Characters: Wow there are a lot of characters in this book. Well actually, not a LOT, only four POVs, but since each chapter might switch betweReview:
Characters: Wow there are a lot of characters in this book. Well actually, not a LOT, only four POVs, but since each chapter might switch between two or three POVs, it got a bit too much sometimes, but I'll talk about that in a while, first let me introduce you to the cast. First, we have Gideon, a very organized and highly intelligent individual, who' only claim to nerddom is a love for Lord of the Rings, and sooner or later he realizes that he's starting to have feelings for his best friend. That friend would be Kyle, a bisexual captain of the basketball team who's recently having a bit of trouble in school and if something doesn't change his future athletic career might be in jeopardy, and if that's not enough not long after coming out as bisexual to his girlfriend, she starts acting a bit weird. The other two POVs are Kyle's girlfriend Ruby, who has some sub-plots of her own, but they're too tied up in the main story for me to talk about here, and Ezra, Gideon's older brother, who comes home after trying and failing to make it big as a surfer and finds a role to play in this story. Okay, I'm going to level with you guys, I wanted to like these characters, and it's not even that I dislike them, but they just didn't seem real to me. They weren't over the top or anything, or really even two-dimensional, it's just that I couldn't find myself caring about them. There were times when I felt something, but it never really lasted, which kind of made it worse since there was so much untapped potential.
Romance: I think it goes without saying that if I couldn't find myself caring about the characters that I couldn't really find myself caring about the romance. Again, it isn't even that the romance is bad, but the situation is a bit weird. With this being such a short book there wasn't a lot of time for things to be drawn out, but the way everything went down just feels a bit weird. This book definitely has pacing issues and the romance is one of them. I will say, though, that there are times in which Gideon and Kyle have some chemistry, and they are, during some parts kind of cute together, but if I compare it to most of the romances I've read, it just doesn't tug at my heartstrings as forcefully as the others.
World Building: This book is weird. Not in terms of plot per se, but in terms of how it's paced and formatted. Like I said before, I feel like there are not only too many narrators but with the POV switching at the very least once per chapter, even though there are prompts letting the reader know when the voice is switching, it can get confusing sometimes. Then there's the plot itself, it's not weird but it does feel very cliche. Minus the LGBT aspects, it almost feels as though this story is pulled out of a cheesy teen romcom movie. Then there's the writing. The writing was very bland. There was nothing about the writing that pulled me into the story. I've read cliche stories before, things that you'd see in cheesy movies, but as long as the writing is good it's easy to see past flaws like that, but everything in this book felt very clinical, I couldn't sense any real emotion behind the words, the author fails to paint a good picture of the scene and instead resort to naming off near useless facts and telling far more than showing.
Predictability: This book didn't really have any twists, I mean, there were things that I supposed were supposed to be twists, but given how cliche this book could be they were easy to see coming. The only time I wasn't really able to predict where this story was going to go wasn't because there was good foreshadowing or the author set it up, but more that it didn't go in line exactly with the cliche. For the most part this book just sort of flowed. It never really had any mysteries or unpredictability hidden in its depths.
Ending: I want to say this ending made up for everything, that it made me change my mind about things for the most part, but it didn't. In fact this ending kind of fits right alongside everything I've said about this book so far. It's cliche, it's easy to see where everything is going to end up and while towards the end there are a couple of moments that lightly pluck at my heartstrings, for the most part, as sad as I am to say it, I was just happy that this book was over.
I had such high hopes for this book when I wished for it on NetGalley and actually got it I was so stoked, but it soon became apparent that this story just isn't for me. It's too cliche, the writing doesn't do anything for me, and while the main couple is kind of cute together, there's just too much about this book that feels like a hot mess....more
Protagonist: Opaline has a special talent. She can use stones and personal items to deliver a final message from beyond the grave, usually to aReview:
Protagonist: Opaline has a special talent. She can use stones and personal items to deliver a final message from beyond the grave, usually to a grieving widow, mother, sister, or child. She's never done more than deliver a message before, until one day while working on a charm for a new client, the client's son begins to speak to her directly. Is she really hearing the voice of this fallen soldier or has her "gift" driven her mad? Unlike her mother it was much easier for me to get attached to Opaline, since also unlike her mother her story doesn't have to do with her personality being influenced by a spirit, or at least not to the same scale. Opaline does have her mother's trait for skepticism even when presented with a crap ton of proof, though comes to accept things a bit faster. I really liked Opaline, she's a strong and compelling character. She has a deep sense of morality and does whatever she believes is right.
Romance: To say this romance is complicated is a HUGE understatement, I mean falling in love with the spirit of a fallen soldier just screams doomed relationship. At first I wasn't too into the romance, it felt like it started too quickly, but soon enough I forgave that a really started to root for this couple headed for nothing but sorrow, but there was a silver lining to their romance. It's related to that whole proverb of; "It's better to have loved and lost..." I'm really trying to find other words to say to explain this romance, it's intense, fast paced, gentle, furtive, and at the end of the day these characters' feelings for each other go beyond just the emotional and physical.
World Building: While I liked the feel of Paris in the first novel, in this one it has much more of a historic backdrop, World War I, known as the Great War here, is still raging and because of that many things have changed since the first book, both culturally and economically. Before I go too much into this, while this book can be read on it's own as a stand alone companion, if you have read the first book there are some answers to the lingering questions and that almost unfulfilling ending, though they are still left kind of vague, you get a better understanding of what exactly happened. Now, this book not only has a deep presence with WWI in Paris, but since Opaline's employers are Russian expatriates there is a lot to do with the death of Nicholas Romanov and the disappearance and possible death of his wife and children. The pacing for this book is kind of weird since for most of the book there's only been mention of these expatriates and their love for the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia, it isn't until towards the end that that particular world-building element is explored further, with exciting results.
Predictability: Looking over this book I have to say that for the most part it's pretty predictable. Once again the author left some things that under more YA circumstances would be foreshadowing and let them drop, though they felt far less important or were much easier to piece together than in the first book. There was one twist though, in the book, that was pretty huge, something I didn't really see coming, no real foreshadowing for it, though it made much more sense when revealed, and when it was it was quite shocking in the best possible way.
Ending: Going into the ending of this book I expected it to be like the first book and have a sort of rushed ending, but while the ending was fast paced it didn't end with the urgency that the first one did. The ending to this book, or the final climax was very well executed full of intensity as everything comes to a head and then cools down. The cool down period for this book was not only longer than book one but made much more sense and ends without any lingering questions on my mind. The ending of the romance itself is a very emotional one, if you haven't' already surmised. I wasn't expecting it to be as emotional as it was and I may have shed a tear or two but I'm not confirming anything.
Other than a few weird pacing issues I had, which weren't all that annoying, I could find no fault in this book. It was exciting, entertaining, and full of mystery, suspense, and thrill, here's hoping the author has at least one more La Lune book in her!...more