EDIT: Okay, here's the thing, I feel the need to clarify a few things. This review is in no way, shape or form alluding to the fact that the author is...moreEDIT: Okay, here's the thing, I feel the need to clarify a few things. This review is in no way, shape or form alluding to the fact that the author is sexist. Are there characters in the novel that are depicted as sexist? Yes. Do I think the author is sexist and that he was trying to write a sexist book? No. Did the book come off as sexist to me? Yes.
This is just an interpretation of the novel and has nothing to do with the author's intention. Just so we're clear.
Actual rating: NO STARS
I can't believe I survived. Should I laugh? Cry?
Full disclosure: I went into this book with a suspicion that I might not enjoy it after my bookish twin panned it. But since I requested this book and was sent a paper ARC from the publisher, I thought I'd try to go in with an open mind and try it out.
That was probably not the best decision I've ever made in life.
It goes without saying that this review will be long, contain spoilers and quotes that might possibly make your eyes bleed. RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN.
There are two reasons why I felt I NEEDED to have this book. (1) Just look at that cover! (2) The blurb made it sound like a fun summer read. On both of those counts I was mislead, but especially when it came to the blurb. If you think this book has romance, guess again. If you think it will keep you on the edge of your seat, guess again. If you expect this book to be coherent in any fashion, guess again!
What you will get with September Girls is an anti-climatic plot, slut shaming, gendered language, poorly represented feminism and sexism. Oh and penises. Isn't it everything you could have hoped and dreamed for in a mermaid novel?
Okay so the book follows this boy named Sam. His mother has just left him, his brother, Jeff, and his dad for some mysterious placed called Women's Land (more on that in a bit.) Sam's dad quits his job and they journey to this strange beach that is brimming with girls. Not just any girls. Highly sexualized, blond, perky breasted, toned-bottomed, tanned girls. And guess what? They all want Sam. Sam, who slut shames, starting from page 25 where he reminisces about groping a girl's breasts "through her deliberately slutty Alice in Wonderland costume." Sam, you can't feel a girl up and then slut shame her once you've gotten what you want, silly!
Then you have Jeff, who's only care in the world is having sex as much as possible over the summer. He doesn't particularly care who it's with as long as she is hot and preferably drunk. You know, the usual standards.
"Oh, who gives a fuck," Jeff said. "The point is they're hot and they're here. I hope they're already drunk when we get to the party. I hope they are ready for a piece of this." He groped his crotch obnoxiously.
Such an outstanding gentleman. Ladies, don't rush this stud all at once!
Sebastian was a really random character who didn't even have physical presence in the book, but I've decided I hated him slightly more than the others. You see, Sebastian was just full of dating advice for Sam. And when in doubt, Sam would always wonder what his good old buddy would say.
Oh, Sebastian, I'm such a boring character with absolutely no depth or personality and this hottie is talking to me. What should I say?
"Girls like to talk about themselves. If you can't think of anything to say, just ask some dumb question about nothing, and if you're lucky she'll go off and you won't have to say anything else for another ten minutes and she'll think you're a great listener."
He's like a Dr. Phil, I swear. He clearly understands the complexity of the female mind.
But... I think I might be falling for her even though we've only interacted a few times. I'm thinking about her all the time, but she seems smart and appears to be ignoring me. What now?! Should I go looking for her, find out where she lives, visit her at her work place until she relents?
"Wait, this is all over some girl? Don't be such a fucking vagina, dude! I mean, dude! You go to the beach for a month and you turn into a human tampon!"
What a guy! I just love it when someone uses the name of my genitals to insult someone! For those of you like me with small female minds, that roughly translated as:
Were any of the above quotes supposed think, "Oh hells yeah. These guys sound so authentic. This book is so--" Wait, let me see what the back of the ARC says. Oh yeah, "poetic and punchy, sarcastic and true," says Sara Shepard. Well, damn. Who am I to argue with that logic and quotes that were clearly "sarcastic and true." I suppose I'm just a sensitive little female with no humor bone in her body. In fact, I have no bones. I am made of tampons.
What I really don't understand is why Madison couldn't make any of his characters likable. Having your male characters degrade women with their words at any chance they get isn't authentic. It's insulting to both genders and a disservice to humanity.
There were times when September Girls attempted to actually tell a story. The only problem is that almost nothing ever happens. Oh, I lied. Sam does do things. Here is his routine:
-Wake up -Monologue -Walk around the beach -Monologue -Have women thrown at his feet -Monologue -Stare at a Girl's "heart-shaped ass." *raging boner* That slut. -Monologue -Come home -Skip monologue. The Price is Right is on. -Monologue -Jerk off -Ahhhh... sweet self-satisfaction! -Sleep
Oh shit, I hope not!
September Girls' biggest problem would have to be the amount of slut shaming and the overall deeming attitude toward women. (And if you are unfamiliar with what slut shaming is, here is a great article at The Book Lantern.) Jeff just looks at them as conquest, something to satisfy his pleasure. Sebastian can't be fucked to show any human decency. And Sam follows after the other two, except he takes it a step further when his brother starts hanging out more with a certain Girl named Kristle:
"He had clearly entangled himself in that dire pussy-web he'd warned me about on our first night here."
That's right, guys! Beware the female "pussy-web." It'll gettcha! What kills me about this is that it isn't assumed that his brother may like Kristle just because she's a person. Instead, they reason that if a guy falls for a girl it is strictly because of what she is offering sexually, therefore, objectifying her.
"And by the way, Kristle's a total slut, so I hope you haven't caught anything from her yet."
Tell us how you really feel, Sam.
"Okay, she's not a slut," I said testily. "Just a skank."
So glad we got that cleared up!
Not only do the men in this novel have a blatant disrespect for women and slut shame, but the Girls do as well. The one Girl who does this the most is one special ray of sunshine named DeeDee. Now, mostly DeeDee just talks a bunch of shit and makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine. She was also their resident Ho-olgist. She knew all about dem hos in the bible. Those are her favorite stories. Dem hos. See if you can keep up with the poetry she's spittin':
"I like the parts about hos, even if they always come to a bad end. Eat a fucking apple, you're a ho. Open a box, you're a ho. Some guy looks at you: turn to stone, ho. See you later, ho. It's always the same. The best one is Lilith--also a ho, but a different kind of ho. She went and got her own little thing going, and for that she gets to be an eternal demon queen, lucky her. No one likes a ho. Except when they do, which, obviously, is most of the time. Doesn't make a difference; she always gets hers eventually."
"Is that really in the Bible?"
"No. Some of it. Well, the ho with the apple at least."
"I never thought of her as a ho."
The ho... with the apple. I... HUH?
"God," DeeDee said, reaching for an ashtray and stubbing out her cigarette. I couldn't take my eyes off her. "Kristle can be so ridiculous. But who knows what I'd do without her. Total ho, by the way--not that I'm judging; I actually like hos myself. Maybe I am one--I barely know what counts anymore. Being blond certainly never helped anyone's case."
She's probably even got hos in different area codes. I wouldn't put it past her.
Poor Representation of Feminism:
And this is the part that really made me rage. So Sam's mom was a housewife from what I gather from the book. Now the thing is, when you are a parent or mate that stays home, it can be very easy to fall into the rut of *exclusively* taking care of everyone else and forgetting your needs too. Moreover, everyone else in the household might forget. That's why it's so important to find a hobby, get outside the house, do things for yourself for your own sanity and health. There is a scene where Sam and DeeDee are talking about housewives and how she feels being a housewife would be fun because they don't work and they are apparently "free." Sam has a monologue moment where he says "my mother spouted about something called the Feminine Mystique" and he considered it "pure shit."
Then he goes on to say this:
"If you were housewives you could just sit around all day with your feet in footbaths full of Epsom salts."
This is a common misconception of the role of a housewife and it's one of the most under-appreciated jobs a person can ever have. That passage is problematic and further perpetuates the stereotype of a housewife being lazy and doing nothing all day. I REALLY don't appreciate the attempted humor here when in the 1950s, suburban living had a very high rate of suicides among women. (Richard Yates highlighted this a bit in his novel Revolutionary Road. There was also a film adaptation where the DiCaprio/Winslet duo wrecked havoc on my feels yet again!) Managing the home and kids while being separated from society literally drove some women insane. Even in today's world, women who stay at home suffer more emotionally then their working counterparts.
Back in May of 2012, Gallup.com did a survey of over 60,000 US women between the ages of 18-64 and their results were depressing.
Stay-at-home moms also lag behind employed moms in terms of their daily positive emotions: They are less likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot, learned something interesting, and experienced enjoyment and happiness "yesterday." Additionally, they are less likely than employed moms to rate their lives highly enough to be considered "thriving." - Gallup.com
Mothers at home also can have feelings of worthlessness and lack of accomplishment. Many of what they do, volunteering in schools and taking care of the children, goes ignored in our society. I think it was in very poor taste for Madison to use this as joke fodder in his novel. Sam was only one step away from calling her a "bored housewife." At this point nothing should surprise you in this book when it is nothing BUT female stereotypes.
So his mom stayed home to take care of her family until one day she discovered FaceBook. First, she would post things on his FaceBook wall, but then she moved onto Farmville (which I hear is ridiculously addictive). He complains about her always being in the basement on the computer all day playing this game. And when she's not playing, she's always talking about it. But according to Sam, the real problem starts when she makes friends. Because his mother having a life is definitely a major problem! I guess he expected his mother to do his laundry and cook him dinner forever and ever!
"She got all interested in this weird crap that she wouldn't have been able to tell you about before. She's reading all this poetry; she has a Tumblr, although I avoided looking at it. She won't shut up about this thing called the SCUM Manifesto..."
Sounds to me like his mother developed a hobby and found a means to have other human interaction. And hey, that's a good thing!
In the Gallup study, stay-at-home moms found other ways to cope with depression by continuing education, blogging and joining the gym to have some social time with others. - CBS Atlantica
What I also dislike is the reason why she decided to leave her family. Madison had an opportunity to show feminism in a positive light, but he instead showed an extremist. Right after she reads SCUM Manifesto this happens:
"Then one day I'm getting ready for school and she knocks on my door with a bag packed and she tells me she's going to live at something called Women's Land, where no one ever has to talk to men."
Of course. Here is evil feminism breaking up a perfectly good family. I supposed this is just as good a time to reveal my master plan. Ladies, are you ready take over the world, moving all men underground only to be used for breeding, whist women rule the world? Muahahahahahaha!
The next section spoils the ending, so click only if you are burning with curiosity or rage. Either will do.
The Girls are all bound to this little beach by a curse placed on them by their father for... reasons. I didn't really understand why this was, but I think it had something to do with seeking revenge on their mother. BTW, their dad is the Endlessness and their mother is the Deepness. Don't ask me what that means. Anyway, it's really not important. What's important is this curse because it's the reason for why the Girls are so sexual. The book has sections where the Girls narrate and they describe this "knife" they have. This supposed "knife" is basically good looks. Perky breasts, perfect butt, blond, overall hotness. This is another stereotype I picked up on where women, who approach men instead of waiting for a guy or use their looks to gain things, are looked at as "predators."
But, of course, when the summer ends the Girls go into some weird lethargic state where their hair skin become dull and their faces sullen. No boys, no "knife." So basically this is how I pictured them:
The only way each one of them to break the curse is if they have sex with a virgin boy. And they can't even initiate the encounter. They have to wait for Sam to talk to them first. So let's recap here: Not only do the Girls not have a choice when it comes to breaking the curse (well, they kinda do: break it or die), but it must be done by a male penis swooping in to liberate them. Their sexuality is not their own. It is owned by men.
I mean, goddamn! I really think this book hit on almost every way to demean a women. That is quite a feat considering I never thought I'd read a book that offended me more than Fifty Shades of Grey. Congrats, September Girls! You get the new title of Worst Book I've Ever Read right up there next to Revealing Eden.
If it isn't obvious, this book is terrible and I could never recommend it with a good conscious. But what do I know? Both Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly thought it was brilliant and gave it glowing reviews. Clearly, this is the sign of the end of the world because here's the truth: Reading September Girls was like being swept away by the ocean and drowni--
ARC was received via publisher for an honest review. No monies or favors were exchanged, though, I guess that's pretty obvious.
"I believe that anyone who reads the novel will understand its strong stance against racism." -Victoria Fyot (Judging A Book By Its Cover Gives Birth To Racism)
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you failed. Badly. To say Revealing Eden is offensive is such a massive understatement. I couldn't even stomach more that a few pages at a time. It was like taking a spork to your eye, but then it breaks leaving you with only the handle to carry out your dark deed. Even with the obvious racism aside, the Revealing Eden is simply not good. From the dialogue to the characters to the plot, it was very badly written. A tragic mess.
There are a few things you should know before reading this review:
1. I am an African-American. 2. I went into this book knowing I would probably dislike it. Why? -Because I'm obviously masochistic. -Because I'm taking one for the team. You're welcome. -Because Foyt made a statement that not many African-Americans had read her book. Here I am and yes, we still exist. 3. I will most likely address a few statements made by Foyt about her novel as it pertains to Revealing Eden. 4. Oh, and this review is kinda long. Sorry about that. LOADS to cover. >.<
Apparently, according to Victoria Foyt the population of white people have plummeted due to an increase in sun radiation, leaving black people in charge. My first issue was with the lack of science in that premise. (And no. Throwing out random scientific names of insects, animals and plants does not signify that you've done your homework.) If the sun's radiation was *that* bad, being black won't do you that much good. What's even more odd is that for majority of the novel, Eden is hanging out outside in the sun without her coating (more on that later).I kept waiting for her to complain about how hot it was or that her skin felt burnt, but it never happened. Her father is working in a lab attempting to genetically alter people so that they have animal traits and no one has created a better sunblock or, I don't know, CURED CANCER?! Where is the logic in that?
Whites in this novel are considered a burden to society since they have such a low rate of survival. If one does not have a mate by age 18, they are to be sentenced to death. There seems to be an obvious solution to this hypothetical problem: breed out the weaker genetics. But instead white people are oppressed just for the sake of oppression. And even though Eden knows she has had two mating offers, she refuses to accept either one, choosing to wait for her "Dark Prince" in hopes that he will pick up her mating option. Her reasoning?
"Because I don't want my child to be all Pearl. I'd rather be dead than mate with one of my kind."
*sigh* I can't believe I have to break this down, but if a black person and a white person have a baby, that doesn't automatically guarantee a dark-skinned baby. In fact, some may have very fair complexion. Funny thing the way genetics works. But what did I expect? Almost all the dark-skinned people in Revealing Eden were black as night. The one person who is mentioned with brown skin is assumed to be mixed. *Shaking my head* It was then I should have realized that logic was not going to be Revealing Eden's strong point.
In order for Eden to fit in, she walks around with a coating of "Midnight Luster" on her skin and hair. She talks about dying her hair black and I couldn't figure out why she was doing that. Doesn't Foyt know that black peoples' hair is not actually black? Is that a common misconception even today? It's weird because it's something I've never thought of before. Sure, there are some whose hair is black, but it's not very common at all. It was the little things like that were I noticed a trend beginning: Foyt did absolutely no research on African-Americans or any other race for that matter. It is very evident by her constant reliance on black stereotypes applied even to white characters.
*Warning: Many quote-inducing headdesking ahead.
Applying black stereotypes to a white female to generate sympathy for the main character:
"White people were lazy good-for-nothings with weak genetics."
A black woman's figure categorizing her status in society:
"Voluptuous, with raisin-colored skin, everything about Ashina screamed ruling class."
"On the main stage a band of Coals performed in whiteface."
Oh and I can't forget about the constant theme running rampant that black people are out to get the white people. As if black people, that are now in charge, have nothing else better to do with their time than antagonize others. White women everywhere are doing the "White Woman's Workout." >_>
Every black person in the world is out to get white people:
"She suspected that each and every Coal passerby wanted to hurt her..."
It's always black people:
"All of a sudden, she heard two men behind her. Coals, she figured by their careless, drunken laughter."
Songs about black men raping a white girl:
Little Pearly whirly, lost inside the mines; tossed from Coal to Coal, in fear, she whines, "I'm sorry, Mother, he said he only wanted to see my white skin shine."
Even more rape comparisons:
She felt more violated than if she'd been raped.
Go on and scream. Let it out.
And on and on it goes. But then it gets worse when because there doesn't seem to be any indication that slavery or the Civil Rights Movement ever happened. How was she being oppressed? Well as far as I can tell, white people were well-fed, had their own places, had jobs etc. The biggest thing against them was the mating age, having to wear their "coating" (I'm not sure if that was a law or anything) and getting rude remarks from black people. On a few occasions Eden even wishes the world could go back to a time where white people were free to go outside with their white skin without being persecuted. She frequently says that a black person couldn't possibly understand what it was like to be in her shoes. *slow blink*
"Someday, when you're locked up in a cage, Bramford, maybe you'll understand what it feels like to be an outcast."
If only Bramford knew what it was like to be an outcast.
Maybe now he would know how it felt to be judged by your appearance.
What did Bramford know about disappointment?
Yeah, that's not offensive at all. Not one bit. #sarcasm
And then there is the issue of the FFP A.K.A. the Federation of Free People, "a militant organization of Coals that vowed to rid the planet of Pearls." Pause. *deep breaths* How am I supposed to take that? The Federation of FREE People? Get me off this planet. I'm just going to leave that alone before I start seeing blood-red. Too late, I just saw red. Excuse me.
Okay, sorry about that. That was a tad awkward.
I also want to address the titles given to the races.
Latino- Tiger Eyes
Are you kidding me? Coals? As in black as coals? Pearls? As in precious pieces of jewelry? Cotton? As in what my ancestors were forced to pick in the fields? Do I even need to explain how offensive that is? And Foyt's response to the backlash of these titles?
"Why are whites called Pearls, while blacks are called Coals? Imagine a gritty, post-apocalyptic world where all that matters is survival. What good will a pearl do you when luxury items have no use? Coal has energy, fire, and real value. It is durable and strong, not easily crushed like a pearl. Pearl is a pejorative term here. Coals are admired. Coals oppress Pearls because they fear that those with light skin will add to a population unable to survive “The Heat,” and drain meager resources."
No, no, no, no. NO! You do not give a title that has been used as a racial slur to a people who have been oppressed. You do not do that. And if you think any of that is okay, something is deeply wrong with you. By no stretch of the imagination can "Pearl" be considered a racial slur. Unless, along with common sense, this society has happened to lose every dictionary in existance. In which case, I shall provide the definition.
pearl1 [purl] noun 1. a smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral aragonite or calcite in a matrix, deposited in concentric layers as a protective coating around an irritating foreign object: valued as a gem when lustrous and finely colored. Compare cultured pearl. 2. something resembling this, as various synthetic substances for use in costume jewelry. 3. something similar in form, luster, etc., as a dewdrop or a capsule of medicine. 4. something precious or choice; the finest example of anything: pearls of wisdom. 5. a very pale gray approaching white but commonly with a bluish tinge.
Yup, that is just the title I would give to a group that is being oppressed. Tell them they're worthless while giving them a name that literally means precious. Moreover, if "Coal" supposed to be a positive title, highlighting their strengths, then why is "Cotton" considered derogatory? By definition cotton is a very useful resource. It's strong, durable, able to withstand cold and hot temperatures. So what's the deal here?
Only Cottons, the derogatory word for albinos, were lower, and they were extinct.
I don't think for a second Fyot didn't know what she was doing when she wrote that because in the beginning of the novel she calls "Coal" a racial slur herself.
Before she knew it, she blurted out an incendiary racial slur. "Gets your hands off of me, you damn Coal!"
First of all, I'm surprised she was still alive after saying that to someone of the elite class. Surely if Pearls are so worthless and oppressed, there would be severe consequences for an action like that? Second, Foyt is again baking her cake and trying to stuff her face with it too. Which one is it? It's either a positive term or a racial slur. It cannot be both. I'll tell you what I think. I think Foyt was just trying to smooth things over with her choice of words. And failed, I might add, because my bullshit meter is about to explode.
In the second half of the novel I had no idea what was going on half the time. The scenes were very jumbled with no clear direction of where the plot was headed. World building left way too many holes in the story. Because surely there are more races on Earth that just the ones listed in Revealing Eden. Character interactions were much of the same confusion. But I think that it mostly had to do with the fact that Eden was a fucking idiot. Her stupidity burned. For real.
From this day forward I can never say Bella Swan was the worst. Eden is the worst protagonist I have ever read. Not only does she completely miss the point over and over again, regardless of how many times it is spelled out, but she is extremely selfish and all around unlikable. There is a scene in the novel where Eden happens across an anaconda and I felt myself rooting for the snake. Sadly, he didn't win. *weeps*
One thing that was clear was how Eden suddenly became attracted to Bramford after he became half beast. One minute she is talking about how sexy he is and the next she is calling him names, even after he saves her life several times. (Bold is mine.)
That dumb beast had been gone since yesterday afternoon.
And why had she thought the dress would please such an insensitive brute?
"Is this where you lock up your victims? You're an animal, Bramford."
The selfish beast simply dropped the subject and ignored her.
Also she likes to ride him like an animal:
She sunk her fingers into his long silky hair, like reins on a horse. As if she controlled the beast. Eden knew it wasn't true, but she enjoyed the illusion just the same.
What. The. Hell. A black man is turned into an animal and you have your white protagonist daydreaming about riding him like a frickin' pony? I just... can't.
When I finally finished reading Revealing Eden I had to ask myself what kind of person would think any of this would be remotely okay? Foyt says:
"So yes, this book is meant to provoke the white community that has never experienced racism or been oppressed because they have been in the majority in this country."
I take issue with the white community only able to be provoked by featuring a white girl who is oppressed by black people using the very same stereotypes we fight against everyday. So, yes. I taking extreme offense to that. If Foyt is indeed "color blind" as she claims then making readers connect with a black character shouldn't be a problem for her. But instead she chose to "turn racism on its head" and say, "Black folk, I know you guys have dealt with some really rough shit in the past, but what if it happened to white people?" No, just no. The African-American community exists *because* of the oppression. It is our history, our roots. It is the one thing that must be left alone. You can't just take that away from us and apply it yourselves and make us look like the bad guys in your novel! This is one of the few times where I had to sit back and wonder who could possibly enjoy this book.
"And if you ask if all these reviewers are white then consider that you have a racist point of view."
Oh, really? Racist point of view? Racism isn't dead. It's something that many of us has to face everyday. As a people, it is ingrained in our society that our features are less desirable than that of whites. There are somethings some people will never understand. They have never had to walk in the shoes of another race and therefore they have limited understanding on what it means to be a Person of Color. When you get followed around in a clothing store because of your skin color, when you can't go into the 7-11 with your hoodie on, when a job tells you your natural hair is "unprofessional," when your 4-year-old daughter asks you why her hair doesn't "go down like a princess" as if hers could never be considered as such, when you see celebrities of your race white washed in ad campaigns, when your male relatives are arrested for looking suspicious, when you see your grandparents cry after Obama was elected because they thought they would never live to see the day where a black man held office, when you know there are some parts of the country where you are just not welcome because of your skin color, or when you walk down the aisle of your local book store and all you see on the book covers are white people, with a small section devoted to African-Americans, you realize you are living in a white world. Racist point of view? Wherever would one have gotten that?
I think this goes without saying: NO STARS FOR YOU!
You didn't think I'd just leave it on that unhappy note did you? Pfft, as if!
Ay yo, if black people truly ruled da world we damn sure wouldn't be toting 'round some whack name like "Coals." Naw, we'd go for something MUCH more gangsta like, ChocolateThundas. Then we'd go n' elect Snoop Dogg as our president and Dave Chappelle as our VP, ya feel meh? We'd give women back control of their bodies. We'd legalize MJ and the national anthem would be "Young, Wild and Free." We'd move the capital to the ATL, where we like to "throw dem bones." Grillz would be covered by dental insurance. Free health care to all citizens. Oppress white people? Naw, we ain't got time fo' dat shit, man! We'd be too busy spending our reparation money from da Gov'ment, giving back to the economy.
Chicken spots n' drive through liquor stores would be on every corner. You welcome! (So what, we get drunk...). 12pm would be a mandatory nation wide nap time, which no one would pay any attention to. Fuck the system! (So what, we don't sleep...). Though dey should 'cause "The Itis" is a very serious condition affecting 1 out of 2 black folk e'rywhere. And finally, random flash mob dances would be to songs like "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It" and "We Fly High" (We just havin' fun and we don't care who sees...).
We stay fly. No lie. You know dis...
Book was provided by publisher/author via NetGalley for an honest review.
I've heard a lot about Meg Cabot's books. And it may surprise people to know that this was actually my first Meg Cabot novel. I'm not complet...more NO STARS.
I've heard a lot about Meg Cabot's books. And it may surprise people to know that this was actually my first Meg Cabot novel. I'm not completely unfamiliar with her works. One of my favorite movies of all time was adapted from one of her novels-- The Princess Diaries. All that being said, I think I made a huge mistake in having Abandon pop my Cabot novel "cherry".
Guys, this book has INSTA LOVE!
Deep breaths, Stephanie. Deep.Breaths.
It took me till page 300 to realize why I felt like I wanted to give up reading Abandon several times. And really that's pathetic that I didn't see it. I mean, I really should have peeped that way earlier. But it's not my fault because Abandon was so hard to even follow thanks to Pierce's convoluted ramblings about her pathetic life and her intermittently reminding herself to check yourself before you wreck yourself. This book left me confused, angry and HIGHLY disturbed. Therefore, this review will have major spoilers. Deal with it and let's explore these emotions.
"What Just Happened?"
It's probably not a good sign for a reader to finish your novel and not have a single clue what the point was. Not even an inkling for what you were trying to accomplish. And believe me. I wanted so much to understand and like this book, but the narration ran circles around my wee little mind. The entire first half of the novel has Pierce alluding to several past scenes as if the reader knows what was going on. Pierce would say something like, "Oh and I don't want anything to happen like it did that one time." And I'm sitting here thinking, "Oh yeah? What? What happened?! Tell me already!" I get what Cabot was trying to do, but it didn't work for me. And it definitely didn't need to go on for majority of the book. That was just cruel and wrong. It made me incredibly frustrated. Now, the parts that did manage to make some type of sense were cancelled out by Pierce's sheer stupidity. Saw dust for brains. I really don't want to say it, b-b-but.... BELLA! *gasp* And that, my friends, brings me to the anger.
"What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!"
No, what we have here is just a failure. Pierce is one of the worst heroines I've read this year. Now, keep in mind I read both Starcrossed and Fifty Shades of Grey so far, so that's saying something. And not a good something. Moving on. Pierce meets John, a death deity, when she is a just seven-years-old. Later, when she dies at age fifteen, she sees him in the Underworld and he recognizes her too. They have a brief conversation which goes a little something like this:
"Omg, it's so cold and wet here."
"Hey, you wanna get outta here?"
So what does her do? He whisks her away to his bedroom, dresses her in a white dress and gives her the biggest diamond he could steal find. Shit you not, that is exactly how it goes down. Pierce, realizing something is not right (Though I'm not sure what gave it away... maybe because he told her she could never leave. Possibly.), throws hot tea in John's face and runs down a staircase that magically transports her back to the living world. *slow blink*
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Meanwhile, a year and a half later...
They meet again... in a graveyard, where this poor, unfortunate soul seems to hang out. Of course, that doesn't stop our heroine from asking the all important, universal question: "Why me?" Are you kidding me? But I have to remember, the problem with Pierce is that she's so stupid, she doesn't realize how stupid she is. Instead of running away from the crazed stalker, she apologizes to him for throwing the tea in his face. You know, when she was busy escaping. Pop quiz: What do you get when you mix not-so-bright heroine with a gallon of selfless? Mary-Sue.
So, yeah, the graveyard. Here they are, in the rain, having a "lover's spat" over... well, I'm not exactly sure why they were fighting, but John ends up getting semi-violent, throwing her diamond and demolishing the cemetery gate. Lovely guy. Do you see why this book made me angry? Here we have yet another YA heroine with a controlling, violent male, trying to not be involved with him, and she's apologizing for getting away. Unbelievable. It was at that point where I really didn't think this novel could get any worse. Until, of course, I got to the disturbing part.
The Return of Pedobear (I wish I were joking):
Somehow the cemetery sexton gets involved and Pierce opens up and confides in him. She goes on and on about how he randomly has shown up in her life, how he scares her, how he's a nightmare, how bad things happen when he's around, etc. Do you know what he says to her after that?
"So if I might make a suggestion for all our sakes, why don't you try"--his brown eyes were pleading--"just being a little sweeter to that boy?"
Yes, that's right girls. When you are in an abusive relationship, trying to escape, it's not his fault. It's totally your fault for not being sweet enough to him. Because there is no such thing as personal accountability and it is your job to make sure he remains calm enough to not destroy you and everyone you love in a hurricane. But don't worry. He loves you. Gag me.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Excuse me while I rage across my living room.
Ohhhhh... but it gets better. I mentioned before how I didn't recognize the insta-love until page 300. That might seem really strange. And it is. It's mostly because Pierce and John spent so much time trying to "non-avoid" each other and argue that I completely didn't see it. Well, on page 300 John confesses his love to Pierce. His LOVE, people.
Love? What love? In all of their encounters (six by my count, including when she was seven), they probably spent no more than thirty minutes together at a given time. And I'm being generous. And then I remember Pierce's dear, sweet granny. The one that took her to the graveyard when she was seven, in hopes that John would run into Pierce and--I hope you're sitting down for this one--fall in love with her. At seven-years-old. That's why he kidnapped her, because he was in love with her. He stalked her because he was in love with her. He got violent when she ran away screaming from him because he was in love with her. He fell in love with her at seven-years-old.
Shall I check myself before I wreck myself now too? HUH?!
Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. Catch a kiddie by the toe...
Then in order to protect her from the Furies, he kidnaps her again (to the bedroom!), changes her clothes (AGAIN) and tells her she must stay there forever with him. But don't worry it's for her protection. Totally legit. And this time he even remembers to lock the door. She smiles. The end.
I know that this is a retelling of Persephone. I get that. But this is in no way, shape or form okay with me. Abandon had everything I hate in a book. Controlling, violent, abusive male. Check. Submissive, passive heroine with very little common sense. Check. Insta-love. check. Mary-sue. Check. Poor plot. Check.
Why? Why do I continue to see the same awful tropes over and over? Why are impressionable, young girls consistently being marketed these types of book? Please, please make it stop. Give them strong, independent heroines, loving love interests, safe and healthy relationships.
Dear Literary gods, Hear my pleas. Can you do me a solid and provide more alcohol and chocolate if I continue to run into these books?
A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Thank you!
Introducing an even more abusive and disturbing TWILIGHT! Now with whips and chains!
Fifty Shades of Shit
Haters, please exit stage left.
I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought I might genuinely like it before I started, but all I was left with was one hell of a mindfuck. Whatever it was that brought on this knee jerk purchase seems to have mercifully left me with enough common sense to say I will not be continuing on with this series.
Recently I discovered one of my favorite publishers, Random House, has picked up Fifty Shades of Grey and made this statement:
"An original work, and said to us that James had warranted the books were, indeed original. Messitte added she was “aware of the narrative that [50 SHADES] started as differently titled piece of fiction, but that they were and are two distinctly separate pieces of work."
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call bull shit on that. Fifty Shades of Grey and Master of the Universe (the original fan fic) are essentially the same thing. The biggest difference being Edward and Bella's name being replaced with Christian and Anastasia respectively. And I would know this because I have both and while I was reading, I would occasionally switch back and forth between the two without difficulty. I'd go through and give you examples myself, but other people have done it already here and here. So if you must read this book, do yourself a solid and find the fan fic online. You even get the second book too!
I know some people claim this has no similarities to Twilight and got dammit, I'm allergic to all the bull shit. Do I really need to point this all out? Because it looks pretty obvious to me. The mannerisms of the characters are exactly the same. They even say similar things the original characters say. The whole "dazzle" line and Edward asking Bella to trust him. Her mother being remarried with the same inability to maneuver her way around a kitchen. Bella is still trying to save Edward from himself due to his troubled past. Edward still stalks and controls Bella, only now he gets to hit her when she gets out of line.
*facepalm* Shall I beat them both? Yes?
I struggled to come up with a proper review for this book and couldn't figure out why I was feeling rather uninspired to write one. And then I figured it out. I was left so disgusted by this book that I wanted to purge the memory of its existence from my mind. With a rusty nail. Every time I thought of the book my brain cells would go on strike, yelling obscenities at me. Anyway, I thought Bella and Edward's relationship couldn't get anymore fucked up than Twilight. I stand corrected. If I were to describe FSoG in one sentence it would be this: Fifty Shades of Grey is like Twilight on steroids, high on ecstasy, in a dirty little corner. A very dirty corner. With badly written sex. Lots.
Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of the beautiful (but of course she doesn't know it), naive virgin, Anastasia Steal after she is suckered into interviewing the Greek god, Christian Grey. Of course, sparks fly and for some unknown reason he can't seem to stay away from this incredibly, unremarkable girl. Ana discovers Christian is into BDSM and desires her as his submissive fuck buddy.
There are a myriad of problems with this novel, many of which ironically can be found in Twilight. Never saw that one coming! Christian/Edward is still a controlling bastard, only now he hides behind his BDSM practices to camouflage his abusive tendencies. However, Ana doesn't see it that way. She thinks of him as a broken person and it's her duty to fix him. Even when he says things like this:
"I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything you couldn't take."
Can you believe she let's him beat her after that? And please don't even bother to tell me that it's just BDSM. No, just fucking no. Ana is genuinely afraid of Christian and is never entirely comfortable with the "punishment" aspect of their relationship. But Christian just manipulates her with sex to continue the relationship. And that's what really gets me. I just have a hard time believing a virgin would somehow become a sex goddess overnight, because that is exactly what happens. When she first is introduced to his kinky lifestyle and tells him she is a virgin he immediately tells her he needs to handle that "situation" before they could continue. What?! Since when is your virginity a "situation?" But, that's not really the kicker. Oh, no, because that is when we are introduced to Ana's two best friends. Everyone say hi to:
Anna's inner goddess, who always cheers her on when Christian wants sex or wants to punish her. She's also quite annoying, doing back flips at the mention of anything sexual related. Simmer down. Where did she come from exactly? Ana is in her twenties and has never felt the urge to have sex with anyone until Christian comes along with his whips and chains?!
And... Ana's sub-conscious, who hides behind couches when it comes time for her beating. When it comes to Ana having sex with Christian, well, her sub-conscious only has one thing to say,
So after the "situation" is handled, Ana has to sign a "contract" agreeing to his sexual demands and also outlining things she won't do. It was pretty pointless considering he still got what he wanted and she never signed the damn thing. He exploits her, stalks her and abuses her! She cries after sex. She is afraid of him being angry! Even when he is angry at something else, she thinks it's her. Her reasoning for allowing him to hit her as his therapy is because she's afraid to lose him. That is not a reason for agreeing to a BDSM lifestyle! In fact, that's not even really "consent!" These quotes just scream domestic abuse to me:
"Please don't be angry with me," I whisper.
"Please don't hit me," I whisper, pleading. His brow furrows, his eyes widening. He blinks twice. "I don't want you to spank me. Not here. Not now. Please don't."
Yeah, he's a real catch, that one. Barf. No, excuse me. That's not right. The barfing came when the little ass-wipe PULLED HER TAMPON OUT AND RAMMED HIMSELF INSIDE OF HER. OMFG. Yes, the caps were totally necessary because that was the most disgusting thing I have ever had the misfortune of reading. That is not sexy, that's foul.
Whenever Ana thinks about leaving him, he comes over to her apartment unannounced pounds into her (literally) and her inner goddess does a fucking happy dance, forgetting her urge to kick his sick ass to the curb. They fight, they breakup. They kiss, they sex up.
The writing is a shitty mess too. I mean, if I had to sit and read Ana saying "Holy, shit!" or "Holy, Fuck!" or "Oh, my!" one more time, I was going to lose it. I wanted to take my red pen and have at this "book" so badly. It was the little things like Ana's roommate saying over and over, "You never cry Ana," and what do we find Ana always doing? Crying. I'm not sure where the hell the plot was. *smacks forehead* How silly of me! Didn't I mention this was a Twilight retelling? Why was I expecting a plot? And another example of poor writing: for these characters to be American, they sounded very British to me. They used phrases that Americans don't use.
And now I'm trying to figure out why this book is so popular. Why do so many women love this book? I get the appeal of the bondage even though it's not my usual cup of tea. Whips? Chains? Sounds exciting!
Quick, someone get me chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!
I should have known that w...more**spoiler alert** No, GoodReads.
How about NO FUCKING STARS?
Quick, someone get me chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!
I should have known that when Lauren Kate blurbed this book I wouldn't like it. No, wait, that doesn't fully express my hatred for Starcrossed. How about this:
After reading this shit storm of a book I feel like I should go straight to my book shelf and give "Catastrophe": Hush, Hush, "My Eyes, They Bleed!": House of Night, "Kill it with Fire!": Twilight, and even, yes, "Are You Fuckin' Kidding Me?!": Carrier of the Mark all 5 glorious stars.
This is the worst book I have ever read.
Why, oh, why did I read it? I should have listened to the Fates (Kat, Paige, Phoebe). They warned me of this, but I didn't listen. I almost ALWAYS agree with them on books. Why did I think this would be a different story? I will never doubt your wisdom again, ladies.
This one time I let myself be influenced by another popular reviewer who claimed to absolutely love this book. I was conned! Fooled! Bamboozled! Hoodwinked!
The only logical answer is that Hades himself was behind the plot to fry my remaining brain cells. *rubs chin* Yes, that must be it. I've been trolled by the Lord of the Underworld himself.
ARE YOU HAPPY?!
ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY NOW?!
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?!
Y-y-you heartless bastard.
This review will not be nice. No one will be spared. Not even the children.
*flips through her notebook*
Good thing I took plenty of notes then. Hahahaha!
Dear, Gandhi! It was terrible! Immediately when I started to read, I felt my eye balls start rebuking me. "Noooooooooo, don't make us! You are evil! You are heartless! Why do you hate us! We've been good to you!" I'm not exaggerating when I say this was amateur at best and eye-bleeding bad at worse. The book is littered with ridiculously simple sentences that remind me of a children's book. "See Helen Spot run? Helen Spot can run fast! Run, Helen Spot. Run!" Metaphors and similes exsit for a reason. Let's use them. But that's not event the worst of it. There were countless pages of info-dumping as well. SHOW DON'T TELL! And the dialogue...OMFG. It was painfully obvious that they were trying entirely too hard to sound like "hip" teens.
"What the holy hand grenade was that?"
It felt goofy as hell.
"Unbefrickinglievable," Hector cusses quietly into the silence.
I just wanted to shake them. Shake them all.
The plot was a damn mess. Basic run down:
- Lucas and his Brady Bunch family move to the neighborhood. - Helen and Lucas almost kill each other. - They break curse/spell/whatever and fall in love over night. - Oh noz! Helen is in danger. - Helen suddenly becomes a sex kitten. - Lucas denies her advances. - Helen wonders if he is gay. Contemplates sex change.
"...she decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it."
- Demi-god training. - Oh, but wait! Now, she is invincible! - "Sex, please," says Helen. "No means no, Helen. It would destroy the world!" Lucas cries. - Shit happens, people die. - "OMG! So we won't destroy the world after all! I'm horny. Let's do it," Lucas declares. *rams tongue down throat* "Ew. We are first cousins! We can never be together! Fuck our fuckin' life!" she whines.
Keep up Hades!
Angelini tries to confuse the readers with her many plot twists, but all the plot really does is run around the mulberry bush chasing the weasel. There was nothing clever about it. I could tell that I was supposed to be like, "Whoa! My teeny little brain never saw that coming!" IT NEVER HAPPENED!
Let's play Name That Sue! But first you're going to need a few clues about her personality:
- I'm super beautiful, but I don't notice it! - I'm the "last" person in my family. Woe is me! - I'm so powerful and useless, love me! - I'm so selfless. Here, let me love you! - My characterization has been used over and over in tons of books, but I have super speshul powers! I'm kewler than them! Answers: Black Hole Sue, God Mode Sue, Sympathetic Sue, Anti-Sue... my god. It's too many Sues to count! It's a Thirty Sue Pileup!
Helen is an idiot.
Most of the novel she's running around with twinkling stars in her eyes and clueless to everything that is happening around her. She is beautiful in every way. So much so, that it is normal for people to just sit and stare at her. Everybody loves her and the world kisses her ass every chance it gets. Her favorite hobbies include going grocery shopping, cooking for her dad, doing homework, and personal hygiene. Oh hey, Bella! I didn't see you there!
The moment Helen and Lucas stop attempting to end each other's life, they immediately start holding hands and declaring their love for one another. (Oh, insta-love! How I hate thee!) She's never had a boyfriend or been kissed until Lucas and his family move into town. There is just something about Lucas that brings out everything in Helen. And I do mean everything. Her entire life she has had all these powerful mystical powers, but she never knew about them because whenever she would use them unknowingly in front of mortals she would get a nasty bout of menstrual cramps! Little does Helen know that her cramps were a cursed placed on her by her very own mother. But it was totally for her protection. Of course. *eyeroll* If that isn't some bullshit, I don't know what is.
So anyway, with every new plot twist, Helen seems to get a new power. Which basically means she keeps getting more and more useless. All she does is say, "Oh, but I don't want to hurt anyone! Even if they are trying to kill me, I can't justify their deaths!" Are you kidding me? She has no sense of self-preservation.
"I knew if I started blocking him he'd just get angrier, and then I would eventually have no choice by to hit him so hard he wouldn't be able to hit me back."
Go on and let it out, Hades!
That was during a SELF-DEFENSE session. How is it that a character can be so powerful and do NOTHING with her powers? What is the point?!*breath in, breath out* Sorry, guys. The stupidity makes it hard to breath. Thankfully, one of the other characters noticed this madness and said:
"She'd better get it in her. Because I don't want any of the people I love to die defending her lazy ass."
That was the only good part of the entire book. >_>
Then I hit the next chapter and Cassandra has a sword aimed for Helen's head and she JUST STANDS THERE.
Cassandra swung her sword. In that millisecond Helen knew she'd had a good life, because she suddenly loved it so much that she could have wept with gratitude. She'd had amazing friends, the best dad in the world, and a strong, healthy body...
I thought she was going to finally die! I was like, "Yes! KILL HER NOW! Doooo iiiittttt!" And you know what happens? She levels up out of nowhere!
Why won't she roll over and die already?!
So now she's invincible and can't be killed by any weapons AND she's the most powerful demi-god. REALLY?! >Implied Facepalm<
Yet, believe it or not all those things I could have semi-forgiven and gave this book 1 star, maybe 2 for good effort. The biggest problem with this book: It's SEXIST. This book offended me on so many levels, it's not even funny. Let me count the ways:
Causal jokes about domestic abuse:
"I'll just tell him you abuse me," she said with a shrug. "And I'll tell him you like it," he teased back. That shit is not amusing. AT ALL. Lots of women suffer from domestic abuse every day and Angelini pokes fun?! What messages are we sending our young girls? That this is romantic banter? This is why young girls think it is okay to tweet crazy shit like they would let Chris Brown hit them any time. This is why we are seeing people happy about him singing songs with Rihanna. We need to speak up against this. IT IS NOT OKAY! OMG, I'm so angry right now, I'm seeing red. RAGE.
Use your powers in the kitchen!:
Everything about Ariadne was so feminine and round and lovely that Helen simply couldn't imagine anyone hitting her. "Do you guys do this to each other often? The fighting, I mean." Ariadne was shaking her head before Helen had even finished talking. "No. We spar together to stay in shape, but only the boys really fight, and only when they need to get something off their chests."
WHAT?! The only reason why they fight is to stay in shape? THEY ARE DEMI-GODS!!!!!
"Now go to sleep," he ordered.
Come again? He what?! Oh, hell no. Let a guy come home and start ordering me around. I've got two words for him:
He kissed her neck and said he was sorry over and over, but try as she might, he wouldn't let her face him. She began to feel like she was being used.
"Is Zach after you?" Lucas asked with wide eyes. "Oh, not really. He wants to talk to me about something, I think," Helen said as if it wasn't important. She shut her mouth before she could say too much. "Yeah, I'll bet," Lucas said with a sneer, his blue eyes turning nearly black as he sensed her untruth. Is there any reason for Zach to think that you might be single?"
At this point he never even asked her to be his girl friend! He goes throughout most of the book just holding her hand, but telling everyone else they don't really have a relationship. And then he pulls this line:
"Are you trying to make me jealous or are you just so frustrated that you're already looking for someone else? Someone who would give in to you?"
I just... can't.
Women should be held to high standards and oh, yeah, they're evil:
"A lady never cheapened herself by using foul language."
"He had sworn to remove the feminine evil of the cestus from the world so that all men could control their lust.
Yup, thats right. It's totally a woman's fault a man can't control himself. I can't believe women have been fighting for RIGHTS just so we can write about this kind of stuff! Around 80% this book gets super ridiculous with making Helen and her mother out to be "semxy sex pots". Helen is so damn useless powerful and horny that she pretty much starts playing Lady GaGa's Love Game, trying to take off Lucas' clothes at every opportunity she gets.
Let's have some fun this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick!
I suppose this is what she is supposed to look like:
I can see you staring there from across the block with a smile on your mouth and a hand on your HUH!
There are a ton of other problems with this book, but I've wasted enough of my life with Starcrossed. I probably have enough anger and quotes to write a damn book myself. I just... can't. I'm offended this was written. I offended that it was published. I offended people think this is okay.
Stephen King once said, "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." I couldn't agree more, Stephen. With that, we shall kick this...more Stephen King once said, "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." I couldn't agree more, Stephen. With that, we shall kick this off with a joke:
I'm sorry folks. I just could not get through this shit book another time. However, since I've already read it a few times, I feel extremely confident in skipping to the review. But first, can someone please explain to me why this book is 563 pages?! Seriously, how is it possible a book with almost no plot can be so long? When I first read New Moon back in 2008, I didn't like it. In fact I'm not even sure why it had three stars because I remember being super frustrated. Even though Edward and Bella's relationship deeply disturbs my soul, Bella is so incredibly boring without him. I'm not even sure how Stephenie Meyer managed 563 pages. Truly, I'm amazed because I can sum up New Moon in one big picture:
But let's get on with it, I'll go into some detail for ya.
The book starts off on Bella's 18th birthday, a day she has been dreading for months only because in her mind she will be one year older than Edward. So, she makes a huge production about people not celebrating her birthday, but the Cullens ignore her and Alice plans a party. Before Edward forces her to attend they watch Romeo and Juliet (the book's supposed theme) and they have merry little conversation about Edward's contingency plans once Bella dies. Now, let's not forget they've only been dating for a few months. Yet, here they are making out and talking about killing themselves in the event of the other's death. How romantic. Don't even ask me the logic behind how they can even kiss when his teeth are supposed to be "venom coated." Stephenie Meyer gives some bull shit excuse she must have learned from ass-grab 101. But I digress...
Finally, they make it to the birthday party. Bella gets a paper cut and Jasper almost single-handedly ends this series on page 29.
Unfortunately, to my dismay his attempt was foiled by Edward. Eddie pushes Bella out the way and she crashes into the glass plates, slashing up her arm. Pause, let's think about that scene a bit: Who's bright idea was it to have glass plates? With a human. In a room full of vampires. That drink blood. Isn't Alice psychic? Why didn't she see Bella cutting her finger on the wrapping paper? Wait, don't think about that because if you spend all your time contemplating the stupidity, we'll never get through this review.
Obviously, Eddie is not happy with the events that went down at his place and Bella further irritates him by apologizing for...wait for it...being human. Bella, you know you've been hanging out with mythical creatures too much when you start thinking your humanity isn't normal. But anyway, Eddie does what any loving boyfriend would do after their girlfriend is attack by their brother: he ignores her. And because Eddie is "Alpha Male Edward" and Bella is "Submissive Mary Sue Bella," she doesn't confront him about it. Instead, she waits for him to be ready. On the third day of ignoring her, he drags he into the words and chucks up the deuces. The exchange goes a little like this: Alpha Male Edward tells Submissive Mary Sue Bella firmly, "No, I don't want you to come. You're no good for me." And she pretty much agrees realizing how much of a waste of space she is. Then Edward just pours salt all over her open wound and tells her:
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid," he ordered, no longer detached. "Do you understand what I'm saying?...I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself--for him." I nodded helplessly.
Wow. Relly? You're just going to let him order you around like that? How about you look after yourself FOR YOU first, everyone else second? Awesome Bells. Can I call you Bells? Not only do you have ZERO self-preservation skills, but also no self-confidence. Just awesome. There's only about a million or so girls looking up to you as a role model. No pressure to be a strong female character. You could have walked away from this with grace, but no, instead all your dignity flies out the window when you pull a bitch move and run after Edward through the woods. Then, she defaults back to "Fuck my life" mode and slips into a depression for four fucking months. I find it kind of funny her depression was longer than their actual relationship. Heh. But this wasn't just any depression, it was some serious shit.
I always had nightmares now, every night. Not nightmares really, not in the plural, because it was always the same nightmare. You'd think I'd get bored after so many months, grow immune to it.
Or how about this:
Even my outsides looked different--my face sallow, white except for the purple circles the nightmares had left under my eyes. My eyes were dark enough against my pallid skin that--if I were beautiful and seen from a distance--I might even pass for a vampire now.
Once again I find myself asking the question: Where are her parents?! Why did Charlie let this go on for FOUR months?! She should have been in counseling or something. But Meyer thinks she can just pacify readers by Renee sending a random e-mail here and there or Charlie just suggesting she seek help, only to be shot down by Bella. Fail. So much fail.
All that considered, that's not even the biggest problem I have with this book. Bella soon figures out she can conjure up hallucinations of Edward if she does something reckless or suicidal. This is where Jake comes into play. Bella uses Jake (like everyone else) to get what she wants by asking him to fix up two motorcycles she found and giving her riding lessons. She figures it will be the perfect thing to help her see more of Edward. I suppose she simply forgot how big of a klutz she is and once the bikes are fixed the lessons commence. The first time she gets on she falls off and Jake (the only one with common sense) thinks they should call it a day before she gets hurt. But Bella thinks this is BK and she can have it her way, and gets back on the bike. Chick has gone batshit crazy and she promptly busts her ass. But she doesn't care because her mission was a success! She got to see and hear Edward! Her next brilliant idea is to throw herself off a cliff during high tide. The first time I read this I was secretly hoping she would drown, but the other two books already were published, so it was a hopeless wish. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the actual plot. LOL. Funny how that happens when there isn't one, huh? LOL. The She-vamp, Victoria, is scoping out the area trying to get to Bella. But her part is VERY small in this book (like the plot), so we don't really need to talk about her. I suppose the wolf pack is worth mentioning: They're pretty much a bunch of wannabe werewolves that run around with their shirts off. That's all you really need to know about them.
So, finally Alice shows up in chapter 18 because she thought Bella was trying to commit suicide (close enough Alice). And through a nice little exchange of "he said, she said" BS, Edward is off to Italy to kill himself. This causes Bella to go into "hero" mode and race to Italy and save Edward. I really don't care enough to give my thoughts on the race to Italy. That entire part was rushed and anti-climatic. There isn't even a fight scene. Instead here is a timeline courtesy of Reasoning with Vampires (Thanks for the link Cait and Jen!):
Anyway, they get back to good old Forks and Bella composes a vote on everyone's thoughts of her joining team undead. Edward is at a steady "no" along with Rosalie. But everyone else says, "Hell yes!" Like becoming a vampire is a party or something. Funny thing is when Bella asks Jasper he goes: And she's all: Hmm, yeah, that's not weird at all. Not the least bit creepy.
In the last few pages Edward and Jake have a little pissing contest and Edward proposes to Bella. The End. Yawn. Thank God it's over.
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book 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"]>["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)
Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motiv...more Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motivate myself with promises of chocolate ("If you just read one more page..."), just to get through it.
I usually don't give too many books only 1 star. In fact there is only one book I can think of that angered me this much and that was The Vampire Diaries: The Return. I only got 50 pages deep into it before I flung it across the room. So I am very proud that I was able to finish this POS to write a review.
There is NO reason this book should have a higher rating than Mockingjay, a few Harry Potter books, and The Pride and the Predjudice. NO REASON.
After all of that, I have one question for Cassandra Clare:
Was this some sort of sick April fool's joke? Why was this even published?
Now before the fangirls come out to defend their master , let me explain.
I actually liked the original 3 books. I wouldn't say I loved them or call them literary masterpieces, but I *did* find them entertaining.
City of Endless Angst City of Fallen Angels picks up 2 months after City of Glass left off. One would think the conflict between Jace and Clary was over, but no. CC has the nerve to regress her characters. And there lies my biggest problem with the book: WHERE WAS THE PLOT? While everyone was busy fawning over each other, Shadowhunters are being murdered! But, alas, no one gives a shit.
How would I describe our characters in CoFA, you ask? Well a picture is worth a thousand words:
DracoJace: Bordered between and Wangsty teen and a cocky prick And yes kids, he actually says he is better than everyone.
Clary: "He loves me. He loves me not."
Simon: I really liked him in the orignial trilogy. I found him funny. Sadly, he was boring. He wandered around this book with not a clue what was going on.
Alec and Magnus: *sigh* They didn't even show up until half the book was over. And when they did all they did is bitch about Magnus' past sex life. Yes, more and more angst.
The gang is supposed to be investigating the murders of the shadowhunters, but there isn't much investigating going on. Instead, they are too busy ignoring each other, going to Simon's band gigs, and ripping each other's clothes off in an alley. Speaking of Simon, he is apparently dating Isabelle and Maia at the same time. Yet, he doesn't know how it happened. Ya, Simon, we already established that you are confused.
What's driving Jace and Clary apart? Well, Jace starts having these nightmares where just as he and Clary are ripping away their clothes, he kills her. He decides to ignore her, so as not to hurt her. Why Clare, why? Why did you have to play the "I love you, can't you see it's killing me?!" card? Stephenie Meyer already cashed in on that lotto ticket amoungst other recent, pathetic YA novels.
To top it off, we have evil minions in gray track suits and sneakers and a badass villain killed in the most shitty ending I have ever read. And that cliffhanger! Not everyone who dies has to come back to life, Clare. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Valentine makes an appearance in the next two books.
Clare is also very inconsistent with her storyline. When Kyle is first introduced to us he has black hair. However, two pages later he has brown hair. Jace doesn't believe in God, yet has the most angel blood in him that anyone else. The *Pepsi* sign is blue and red, not Coca Cola. Jace doesn't understand any of the pop culture references Simon quotes, but Jace spews Shakespeare lines off like its second nature. Seriously, why didn't the editors catch this?
Does my review seem like it's all over the place? Well, good cause that's exactly how this book was. ALL.OVER.THE.DAMN.PLACE.
A few days ago Clare posted a FAQ about the book and ending. She is basically validating why she, Almighty Author, is a genius and you, lowly reader, are an idiot. You can read it here if you haven't already. http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com...
And you know what I have to say to her little condescending FAQ? Cassandra Clare, I'm calling you out on the bull shit. It's time to stop riding J.K. Rowling's cash cow. Get off, the ride is over!