OF A GODDAMN COMMA!
Putting the horrendous editing and proofreading aside (Was it even proofed or edited at all?), let us delve into other aspects of the *cringe* novel.
We have... Christ, I forgot her name, that's how bad I'm trying to repress the reading experience! Oh, it's coming back, albeit extremely reluctantly. We have Shaw, the main protagonist.
Shaw is pretty, but supposedly unaware of her allure. She's a good girl who keeps out of trouble. She comes from a wealthy family who like to think of her more as an accessory than an actual human being. She has somewhat of a surrogate family in the form of the Archer's, who basically took her in and labelled her the daughter/sister they never had. She's pre-med at Denver University, smart, school oriented, and of course, the big detail is that she's in love with her dead best friend's twin brother.
Now for the bombs to start dropping!
Shaw is a traitor to her own gender, and all because the guy she THINKS she's been in love with for six years likes to fuck anything with tits and a heartbeat. She is so used to seeing him nude in bed with sometimes more than one woman at a time, that she automatically dumps every single woman he's been with in the SLUT category. Because, you know, it's just SOOOOO morally wrong for a single young woman to want to engage in no strings attached, one night stand sex. Yeah, obviously only men are allowed to tap and gap and still be considered respectable.
On a side note: Why was there not one single girl in this shit ass piece of crap - ahem, i mean book - that wasn't running around with her ample cleavage hanging out throwing herself at some uber hot guy AKA sex god of the moment? Seriously, all I read about were these desperate, slutty, stupid women in their too tight clothing with their collective double digit IQs rubbing up on Rule or his buddies, doing their utmost to grab his attention. There was even mention of multiple women getting meaningless tattoos just so they could be in his presence. LIKE WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK???
WHERE ALL THE NORMAL, SANE BITCHES BE AT??
It was like reading about an alternate universe in which intelligent women who could control their twitching loins just didn't exist. except of course our infallible heroine who could do no wrong. Self constructed pedestal anyone?
Yeah, yeah, digressing again, I know. Back to characters!
Rule is misunderstood. He's angsty and temperamental and all around just such a cool guy. You just have to get to know him. G'head, give him a chance...or ten...thousand. Rule works as a tattoo artist, is covered in custom ink, sports a Mohawk and multiple piercings (including several in his dick), rooms with his best friend Nash, and isn't picky when it comes to which woman he's going to take home and bang, only to rush them out of his place as soon as he wakes up.
Apparently all of these traits just make him so...desirable. I must need my brain re wired, because nothing about Rule was attractive in the least. I found him to be a chauvinistic pig. Someone who had no respect for others, especially women, who was so self absorbed I was surprised his inflated head from his fucking humongous ego could fit through any doors.
And of course our love story gets a kick start when Rule, who's known Shaw for years and hasn't had the slightest inclination to tap her ass, suddenly shows interest when he sees her at work in a uniform that barely covers her ass.
Kudos Shaw, for finally bagging your guy - we'll just forget the tiny detail where he was more interested in your ass than your stunning personality.
Rule throws tantrums that would make a two year old envious. He sulks and broods whenever things don't go his way, and though he claims to know what his faults are and exactly what repercussions they have on himself and other people, he makes no noticeable effort to better himself.
So after such a character analysis, pray tell, WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO BE ATTRACTED TO? He makes me want to hurl something at his fucked up head!
I have to keep telling myself to remain calm.
Be still, my murderous rage.
Since most of the book revolved around these two idiots, and I'm running out of steam and patience to keep tearing things apart, I'm just going to lay it out in some bullet points.
- The plot was weak, almost non existent. - Character development was at an all time low. - There was more telling than actually showing. - Most scenes were primarily dialogue with little action. - Most dialogue was very bland and tended to be repetitive of inner monologues. - Stupidity was at an all time high. - Breaking up with someone because they tell you your brother was gay is fucking ridiculous. So is giving someone the silent treatment because of it. Fucking grow a pair and man the fuck up, assholes!
And I'm done. This shit is just laughable and a waste of the time it took to get it published.
55 pages into Crash by Nicole Williams and here are my thoughts so far, in no orderly, cohesive or sophisticated way.
HOW DO I ALWAYS MANAGE TO STUMBLE55 pages into Crash by Nicole Williams and here are my thoughts so far, in no orderly, cohesive or sophisticated way.
HOW DO I ALWAYS MANAGE TO STUMBLE ACROSS THE WORST PIECES OF WRITING OUT THERE IN THE WORLD? WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? AM I JUST DIGGING IN THE WRONG GENRE BIN? IS THERE NO MORE HOPE FOR YA OR THIS THING WE HAVE RECENTLY LABELLED 'NEW ADULT'? BECAUSE I'M LOSING HOPE, AND INCREDIBLY FAST WITH THIS LATEST... CAN I EVEN CALL IT A NOVEL WITHOUT INSULTING OTHER NOVELS OUT THERE WHO'VE EARNED THE TITLE?
But I digress...or at least, I've jumped ahead of myself a little bit. Methinks I need to go back a few steps to lay out exactly what I have turned my nose up at so far.
JUDE RYDER Yes. Jude Freaking Ryder, the resident bad boy who's always doing stints in juvie, walks around in long sleeves and a knit cap while everyone else is melting in the heat, is supposedly godlike in his looks with his Adonis body.
Despite warning Lucy off him and telling her repeatedly and oh-so-earnestly that he is no good for her, he then builds her a dog kennel and puts a shiny red bow on it along with a note asking her to go out on a date with him. So... lemme get this straight. You tell the chick to back the fuck of for her own good, then do something you know is bound to make her fall in worship at your feet. How contrary, Mr. Ryder. OR SADISTIC!!!! See, these games Jude is playing just do not fly with me. I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE IF HE'S GOING TO PLAY MIND FUCKERY GAMES THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.
To add to his douchebaggery, his so-called friends pop up when he's with Lucy, make crass comments about wanting to get a piece of that ass when Jude's done with her, and because Lucy pokes fingers at them, they decide to pay her a midnight visit.
Because a girl poking fingers at you is just the pinnacle of humiliation.
But! It gets worse. They light her new dog kennel on fire with the poor defenseless dog trapped inside to lure Lucy out of her house so they can SET HER HAIR ON FIRE, CHOKE HER, GAG HER, DOUSE HER IN GASOLINE, AND ATTEMPT TO BURN HER ALIVE.
Cue major eye rolling, because we all know in this ridiculously unrealistic situation Jude comes to the rescue at the very last minute. Convenient of him, no? Snaps for Jude, everybody, snaps for Jude.
And after he pummels his friends and saves the day, and is taken away by the police and sent back to juvie for a few weeks, he steers clear of Lucy. No call, no show, no Morse code, no SOS smoke signals. But, lo and behold on the first day of school he sees her in the cafeteria and heads on over to say a happy hello. Like she wasn't almost murdered by his friends. Like everything is right in the world and her new haircut that he likes wasn't the result of his friends SETTING IT ON FIRE. Is he for fucking real??
LUCY LARSON Why must I discover yet another YA female protagonist who just has NO CONTROL OVER HER GOD DAMN HORMONES WHEN THERE'S A PRETTY FACE COUPLED WITH A BIT OF MYSTERY INVOLVED?
It just baffles the mind, it really does. I can understand the attraction part - sometimes we just like who we like. But the part where intelligence and IQs drop to single digits and we throw all common sense out the window so that we can literally end up getting lit on fire? No, this I do not get. Nor do I want to because I want to keep my self preservation.
Maybe I'm not being fair though. Lucy has the potential to be smart, she does. But only if Jude moved to the other side of the world, to a place without internet connection or any communications devices at all. Otherwise she's doomed, as we all already know.
I suppose what bugs me the most so far is her totally blase attitude surrounding her ATTEMPTED MURDER at the hands of Jude's "brothers of a sort". The girl was DOUSED IN GASOLINE and this close to someone lighting her up, and yet afterwards, or well, so far, the only mention of it is that she's mourning the loss of her hair.
That's it - woe is me, my poor hair is missing two feet and I squirt too much shampoo into my palm now.
I'm sorry, but I like to think that any normal person would be a teensy bit more alarmed or traumatized over the experience. But hey, I guess that's just me, and what the hell do I know?
And as a side note: Lucy's mother. WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT BITCH? After her daughter was nearly burned alive, the only questions she has are about Jude because she wants confirmation of his delinquency. Yep, came this close to burying your kid but who cares about that in the face of confirming Jude is a bad influence for Lucy. I mean, considering everything that just happened, HOW DO YOU NOT COME TO THAT CONCLUSION ON YOUR OWN, YOU STUPID COW?
God, I am about ready to call this a DNF.
Unfortunately my stubbornness wants me to continue just a bit more in the hopes that maybe realism smacks the author upside the head, but I won't hold my breath.
UPDATE: Alas, I have completed the book. Unfortunately my IQ and general intelligence has suffered greatly as a result. Because there were just too many instances to keep track of where I either wanted to gouge my eyes out, punch something, or throw my phone out the nearest window, I started flagging the pages so I could come back later and use them as reference for this review (AKA the rage of Starzee).
59 tags. There would have been more but I got slack and couldn't be bothered anymore. That, and I realised I'd never have enough space to fit them all in. I think to make life easier, I'm just going to put some quotes up, rage a little over them, and then call it a day. I figure what I've said already coupled with my rating gets my point across.
So let's begin, shall we?
"You're telling me they're calling you a slut?" "Apparently." Jude punched the nearest locker so hard the metal caved beneath his fist.
A couple of guys greeted him in passing. His reply was another fist slammed into a locker.
Yes. I get it already. The boy has anger issues up the wazoo. I don't need a reminder every ten lines, delivered so ridiculously it makes me hate the boy even more with each passing page. I mean, is this really where I'm meant to swoon and sigh over how dreamy this guy is? Because I'm closer to looking up restraining orders.
"Shut up you sons of bitches!" Jude's voice vibrated the room and everyone did just as requested. The principal attempted to retrieve the microphone... Jude shook his head once and peaked a brow. Whatever silent words the principal picked up from that look was enough for him to back away.
So... am I to take away from this that an entire student body is just so riveted by one fucked up teenager that they all stopped what they were doing to gaze in awe? Do they all share one brain? Are they not individuals? Because that is the only possibility in which AN ENTIRE STUDENT BODY WOULD ALL STOP WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO LET SOME JACKASS HIJACK THE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY. And even if this somehow did happen. WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS? Not one member of faculty, or a single security guard was present who could have wrestled control back from a single teenager? Puh-fucking-lease!
I had my answer at the end of third period when I caught a glimpse of Jude walking down the hall a ways in front of me. The hall was packed, shoulder to shoulder, but wherever he walked, the crowd parted, like water breaking against an island.
For fuck's sake, really, this just reinforces my earlier point - THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY JUST BOWS DOWN BEFORE THIS LITTLE JACKASS?? Really? What fantasy land is this?
"I thought you didn't do the whole flowers, date, girlfriend thing." "I didn't. But I think you might have changed my mind on all that."
Right. So in the almost week that you've known Luce, tell us Jude, what exactly about her has you changing your entire M.O and reforming to become an upstanding citizen. What have you discovered about Luce in the mere few collective hours you've spent with her that sets her apart from the dozens who've come before her? I AM SO OVER THIS INSTA-LOVE BULLSHIT! AND THE STEREOTYPICAL BAD BOY WHO JUST UNDERGOES AN INSTANTANEOUS PERSONALITY TRANSPLANT.
"Black absorbs all color, accepts them, takes them into it and let them define it. Gray isn't anything but itself. It absorbs nothing but itself." This was clearly something he'd thought about. He didn't wear gray because it was his favorite color; he wore it for a deep seeded philosophical reason.
He wears gray because he's a royal douche. Okay, probably not. But in all seriousness, given Jude's character analysis so far, I find it very suspect that he can come up with such a reason. And honestly, instead of this dubious reason making him appeal to me even more as I suppose its purpose is, it makes me loathe him that tiny bit more, because really, what kind of seventeen year old searches for the deepest meaning they can find to justify the color scheme of their wardrobe?
When Taylor had come bouncing up to me after school to announce I'd been voted one of the two homecoming queens for the senior class...
Uh-huh. Naturally, you've been attending the school for literally a week but of course the majority of the student population, who've so far labelled you a slut and cower from your sort of boyfriend in abject fear, have all heard of who you are and just had to vote for you because there was nobody else they'd rather see win the crown.
I found him marching up the concrete stairs, aiming an empty water bottle at a boy who was scrambling as fast as he could go up the stairs. Jude arched his arm back and spiraled that bottle straight into the back of the guy's head. From a good thirty yards away.
Thirty yards. An empty water bottle. Give me a fucking break.
"Let him play QB. He's stronger than your two best guys put together, he's got an arm the Mannings would envy, and he's accurate as a sniper."
"I've seen him, Coach. He's the real deal."
You saw him throw an empty water bottle at someone's head. One time. And suddenly he's the best QB in the world? Yes, I see your reasoning. Oh, Luce, you pure genius, you! (Please note the heavy sarcasm -_-)
I also love that he gets to suit up because the backup QB is on academic probation and therefore can't play. Yet oddly enough, Jude who has the worst grades according to Luce's observation, is allowed to play without the team being disqualified? Not only that, but later is offered full rides to practically the college of his choice, as well as being considered for the NFL straight out of high school. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't colleges require their athletes to have a certain GPA? And don't high school athletes have to meet the same requirements to be able to participate? I guess the laws of man just don't exist for people like Jude Ryder.
"You're cheerleader material. You're gorg, you have experience, and ninety percent of the male student body is already jacking off to you."
Wow jeez, if I'd known all you needed to become a successful high school cheerleader was a pretty face and to be top quality jack off fantasy material for guys, I would have - nope, actually I still wouldn't want to be a cheerleader.
He was allowed to have made mistakes and have regrets, but could I live with those and the consequences of them?
Yes. Because every single person Jude slept with before you was automatically a mistake or regret. Nice going with the assumptions there.
Another horn blast, this one not nearly as polite. Punching the dashboard again, Jude shoved the door open.
Jude lunged to the jacked-up truck behind us and began pounding on the tinted glass driver's window. "Hey douchebag. Open the door and let's settle this like men! What? You think you're the shit because you can blast your horn at a guy trying to have a serious conversation with his girl?"
Not gonna lie, I would have paid this man in the truck to back up and run Jude the fuck over. Bonus points if he then backed up over him for good measure. Because that's what you should get for sitting AT A GREEN FUCKING LIGHT and then getting shitty when someone who's waiting for your ass to move at THIS GREEN FUCKING LIGHT beeps at you.
And you know what? I'm done. I have about 50 more tags I could elaborate on, but what's the point? I can't be fucked wasting any more time on this. Besides, I've finally figured it out. This novel has obviously been listed under incorrect categories. Instead of YA or NA or DRAMA or ROMANCE it should have just been put into one:
That's the only explanation because God knows there was nothing realistic about this from start to finish.
I started reading Beautiful DisasterTWO YEARS AGO.
Never has it taken me so long to complete a book in my life. And what do I have to say at the end oI started reading Beautiful DisasterTWO YEARS AGO.
Never has it taken me so long to complete a book in my life. And what do I have to say at the end of it all? I am so upset that I will NEVER get those precious hours back again. They're gone. Wasted on 416 pages of... of... I don't even have an adequate word.
Please note: Spoilers throughout.
Jamie McGuire what were you thinking??
Before I rant and rave over how I felt about reading this... this... thing!... I just need to make myself clear. This is not a personal dig at Jamie McGuire. I appreciate her writing abilities - the fact that she can coherently put together sentences, and then paragraphs, to create a complete manuscript is a feat in itself really.
I know writing isn't easy, and I do congratulate her on being able to publish several pieces of writing.
And although I say this isn't a personal dig, that it's merely the opinion of one reader, I know if she does happen to read this (not likely, being that she's a busy person writing all them books) she will probably take great offense and want to hunt me down to make me choke on me words.
So, in the interest of full disclosure...
Ms. McGuire, I do not apologise for the review I am about to write because it is written with 100% honesty. I do, however, encourage other readers to attempt the book before they write it off based solely on what I have to say.
Alrighty then! Where do I even begin?
How about we start off with Abby Abernathy.
WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. WRONG. WITH. THAT. GIRL?
Ahem. I mean, Abby dear, it's time somebody told you that they're called ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, even if there is no physical violence, and that CO-DEPENDENCY is not cute, it's creepy and suffocating.
Abby is supposed to be a good girl. She is supposed to be keeping her head down and her grades up while she leads a semi-boring, perfectly normal life. Naturally that means going to an illegal underground fighting match, and later getting involved with a mentally unstable, deranged lunatic who practically stalks her until she finally concedes and agrees to a wager. Oh! And then, in her good girl role, she moves in with said deranged lunatic stalker, and proceeds to swoon over how overbearingly "protective" he is - FYI - anger issues and over protectiveness are NOT the same thing!
Moving on for now! Let us delve into the fucked up mind of Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox.
At least part of his name is something I can agree with. "DOG" Yep, that about sums him up nicely. Because GOD DAMN that boy has some serious issues. Trashing an entire apartment that technically isn't even yours - it belongs to your cousin - because you wake up to discover the girl you've just slept with isn't there? Totes normal, right? Oh, completely! So is hunting her down later to demand why she left without saying goodbye. Beating the crap out of someone because Abby basically sicced you on them? Yeah, the term 'dog' does come to mind for that one. Get 'em boy, get 'em.
OH AND DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE STUPIDEST OF STUPID NICKNAMES HE GAVE HER!! PIGEON? REALLY?
*Sees girl he has a crush on* Hmmm... Why don't I go ahead and think up a nice nickname for you? Oh! Got it! How about a pest of a bird that shits EVERYWHERE ALL OF THE TIME, has beady fucking eyes and scavenges for scraps of food? PERFECT!
And then! Travis has the audacity to rail on someone for calling her "Abs", making it known by yelling at the poor guy that "Abs" is a shit nickname.
Yeah... he's right. Pigeon just has so much more... flare to it. Uh huh, total winner right there.
So much so, he gets it TATTOOED on his wrist. Yep. Fucking inked that shit right onto his skin coz it's so cool.
Which leads me to one of many of Abby's decisions that really has me questioning her sanity. WHY WOULD YOU TATTOO "MRS. MADDOX" ON YOUR BODY??? Is having it on your mail, your driver's licence, and any other legal documents not enough?? Can't you just admire that title on a piece of paper and call it a day? OF COURSE NOT! Because that's what sane, rational people do, not Abby Abernathy: Good Girl Who Lost Her Mind!!
Okay, dialling back from my I-lost-my-shit-and-then-some rant, let me try to objectively relay the things I thought were so ridiculous the amount of eye rolling I did strained my poor eyeballs.
1) The relationship in general.
I have never come across two people (fictional or not) who were so wrong together. Abby and Travis were so volatile I was actually waiting for them both to simultaneously explode and take out the rest of the world with them. I didn't see love. I saw insta-lust, an infatuation they MISTOOK for undying love. Probably proven by the many break ups and make ups over petty things, their inability to sit the fuck down and talk about their feelings, the fact Travis DESTROYED an apartment when he woke up to find Abby gone, oh, and one of my favourites was when Travis literally threw Abby over his shoulder and took her from a party, completely ignoring her repeated screams to put her down and let her go. Funny, not even her clawing at him and BITING him got the message through her head.
2) Travis Maddox
I am probably part of a very small, teensy tiny minority that ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DESPISED Travis. Hated him. And I know, hate is such a strong word! But it applies, very much so in this case. Maddox needs help. Lots of help. From paid professionals. He is SUPPOSED to come across as an alpha-type male, strong, capable, sexual, and yeah, he's SUPPOSED to be slightly emotionally repressed, just so the girls can swoon over his growing feelings towards Abby.
How did I see him?
Travis is a sociopath. His behaviour is unacceptable. He chases Abby like she's a piece of meat for the taking. He doesn't understand the word no. When presented with a situation he doesn't like, he throws tantrums, drinks himself into a stupor, resorts to physical violence, or a combination of all three. His arrogance doesn't come across as sexy, it comes across as pretentious and gag-inducing.
Fact: Travis would NOT have been able to win those fights without training. Sad to say, but the world just doesn't work that way. Someone who doesn't go to the gym, doesn't do any form of exercise, doesn't keep up with any type of fight training, simply CANNOT best guys that do. It is often commented that Travis's opponents have been training and that he should be mindful. Oh, but lo and behold Travis Maddox is the first human being on the face of the earth who is just a NATURALLY brilliant fighter. He can even take down multiple trained thugs in Vegas, he's so awesome! *Eyeroll*
Fact: If Abby really did drink all nineteen shots of Patron she wouldn't have "danced into the morning". Hell, she wouldn't have danced anywhere, she would have been far too busy hugging the toilet, provided she didn't have alcohol poisoning and require an ambulance.
4) The massacring of the exclamation mark. Why did it feel like nearly every piece of dialogue ended in a ! Oh, that would be because it did. *Cringe*
5) I've decided there are just too many facets of the book I wanted to rip my hair out over, and so I cannot be bothered with any more. I also can't remember any more off the top of my head on account of my brain trying to repress the hours spent torturing myself.
Because there's ALWAYS a but!
I will say that for it's many faults, there was something I did like about the book: America.
She was the ONLY character that didn't make me want to throw the book out the window, or light it on fire. I enjoyed her fiery personality, the way she didn't back down from Travis like everyone else did. Her loyalty to Abby, how she never left Abby to fend for herself and ALWAYS took Abby's side, even if Abby was bring a total dipshit. She also had the best lines - here is one lovely examples to end my tirade:
"So help me God, Travis! If you try to stop her, I will douse you with gasoline and light you on fire while you sleep!"
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whetheMagic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whether I’m glad or disappointed that I picked it up.
The story has definitely left me with mixed emotions, most of them leaning towards the negative side.
Allie Beckstorm is a magic user, and a Hound - someone for hire who goes around tracing people’s magic signatures back to the owner, usually in cases where the owner has done some magic offloading onto another person (something very much illegal). Over the curse of the story we find out that Allie is one of the best in the business at Hounding - something she lets the reader in on at various points throughout her journey. This was something that bothered me immensely, because by the end of the book I was far from convinced at her prowess and stellar Hounding skills. Sometimes she seemed quite incompetent and too dependant on others. I actually started to wonder how she coped with her job on a day to day basis. The decisions she made throughout the book were appalling and led me to believe she was a complete novice at her job instead of the best as she claimed herself to be. She made stupid decision after stupid decision and never learnt from her mistakes. Hell, she seemed more than eager to thrust herself headlong back into the danger, only thinking about what a bad idea it was after all was said and done.
Add in Zayvion Jones, an enigmatic, suspicious, and secretive character who just happened to be around each and every time Ali got herself into another shit-storm so he could be her knight in shining armour and it sealed the deal of turning Allie from an independent, self sufficient woman into an incompetent, needy, almost clingy woman whose only saving grace was her magical talents - which she used neglectfully anyway.
The first time she used her magic in the story was to Hound a small boy to figure out who had hurt him magically. Drawing upon her own magic, she found the offender’s magical signature on the boy, but oopsie-daisy, she forgot to set a Disbursement spell so that her use of magic wouldn’t harm her as badly as it could have. For an experienced Hound, I found it hard to believe that she would forget something so crucial and so basic. And this was just the starting point in a long list of events where she excelled in showing readers her stupidity. I read to the end of the book in an almost desperate manner to try and find out where her intelligence and self preservation kicked in, but was left unsatisfied.
Basically, very disappointed, it was just mess up after mess up and ultimately the book fell into a boringly predictable pattern. The conclusion was anticlimactic to say the least, and I thought her ending up losing her memories of the entire adventure was a sad cop out.
The only saving grace to the entire thing was Nola, Allie’s best friend who lived out in the country where there was no magic. I loved Nola’s character. Unlike Allie, you could definitely see Nola clearly as an independent, self sufficient woman, strong and brave and comfortable with who she is and how her life is playing out. For the scenes where Allie and Nola were together, they actually just highlighted Nola’s resilience and made me realise how annoying and whiny and really stupid Allie was.
I am still contemplating on whether to read the rest of the series. So far, it’s not likely. ...more