I'm not really into romance, or meek leading female characters at that, but I don't know what Evernight had that pulled me in with incredible force si...moreI'm not really into romance, or meek leading female characters at that, but I don't know what Evernight had that pulled me in with incredible force since the start. The relationship between Lucas and Bianca was the driving force in the story and the hardships they have to go through to be together squeezed at my heart every time. The plot wasn't really deep or overly complicated, but Gray has an uncanny ability to deliver unexpected, earth-shattering twists and turns that leave you wondering how could you not have seen them coming. While these twists worked perfectly for me on the first two books, and while I understood its purpose, the one on the third installment in the series, Hourglass, left me slightly disappointed. At least I hoped she would somehow fix it in Afterlife, the last book in the series. I was, somehow, even more disappointed.
Somehow, Bianca was even more meek and whiny than normal. What was supposed to be the main focus of the story and the biggest challenge in Lucas and Bianca's relationship, meaning the fact that they were both dead, was somehow mostly ignored. It didn't really become this impenetrable, emotionally-destructive obstacle it should've been. I was really looking forward to, at least, seeing how Lucas would be tortured by the fact that he was now what he hated the most, but he seemed to accept it rather easily and had only problems with his unquenchable thirst for blood. That bothered me slightly, but probably no more than Bianca's, well, doing nothing except being whiny and repetitive. For some reason, she was special to the wraiths. She could help them, except that it takes her, what?, 300 pages to get around that idea. Each time there was a monologue of her excuses and fears, I felt like I was reading the same pages over and over again. If the author had, at least, phrased them differently, I probably wouldn't have felt like I wasted my time reading 200 pages of the same whining, which, subsequently, lead me to feel slightly aversive to Bianca, and even to Lucas. Interestingly enough, though in the past they have been somewhat shallow and flat, it was the secondary characters that really shined in this book. Vic, Ranulf and Balthazar were great in the novel, supplying the few comic moments in the book and, probably, some of the most heartfelt moments too. Patrice, I was desperate for her arrival. I don't really understand the purpose for her absence in the previous books, because I felt Gray could've done amazing things with this incredible character. Her role in this book is a bit small, but there is something about this character that brings strength and depth to the story. I encourage everyone to find Gray's short stories about Patrice's life because they are simply amazing. Other characters, like the newly introduced Skye, were flat and placed there simply because they were convenient. Even Bianca's parents weren't explored and exploited to their whole potential, like the hate Bianca's mom had for wraiths. Dana and Raquel were like, meh. Out of some miraculous divine intervention, Raquel feels bad about betraying Bianca and Dana decided to abandon her life and everything she believes in for Lucas. It was not bad, it just needed to be more developed and explained.
This series needed an ending before they became a House of Night: pointless, senseless and, honestly, just painful. But I feel Gray could've done a better job at tying the loose ends. It all seemed to be done in a rush, desperate to just be over with it. Charity, one of the most amazing antagonists I've seen in young adult in a while, was dealt with easily and without a problem. It just seemed like the author really didn't want to deal with her. I found myself amazed with how much I actually liked Mrs. Bethany in this book, maybe because now she wasn't just the mean headmistress, and her plan with the wraiths was an original plot twist, but there was something missing. What probably bothered me the most was the way the author solved Lucas' problem. That twist only helped make the book too shiny and Disney-like. Honestly, I think I would've preferred if something bad had happened because at least it would've given the story some substance, some drama and heartbreak. In the end, everything is too perfect. I didn't want a completely sad ending, I just wished for, well, more, as I was ready to receive from an author as talented as Gray.(less)
I decided to do my first review on this book because, first, after almost two years since I read it, I still can't get...more ****May contain spoilers ****
I decided to do my first review on this book because, first, after almost two years since I read it, I still can't get rid of the sour taste it left in my mouth and, second, because I was recently notified that a second installment to this series is coming out... on the date of my birthday. Since the universe has decided to make a joke out of me adding insult to injury, I decided to share with the world my views on this book titled Swoon.
I bought this book because of its cover, a mistake, I assure you, will never happen again. The cover is mysterious and alluring and it is fortified by an interesting premise that promises a new supernatural concept in a very much abused genre and a compelling, doomed romance. Souls seeking revenge, an exorcism gone wrong, a gutsy protagonist with psychic abilities, and a boy with an evil agenda and no interest in hiding his nefarious intentions. What was not to like? I was hoping this would be the story that would bring a new edge to an over-exploited genre that always ends up being more of the same. Well, I was very disappointed.
This story was executed poorly, the characters were impossible to like or to relate to and there wasn’t anything truly engaging in this book. I practically had to threaten myself to finish it, not because there was nothing going on, trust me, there were a lot of things going on, just the wrong kind of things.
Meet Candice, our protagonist. Since the beginning of the book, she is given a lot of baggage. Her best friend died, she is part of a very dysfunctional family, she has an ability she can’t understand and she is forced to live in a town in the middle of nowhere where she doesn’t fit in and with relatives she can barely stand. Add to that a very complicated first love and you have all the tools to emotionally and psychologically develop a strong protagonist throughout the story. The thing is, Candice doesn’t grow or mature at all in the story. In 400+ pages, she doesn’t even grieve her friend’s death or confront any of her problems head on. She doesn’t take responsibility for any of her actions or learns anything from her horrifying experience. You can’t even hope for her to develop her “special abilities” into something she can control to eventually help in the saving of her own behind, because it just doesn’t happen. In fact, she spends an entire chapter describing her latent abilities, knowing that they are not epileptic seizures as she had been diagnosed, and how she is sure that they are her special power, to later never even mention them again. She is, like any other dense and flat young adult female protagonist out there, just too deeply in love with an undeserving, bipolar douche to care about anything else, not even how despicable he and his actions are. There is even one scene in which she allows him to spank her in front of everyone. While he is in a date with someone else. And enjoys it, like there is nothing wrong with that.
The only redeeming quality this character possessed was her confidence in her average looks, which are usually the source of insecurity and much ranting and complaining in other books. Still, that was shadowed by her immature and infuriating approach at life and her situation.
The other secondary characters were flat and don’t even deserve being mentioned since they have absolutely no importance in the story other than to serve as pawn to Sin’s (love interest) “evil master plan”.
I was really looking forward to the romance in this book and how it would evolve since Sin is, from the get-go, the bad guy of the story. Tired of the too-good-to-be-true, godsend, unrealistically righteous male love interest, I was really interested in how this relationship would bloom. Well, it goes a little something like this: girl meets dead boy through psychic powers, boy possessing the body of another girl tells girl his sad story and his unquenchable thirst for revenge, poof! True,everlasting, pure love. Candice simply decides she loves him. That’s it. For no reason that I can understand because Sin simply used and played with her selfishly, slept with her cousin/new best friend/almost sister turning her into a sex addict, killed elderly people and threw the entire population of teenagers in town into a wave of rampaging hormones willing to throw orgies in any random living room (I'm not kidding, for some reason that was part of his evil master plan). He comes two hundred years after he was accused and hanged for the murder of his own lover and unborn child to a town in which, obviously, the people who once condemned him are nothing but a pile of bones, without a clue on who really killed her, and hellbent on taking revenge upon the descendants of even the lawyer who failed to defend him well. And he is willing to even use and sacrifice Candice to do it. I couldn’t feel sorry for him or his tragic past because the way he was portrayed throughout the book makes him one of the most hateful characters I have ever encountered in my years of reading. He then comes along and declares Candice the only light in his life. And then sleeps with her. And then disappears.
The prose of this book is nice, almost poetic, but unnecessarily complicated to the point you might need a thesaurus to be able to read it, which is a terrible contrast to the language used for the dialogue. There is a recurrent use of drugs and sexual themes in the book that, despite having a realistic hold since teenagers do speak about those things, eventually crosses the line and becomes overwhelming. The pace is not slow, but the events in the story are boring, uninteresting and just plain ridiculous. I wouldn’t say this is the worst book I’ve read in my life, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It is a shame because this book had the potential to be a truly engaging, powerful and memorable experience for the reader. It should have focused on how the protagonist solved her emotional problems, how she broke with bad habits and bad relationships and survived all the bad things life threw at her and how she stood up powerful and brave even against the guy she loved. I wanted the protagonist to learn something, to grow, to be better, but no dice. Instead, the story is just about a chick following an undeserving, manipulative idiot like a love sick puppy, and the sequel promises to be more of the same. (less)
I really wanted to like this book. Even now, after a year since I read it, I try to focus on the good things about it so I can convince myself to rea...more I really wanted to like this book. Even now, after a year since I read it, I try to focus on the good things about it so I can convince myself to read the next one, but I fail miserably. There is no part of me that’s interested in what is to come in this series or in the mysteries that were left unanswered in this first installment. Whatever promise this books had was completely destroyed for me by underdeveloped characters and a half-thought out plot.
Intrigued with the premise, I expected to find in Fallen a set of compelling, believable characters, a breathtaking, heartbreaking romance, a gothic, well-thought out setting, a riveting story and magnificent use of mythology. Well, I can honestly say I found none of the aforementioned in this story.
The story begins with a look to the past in which it is shown to the reader the misery the protagonists have to endure every time they find each other and fall in love. I was ready to let go of my grudge with the “destined lovers” thing if it was done right in this story, and at the beginning, I was very intrigued by the concept of being unable to actually be with your destined one. Until I met our protagonist: Luce.
I expected her to be strong, smart, capable and complex. I wanted someone who visibly struggled with the mysteries surrounded her and the horrors of her past, someone who stood her ground and didn’t allow anyone to manipulate her as they saw fit, and someone who demanded to know what concerned her. I wanted a protagonist that could find confidence within herself to carry on the burden she had been given. I got a half-wit, pushover, stalker, with no self respect or personality. She can’t even make her own decisions since there is a scene in which she is invited to a party and waits for Daniel (love interest and guy who treated her like crap at the moment) to nod his approval of her assisting that party.
Speaking of Daniel, what a hateful love interest he is. He is supposed to be this passionate, deep and tortured guy, but all I saw was a bipolar ass who felt he had the right to treat her like a yo-yo and pull her in and out as his moods shifted. Not like she complained. No, she decided she loved him and began to stalk him. In fact, they had already declared their undying love for each other before they had one meaningful conversation with more than five lines. Well, he didn’t make it exactly easy for them to talk since he ran away every time she tried to talk to him. And then when he does open up with her and tells her the big secret we’ve all know since the first page but Luce was too dense to figure out, she runs away like she and her feeble mind can’t handle the possibility of there being angels around her when she has been followed by shape-shifting, murderous shadows her whole life.
What is there of a plot in this story is incredibly predictable as it follows the normal progression of a high school drama/young adult paranormal: new girl comes to a new environment where she doesn’t fit in, some like her, others don’t and set out to make her life a living hell, she sees this incredibly gorgeous, secretive guy that pays attention to no one until she comes along and treats her kind of badly at first but then shows his sensitive side, other hot guys showers girl with attention but she is set on guy number one, they fall in love, and he turns out to be a supernatural being. The rest is just ridiculous. I am well aware that all secrets are not going to be revealed in the first installment on a series and that is not my problem. My problem is the lack of foundation for the plot. Things are going to be left unanswered and unclear, but the battle over Luce, the battle of the angels with each other, the fact that there are dark and light ones and they go to the same reform school, Cam’s interest on Luce and even the bad guys are just plain ludicrous and no amount of explaining will make any of those sound believable. The absence of a real bad guy in this book is also a serious fault for me. The only absurd attempt at a bad guy they had was quickly brushed aside and it involved the unnecessary death of a secondary character just to make that person really evil. Speaking of secondary characters, the book could’ve only featured Luce and Daniel and it would’ve turned out exactly the same way because the supporting cast is flat, mostly absent, undefined and, quite honestly, unnecessary.
The book it's too long when you consider just how little of all that is told is truly meaningful and contributes to the development of the story and the characters. Half way through, I had already lost all my interest and was praying for someone to just kill them all and release them and me from our misery.
Kate’s prose is pretty. Her words carry a sense of melancholia and a hint of nostalgia that is just perfect for this kind of story, but for some reason, it just didn’t flow naturally and effortlessly when I was reading this book. It all seemed kind of forced. The romance is not believable and their deep declarations of love made me roll my eyes. You can’t feel their connection just like you can’t feel the setting or the progression of the story and, rather, you are told throughout this book instead of shown what it is you have to believe and that is not how a story works for me.
I know a lot of people who really love this book and I got to admit the concept behind this whole story is pretty swoon-worthy, but it just didn’t materialize for me. I felt nothing but disdain for the protagonists and couldn’t take the plot seriously. The book had potential and maybe all my concerns with the first one were corrected in the next book, but it is very unlikely that I will ever know firsthand since I’ve yet to find a reason why I should go back to the world of Fallen. (less)
I'll start with the good things about this book: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ _________...moreI'll start with the good things about this book: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________.
Ok, now that that's out the way. I'll get on with what bothered me about this book: Everything.
From the useless female lead to that jackass of a love interest, everything about this book is insulting. This is not a book about romance; this is a book about manipulation, stalking, abuse, isolation, sheer stupidity, selfishness masked as sacrifice and rampaging teenage hormones posing as eternal love.
I want to say that I liked the mythology, but everything else about the book completely killed it for me. There is not even an honest friendship in this book, for Vee and Nora were the most pathetic excuses for "besties" I've ever read about. "That guy is a murderer!" "No, he can't be, he's hot." "No, he is!" "Opps, I invited him over and set you up with him against your wishes. See, I'm a great BFF." "I'm telling you, that guy is bad. (Thinking: She's kind of fat.)" "Ah! That guy is bad! You were totally right!"
And then, after all the stalking, all the abuse and humiliation, Nora plays martyr for who has to be the biggest, most-undeserving jerk I've ever read about: Patch. (And it is not like there isn't competition, Daniel from Fallen is still there.)
I seriously can't believe Patch is considered a "hero" or that anyone buys his "tortured" act. I don't plan to read the other books so I don't know if he miraculously changes into a better character, but judging by all I ever plan to read of this series, he is no hero, he is not romantic and he is not a guy real girls out there should be wanting real men to be. Nora is also an insult to true heroines out there. She has no self-respect or a sense of self-worth, for anyone who takes all this crap from someone and still follows him around like a puppy can't possibly have any shred of self-stem or self-respect.
Like I said, I have no intention of ever reading the sequels because I won't support such a sick conception of what a relationship is.(less)