I can definitively say I enjoyed The Wrong Girl, but explaining why is a bit trickier.
The Good: Interesting plot, solid development of bothSolid Start
I can definitively say I enjoyed The Wrong Girl, but explaining why is a bit trickier.
The Good: Interesting plot, solid development of both the stories and characters, intrigue, solid enough writing, not a serialized story in that it's not just one story broken into bits to try and make more money, a satisfying ending, but one that also left you with questions so you'd want to read the rest, good job of showing and not telling
The Bad: editing issues that plague all independent e-books though most don't hinder the story, more just annoying, oddly paced- some parts lagged and are a bit boring, sometimes descriptions of events and dialogue are a bit vague- probably trying too hard to keep the mystery, would prefer a bit more of an unraveling of the story- most of the book is dropping of information that almost doesn't add anything to the story, not really until almost the end, there's a missing spark- I wasn't wowed by anything and I think there are points that could have been drawn out or more exciting with more powerful writing
All in all, a solid story that I am interested in seeing develop.
Just maybe not immediately.
And that, is the most telling bit of the review....more
This is one of those stories that I almost liked, but it falls short for me.
Poor pacing: I skipped quite a few pages because I w
This is one of those stories that I almost liked, but it falls short for me.
Poor pacing: I skipped quite a few pages because I was bored out of my mind through the second half of the book
Too many species: Dragon-men, fae, vampires, witches, brownies, God guardians, think there were shifters and Ring Wraiths too. I might have even made an appearance. The problem was that at times I wasn't sure who was what, why that was important and who I was supposed to like. I needed a better focus.
Too much with too little: see above. If the focus was better, I think I might have cared more about the characters.
One dimensional: only one character actually showed growth and he's not a main character. The rest were annoyingly either good or bad and the only growth you see is superficial.
What's love got to do with it: I didn't actually like the love story. It's partly to do with the characters themselves and partly to do with the telling of their story. It was trite and a bit too easy. If we're not going to do much with it then I prefer that it's not used at all. However, it's actually central to the story so I sort of need to buy into it and I simply didn't.
Borrowed Casserole: This is a mishmash of a lot of different stories, myths, and plots. Nothing is really new, but I'd hoped that I couldn't actually name the different elements.
Overall, I just wasn't impressed. It's a solid enough read, but missing the vital spark.
I really hoped that I could at least respect this book. Nope. I didn't. Yet, I can't bring myself to give an LKH book the one star this deserves.
NormaI really hoped that I could at least respect this book. Nope. I didn't. Yet, I can't bring myself to give an LKH book the one star this deserves.
Normally, I can find good points in even the very bad, but I can't do that this time. It's not often an author can make you hate the characters, the plot, and the writing itself of a whole series with just one work, but this crap is one good hammer swing from doing just that.
I finished this novel only five minutes ago and I generally try to wait a full 24 hours before I give a meaningful review, so some of this is pretty knee jerk, but truthful still, and strongly felt, so I'm going with it.
Here are my immediate gripes:
An abundance of pointless description If I didn't know better, I'd think this novel had to be the first in the series for all of its overkill in description and explanation. I am aware that it's been years since the last Merry book, but you don't have to give us the play by play and post game analysis for every little thing in the story. And you certainly don't need to do it more than once! Some of the descriptions themselves are just poorly done. LKH has a tendency to describe perfectly ordinary things with what I'm guessing is an attempt to bring in new life, avoid cliche and demonstrate "good" writing. Unfortunately, it's starting to sound as if she's trying too hard, it's silly, and an example of "bad" writing my professors used in class. I could probably get over that if there just wasn't so much. I don't care what every character looked like, dressed like, was once called, if they chewed Juicy Fruit gum or had a cat named Jinx when they were 13. Most of it did nothing for the plot and added nothing to the story. I'll forget all of it by morning.
It's a truly boring story Nothing even remotely interesting happens until you've read 90% (thank you kindle) and that is horrible. Sure, they talk about interesting things that are supposed to happen (ad nauseam), but nothing does happen. Most of this reads as back story LKH always wanted to tell us about this world and pointless thoughts of what a new baby brings a family (pointless because it's so trite, it's belittling to the experience.)
So what? I didn't care about anything going on for the majority of the book. Most of what is said I could get from all of the previous books and take a stroll down any new mother's section of any store or blog.
What's with the dialogue? One of the things I loved about these stories was that the speech was in normal everyday American vernacular, even those whose speech wasn't. There was something about this novel that didn't ring true anymore. I can't put my finger on it, but it sounded like LKH couldn't figure out the right cadence anymore, at least not consistently. It just didn't work for me.
Which series am I reading? As a reader of both Merry and Anita series it is unsurprising that I'd find some crossover between themes, voice, philosophy, etc., but I read this thinking: OK, been here done this. That sucked in the Anitaverse, and still was better. It has the same poly-amorous, MM love (but still hollow and fake feeling) and powers to make someone fall in love and how horrible that is, that are in the Anitaverse. Why, are there the exact same themes here? If this is your only view in the entire world, what is the point of two different series? It's starting to read as lame and lazy. Why, if I was going to get the same plot elements, did I have to wait so long for this story?
Merry made me ill She annoyed me, she bored me, she disgusted me. I didn't find her as a new mother believable save a few throw away lines, she had no spark and she was repetitive. I don't know if I've liked a heroine less than I liked Merry here, which is saying something as I've felt the same way about Anita too and I've never hated her more than I do now. I was vastly more interested in the men of her life than of Merry. Such a shame.
No spoilers, but... There are things that happen in every LKH book (of late) that disgusted me. It's been one week since the birth of her children. I find it nearly impossible to believe that this is going to happen for logistical and emotional reasons. I just don't. One, because if Merry has been in the human world long enough to know nuances of that world and the importance of it in her life, then there's no way she would easily go on in that fashion without thinking this is somewhat, probably, in poor taste, even if it didn't actually stop her. I don't buy it. And two, what goes on reads as demeaning to me. At one point this idea that Merry made conquests using womanly wiles is actually said, and that makes her sound like a prostitute. Yes, I know. How middle America of me, but I didn't write this. I don't take credit for reading the words on the page. I expected my idea of that to be pushed and my philosophy to be questioned as I had come to expect from LKH, but instead, I was only reaffirmed.
Memories OMG! Too much! Too much remembering going on in this book. I'm not saying this information illuminated by all the reminiscing isn't important, though most of it wasn't, but rather, you can't cram all of this crap into one book. There's too much telling and very little showing going on here and that is one of the most annoying things you can do in a book for me. None of these memories sing. I couldn't have cared less about any of them, they did little to shed new light and they were boring.
Bleu or gouda? There's a cheesy, hokey quality to most of it. I was overcome with the urge to gag at various points in the story. I can't definitively tell you what it was, but I got this sense of "I'm trying to sound like a fairy tale, but a twisted fairy tale" and all the wrong parts were kept. I have never had that feeling when I read this series before, so I was little surprised.
Are we or aren't we? Most of the story's plot revolves around are we going to kill people who need to be killed, why we won't, but why we should and are we going to do that business thing, but no we shouldn't, but it could be to our benefit, let's talk about family dynamics for hours- blah, blah, blah. I was hoping for a nuclear bomb, by the end.
LKH is starting to read like 50 Shades of Grey Not in what it does or page after page of pointless sex, but... Is this a personal fantasy, because it doesn't sound even remotely plausible anymore and I'm getting a bored housewife vibe spitting in my face.
Inferiority complex? What's with the constant breast size discussion (between the 2 series?) I can promise you that great cleavage is not always worth it. Hmm, maybe I was wrong. I'm beginning to think this is a 13 year old boy's fantasy.
Repetitive Did I mention that this is repetitive? We have the same thoughts, emotions, explanations as we've had in every single book, in basically, the exact same way. There is no way that the same two people would constantly say the same things to each other about the same topic for nine books. There's just no way. Many descriptions are either repeated when someone new comes in or we get the narrative explanation followed by the same explanation given in dialogue to a throw away character. And it's repetitive. Did I mention that already?
Sex as power Sorry, this just rubs me the wrong way. It cheapens the act, it cheapens all the people in this story and makes me gag.
Unsatisfying pay off I wait through 90% of the book to get anything to happen and then when it does give me something, that is what she chooses to do with it? You give me nothing really for hundreds of pages, but there's still this sense of hope, love and happiness, right up to that very point (No literally, right up to that point. The best bit of the whole book came in the paragraphs immediately preceding the point) and then you set it all on fire. Horribly, irrevocably on fire. And then you cut open the healing wounds and pour salt in there. I hated the ending. I hated it.
And I have never read an LKH book where the ending didn't redeem the bits I didn't like in the story (at least enough for me to want to read more.)
This is one of the only novels I will ever definitively say: DO NOT READ.
Remember the good, the great, that LKH is capable of giving. Tell others of what she has done.
My three star review is relative to my other reviews of lesser works. In all, this is really more of a 2 star, but as I gave Kiss the Dead three starsMy three star review is relative to my other reviews of lesser works. In all, this is really more of a 2 star, but as I gave Kiss the Dead three stars, I could give this no less as it is a better novel. I have been reading Anita Blake novels for over ten years now and it is with a heavy heart that I think I finally understand what it is that grieves me so about this series as of late. I think I've surpassed my heroine. There is nothing left to learn from her and I can now see her flaws. That is frustrating and sad. More so that I would have thought though the series doesn't follow the years as we have received a new installment, I still expected that Anita and I would grow up together. That, has not happened. I still feel as though I've lost a good friend in reading this.
My reasons for not being overly happy beyond a general discontent and the realization that I may be a bit more mature than I thought which in and of itself is probably more to the point of my displeasure, I'll keep it about the story below and I'll do my best to not be too specific and spoil it for anyone.
First my Cons:
Cliched metaphors: It is not that the story is filled with cliches, it is more that the feelings they're describing are cliche and by book 22, just a bit old. You can only bring in new things to describe a perfectly mundane and expected reaction so many times before it starts to sound like it's trying too hard to be clever and as the voice is Anita's, it's hard not to think that she's trying too hard and makes me wonder what I'm dealing with. I generally don't like people who try so hard to be clever.
Flat (cliched in the Anitaverse)Characterization of Peripheral Characters: Seriously LKH? Every single woman Anita encounters is jealous and advancement hungry and tired of being in Anita's shadow? Hard to believe, mostly because as a woman who reads this, has worked in a male dominated industry and loves Anita, I know that's not true. It might work if it didn't feel like I'm reading the same scene over and over again anytime Anita meets a new woman. Anita's absolutely wonderful. She's beautiful and tough and has huge breasts. Yeah, we get it. Except she's not. We all know this and still love her for her imperfections. Why reduce every woman to such a silly stereotype when Anita is the antithesis to that, the example of a better femininity? Makes it hard to first of all buy that Anita is just so wonderful and actually sickens me that all these women are portrayed this way. It is little solace that they almost always come around. Not every woman, not even most women I've met are that catty on sight. Usually takes a few words for that level of shallow witchiness to come out. There are other examples, but this was the most egregious to me.
Boring Story: Pretty simple. We've already done this. In fact, we might have done this three other times with in total, very little variation. Even the climax was weak with no volume. I miss Raina, Harold Gaynor and Dominga Salvador. Can we raise them from the dead?
Useless reflection of Micah's parents relationship with Micah and Anita's own relationship: Pretty much says it all. This annoyed me more so that I don't think it's needed and actually seemed pretty damned cheesy to me.
Love: Why is there a new "love" and Anita's issue with it in every damned book? Stop the supernatural explanation. It's beginning to look more like a copout answer to why Anita isn't a whore rather than an alternative way to look at love. I was OK when it was Jean Claude vs Richard, I was OK when Asher was thrown in, actually thrilled with Micah, accepting of Nathaniel and then we went to porn heaven and I can't even remember every single person Anita's been with. It's not that she's been with them though, it's established over and over again that she must feel for them to feed the ardeur from them. And that's the thing. You can't have it both ways; either Anita can detach and not love these men even a little or she's stuck in what I would call utter hell. Either way, other than introducing more inventive sex stuff, the addition of a new guy every book or so that she's now gotta use and somehow loves them for whatever reason is annoying. Especially since they very rarely stay involved save Micah, Nathaniel and JC. So can we just leave them be? It would be just as interested if it were just them with you know Richard and Asher thrown in because well, you kind of have to.
Ticking off taboo sexual practices boxes: Yup, that's all we're doing now. So OK, I accepted that there's just going to be a lot of sex. It's impossible for there not to be, but I'm starting to feel like LKH has a list of "shocking sex acts for middle America" and she's trying to get through them all before she ends the series. I'm not against any of them. If that's your thing, then so be it. I personally could do with about a third of it in some of the more recent books and this book is actually much better on that front, but this book entered into an area not of uncomfortable-ness, but actual disgust. Some of it bordered on misogyny and there is nothing in my head that will ever be able to just dismiss some stuff as just a different flavor for your palette. Some things? Are always wrong no matter when or how or why. In the way a particular scene is portrayed, the words used by a male, crossed the line for me. The act I can understand, the emotion it evokes, not so much and that is what made it disgusting for me.
Of course there are other cons, but they're more of preference than actual complaints so we'll leave them out until I read it again.
I like to end on the positives though...
A plot: There is actually a plot! It's not a porn movie! And even though I wasn't all that upset about some of it, a few novels were more like a bunch of sex scenes with a loose plot around it to make it flow and less pervy. It doesn't class up porn and it didn't class up those novels. Actually, it kind of made it less erotic or sensual, new and exciting or provocative or whatever positive word you want to use here and made it more skeevy and well, kind of gross. Now, like I said, I didn't like the plot per se, but I liked that we had one again and it didn't revolve around the ardeur or other sex related supernatural hi-jinx.
More of Jean Claude: Well, he's there and yeah, there's FINALLY some level of payoff here, because can I just tell you? Though from the beginning I've always been Team Jean Claude, I've been hoping for five books he'd leave her ass. It's not perfect, no pretty little bow, but it's better and in this relationship, I see some growth. Not sure when it actually happened, cuz I wasn't quite feeling it for awhile now, but I'm glad we got to this point. At least for now. You know, until LKH blows it up again.
Nathaniel/Micah relationship: Warm and fuzzy and I can't say more without spoilers. Again though, I almost wish it were just them and they'd leave Anita. *sigh*
Setting: This has nothing to do with the story. It's just my personal payoff for sticking it out with the series. It's set near and around where I live and while there are some interesting depictions (hello, not all Rocky Mountain people are survivalists or PTSD sufferers or rich people, nor are there just a bunch of small town podunk farmers and ranchers around here. Well, not quite in the way you're painting the area you actually use at least. You're setting is within an hour or so of Denver for the most of it. Might have wanted to touch upon the amazing diversity here because it DOES spill north and into the mountains more than you'd see in this story, instead of these outdated stereotypes. Sorry, that's a con, just didn't realize it until now.)being able to touch where they were helped.
Final Chapter/Epilogue: As always, the wrap up is well written, insightful and leaves you with hope. Hope for the story, hope for love, hope for us all.
20 years of Anita: Longevity is nice and for the most part, it's been a wonderful ride.
I will not say don't read this, but I won't tell anyone to run out and pick it up either. It just doesn't work the way the earlier stuff did. I don't buy this story anymore. I don't believe in its humanity and finely crafted philosophy. It is not that I don't agree with it or that I've become narrow minded. No, it's that after all this time, I just expected more. It is however, better than Kiss the Dead. I can see that this direction of story could be interesting, and the shift is better, solid. and less annoyingly and senselessly chaotic.
It's not the same as it was 20 years ago, but then again, neither am I. The problem though, is those two truths don't have to move in the opposite direction. ...more
Really rather boring start to a trilogy. This story is supposed to be a paranormal romance. So... where was the romance? I didn't buy that these two cReally rather boring start to a trilogy. This story is supposed to be a paranormal romance. So... where was the romance? I didn't buy that these two characters could fall in love for any reason and the villain is hollow and the resolution equally so. It was a chore to finish the story because I just didn't care enough. I almost gave no review for the same reason. I will not be finishing the trilogy and I recommend that you don't even start it....more
So in general, I completely loved the story. I totally recommend that anyone who likes to read actually give this book a try.
It is difficult for me toSo in general, I completely loved the story. I totally recommend that anyone who likes to read actually give this book a try.
It is difficult for me to separate my thoughts on this book and my thoughts on the movie and give no spoilers to boot! Having seen the movie first, I was surprised at the book and it is possible that I liked the book as much as I do because of my comparison to the movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie. It was cute and simple and I'll probably buy it when it is available, but I was kind of left with a "so what" response to the story. What I actually believe is the important bit to this commentary is kind of whitewashed in the movie. The book took care of that and then some. Trust me, the movie misses the mark or rather doesn't do enough with what the book actually gives you.
It's still a pretty simple story, but less Romeo and Juliet and more social commentary albeit generalized almost juvenile in its simplicity commentary, the kind that you get before you well- become a zombie, but I think that's kind of the point here and that makes what the author does extremely cool.
I won't say that it's amazing writing, innovative or anything like that. It's good writing, but a few things like the overuse of similes did bother me and yeah, I wondered if the story was a little too cookie cutter and idealistic, but for me that is the charm so I can overlook that. I don't think anything is truly innovative and this story doesn't even make me think "oh, but this comes close" (sorry but throwing in a zombie is not ingenious.)However, I don't think it's trying to be anything other than what it is and that is a welcome change to a bunch of writers who want to make a statement with their works.
This is so terrible that I can't even finish it which is saying much as I finish every book eventually. This, I will just delete. The characters are pThis is so terrible that I can't even finish it which is saying much as I finish every book eventually. This, I will just delete. The characters are pathetic. They are so poorly described that I'd like to duel them each and I'm sure I'll prevail. The dialogue is all wrong. It is often forced, trying too hard to find feeling. In one sentence it goes from fake Scottish to courtly English right on through to contemporary slang. Seriously? The plot is just entirely too much. It reads more like a creative writing exercise where you're playing with pacing, villains, love scenes and pathos, but can't decide where to go. There isn't a need for half of it. The best part of the whole experience is that it was free.
Move away from this story. Even free, it is not worth the time....more
Par for the last seven holes. Nothing new, nothing exciting. I'm hoping they finally finish this story soon. If you're thinking of picking up this serPar for the last seven holes. Nothing new, nothing exciting. I'm hoping they finally finish this story soon. If you're thinking of picking up this series, be forewarned that it absolutely drags by book nine. If you're in it, then continue, just don't expect amazement. ...more