I can pretty much sum up about 90% of my issues with this book with this magical piece of writing advice that every w...more 2.5 stars. It was ... not great
I can pretty much sum up about 90% of my issues with this book with this magical piece of writing advice that every writer, no matter how stupid or brilliant, should follow:
If it's not essential, don't include it in the story.
- Love, TV Tropes and Idioms
As someone who had to suffer through countless pages of boring exposition and dialogue from pointless characters that added nothing/next to nothing to the main plot (hello there LA crew, Maia and the pack, Maureen and the vampire clan, Tessa and Jem, THE ENTIRE SHADOWHUNTER COUNCIL AND YOUR BORING ASS MEETINGS), I love this rule. Trim the fat. Flex out the grey matter.
To be honest, even if this rule had been followed, there are still huge flaws, like lack of character development from some major characters, lack of tension and lack of surprises. If I hadn't already had extremely low expectations, I would be furious right now, and I really do feel for the hardcore fans who had to wait two years and are crushingly disappointed. I was actually a little bewildered how uninspired it was. But as such, I could enjoy it on some level for the fluff that it was (once I learned that skimming over the POVs that bored me would not confuse my understanding of the plot at all). Simon and Isabelle were awesome, at least. The only lines I ever LOL'd at were Simon's, and I loved his arc. Who knew he'd end up being my favourite character. (less)
*slams head on desk* Damn it, I liked it. Although to be fair, Cassie's writing has vastly, vastly improved - she's come a long way from City of Bones...more*slams head on desk* Damn it, I liked it. Although to be fair, Cassie's writing has vastly, vastly improved - she's come a long way from City of Bones and is finally writing in the lyrical way she's been wanting to for so long. Not to mention this is the first well written love triangle I've ever come across, and the resolving of it was - while a little copout-y - dealt with grace and maturity from all parties involved. Minus one star for too many uninteresting subplots.
Guess I'm still stuck in Cassie's thrall. *sigh* (less)
What happens in Book 5 of this never-ending series:
1) Jace is golden with his gold eyes, his gold hair and his gold skin. 2) Maia/Jordan, Alec/Magnus,...moreWhat happens in Book 5 of this never-ending series:
1) Jace is golden with his gold eyes, his gold hair and his gold skin. 2) Maia/Jordan, Alec/Magnus, Jocelyn/Luke and of course, Clary/Jace fight over who gets to be the Most Epic Couple of All Time. All will give prolific, melodramatic speeches about how their love is true, how they have never loved anybody else, and how nothing in the world is, or ever will be, more important than their significant other. 3) Clary/Jace will always win, because Clary is actually Cassandra Clare, and Clare is in love with Jace, her fictional character. 4) Clary is confused if bad Jace is the real Jace because he’s still as golden and leonine as ever. 5) Maia and Jordan literally waste about 75 pages for no reason. They add absolutely nothing to this book, or this series, at all. 6) Every character acts and talks exactly the same. This is coming from someone who is actually starting to lose track of all the secondary characters and their bland names. 7) Sebastian proves to be evil by making cryptic comments and mooning over his sister. You thought the incest would end in Book 3? Pfft! 8) Simon and Isabelle are the only semi-realistic, semi-interesting couple in the book. 9) Clary needs to keep her burning loins in check from the golden, honeyed, bronze god that is Jace as he tries to ravage her. But don’t worry, this is YA, so they have to make sex the be all and end all of relationships, so the sacred act will be saved for the grand finale. 10) Pages upon pages are spent in vivid detail on the everyday clothes everyone is wearing. 11) Blood. Copious, fetish-y descriptions of blood. 12) Kissing. OH MY GOD the kissing. So. Much. Kissing. Make out sessions upon make out sessions. But no sex, because sex is bad and teenagers in committed relationships who claim to love each other more than life itself can’t have sex. Why? I dunno, they just can’t. It’s not like real teenagers without the whole “soul mate” backdrop ever have sex. Someone always walks in the room, or one party starts gasping “WE CAN’T DO THIS!” or something. (No seriously, WHY is sex such a big damn deal in YA?) 13) Jace become even more golden and heavenly and caramel-y and flaxen-y and honeyed and every other fucking adjective for “dark yellow” there could possibly be than before.
At this point, I don’t even know if I’ll read book 6. There is no passion behind these books at all, like Clare is just going through the motions. This series has become a soap opera, plain and simple, with a fantasy backdrop. I hate to admit this, but the haters are right – the author has no originality, and she never did. She recycles and recycles some more. No way in HELL am I reading “The Dark Artifices” or anything else set in this world. If she decides to step outside this damn series, I’ll consider it. (less)
This is my 200th book added on Goodreads (yay!) so I thought, hey, might as well do a review …
Definitely the weakest of the three stories...moreThis is my 200th book added on Goodreads (yay!) so I thought, hey, might as well do a review …
Definitely the weakest of the three stories. I’m probably biased because I absolutely adore Goblin Market (I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite poem of all time) and I didn’t see it done justice here. Granted the story is only about fifty pages, but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been more enticing, reflecting its original material. There was one section where we’re told how Kizzy aches to be noticed, and that really got my heart pumping, but other than that, I didn’t find Kizzy desperate enough. Goblin Market is very much based in desire/lust/passion, and I found this too flaky – it wasn’t really the dark and alluring story it tried to be, which had largely to do with its narrator.
And another thing – I’m about to spoil every Laini Taylor book for you – it bothers me how EVERY SINGLE HEROINE that Taylor writes is gorgeous. No, not just pretty, but impossibly, ethereally, uniquely, and perfectly b-e-a-utiful. It’s almost insulting how we’re supposed to feel sorry for Kizzy, an exotically beautiful girl, who’s insecure because she’s not the “average” kind of beautiful. Yeah, whatever.
Spicy Little Curses:
This story is definitely a fairytale, but what I like about it is that it isn’t simple. Sacrifices are made, and not everything is wrapped up in a pretty little package. As always, the writing gorgeous, and the characters are cute and likeable. My only wish is that I wish more attention was focused on Estella, who I found far more intriguing than the two mains.
By Hatchling, I wasn’t very impressed with this book, but this story made up for EVERYTHING. It was twisted, sensuous, and highly creative (my favorite things, naturally).
I wish Taylor had made this one into a full book. I totally would’ve read it. Mab’s back story was heartbreaking – imagining a tiny little girl neglected and abused by those monsters – urgh! It made me go cold all over. Those pages with Mab were impossible for me to tear my eyes away from, despite my horror, and it only made me like her more as a character as an adult. And that “mating” scene was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read.
The history of the Druj was fascinating as well, although just thinking about them makes my stomach tighten. They’re creepy, they’re horrible, they’re disgusting. As the story unfolds, and we find out why the story is called “Hatchling”, they become even more interesting – the mythos here is amazing. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. And I love the ending, giving them just a little bit of hope for a better future. In fact, the ending was perfect. That last sentence made me smile.
If you’re into “weirder” fantasy, give this a try. The writing is beautiful (Taylor never relies on clichés with her similes and descriptions, which I love!), and you won’t be able to NOT gaze the illustrations. The stories (in my opinion) go from weakest to strongest, so if you must read one, skip to the end and read Hatchling. (less)
Warm, sweet and poignant – the perfect book to curl up with in bed right before you go to sleep, when you want to feel better.
I had a hard time gett...moreWarm, sweet and poignant – the perfect book to curl up with in bed right before you go to sleep, when you want to feel better.
I had a hard time getting into this one at first, mainly because of the main character, Ana. While her defensiveness and pessimism may have been believable, it reminded me eerily of a friend of mine that sucks the life out of me every time I’m around her. The cynical attitude about EVERYTHING was uncanny. Still, I pushed passed it, and grew to really like Ana on her journey because she grew so much. She started out as an abandoned victim, but instead of giving in to the anger and hurt, she pushed on and became a strong individual. And now, looking back, I see that she had to be that way in the beginning so she COULD grow. The author did a really good job creating a vulnerable and relatable narrator, making her completely realistic due to her circumstances.
A large part – if not all – of the credit due to Ana’s progress was due to Sam. Their budding friendship/relationship was adorable, and Sam’s patience in the beginning was like a superpower. Honestly, Ana was very difficult to deal with, but he saw something in her, and she blossomed because of it. I personally loved how slow their relationship moved, because otherwise it wouldn’t have been realistic. Ana needed a lot of time and a lot of encouragement to trust again, and Sam gave it to her. It’s true what everyone’s saying: there’s no instalove to worry about in this book!
The world building was a little bit strange, but the more time I got used to it, the more I liked it. The reincarnation element was really cool, and I thought it was interesting that the souls were genderless. It made me think about what “identity” really means. I suppose a pure, unadulterated soul really doesn’t have a gender, if you think about it. I read a couple reviews mentioning that if that were true, then there wouldn’t be instances of people feeling they are “in the wrong body”, but if those cases, those people really are chemically and physiologically different – they really SHOULD be the other gender. Remove the hormones and really, what would we be?
ANYWAYS, I thought it was really cute, making me feel all fuzzy whenever I finished a chapter.
BTW, can someone please explain to me what a one-shoulder shrug is? There are THREE of them in this book. (less)
There’s some people I dearly want to address, so I’m gonna do it now, because let’s face it, I’m never going to actually be able to do it in real life...moreThere’s some people I dearly want to address, so I’m gonna do it now, because let’s face it, I’m never going to actually be able to do it in real life.
Dear Shay, Really? No, REALLY? You think it’s cliché for girls to like Pride and Prejudice, do you? Of course, why would girls like Pride and Prejudice? It’s not like it’s one of the most beloved novels in the world and has stood the ultimate test of time. But no, it’s cliché because girls like it because it’s about *marriage* - no, there’s nothing more to the story than that you sexist, close-minded douchebag. Clearly Buffy comics are far more sophisticated than Pride and Prejudice – my little mind just can’t comprehend your tastes. Here’s hoping you die in a hole in England, Diana P.S. I always root for the good boy, but you made it positively impossible. Good luck being a tool. P.P.S. You’re not cute because you hike and eat granola bars and Gatorade for lunch.
Dear Publishing Companies Who Sell YA Books, Hi, there. Clearly there has been some sort of misunderstanding going on that I feel a personal responsibility to correct as someone who at one point actually cared for the YA genre. Some sort of memo got out that Twilight was actually something that you should try to be replicating and that it was something with literary quality to begin with. This entire Twilight franchise was fabricated – you’ve just been PUNK’D. Please go back with trying to emulate stuff like Narnia, Harry Potter or even The Hunger Games, or, if you’re feeling really brave – something original altogether. Cheers, Diana
Dear Andrea Cremer, WTF is this!?! How dare you? How dare you make this super cool world with warlocks, werewolves, wraiths, incubi, alternate dimensions and all that other awesome stuff and then throw it away to focus on your lame love triangle! You could have done so much with that! Think of all the politics you could’ve made up! There’s so much magic going on in this, you could have made the world so complex, so dark, so epic. And what do I get instead? Calla going back and forth between two lukewarm love interests that you keep insisting are interesting. I went in with a predisposition to like Shay because I actually find good boys way hotter than bad boys (come on, they’re recklessly brave and sweet and have that awesome hero complex) but I couldn’t STAND this guy. He was like that annoying little sister that’s trying to tag along with the big kids that think she can take care of herself but of course, the older kids always have to end up saving her when she does something stupid. Ren was kind of charismatic when he wasn’t sexually harassing Calla. By the way, I think your heroine has a bit of a problem – she seems to orgasm every time I guy so much as brushes her shoulder. She should probably get that checked out. Thanks for making me both jealous and frustrated, Diana P.S. I read this book after I had WISDOM TOOTH SURGERY and I was BEDRIDDEN and I was STILL bored reading this. Your characters are that bland and I cared that little about what happened to them. Next time - more focus on the plot, less on romance. Somethin' to think about.(less)
There isn’t much more I can say other than: if you won’t read it for the romance (don’t, it’s boring), the adventure, or the setting, please just read...moreThere isn’t much more I can say other than: if you won’t read it for the romance (don’t, it’s boring), the adventure, or the setting, please just read it for the unadulterated badass that is Rosie the Elephant. Jacob’s nice and all, the writing is beautiful, the plot is exciting, the secondary characters almost made me cry, and while Marlena is possibly the most flat character in the entire history of books, it doesn’t matter. Any wrongdoing will be corrected by Rosie and her smartass, sometimes outright terrifying, trunk.
I wonder if they sell pet elephants in Alberta … (less)
“Meanwhile, I was reduced to staring at the wiry, gray chest hair puffing out of Mr. Meyer’s polo shirt like overgrown steel wool and wondering wheth...more “Meanwhile, I was reduced to staring at the wiry, gray chest hair puffing out of Mr. Meyer’s polo shirt like overgrown steel wool and wondering whether or not he had ever considered waxing”.
Well that’s an ... interesting way of describing something.
“As I looked at him, I felt a certain fondness deep in my heart, but I shook the feeling off.”
Damn it, she sees a pretty guy for the first time, describes his appearance and clothing in detail, and she has a “special bond” with him. Fantastic.
“Another growl came, and then very heavy footsteps – like T-rex-shaking-the-water-cup-Jurassic-park-style heavy footsteps”.
This is how the first action scene is introduced. Just sayin’.
“But I wasn’t afraid. A calmness washed over me, and my mind analyzed at a lightning pace. Strange memories and thoughts that didn’t belong to me flooded into my mind: faces and violence I’d seen long ago in different times. I looked up at Will, whose face sparked the clearest and fondest memory. I knew I had to fight now, but I needed my weapons.”
Are you freaking kidding me??? She gets the memories of reincarnated lifetimes so she never has to actually learn how to fight? Or have to get to know this Will guy? It’s just GIVEN to her? Biggest case of deus ex machina ever? I think so.
“’I’m going to name him Marshmallow,’ I announced.”
She’s talking about a car. The morning after she fights a demon or something. *sigh* Rich girls.
“‘You rich girls and your stupid names for your cars,’ Chris said.”
I like this guy.
“We drove Kate’s BMW ... Kate stopped to ogle a table topped with shoes by Channel ... fondle a particular bag in the Valentino collection ... I decided on a cute, strapless, cream Badgley Mischka cocktail dress ... I knew I had the perfect matching black Marc Jacobs satin shoes ... adventurous black mesh-front Dolce& Gabbana bustier sheath dress .... we went to eat lunch at P.F. Chang’s ... Louis Vuitton boutique with a new bag ...”
Jesus H. Christ.
“I nodded, imagining what I’d do with tens of millions of dollars. Oh God – the shoes I could get with that.”
The Chosen One to save the world, ladies and gentlemen.
By the way, sidenote – I’m getting really tired of these really long explanations from Will. They’re really boring. It’d be way more natural if they just incorporated the answers in the story instead of these page long infodumps. They’re making my eyes water.
Oh! Other sidenote – Why exactly is this girl the Chosen One? I mean, she’s only good at fighting because of these memories, and even then, she doesn’t put her sacred duties very high on her priority list (just after her birthday party and movie night). Plus, she’s pretty shallow and not very bright. She’s actually a pretty normal teenager, which is fine, but if she’s a Chosen One, she shouldn’t be so ordinary.
“Why would he say something so dismissive and hurtful? Didn’t he understand how important my birthday party was to me? Wasn’t I important to him?”
Oh, the pseudo-problems of upper middle class teenage girls. She bitches that her dad is never around, when he’s the one working to pay for her stupid car and her party. I’d love to be rich for a day. It’d be kinda cool to know what it’s like when my birthday party going wrong is actually a real problem (I don’t think I’ve had a birthday party since I was nine).
“The reaper stepped toward me. ‘I am Ragnuk, and I am going to eat you now.’”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, man, I actually laughed out loud at this. That’s scary stuff, right there. Anyways, this was fun – actually, no fun at all – but I’ve got a huge stack of awesome books I can’t wait to read, and since this probably won’t improve my life in any sort of way, I’m dropping it. The writing is some of the worst I’ve seen in YA lit, and that’s saying something.
This book would have been more appropriately titled “City of Angst”. I mean really, what kind of crap was this? I knew there’d have to be relationship...moreThis book would have been more appropriately titled “City of Angst”. I mean really, what kind of crap was this? I knew there’d have to be relationship trouble because there were all these couples Cassie had to deal with, but it was TOO MUCH and COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY . Who’ve we got again? We’ve got:
- Clary and Jace: Who seem to have some pseudo-epic romance. Yes, those two weeks it took you to fall in love is comparable to the months/years it takes for people to ACTUALLY get to know each other. And yes Clary, claiming that you care more about your pretty boyfriend than curing world disease or hunger is romantic, not so unbelievably selfish and stupid that it shouldn’t even be put into this shallow teen book. Do they have anything in common? Really? Do they ever have fun? Because it seems all this “love” story consists of is making out, crying and cheesy speeches. That isn’t a relationship, and shouldn’t be deemed “epic”. - The Simon/Isabelle/Maia triangle: Probably the least angst-y, but still ridiculous. It was so out of character for Simon to two-time, it had to have only been put there for one reason: for filler. It was so obvious who he’d pick, anyway. Still, there were moments it was quite amusing. - Maia and Jordan: For crying out loud, this is getting out of control. What did this add? What was even the point of these two characters, anyhow? They were a waste of space. - Alec and Magnus: Alec had never really been a front runner character, but I knew his personality well enough from the first three books to know he was not this whiny or immature. Once again, pointless drama to show that no couple is perfect, everyone has problems. Yes. You’ve shown us that Cassie. Repeatedly. It was just so hackneyed because you knew Alec wasn’t like this; he’s much more of the quiet, mature type. Although it did bring up a pretty valid concern in their relationship: Magnus is immortal and Alec is not. It’ll be interesting to see how that’ll play out.
The only romance that wasn’t insane was between Jocelyn and Luke, but y’know, they’re ADULTS, so that wouldn’t be any fun. After all that crazy, it’s amazing there was any plot at all. It was a weak one, but there was one, something to do with demon babies and Lilith. It was clear this book was made solely on making more money, because this was such a different story, having nothing to do with the Mortal Instruments anymore, even though this book is still under that series. It was still somewhat entertaining – as always, there were a few witty scenes and quips – but this book wasn’t relevant. All the characters became whiny little self-absorbed bitches – their people were dying, there are babies being kidnapped, and they didn’t even really seem to care all that much. All that stuff took a backseat to relationship drama. To be honest, I’m being generous with the three stars but despite my hatred for romance, Simon being the main character helped matters a bit, because his sole purpose wasn’t having a girlfriend. Luckily for me, the next book doesn’t come out for quite some time. Maybe I can forget how eye-roll inducing this was by then. (less)
Shakespeare, I am SO mad at you. I love you, I really do, but this is ALL YOUR FAULT. I’m sure without you there would have been another stupid love s...moreShakespeare, I am SO mad at you. I love you, I really do, but this is ALL YOUR FAULT. I’m sure without you there would have been another stupid love story like this that would’ve spawned thousands of cheap, ugly imitations centuries later, but since we’ll never know, I need someone to blame. And yes, I know there were ones before R + J (Tristan and Isolde?) but for some reason, this is the pinnacle of the whole “forbidden love” tripe, and what bugs me the most, more than anything, is that I’m pretty sure Shakespeare was trying to make a valid point that went over the millions of girls’ heads that claim to love this (who’ve probably never read it), and is remembered only as “the best love story evaaarrr!”
Okay, I feel I’m repeating myself from my “Wuthering Heights” review, and like I said in that one, I could be completely wrong, and I could just be seeing what I want to see. I adore Shakespeare, and maybe I’m just trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, I don’t think I’m the only one who firmly believes R + J is one big satire. This was my first Shakespeare play, so I couldn’t have known then, but I have read quite a few since then, and from what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem like he’d take two stupid teenagers that could have lived happily ever after if they *weren’t* so stupid all that seriously. Everything they did to be together was just so crazy, and any voice of reason was blatantly ignored. If they had just LISTENED or just HELD ON for ONE BLOODY SECOND everything would have turned out differently. How can anyone who’s actually read this feel sorry for them? They would have been fine, but they screwed themselves over. Has no one actually read this?
You know something funny? All the girls who have actually read R + J think Romeo is a pain in the ass, and not romantic at all, but he’s got this legendary status. I’m seriously wondering if the only people who think he’s some kind of love god are the ones who haven’t READ it. When reading through the scene where he’s crying like a baby because he has to be away from Juliet for a couple days or something I just about died. I wanted to give Friar Lawrence I high five for calling him out on being a wuss, it was pathetic. This is the guy all men strive to be in women’s mind? Wha? Juliet’s a bit more bearable, she appears to have a few brain cells. Of the two, she definitely seems to be the logical, steady one of the couple, for the – what? – three days they were together.
If Shakespeare really did intend for this to be a satire (which I believe with all my heart he did, I have to) then he did a little too good a job, because everyone freaking missed it. But he does give a few good lessons on obsession, patience and youth if you want to see them. I can’t say I disliked the play, because come on, it’s Shakespeare. It’s funny in parts, witty, clever, entertaining and a star should be given solely for Mercutio’s presence. He’s amazing. I just can’t believe this is to be taken as seriously as it is. Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello – all these heroes were fatally flawed, and while they took part in their own undoing, you felt sorry for them because they were complex. Romeo and Juliet – I’m sorry – are not. They’re like the teenagers I actually know, who do nothing in life but fawn over their crush. Since we all know Shakespeare can create complex characters, doesn’t it seem logical to assume that if these characters are so flat, that maybe they aren’t to be pitied? Just my opinion.
I liked it, it was fun. But the main tragedy was only that R + J didn’t die sooner.
This book proved what I have been trying to tell people for ages – Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have any untapped potential. Zip. Nothing. The premise of t...moreThis book proved what I have been trying to tell people for ages – Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have any untapped potential. Zip. Nothing. The premise of this book had me so excited – an alien “soul” being inside a human girl, with both of them being in love with the same person. And it’s told from the alien’s point of view. What could go wrong, this book sounds amazing. And it probably would’ve been, if anybody else had written it besides Stephenie Meyer. My point is, if she can take an awesome premise like this and muck it up, then I don’t see how people can still back her up and say she has this “great hidden talent”.
I can just imagine all the different routes this book could have taken, how much she could have done with it. It’s one of those ideas that make you go, “Hey! I wish I had thought of that!” but as usual, Meyer screws it up by focusing on all the wrong things, mainly pages upon pages of angsty internal monologue and a sappy, annoying love-quadrangle. The most interesting part of the book for me was the beginning before all the relationship stuff starts and all the “human love is more powerful than anything” crap. *vomits* (Yes, I have a heart of stone) I also liked Wanda talking about her previous lives – another thing that if delved into could have been really interesting, but is barely mentioned. The ending picked up as well, and it became a fun read when they went into town to steal the medicine. It’s really too bad the book just didn’t end on the second last chapter. You know, before that page break that makes you think that’s where it ends – it would have been quite moving that way, instead of slipping back into Stephenie Meyer quality again.
The characters however, drove me crazy. Wanda is annoyingly perfect, clingy, whiny, nice and everyone loves her to a fault – where the HELL have I heard that before? Jared is a beautiful, controlling rage-a-holic – that one sounds familiar too. Ian was a bit better I guess, but still annoyingly perfect whose sole existence revolves around the heroine. Melanie I liked except for her insistence that Jared is her soulmate. She is so tough otherwise, I don’t see why she puts up with this Neanderthal ... no wait, I know why, it’s because he’s so beautiful. *chuckles* Silly me.
Anyways, three starts for the premise and the parts of the book that weren’t about feelings. Unfortunately, there was way too much talk about feelings. Don’t let the genre deceive you – this is not adult. This is young adult, trust me.
Oh, and one last thing – Stephenie Meyer seems to be incapable of understanding metaphors. Your heart does not LITERALLY BREAK when you are in emotional turmoil, Steph. Nor does it stop when you kiss or become audible to other people when you’re happy and all that other stuff a heart does not literally do that just makes you just seem really melodramatic. Bloody hell. (less)