Not ready to write a coherent review yet but this book is fantastic. So perceptive and Megan McCafferty must have read my mine somehow. It's very rela...moreNot ready to write a coherent review yet but this book is fantastic. So perceptive and Megan McCafferty must have read my mine somehow. It's very relatable especially now when I had a bit of a dip.
I try to read a lot of modern literature to improve my English. Some of them are pretentious, plotless and overly descriptive just for the h...moreChilling.
I try to read a lot of modern literature to improve my English. Some of them are pretentious, plotless and overly descriptive just for the hell of it but some are really great. This was one of the good ones. I was very invested in what would happen and I think Donoghue has taken an original story and made it her own. Sometimes it was hard to read but by writing this entirely from Jack's POV, it keeps it simple and a bit naive. Although when it comes to happenings like these I don't mind being naive at all.
Ashlyn is a seventeen year old girl who has been protected by a bodyguard from age 5 after her nanny had kidnapped her. The...more1,5 stars
What's it About?
Ashlyn is a seventeen year old girl who has been protected by a bodyguard from age 5 after her nanny had kidnapped her. The nanny was in love with the father and wanted them to be together with Ashlyn. Since then then her high powered lawyer father has made sure his little Princess was kept safe from everybody. They moved from California to New York and Aslyn's every step is monitored, literally. This has led to a lot of resentment between the two and Ashlyn craves freedom. After her last bodyguard is fired because he fell in love with her. Her Dad decides to hire her childhood nemesis Colin Brennen whom she hates. But after they meet again after 10 years, her feelings start to change...
Review (Some spoilers ahead!) (view spoiler)[ I'm so happy this was free on kindle so I haven't actually wasted money on this. The premise seemed fun, I love high society insight because the people who live that life fascinate me. But instead I spend half of this book wanting to punch Ashlyn in the face and cringing over the shallow characters.
The beginning was alright. Ashlyn seemed like an ordinary girl, she goes to school, has fun with her best friend and adores playing the piano. Except her bodyguard Stuart, who does not behave like a bodyguard to me. He's in love with Ashlyn -which she knows- and seems disinterested from the whole body protecting part of bodyguarding. After she gets away from him -he seemed like a lousy bodyguard in the first place- because she wanted freedom, he doesn't tell her father. She tells her dad herself and he fires Stuart. The father is very overprotective but besides calling his daughter princess a lot there wasn't a bond between them. She wants to please him but he doesn't pay much attention to her and doesn't see her as a person, more as a child. Her father hires Colin Brennen as her new bodyguard, who bullied her when she was a child. She can't stand him and her father knows that. To me it seems that when you hire a bodyguard the one that needs protecting must trust said bodyguard. So that was the first thing that felt off to me. If you can't trust and respect your bodyguard will you listen to him when it counts? Secondly, the reason her father hires Colin is because he hates him and because Colin wants to work for the FBI when he's done studying (he's 21 now). WTF! You want your daughter to be safe and you arrange such crappy security??? To me it felt like the whole bodyguard thing was just a plot device to set up the romance. An excuse for them to be close to each other, fall in love yadadada.
From the moment she looks at Colin she is overcome by lust and it never goes away. The entire story she is talking about how hot he is and I felt I never really got to know him. He had an ordinary childhood, is sorry for bullying Ashlyn and now wants to work for the FBI. I have no idea why he even likes her because she acts like a spoiled brat most of the time. She acts out and then regrets it because now Colin will think she's immature. But this cycle continues the entire book and she doesn't learn from her mistakes. They never really have conversations with each other either.
What also bothered me was the best friend, Felicity. She existed solely to react to Ashlyn and never becomes a fully developed character with a life of her own. Felicity's "teenage speak" (OMG!, seriously, no way!) felt forced and the jokes fell flat.
Problematic in this book was the portrayel of other girls at her school. Besides Felicity she has no friends (because her father does not deem them appropriate) and the mean girls who dislike her because Colin is hot are being described as skeletals who never eat and that's why they look like models. Felicty is a little bit fat but as Ashlyn tells us: you should look further than what people look like... What do you want to tell me??? This is complete bullshit. I don't get why that link is contantly made between fat - is nice- and skinny -is bitch-.
I can go on and on how the characters aren't consistent, the suspense was laughable, the stupid decisions Ashlyn made, and how the central relationship wasn't founded on anything beyond the superficial. It was confusing overall and I'm not planning to waste more time on it. (hide spoiler)]
Quotes I hated
“Danicka asked where you were. I told her you and Colin were taking a long lunch eating- something she and her friends might want to take up since -clearly- Colin is a man, and men like meat, dogs like bones.”
"Being domestic for Colin felt amazingly good. I had a ridiculous fantasy of myself, donned in a flirty apron, making him meals-as his wife."
"Pressed into the cushion, I felt like a delicate eggshell on a downy pillow."
It could have been an interesting story but bad characters and mediocre storytelling made this one sink. Don't even get me started on some of the subliminal messages it was sending.
This review was also published on Books Are Better Than Pants blog["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's very suspenseful especially at the end. The twists keep coming and around the ending I was sitting on the edge of my seat and I couldn't read fas...moreIt's very suspenseful especially at the end. The twists keep coming and around the ending I was sitting on the edge of my seat and I couldn't read fast enough.
Now it's time for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy :)(less)
I liked it but I didn't LOVE it. My problems mostly came from the how it works as a dystopia. Paolo Bacigalupi (who wrote the YA dystopian: S...more3,5 stars
I liked it but I didn't LOVE it. My problems mostly came from the how it works as a dystopia. Paolo Bacigalupi (who wrote the YA dystopian: Ship Breaker) says it a lot better than I ever will. "Dystopias should be insurgent. They should force readers to question who they are, what their society is like, and what they take for granted. A good dystopia will illuminate the horrors right before our eyes, and one can hope that if it does its job well, it will create empathy and humanity in world that is sorely lacking." So while they've got the horror part locked down -never feeling too much- it doesn't deliver on critisism on society. Why is love dangerous? I mean sometimes it really sucks but it isn't a threat. Mysogony, misandrie, dicrimination, homophobia, racism are just one of the few problems that society faces today. Loving people to much and going crazy isn't one of them.
Regardless I mostly enjoyed this book because it felt like an ode to Love. And I love Love :P I may be a sarcastic, cynical person but also a total sucker for romance and everything that goes along with it. A few of my favorite poems by Romantic poets were mentioned like "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day' by Shakespeare and 'How do I love thee, let me count the ways' by Elizabeth Barett Browning.
I liked Lena and her actions were understandable regarding her circumstances. Oliver writes feelings very well and I like the writing a lot. I would still recommend it. It works good as a teenage romance but a lot less as a critisism of today's society and without all it's machinations that make dystopias so great.
The sequel, Pandemonium , is up next week because it ended with a terrible cliffhanger (why must writers do this?).