I'll Give You the Sun? More like... I'll Give You Death by Artistic Metaphor.
So, um, it seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not lik...moreI'll Give You the Sun? More like... I'll Give You Death by Artistic Metaphor.
So, um, it seems like I'm in the minority on this one, but I did not like the writing style at all.
I guess it should be noted that I was also not a fan of the author's first novel - The Sky is Everywhere - which everyone but heartless little me seemed to love. Unlike many people I know, I picked this one up because the premise intrigued me and not because of a love for the author's previous work.
You may be thinking: this is a poetic novel about life and loss and love... how can you be so cold?! *sigh* You would not be the first. But while I appreciate that there are some good aspects to this book like the complex characters and the frank portrayal of teen sexuality in both a heterosexual girl and a homosexual guy, the style, the endless bloody metaphors and the way it became heavy on the romance... all of that just did nothing but irritate me.
There was a brief moment early on when I thought I might be reading a magical realism novel because of some of the bizarre things that seemed to be happening. But, as the story unfolded, it turns out that these are actually just overly ambitious artistic metaphors that turn almost every single paragraph into a purple and downright weird mess. Check them out:
“Mom picks up a knife and thrusts it into his gut, twists. Dad forges on, oblivious.”
“Jude barfs bright blue fluorescent barf all over the table, but I’m the only one who notices.”
“All the hornet’s buzzed out of her. And there’s no spider to her at all.”
None of these things are actually, literally happening, of course. When I read the first few paint-splattered metaphors (hehe, that's a metaphor too!), I did my single raised eyebrow face (it's epic, I assure you), but it was when I'd read over a hundred pages of constant flowery prose that I started to feel like I'd overdosed on cotton candy. I guess it's a certain type of reader who will fall in love with this prose - in short: I am not that type of reader.
I am the kind of person who forges strong emotional connections with characters; or at least I do if the book is working its magic. But I also find it really difficult to engage with characters - who would otherwise pull me in - when the prose is so nauseatingly bloated with metaphors. Do any of you remember Shatter Me? Bloody hell... do I remember Shatter Me *silently fumes*
And it's a shame because there were moments when I came close to feeling for these characters. Noah tugged at my heart strings because of his passion for art and how he wasn't allowed to pursue it fully; Jude's feelings of guilt and grief felt like genuine pain. But I never got into their heads because I was too busy being drowned by the metaphorical prose. Plus, I'm not even going to get started on the stereotypical way the British guy is portrayed... I'll just say that we really do not use slang words in every single sentence.
The reveal at the ending can easily be guessed from reading Jude's first POV and it was a little anticlimactic. Not just because it was guessable but because it was kind of blah. I still won't give this book one star because there were some touching moments that I liked but, overall, I was pretty disappointed.
Quirky loner girl meets privileged rich boy(s). Forbidden love and angst ensue.
I seem to have this habit. For the past couple of years, I've mostly be...moreQuirky loner girl meets privileged rich boy(s). Forbidden love and angst ensue.
I seem to have this habit. For the past couple of years, I've mostly been deliberately avoiding paranormal YA from authors I don't already love. The genre is a hard sell for me, filled with tropes that lead to low ratings and irritated reviews. But really, what tends to happen is this: the first book comes out and I avoid it, look the other way as other bloggers get excited and fangirl over the upcoming sequel.
Then the next book appears and more positive reviews roll in and, I admit, I start to get curious. But I ignore it. Then the third and often final book is about to be released and everyone is so damn enthusiastic that I... just... have to... check the series out. Yes, I am a fool. I am that cliche about the cat and curiosity.
It's sad because I love a good paranormal tale, but I don't know if I'm just getting too old and cynical to read these supernatural romancey teen books. Either that or I've read one too many. Because I am honestly not sold on the big dilemma in this book.
Basically... If Blue and Gansey kiss: he dies. If Blue and Gansey don't kiss: he lives.
...um, I’m not really seeing a difficult decision to be made here. The only thing I'm seeing is a whole lot of melodrama and names that make the characters sound like horses.
I know, I know, TRU WUV and all that, I am so cold. Well, forgive me if I’m not caught up in this emo love angst, but could you please get over yourselves, choose life, and go find someone else. But no, of course not, because this book is largely about the will they/won’t they, which is also likely what the following novels are about too.
There is some good writing at points and a decent ghostly atmosphere; though I'm still not convinced two stars isn't leaning towards generous. The complex plot that has been so praised by critics and bloggers just bored the hell out of me. I guess it's imaginative in some sense and I haven't heard anything quite like it before - props for that - but it was soooo slow. And it seemed to take forever for the author to reveal WHY the Raven Boys were searching for some Welsh king, so I had no reason to invest in their mission.
“She wondered what it would’ve been like to kiss this hungry, desolate boy.”
And yes, then we have Mr and Mrs Angst. The usual relationship/love drama aside, I found it so difficult to like these characters. I have a hard time finding sympathy for a rich white boy with his own apartment and vintage car (at seventeen!), who wants to kiss a girl but can't. Blue isn't much better... overly quirky outcast - i.e. SPESHUL - who makes her own clothes and judges people she doesn't know.
I kind of despise them both.
But it's my fault. I knew it was a bad idea. I suck. Please don't hate me, I brought a cat gif: