I've been a looooong time fan of this story (in its various forms), so I can't really say that this review will be judicious. There will be lots of faI've been a looooong time fan of this story (in its various forms), so I can't really say that this review will be judicious. There will be lots of fangirling. You have been warned.
This story is crazy in a very, very good way. Reading it in its original form as a teenager opened up to world of politics, and it just made the things I learned in history class become more immediate. I loved how the author created her own country with its own language and culture.
I love Sophia's character, how BA she is. I love reading about intelligent characters, and everyone here is brilliant and good at what they do. It's inspiring to read about characters who work hard and make a difference in the world.
I absolutely love the mind games that are part of this novel. Marksfeld manages to get her characters out of rock and hard place situations in a way that's realistic. (Although there needs to be a slight suspension of belief.)
What sets this novel apart of other romance novels, I think, is that the main characters actually have to work at their relationship. There is no love at first sight, no "this love is so different that everything is just perfect." There was no cliched contemporary arc, the one that's like main characters get together, have perfect couple of days/weeks/month, and then a misunderstanding breaks them apart just in time for the climax.
It makes me wish that this novel was marketed in a different genre. I think it has so much more potential to be taken as more serious literature if it was categorized in a different genre. It's not to look down on the romantic genre, but it would reach a wider audience and shed some of the preconceived notions associated with the genre. With some more editing and some marketing, I think this has the potential to be on the NYT bestseller list.
One of the things I missed most from the previous version I had read was the details about Sophie and Michael's year in GYL. GYL was a great experience to read about, and it also really built up Sophie and Michael's relationship. It helped me understand what was so great about their bond, how it developed. I can see how without those details that their relationship would seem flat. And not just that, the chronicles of their GYL year helped develop their friendship with Ana and Carter and the other people in their class.
TL;DR: This is a great updated version of the original story, although I miss some of the old content terribly. If this is your first time reading this story, be ready for mind games, intelligent writing, brilliant characters, and a gripping plot. All served with a side of romance. ...more
This book was really hard to rate. On one hand, I really hated the main character, Allyson, in the beginning. She was so whiny. Honestly, why would'tThis book was really hard to rate. On one hand, I really hated the main character, Allyson, in the beginning. She was so whiny. Honestly, why would't you want to go to Europe with your best friend? I almost couldn't get past the first chapter.
On the other hand, this book is just so beautiful. Everything from the setting to the prose is gorgeous. Reading it, I get a sense of false realism. The things that Allyson goes through is so relatable. (I call it fake realism because I knew everything would work out for Allyson in the end. Unlike in real life where things could potentially NOT work out.)
This book has the best characters. They're unique, but not to the point of not being believable. ...more
This book was a solid three stars... until the end.
At the beginning, I really like this novel. It had relatable themes about life after college, abouThis book was a solid three stars... until the end.
At the beginning, I really like this novel. It had relatable themes about life after college, about figuring out what to do with your life, and what makes a good, successful life. It had pretty sentences and realistic, well-rounded main characters who were some-what likeable.
And then it dragged for such. A. Long. Time. (view spoiler)[(I mean, since the beginning we've known that Em and Dex would get together. And I couldn't really believe why they didn't for so long. It was ten years!) (hide spoiler)]And the ending totally was not a good enough pay-off.
I can see why the author choose the ending as he did. It was probably where the concept of the book began, but I think his editor could have said something along the lines of, "It makes no sense. It's convoluted and unnecessary. You're novel has evolved to SAY something else. Get rid of that atrocious ending."
My problem with isn't that it's one of those borderline novels. (This novel is neither truly "literary fiction" or romance or chick-lit. It's kind of all encompassing, which is fine, especially because it spans for such a long time.) But the problem I had with it is that it didn't really have a point. I was left with a kind of... "okay, so what?" feeling.
For a novel of almost four hundred pages, it really didn't say much. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I guess if you compare this book to Beautiful Disaster, it's leaps and bounds better, but since Beautiful DisMeh. I don't get what the fuss is about.
I guess if you compare this book to Beautiful Disaster, it's leaps and bounds better, but since Beautiful Disaster is such an awful book, anything my fifth-grade sister wrote would be better.
I mean, yes, the main character, Jacqueline, actually has a personality, but the fact that she followed her boyfriend to college (view spoiler)[and was willing to follow Lucas to where he was going (hide spoiler)] is NOT OKAY. Plus, the author said that Jacqueline was a music major, but yet, she went days without practicing! That's ridiculous. And I felt like everything Jacqueline ever did in her life was have a boyfriend. She was with Kennedy since her junior year of high school. Then, she went to college and got another boyfriend three weeks after being dumped by her old one. Doesn't the girl ever take a break and be single?
The male leading character was too perfect. Jonah Griggs is much more preferred as a bad boy.
The one thing I thought was really outstanding about this book was how Webber dealt with the issue of rape. It was neither overly dramatic, nor was a prodded with a ten-foot pole. It was very realistic, especially in the context of a college campus. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Aaaand here we are again. Another Twilight wannabe, except there's nothing paranormal about this book. However, there is a jealous, overprotective, anAaaand here we are again. Another Twilight wannabe, except there's nothing paranormal about this book. However, there is a jealous, overprotective, anger-management-issues boyfriend whose lines that are sappier than a maple tree in the winter, and then, there's the Mary Sue main character. I, for the life of me, can't figure out why the guy likes her. She's got no personality but apparently a sordid past makes up for that. (It makes me laugh that her last name is Abernathy. (view spoiler)[and that her father's a drunk (hide spoiler)] Am I the only one who thinks of Haymitch Abernathy from Hunger Games?!)
This book is supposedly written in first person, but it seems like the author started writing this in third person and then changed all the "she's" into "I's." For example, when Abby get drunk, she can still think in graceful, coherent sentences. I know I haven't had a lot (or any) personal experience with alcohol, but from I've learned in health class, I'm pretty sure getting drunk affects the brain's functions.
Let's just not get into how unrealistic this book it. Honestly, the author writes college like it's high school, except with no parent supervision. I really don't think there's a rumor mill in college. And a underground fighting rink? What? (view spoiler)[Plus, she sleeps with Travis WITHOUT birth control and doesn't get pregnant?! Okay, did this woman take a biology course?! Well, she does talk about mitosis at one point... (hide spoiler)] Not to mention there's no development of their relationship.
I'm not even going to bother listing all the things wrong with Abby and Travis's relationship.
I guess the only redeeming thing about this novel is that Abby did have a legitimate reason to stay away from Travis. Other then the typical you're-a-bad-boy-and-I'm-going-to-get-burned reason. And the book is strangely addicting; I finished half of it before I realized what I was doing.
But honestly, after I came to my senses, it made me feel sick. That's a pretty bad sign if a novel meant for entertainment made me nauseous. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was reluctant to pick up these books for a really long time because they became popular during the peak of the Twilight hype, and I figured these weI was reluctant to pick up these books for a really long time because they became popular during the peak of the Twilight hype, and I figured these were one of those bandwagon books. And I'm not exactly fond of vampire books.
But I'm really glad I did pick this up four years later.
Things I liked about this book: -Rose. She is SUCH a kick-butt heroine, and her voice resonates with me, someone else who's fluent in sarcasm. Plus, she's the girl going into a "profession" that is male-dominated. -The fact that the Moroi and Dhampir have to work in order to be good at what they do. -Rose and Dimitri... what can I say? I'm a sucker for older guys (view spoiler)[and taboo student-teacher relationships. (hide spoiler)] -The "power-shifts." I find this a very interesting dynamic of the academy. It made sense because with all the royals living together there had to be backstabbing. It made it seem more realistic, and the school really came alive. Of course, if this was in a normal high school setting, it would be over-the-top and Gossip Girl-esqe.
Things that I didn't really like: -Would it kill the author to have Dimitri stop reading Western novels and cut his hair? (Really, he should be reading literature.) -Lissa. She's portrayed in such a stereotypical way. Weak and dependent on Rose. Kind-hearted and nice to everyone. Yes, she gets better as the book progresses, but I would like to see what she would be like without Rose protecting her, with her own set of claws.
All in all, not a bad book. I'm definitely reading the second one in the series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I don't really have anything to compare this to since I don't read angel lore, but YA pararomance-wise, it was better than average. I think, actually,I don't really have anything to compare this to since I don't read angel lore, but YA pararomance-wise, it was better than average. I think, actually, what impressed me most about this book is the romance. It actually felt natural for once! Yay!
The hardest part to get through was the beginning; some of what Clara says is just so... typical in YA novels. High school cliques; her not fitting in at school; the popular, prom queen, Regina George girlfriend; the extremely handsome, love-at-first-sight boy that she has to save. (view spoiler)[(The line that I hated most in this novel: "Crap. No one's ever called me a dorkina before. Derivative of dork. Not good" (Hand, 6). It just screams "I'm trying too hard to sound like a teenager!" to me. And plus, Clara was popular in California, wasn't she?) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more