There were things I liked about this book. There were things that annoyed me about this book. And there were things that were so "meh" about this book...moreThere were things I liked about this book. There were things that annoyed me about this book. And there were things that were so "meh" about this book that I just didn't care.
Overall, the "meh" won over.
I read this book in one sitting, but there were several times I almost put it down. It was only sheer force of determination to finish it that kept me from setting it aside--and I can almost guarantee I wouldn't have come back to it if I had. That said, it wasn't an awful book. I didn't want to throw it across the room at any point, nor did I immediately add Ms. Shirvington to my DO NOT READ list. I think I can chalk my ambivalence up to a few key things:
1) I felt like the author was good at the initial tug on my heart strings, but not so good with the follow-through. Just when I'd start to get interested and invested in one of Violet's challenges, the focus would shift elsewhere. Am I supposed to focus on the mystery of her dead mother's note? The bad stuff that happened to her at her old school? Her anger at Lincoln? Her confusion about Phoenix? The decision she has to make about embracing? The dead acquaintance? The dead Grigori? There was simply too much going on for each element to get its due, and it did not seem to blend into a seamless story.
2) I don't think the stakes were high enough or clear enough. Okay, sure, she wants to live a "normal" life, and being half angel might get in the way of that...but Violet doesn't really have a normal life to start. Her family is well off, her dad is never around and pretty much gives her the run of things, and she's spending most of her free time either doing artwork or hanging out with her crush, who lives alone in a warehouse flat and is many years older than her (more on that in a bit). So I don't buy that she's clinging to normalcy, even with the issues lingering from her past. And as far as what she has to do if and when she turns Grigori, well, they never get much into the specifics beyond some vague ideas that she'll have to send the exiled back to the angel realm. Considering how much time Lincoln has to spend with her (including not only training, but a couple of parties), I think it's fair to say that she wouldn't be leaving behind her life entirely.
A couple of people and a couple of Grigori die, but they're sort of faceless, and you have no real reason to care beyond Lincoln and Griffin caring. I can imagine why it's all such a big deal, but I don't feel like the book showed me why it was.
3) This sort of goes hand-in-hand with #1, but there were a ton of characters and barely any of them got enough screen time to make me care. Even the ones who did get screen time seemed almost excessive. Like Griffin's partner, whose name I even forget...she had no real function other than not liking Violet.
4) I know I was supposed to like Phoenix, but I just didn't. Even before I knew who/what he was, what he was doing, why he was like he was, etc., I still didn't like him. I felt a little sorry for him, and I don't mind him as a character. In fact, if I were planning to read the sequels, I would want to see more of him--as a character, but not as a love interest. The fact that Violet did like him made me like her less.
If you adore angel-centric books, then I won’t say you shouldn’t give this a try. It might be your thing…it just wasn’t mine.
The book plods along with various scenes at school, home and parties, but the locations were rather inconsequential. Likewise, the cast of friends who...moreThe book plods along with various scenes at school, home and parties, but the locations were rather inconsequential. Likewise, the cast of friends who surround Skye are painted in such a way that they seem like they should be important, but they’re really not. She could have been a social loner at a boarding school, and the story would have been the same.
The boys aren’t much more interesting. While they have a little more depth of development than the other secondary characters, they felt very cookie-cutter to me. The Bad Boy. The Intense, Quiet One. They were caricatures of what they could have been. Likewise, the information they brought with them felt like the same old fields I’ve walked a million times before. (Also I didn’t really need the constant reminders of how much they disliked one another, have different philosophies, didn’t get along, etc. Really. I get it.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind predictable. I don’t mind re-exploring the same old tropes. But COME ON. At least give it to me in a new and fun way. At least give me characters I can love, even when they do stupid things, and characters I can hate, even when I know they’re pushing the main character to the places he/she needs to go.
The big revelations about the boys (who are *gasp* angels! sort of) and Skye aren’t all that earth-shattering. The random antagonist who slips in halfway through the book was eye-rolling-ly silly.
I could go on.
I’m sorry, but this book was boring. I didn’t hate it, but there was nothing interesting about it. I had to force myself to read past chapter two. Skye, despite being supposedly this smart girl, is incredibly wishy-washy and dense. Actually, wishy-washy is a great description for them all, “love interests” included. (And while we’re on that topic, can I please get love stories with some real chemistry, rather than this bland insta-love crap?)
You know what the only oddly redeeming quality about this book was? The cliffhanger ending.
This was a really good book. Satisfying across the board. The characters were interesting, and I cared about them. The romance was sweet and not artif...moreThis was a really good book. Satisfying across the board. The characters were interesting, and I cared about them. The romance was sweet and not artificial. The plot wasn’t necessarily all that different from other books of its type, but it was well-drawn and had some surprises. It wrapped up most threads at the end while revealing and introducing things that will make for a good start on the sequel. Which, by the way, I will read.
It wasn’t quite obsessively engrossing enough to become a favorite, frequent reread type of book, but I would recommend it for anyone looking for a pleasant way to pass a few hours.
This book wasn't bad. I can't say that I was super impressed with it, but it wasn't boring, and I didn't want to throw my kindle across the room at th...moreThis book wasn't bad. I can't say that I was super impressed with it, but it wasn't boring, and I didn't want to throw my kindle across the room at the end. (I guess it's pretty sad when those are my current criteria for a decent book, but what can ya do?)
I enjoyed the setup and the concept, and the characters were pretty good. My only real complaint, and my reason for deducting two stars, is that I didn't really feel any building of tension. I know that Luce sees these black shapes, and that she isn't sure if she's crazy, and she has to choose between these two boys...but I didn't feel the weight of what would happen should she choose wrong. Even at the end, there were scenes that *should* have had an impact, but they sort of fell flat for me. They weren't boring, but they weren't tense.
I won't be recommending this one to anyone, but if it's already on your TBR list, give it a try. It wasn't a terrible way to pass a few hours.(less)