I guess I expected too much from this book, despite the polarizing reviews on here. It was certainly entertaining enough to read in one night, but itI guess I expected too much from this book, despite the polarizing reviews on here. It was certainly entertaining enough to read in one night, but it didn't leave me grasping for more. It just wasn't enough.
Despite the following list of things that fell short for me, this was a fun read, and I don't regret reading it, but I don't think I'll be reading the sequel. It did satisfy my craving for a quick YA with plucky lady characters, and so it was right for what I wanted to read today. That being said:
1. Such sparse world building! Why do only women have these powers? What is the purpose behind Mr. Keane making them do all these bad things, beyond just to be bad and controlling? Why is Fia a special snowflake with powers no one else has, while her sister and others have "normal" powers? Does this really even count as a dystopia?
2. Not enough sister love :( Lots of telling "they love each other so much" but I didn't see the evidence of it. With so many YA books (particularly YA scifi/dystopias) focused on love interests, I was really hoping for a nice show of girl friendship and love, especially between sisters! But Fia fawned over James so much instead of showing any real love for her sister beyond a responsibility to protect her.
3. Fia is one angsty chick. Obviously she's going to be angry about the things she's been made to do, but it took over her entire characterization. She was very one note, as were all the other characters that fell flat. I didn't find Annie and Fia to be that different from each other, beyond Fia's constant anger and jadedness. As another reviewer has said, I only saw hints of depth in James, who at least seems connected to his motivation. Also, what happened to describing characters' appearances? I feel like all I know is that they all have brown hair and they're all hot, big help there.
4. Such simplistic writing! Though that's probably very reason I was able to read it in one sitting.... I could have done without all the repeated sentences/words. At some point, I just started skipping over them. There is no reason at all to repeat the same sentence SEVEN TIMES in a row (yes, this actually happened once).
5. Insta-love, ugh. Lots of ogling James because he's so hot but, oh no, he might be evil! But he feels so right...yet so wrong. And gee, Adam is so hot and sweet but I don't deserve him because I've done bad things, woe is me. Adam was thrown in clearly to start a love triangle, but he's not there for more than 10% of the book and all interaction with him seems so forced. James is probably the most fleshed out character of the book, so I support him being around, but it was all very cliche.
6. This is a more personal thing, but just use 3rd person. I'm getting sick of 1st person YA books with multiple POVs. It's an overused gimmick. This is especially true when the POVs show little to no variance with character voice and I have to constantly check which narrator I'm following....more
I don't know how I finished this. The plot was confusing and strange. It just didn't seem to be tied down at all to anything realistic. Some elementsI don't know how I finished this. The plot was confusing and strange. It just didn't seem to be tied down at all to anything realistic. Some elements of it, like whatever Greek monster was mentioned, could have interesting, but they just felt flat and thrown in. The writing was also not so great. There was a lot of telling and not very much showing. I felt like I knew nothing about the main character's personality by the end and I even forgot her name a few times while reading. There were a few mentions of her past in the US, how she didn't have many friends and got involved in the wrong crowd, but I didn't see how that had effected her in the present at all. I felt like I learned nothing about any of the other characters, either, and there didn't seem to be much character growth throughout the book. I was really just confused and almost bored by the end, and though I was ready to put down the book by the halfway mark, I kept reading to see just how crazy the plot would get. Will not be reading the next book......more
cons: -confusing world, kind of flat characters, a lot of random shit going on that is supposed to be world building but really just takes up space, utcons: -confusing world, kind of flat characters, a lot of random shit going on that is supposed to be world building but really just takes up space, utterly predictable plot twists, contrived love triangle that is doomed on every angle, familiar plot/character moves from other movies/books/series, and not a lot of great editing going around.
pros: -easy/quick enough to read if you can look past the cons, not so horrible that i gave up reading (hence 2 stars instead of 1), i also generally enjoyed clary and maybe simon a little bit (though the other characters....meh.)
now i didn't read this book for a loooong time because of cassandra clare's past. yep, that past, the one with her epic harry potter fanfiction that plagiarized from various different sources and how she cyber-bullied anyone who spoke out against her. i've also seen quotes from her fanfic compared to quotes from city of bones (you can find them in other reviews) and they are EXACTLY THE SAME, and if the fic is plagiarized then.... well, you do the math.
i definitely won't be supporting her by buying anymore of her books, though i may find them online for free and see if they get any better. we shall see.......more
Just finished reading Verita after borrowing it from the Kindle library a while ago. I liked it a lot! Brett was an enjoyable protagonist with enoughJust finished reading Verita after borrowing it from the Kindle library a while ago. I liked it a lot! Brett was an enjoyable protagonist with enough character flaws to not be a Mary Sue but still be relatable and kept me rooting for her. Brody frustrated me a lot, though the storyline with him was pretty easy to figure out once other people started acting the same way, so I understood why Brett couldn't just shut him out of her life. I felt the Ryan had a good amount of flaws, too (which is a good thing!), and I'm looking forward to reading the next book to see how he and Brett work out. The world was interesting, as well: rooted enough in Earth to not be too much to get through, but also distinct enough for it to be interesting to read about in small doses. A few small parts were cliched or happened too quickly (in terms of character development/emotions), but the quality of writing wasn't bad and I knew these things would happen anyway, so it didn't bother me too much to skip a bit of the suspense. The present tense was a bit jarring at times; I think it would have worked a bit better in past tense, but this wasn't such a big deal to keep me from enjoying the story. I also wished that there was a bigger sense of struggle when they were in the wild. The only time they really seemed to go through hardship was when Ryan fell sick, and even then, I felt like I was being told more about Brett's feelings than shown her feelings. And did they really have enough jerky for over a month? And did those berries really have enough nutrients to constitute a whole meal?
Regardless, time to start on book two! There are a few things that jumped out at me from Verita (how did they heal from things so quickly? Like the cracked rib and the bite from Caper?), so hopefully they'll be addressed and not just red herrings!...more
A typical trashy Pretty Little Liars book, where I yell at the characters for their stupidity throughout the entire thing. I sort of hate these booksA typical trashy Pretty Little Liars book, where I yell at the characters for their stupidity throughout the entire thing. I sort of hate these books for being so awful, but then I need to know how it all ends, too, and so I keep reading. And, let's be honest, it's a nice little break, so read something so easy and titillating. The girls are on a cruise this time, but the book still follows the formula of the previous ones: They suspect someone who is slightly suspicious, put all their eggs in one basket, and turn up with nothing, in even worse shape than before. Sure, I'm getting tired of this process, because I know it'll end up with no more leads and one big reveal at the end to make me want to buy the next. I wish Shepard would switch up her formula a bit and get me guessing again, because at this point, I know, without a doubt, that who the girls suspect is never actually going to be A. I would be lying if I said I won't read the next one, but I'll also still stick to borrowing the book from a friend so I don't actually have to pay for something that is vastly below my reading level. (Who else do I have to blame but myself?)...more