I actually liked this until towards the end. In order to explain what took this from a four-star rating for me to a two-star one, I have to mention aI actually liked this until towards the end. In order to explain what took this from a four-star rating for me to a two-star one, I have to mention a few spoilers, so please proceed with caution.
(view spoiler)[I get that the crimes of murder and rape are central to this story, but four murders with rape and forced sodomy, with a fifth rape where the victim survives was a lot. Add in a video in which the perpetrator videotapes himself in act, and then on top of that a scene where the video is played and character narrates it while watching. . . I hit a wall. I wouldn't call it a wall of revulsion, but it was definitely a feeling of, "Okay, this is way, way too much." I guess that last thing just made me want to stop, and I basically skimmed to the end after that.
I know the series I'm reading - sexual crimes are going to be a part of it, at least in background, considering Eve's history, but this one had it everywhere - I simply shut down after a bit. (hide spoiler)] So, yes, that brought it down to two stars for me.
I'll keep on reading, though. Love this series, but if I run into this much of a certain thing again, I likely will skip to the next book.
Here's my general impression of Gated: mediocre writing in terms of word choice and descriptions. While a decent writer in terms of structure and plotHere's my general impression of Gated: mediocre writing in terms of word choice and descriptions. While a decent writer in terms of structure and plot, Parker's writing in Gated did not achieve much in terms of artistry. Here's a sample from the first page:
The sky is a perfect cloudless blue and the air is hot from the summer sun.
Do you see what I mean? Just boring, first year lit & comp type of writing. I was constantly reminded of the writing style one would find in a Sweet Valley Twins book. However, in that case, we are talking about writing involved in a series, something familiar that a reader can return the same way she (or he) will tune in for a favorite sitcom. For the subject matter in Gated, I would expect the language to be compelling; instead, it felt languid. Additionally, Sweet Valley Twins was written for middle-grade girls, while the protagonist in Gated is shortly turning 18, and I believe was marketed to the YA crowd.
This is not to say that there are not interesting aspects of Gated. In particular, the reason why Lyla's family joined the Community was a potentially intriguing look into the psychology of family grief, guilt and responsibility. Had this been fleshed out more, I think this would have added more of a emotional base to the book. Again, the rather ho-hum writing rendered many of the emotions expressed in Gated as two-dimensional and flat.
Please bear in mind that I am saying this is boring writing for older YA readers. There is a reason that I kept thinking of an MG series when reading - the writing is very young. Middle graders or struggling readers might find this a very good book and find some excitement that I could not....more
Boy, is it rare for me to get bent out of shape over a book I borrowed from the library. After Dead managed to do it. While I enjoyed reading about whBoy, is it rare for me to get bent out of shape over a book I borrowed from the library. After Dead managed to do it. While I enjoyed reading about what happened with Sookie, Sam and a few others, the insultingly short entry for John Qhuinn made me fume. I wasn't a huge fan of him or anything, but my reaction to his six-word, post-series fate. . Frannie's entry had more information. While the main characters had decent enough entries (hence my two-star rating instead of one), a lot of the entries seemed just like random suppositions made up for the sake of putting this book together.
The design also angered me, as well. To use high-quality paper with that much wasted whitespace (each character got a full-page, and a good number of characters' entries had type only taking up a third to half of it, at best) is a horrendous abuse of natural resources....more
Meh. I'm not overly impressed. Moning's writing simply is not as sharp here as it was in the Fever series. Noticed several factual errors; ie, Max menMeh. I'm not overly impressed. Moning's writing simply is not as sharp here as it was in the Fever series. Noticed several factual errors; ie, Max mentioning her blue eyes. Sometimes a chapter with Mac talking ends, and the way she starts the next felt disjointed. Maybe we are supposed to notice. Maybe it's a set-up. But as it wasn't resolved in this book, it felt sloppy.
Did not care for Dani's story in this one, either. That's not character development. It's not so much who Dani became that bothers me, it's how it was done, with no glimpses from Dani on how she became this way. Any real insight into Dani came from other characters, and we got nothing from the actual character in question. It felt cheap, and Jada is freaking boring as hell to read.
My two cents on the book. A bit lack luster, although I enjoyed getting a dose of Barron's personality again. Also loved seeing more into Ryodan's character. I'm just a firm believer that each book in a series should stand on its on, and this one is a bridge, nothing more....more