Even though Deadly Little Secret is just over 250 pages, it took me almost a week to get through it because it was so incredibly flat and boring. I haEven though Deadly Little Secret is just over 250 pages, it took me almost a week to get through it because it was so incredibly flat and boring. I had to force myself to finish it just so I could find out who the villain was and even that payoff wasn't worth the trouble.
Deadly Little Secret lacks interesting characters you want to root for, a truly suspenseful plot, and the romance between Ben and Camelia is stale and unbelievable. The first half of the book is a clear ripoff of Twilight, from Ben saving Camelia getting crushed by a car to the two of them having to be partners in a science class, and the second half's potential was killed by Camelia's utter stupidity regarding her stalker and the half-assed plot device that kept her from telling her parents about it. Girl, someone is invading your home, leaving your threatening messages, and clearly intends to hurt you - tell your damn parents about it and call the cops, don't rely on some stupid boy who "accidentally" killed his last girlfriend and doesn't trust authorities, okay? By the time the stalker was revealed, I was so fed up with Camelia that I was skimmed the last 40 pages or so.
I will not be continuing on with this series....more
Awaken, the blessedly final book in Meg Cabot's Underworld trilogy, was a mindnumbingly awful experience. I should've stopped readinWow, what a mess.
Awaken, the blessedly final book in Meg Cabot's Underworld trilogy, was a mindnumbingly awful experience. I should've stopped reading this series after the second book nearly put me into a rage coma, but curiosity kills the book reviewer and all that. This third book was less ragey, but full of more eye rolls, exasperated sighs, and sad musings on why someone had apparently let Awaken get published on its first revision.
For those of you who haven't put yourself through the misery of this series yet, here's a brief plot rundown: main character Pierce Oliviera had a Near Death Experience and while in the Underworld, met it's ruler John Hayden, and impressed him enough that he continued stalking her after she escaped back to the living world. Pierce moves to Florida where the Underworld is, is stalked some more by John before he "saves" her from a Fury possessing her grandmother and takes her back to the Underworld. John and Pierce somehow fall in love in spite of John lying to Pierce multiple times and having quite some severe anger issues, and the two bum around the Underworld until she has to go back to save her cousin from dying. Or something. Whatever. The overall plot of the series is random, rambling, and basically non-existent in some places, so you'll have to forgive me for not remembering it all.
There was so much talking in this book. Cabot’s books are generally dialogue heavy anyway because it's her distinctive style, but god, Awaken was just pages and pages of talking when there should be action. The worst part was right at the beginning, when Pierce and John realized their Underworld boats would crash into the docks of spirits if they didn't do something, and then they spend like 10 pages talking about their TruLuv5Ever and why John was taking off his clothes and their plan of action and his childhood and blahblabhblah. How on earth did the boats not crash at some point in all of this? Many of the action scenes, or other exposition scenes, were in this rambly fashion and it drove me bananas.
As far as characters go, Pierce Oliviera is Meg Cabot’s Bella Swan. She’s a completely bland character with no ambitions who only gets more insufferable when John’s around, yet the other characters flock to her like she’s a super special goddess and I don’t understand her in-universe appeal. Her and John’s relationship is incredibly unhealthy, what with John’s jealous rages and general stalking behavior, and the whole “wild thing who needs to be tamed!” crap on Pierce’s end. It is so very telling that Mr. Smith notices the both of them are only somewhat decent people when they’re together - they complete each other's asshole tendencies. I wanted to hurl when they started talking about having babies at the end - puhlease, you are seventeen, Pierce, and you have known this douche for like two weeks. Calm down, and go to college. Oh wait, you don't want to do that either. Just... go away, Pierce.
And then, there were the multiple other issues, such as the rambling plot, the deus ex machina Fates showing up left and right, and the multiple, impotent villains. Did Cabot just pick a bunch of plot points out of a hat and decide to go with it at the end? Sure, throw in a badly explained excuse to use Thanatos, a drug ring, and a stereotypical Native American burial ground, who cares! I certainly didn't. I couldn't wait for the end of the book.
I've mused before that maybe I'm growing out of Meg Cabot's YA style, which might be true as she can't hold a candle to some of the newer authors in the genre, but the Abandon trilogy was just a terrible all-around experience. I know Cabot can write better paranormal romance than this, and I hope we see some of it again soon. ...more
I read Wake by Amanda Hocking and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to see what else she had out there and ended up with My Blood Approves. Definitely noI read Wake by Amanda Hocking and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to see what else she had out there and ended up with My Blood Approves. Definitely not the best choice I could've made. This book showcases exactly why Amanda Hocking made her fortune self-publishing first.
My Blood Approves wants to be Twilight so very bad, but it's nothing more than a cheap knock-off version. I wouldn't be surprised if this had started out as a Twilight fan fiction at some point before moving into more original fiction territory because the similarities are really noticeable, especially once the vampire family is introduced.
Hocking's writing wasn't terrible, but it's obviously a step down and possibly a few years (and an actual editor) removed from Wake. However, the plotting of My Blood Approves was horrendous. Absolutely nothing happens in this book besides Alice meeting Jack, becoming obsessed with Jack and his family, and her crying about Jack and Peter all the time. At least Twilight had some conflict in the last 200 pages to make the book interesting.
I thought Alice might be a likeable heroine, but she's even worse than Bella Swan and that's something you have to work mighty hard at achieving. She has absolutely no ambitions besides wanting to be part of Jack's family forever, has one friend who she secretly despises, doesn't care about her family aside from second thoughts about leavign Milo behind, and basically has no personality whatsoever. I hated her by the end of the book, especially once she started whining about not wanting to live if Jack's family left her behind. Get a grip, girl, you've known them for 20 minutes.
The only likeable character in the bunch in Milo, Alice's little brother that Jack outs in the most ridiculous way. Hocking was a little gross about LGBT issues in this book, so I hope that's something she learned a lot about since this was published. ...more
Although I burned through the first two books in the Shadow Falls series and moderately enjoyed them, all the flaws of the series I was content to ignAlthough I burned through the first two books in the Shadow Falls series and moderately enjoyed them, all the flaws of the series I was content to ignored seemed to come out and hit me while I was reading Taken at Dusk this week.
Exposition is not C.C. Hunter's friend and it really shows it this book. I don't know how many times information was repeated over and over between scenes. Kylie couldn't have one thing happen to her without having it be re-explained to Holiday, Lucas or Derek two pages later. It's necessary for the characters, but annoying for the readers who already know what happen.
Like with the other two books, there's not a lot of plot or anything particularly suspenseful happening. When something does, it's lackluster and fizzles out almost immediately for more on Kylie's ridiculous relationship drama. If only the focus of Shadow Falls series wasn't the Lucas/Kylie/Derek love triangle because I was over the, "Omg, which one do I pic?!" drama in the first book already.
I was also really not a fan of Kylie this time around. I didn't mind her in the first part of the series - she's bland and relatively unoffensive except for her inability to not judge people who have had sex - but there were certain parts of this book that she was really self-righteous and obnoxious. Like the whole scene with confronting Ellie about having sex with Derek? What business was that of hers? Why should Ellie have to explain and apologize for having sex with Derek who isn't Kylie's boyfriend? What the hell. And don't even get me started with the way she's treated Sara the entire series.
Since I've already invested so much time in this series, I'll probably read the fourth book when it comes out in the fall....more