Let me tell you. This book made me roll my eyes and facepalm more than any other bad YA books I've ever read. And I've read plenty.
Let's divide it a bLet me tell you. This book made me roll my eyes and facepalm more than any other bad YA books I've ever read. And I've read plenty.
Let's divide it a bit, then.
Nikki, Nikki, Nikki. Where to start? She's dumb. And as much as I don't really want to sound harsh, it's the truth. She is. She makes decisions that make me cringe every few pages. I thought people already have a brain at her age, but I guess I was wrong. There's no character development whatsoever. For example? We randomly discover that she's a klutz:
“Whoops.” I unhooked the snag and pulled my shirt back into place. “Once a klutz . . .”
Whereas for the past 250 pages it hasn't been mentioned (or rather, showed) that she's one. And I don't mean that she should trip on air every time she walks, but showing us just a bit of it?
Her unreasonable behavior when she tries not to act suspiciously... I won't even start.
Oh, and her being so dumb about various clues left here and there, what, with Cole being so obvious and Mary's random comments...? Um, yeah. My dog could solve that little riddle.
It's hard to really evaluate,since every single character has the same voice, speak in the same manner and make the same stupid decisions. Oh, I'm sorry. The adults have this moralistic aura about them, spewing ~words of wisdom~ every now and then and trying to sound really wise about it, but it comes out like a middle school student writing a paper for his social studies class.
The idea seemed cool at first. The execution of it, not so much. It's nothing like the description. The explanation of the supernatural stuff is sloppy. The myth analogy seems forced down our throats, with Nikki conveniently having to write a paper on it.
The reasoning behind Nikki's agreement to go to Everneath was so DUMB (sorry, no better word for it) I wanted to scream. I mean, really? Really? How much of an idiot you'd have to be to assume stuff she assumed, not to mention to agree to whatever Cole was going to do to her. Um.
And how did she know how much time she spent in Everneath? Oh right, I'm sure Cole told her. That explains ~~ everything~~.
Just let me say this, the whole Daughters-of-Persephone-mythology-going-urban thing was not working there.
Oh, and I forgot to mention. I figured everything out about... halfway through? Maybe a bit earlier. Yawn.
I am not a fan of first person POV but I tolerate it, mostly because it's widely used by YA authors. But first person POV doesn't mean you can treat a book you're writing like your own diary! And that's what happens in this book. The wordy descriptions of the main character's feelings, often repetitive, are infuriating. Nikki seems to think it's important to inform us about every~~pain of the Surface~~ she feels or about every redundant action she takes (like, in the middle of thinking about Everneath - "I raised my head" - and then she continues thinking about it some more, the raising of her head having nothing to do with anything). The suffering that she's so desperate to get rid of - she only *talks* about it, we never really see it. I couldn't really "get into" the mood, because I don't like when things are told rather than shown. Like - "Suddenly, I felt pain/My whole body hurt" yadda yadda yadda. I swear there was one page written like that somewhere in the book!
It needs editing. Lots of it. Some scenes were totally pointless, some phrases overused, dialogues that made me want to plant my face straight into my desk.
Oh, dialogues. Right. In addition to the characters not having their own voices, the dialogues were devoid of any wit. I won't talk about the pathetic attempts at humor made there, because really. It wasn't funny.
This book is all talk, no essence. Yes, the characters do talk. But they don't do anything beside that. There's no action whatsoever, the romance is rather crappily executed, the characters are flat, and the lead heroine is just plain annoying.
To sum up, utter gibberish.
EDIT: I tried to find something positive, to end my review on a lighter note, but... If I had to choose, I'd say I kind of liked Jack. He seemed the most reasonable of all the characters at times, when he didn't talk how much he loved the main character.
It's just a debut book, so I hope the next ones will be better? I'm not hooked enough to be tempted to read the whole trilogy though. We will see....more