I'll start by saying I was absolutely thrilled about The Night Circus after I read the synopsis. It doesn'Oh God. Why. -_-
Review to come.
I'll start by saying I was absolutely thrilled about The Night Circus after I read the synopsis. It doesn't exactly give us a lot of details about the story, but is enough to give you an idea of what the author will write about. A magic circus, two magicians that get themselves into a duel, and somehow fall in love. The big problem is, the synopsis is a lie.
Erin Morgenstern probably tried to introduce us to the circus by explaining how it got created. And how both magicians, Celia and Marco, started to work there. This would've been fine, if the characters weren't absolutely dull and flat, especially Celia and Marco, which is kind of ironic, really, since they're supposed to somewhat resemble main characters. But with dialogues that look like endless streams of nonsense, the characters don't have any depth, and I mean that. I wasn't able to connect with a single character in this book, they all felt superficial and just plain boring.
And that brings me to the next topic: the writing itself. Maybe that's the reason the characters felt so dull. The truth is, I don't know, but the writing bothered me immeasurably. The narrator would just describe what was happening, turning pages and pages into repetitions of "she said, he said, he did that, she did that, he sighed, she sighed", and then, suddenly, he would start talking about the person's feelings, out of nowhere. It was so abrupt and unnecessary. If you only describe what's happening in a scene, we, as readers, don't have the slightest idea what the character is feeling. But if that's your writing style, then stick with it. Do not jump back in forth.
Aside from the writing... I just don't understand why this book is set in 1897. To be honest, the atmosphere is quite nice and welcoming, but the chapters confused me. Let's just put it this way: Chapter One is set in 1897, Chapter Two is set in 1907, Chapter Three is set in 1894, Chapter Four is set in 1899, and Chapter Five is set in 1897 again. It's something like this. And it's confusing as hell! How am I supposed to stick with the story and have a decent timeline, when the author herself can't decide?
Not to mention that the romance doesn't make sense. It's worse than Twilight. Marco and Celia barely look at each other throughout the book, they barely even talk, and then sparks fly, with no reason whatsoever. I have several questions for this romance, actually: Why do they fall in love? Why did the author spend several pages talking about characters that didn't matter to me at all, that just weren't important? I don't care if the guy who created the circus' clock is traveling and likes to drink his coffee without sugar. I just don't care.
The amount of unnecessary chapters, and details about people we don't give a hat about, only makes the fact that The Night Circus has no plot whatsoever more evident. I still can't conclude if this book was supposed to talk about the circus, about the people who created the circus, about Marco and Celia's duel (which is nonexistent as well), or about Marco and Celia themselves. Or if it's supposed to talk about all that. Either way, it failed.
Maybe I'll someday pick it up and try to get the characters. I know I'll give The Night Circus another shot, but right now? I can barely glance at the cover. To think such a beautiful premise, such an enchanting story, could turn out to be such a dull book, is disappointing. Lost potential, indeed. If you're interested about the synopsis, though, read a sample. Who knows, maybe you'll enjoy it.
The synopsis does look pretty stupid, though. Two archangels challenging Heaven in order to protect an angel and aThe cover. LOOK AT THIS COVER! *Die*
The synopsis does look pretty stupid, though. Two archangels challenging Heaven in order to protect an angel and a mortal's love and marriage? By hiding IN A COLLEGE? Are you freaking kidding me?
Edit: The trailer is out... and it's horrible -_- Why would seven fallen angels be so determined to stop Bethany and Xavier from their HEA? THey don't have anything else to do, do they? Go start the apocalipse or something. Just don't waste your time with these too.
It's incredible how much taste in books can change over the years. When I first read Halo, two years ago, I loved it so much I read it again three times. I adored Hades as well, although I agreed about everything the negative reviews said (ironic, I know). When Heaven came out a couple of weeks ago, I knew I probably wouldn't like it, but well... I decided to give it a try.
I wish I hadn't.
Let me be honest with you guys: I didn't finish reading this book. My review is based entirely on the first nine chapters, because that's as far as I went. I'm not saying this book is awful from the beginning to the end - that would be highly hypocrite of me - but from the beginning to chapter 9? Yeah, it's pretty bad. A few gems were enough for me to drop this book and want to burn it.
Bethany and Xavier are going to marry (and they're not even nineteen, let me tell ya), and apparently Heaven has a problem with this, since, you know, Bethany is an angel and Xavier is a human. An earthquake strikes the town, and suddenly, Bethany knows something is wrong in the Kingdom. And what do they do? They hurry to a chapel, and get married.
Oh, how romantic. And stupid.
Bethany, you know something is wrong in Heaven, and it all started the second Xavier tried to put a ring in your finger, and you still run to the freaking chapel and get married. Do you want to die, or is it just a subconscious wish?
All right, moving on. They get married, the priest dies in front of them, and they're suddenly being chased by the Seven, rogue angels who want to keep them apart. Actually, Heaven itself wants to keep them apart. Gabriel and Ivy defy the laws to help them (as if the Archangel Gabriel would defy God to protect an angel and a human and allow them to be together. Go figure), and you know how Beth and Xavier feel about all of this?
They're okay with it. They don't regret the fact that they got married and a lot of people could die because of it. They don't regret it at all, and that just pissed me off. They're feeling guilty because the priest died, but not because it was their decision to marry in the first place. I can't even begin to say how wrong this is.
Also, there were a few quotes that jumped at me (meaning, I wanted to kill myself when I read them):
"We can think of it like a game," I replied. "Winning the right to be together... that's our goal, and we're just playing against an especially difficult team."
Yeah, you're playing against Heaven. And a person has already died because of it. What are you going to think of that, Bethany?
"You know that won't ever change, right? I'll always be here." Xavier pressed his forehead against mine. "You can bet on that. Besides, fending off these Sevens should be a piece of cake after what you've been through." I thought about that for a second and decided he was right. What could be worse than being dragged to Hell and trapped in an underworld where those you loved couldn't find you?
LOLOLOLOL. Seriously, I laughed out loud at that. NOTHING happened to her in the underworld! NOTHING! She stayed in a first class hotel, being pampered by the Prince of Hell himself, and not even once was she hurt in the process. Yes, emotionally, that was hard, but come on. Being hunted by rogue angels who wanted to kill you and would do anything to accomplish that is slightly more tormenting, isn't it?
"How many babies do you want to have?" With any other teenage boy, that kind of question would have set off major alarm bells. But as usual, Xavier was unfazed. "Probably no more than a dozen." "Be serious."
They're teenagers. She's an angel. They're being hunted by Heaven. People can die. Gabriel and Ivy are going through Hell to help them. And that's what they're talking about. Oh, God. Why.
And that's not even the worst of it. They're in bed, trying to get some sleep, and Bethany just won't shut up about it.
"Do you think there's much change of it happening?" "Of what happening?" "Us having kids." "Sure. Definitely. One day." "Can we call our first born Waylon if it's a boy?"
Oh, PLEASE. GIVE ME A BREAK.
If you're asking yourself "Could it get any worse than this?", well... yes. Yes, it can. Bethany's stupidity can reach unspoken levels, to the point where they're supposed to stay in a cabin, and not come out, for anything, and this is what happens:
"Can we drive into town today?" I called out to Xavier, trying to sound blasé. "I really want to get out of the house."
Sure. Why don't you hang a sign on your neck, as well?
"Fine." He sighed heavily. "But if we're going outside you need to cover
"By who?" I asked sarcastically. "The paparazzi?"
I can't even.
Apart from those little gems that I just loved, there's the obvious things that pretty much pissed me off as much as those quotes. The fact that everybody just adores Bethany, even those who don't even know her:
"Oh, I can wait," she said emphatically. "You're so nice and pretty I don't wanna mess you up."
There was also the fact that Xavier spoke British English most of the time, even though he's supposed to be American, through and through:
"But I reckon he must be pretty pissed off at someone."
Xavier was forced to smile at my analogy. "Reckon we can beat 'em?" he murmured.
However, I must give credit where credit is due. Gabriel and Ivy surprised me a couple of times (positively!) and I can't help but mention these wonderful quotes:
"Do you expect us to keep defending you no matter what you do?"
"You do not experience emotion, Bethany - you wallow in it, you are controlled by it, and everything you have done is based entirely on self-interest."
"Just because you don't understand love doesn't make it wrong!" "This isn't about love anymore. It's about obedience and responsibility. Two concepts you appear not to understand."
To those two, I only have one thing to say:
Apart from those quotes, Heaven failed to impress me. It was shallow, uninteresting, and the characters made me want to kill myself. I know this review is insanely long, but I had so many things to say, it was impossible to make it short. I regret all the time I spent reading this book, and honestly, I'm glad this trilogy is over. I know there are a lot of fans out there that are really sad Heaven is the last book, but for me, three books about Bethany was enough. More than enough, actually.
If you value your sanity, don't read this book. Seriously. The author manages to create TWO sick and sudden relationships in less than 350 pages. ThatIf you value your sanity, don't read this book. Seriously. The author manages to create TWO sick and sudden relationships in less than 350 pages. That has to be some kind of record. Not even Twilight can beat Juliet Immortal.
Once again... there's absolutely nothing especial about this series. I read the book in less than three days, but to be honest, I wasn't moved by it.Once again... there's absolutely nothing especial about this series. I read the book in less than three days, but to be honest, I wasn't moved by it.
When I first set eyes on The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, I thought this would be a book I'd enjoy. Especially when people started to compare it to AnnaWhen I first set eyes on The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, I thought this would be a book I'd enjoy. Especially when people started to compare it to Anna and the French Kiss (a contemporary novel I loved). It turned out, a lot of things went wrong, things that made my rating fall, and hard.
Ella is the main character, a shy girl who's one of the invisible kids at the Willing School. She has a horrible scar on her neck and shoulder, which makes her socialization with other students much harder. The love of her life is Edward Willing, an artist who died in 1916. Ella talks to Edward in her mind, like in imaginary conversations. He gives her advices all the time, but this is seriously creepy. I expected Ella to realize how insane this is at some point, but no, she acts like it's no big deal.
Other than that, her shyness would be a girly and cute aspect of her personality, had it not been so accentuated. She wasn't shy, she was a chicken, and that's it. She was afraid of people staring at her scar, she was scared of basically everyone with a social life, she was afraid of singing, of dropping her soda on her shirt, of doing the wrong thing in front of Alex, of losing her friends... Her point of view was so tiring; I couldn't wait to finish reading this book. If someone yelled "You're a freak, and you look like Freddie Krueger!" on my face, I wouldn't start to cry. I'd beat the crap out of the girl, or at least ignore her. Guess what Ella did?
Ella didn't feel real, as well. If Alex told her "Oh, we're having lunch with the lacrosse team, and you're going to take off your clothes" with a wink, she would start trembling and shaking, wondering if that was true. Then she would whisper, "What?” terrified of what was going to happen. This felt way too forced. I couldn't understand how Alex was able to stand her. I felt bad for him.
Now, let's talk a bit about the romance. I enjoyed it, I really did, but neither Ella nor Alex seemed to like each other so much. It was like Ella was totally in love with Alex, and Alex liked her, which in turn made Ella insecure (again) and tried to block her feelings for Alex. So tiring. The reason I'm giving this book 2 stars is because I loved the ending more than the whole book. The last chapter made me smile a lot of times, so, props to the author. I'm glad at least one thing in this exhausting contemporary was worth it.
Last, but not least, 20% of the book could've been cut out. Sentences, like "I peed. I washed my hands and smelled the Diptyque fig candle." made me want to scream "UNNECESSARY INFORMATION!" over and over. I know I'm probably being a baby right now, but I had to point this out. My eyes kind of bleeded with these sentences.
Overall, I'm extremely disappointed with The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. I don't know how this book got to be compared to Anna and the French Kiss - it has nothing to do with it, seriously -, but I do know a great amount of people are liking it far more than I did. So, to those readers, I'm glad someone out there loved Ella and Alex's story. This just isn't the book for me.