Another review already described this as a rehash/mashup of Court of Thorns and Roses & Wrath and the Dawn, two other books with pretty covers andAnother review already described this as a rehash/mashup of Court of Thorns and Roses & Wrath and the Dawn, two other books with pretty covers and disappointing contents. Well, Court is okay on average but peaks pretty early, like this book except at no point in Star Touched do I think “hey, this is pretty good.”
Amar’s super dull and for many chapters it’s mainly a two-hander with him and Maya, with some pointless interjections from their...court...scholar? Maya herself has a little bit of personality, but she mostly uses it up when interacting with her family at the beginning and on being stupid at the wrong times.
The writing tries really hard but mostly makes me sleepy, and I can’t help but think it’s supposed to mask the incredibly slow plot I can’t seem to care about. Maybe this would have worked better as a short story to cut out all the pages lacking worth?
I'm going to predict that the "non-sequel" companion novel is about (view spoiler)[Maya's sister. Who is likable enough I suppose, but it might help that we spend too little time with her for her to require any nuances. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So much of the world building is in endless infodumps that go from serving the story to disrupting it, neeTons of potential especially in the premise.
So much of the world building is in endless infodumps that go from serving the story to disrupting it, needlessly and seemingly endlessly. The main plotline itself is surprisingly simple given how many things it's a mishmash of. The only character who has layers is the protagonist, but she's ridiculously overpowered and suspiciously smarter than everyone especially given how she has that pesky amnesia. I'm not entirely convinced that the amnesia is necessary though it certainly facilitates the infodumps. The writing tries, but only occasionally really comes to life; flashes of action and humor are welcome when they're around....more
The book starts out with a surprising amount of potential for quality, but it devolves into a less exciting, younger VC Andrews as it goes along. Of cThe book starts out with a surprising amount of potential for quality, but it devolves into a less exciting, younger VC Andrews as it goes along. Of course I kinda thought that as soon as I saw the premise - a poor girl finds out that thanks to having secret/long-lost family she’s secretly rich, thrown into a new world, and also has sexual experiences with someone who’s in theory a fraternal figure.
The best part is Ella, with her resilient personality and sympathetic backstory. But at least for the most part, what she does in the course of the book is fall for a boy, ignore mean girls, and hang out with the one friend she makes. So she doesn’t have that much room to show how strong she is. Also the ending makes her come off very...damselly, though it’s clearly there to sustain the soapy antics for multiple books to come.
That boy is unlikable and unexciting aside from the “omg rich and hot” thing, and while Ella correctly realizes that “liking men who treat you badly is—was, dammit—Maggie Harper’s calling card” she does it anyway. Oh, and his little secret is super predictable and dumb. Gideon seems set up for a book of his own in the future, largely because the book seems to indicate that he’s important even though he doesn’t do anything. Though, I’m not really sure why the twins exist at all when they also don’t do anything and there are no implications of them playing larger roles in the future. Easton and Callum are likable enough but too thinly drawn to care about that much. Same goes for Val. ...more
Certainly engaging. But... I didn't really care about any of the characters. Deuce comes off as especially unrealistic, even if in theory her achievemeCertainly engaging. But... I didn't really care about any of the characters. Deuce comes off as especially unrealistic, even if in theory her achievements are impressive and way better than certain heroines of certain other speculative fiction. My favorite is...Gavin, I suppose, and he has 1-2 personality traits.
The setting feels very familiar for the dystopian genre, especially the zombie apocalypse subgenre. This is in contrast to the enclave in the first book, which was built up well enough that it came off as fresh and original, even though I've read other books set in underground cities/societies. (view spoiler)[I also hoped we could get some scenes in the enclave instead of it being destroyed sometime during a previous book off-page. (hide spoiler)] And I wanted to know about the world beyond the region we stick to throughout the series, what's happening to it?
The ending. So incredibly convenient. I mean, I suppose it gets the intended message across, but still.
Loved the Harry Potter reference though.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Scott does not seem to be skilled at either likable protagonists or believable romances, and those are pretty essePoor man’s Sarah Dessen at it again.
Scott does not seem to be skilled at either likable protagonists or believable romances, and those are pretty essential for the genre. Dessen has the ability to make the reader care about what happens, even though it’s mostly everyday teen stuff, because she’s a good writer. Scott keeps layers of genericness over her books that makes them instantly forgettable.
Maybe if Katie were the main character, this book could be kinda good. She has a nonzero number of redeeming qualities and she’s saddled with a stupid useless person who does nothing but whine and lie as a ‘friend.’ Even if Lauren were not a cheating cheater who cheats, I’d still dislike her because of how awfully she treats people around her. ...more
I’m really into books about memory loss, but this one is on the boring side aside from the concept. A bunch of it revolves around the various boys inI’m really into books about memory loss, but this one is on the boring side aside from the concept. A bunch of it revolves around the various boys in the heroine’s life, and I never grow to care for any of them either as characters in their own right or as relationship partners. She herself is the most interesting when she’s all angsty about her memory rather than obsessing about one boy or another; there’s not much to her character aside from those factors.
It kinda seems like she basically had just one friend - Will - before the accident, and while the book tries to make it seem like she finds a new crowd and such, I only remember two of her new friends by name, and they barely do anything besides prove that point. Partially because we don’t see much of her day to day life aside from spending time with some boy.
The bitterness towards her mom for the affair and remarriage is kinda resolved, I guess, but with little effort or energy because it’s not as important as Cute Boys. It kinda reminded me of Sarah Dessen’s Whatever Happened to Goodbye, except not good. ...more
Well, the super aggravating format of the early bits gets better. It goes to largely “IM chats” and “transcriptions of security footage,” which are noWell, the super aggravating format of the early bits gets better. It goes to largely “IM chats” and “transcriptions of security footage,” which are not too far from a regular narrative and thus on the more readable side. Then it evolves into mainly the perspective of the AI, which while the voice is on the ‘special’ side is even more like a regular narrative, aside from the pretty nifty pictures.
So I suppose in the end I applaud the ambition of the format. But one could argue that the format is the only notable element of the book; it makes me wonder what some good writers could do if they were to play around with it. The plot is a mash-up of, like, 2001, a zombie novel, and a typical YA sci-fi, without really adding anything new.
Character-wise, well, I somewhat care about some of the characters as they do have plenty of dialogue (and/or the IM approximation of it). But too much of it is from obvious emotional manipulation for the sake of it; I’m not a fan of that.
The romance is kinda dumb but it’s not instalove, so there’s that. The villain ‘reveal’ or whatever is pretty obvious, though I will admitt that it makes me somewhat curious about the fallout in the forthcoming sequels. Not enough to read them though. At least I can mark Jay Kristoff off my checklist of recent authors to get around to. ...more
Hmm, I thought maybe I would be put off at how disturbing it would be to read from the perspective of a crazy stalker killer, but it’s actually less dHmm, I thought maybe I would be put off at how disturbing it would be to read from the perspective of a crazy stalker killer, but it’s actually less disturbing than Humbert Humbert. Maybe because of a big disparity in writing quality.
I never saw exactly why Joe is so obsessed with Beck in particular, aside from her looking like Natalie Portman. I mean, sure, crazy stalker killers are unreasonable, but surely he sees other beautiful women during his life that he doesn’t crazily stalk? I would think that from his obsessed perspective we would see all kinds of magical qualities about her, but she seems like an average 21st century literary fiction female lead. Yeah, he says he fell for his last victim right away too, but we don’t spend hundreds of pages following that particular ‘relationship’ so I don’t keep going like “why her though?”
Joe is...well, he’s competently written as someone who the reader sorta kinda sympathizes with because the people in Beck’s life are in fact on the assy side, but he’s not a charming sociopath the way I expected. Outside of his crazy stalking, he doesn’t seem to do much interesting at all, which makes me wonder about the time gap between Beck and Candace; maybe he’s so quick to decide he’s insanely in love with Beck because his mind wants him to find a new obsession asap. I expected to be alternately chilled at the psychosis level and disarmed at finding myself liking the guy when I forgot to pay attention to it. But neither happened all that often. Maybe more near the beginning when I hadn't gotten tired of the repetitive nature of it all.
One random weird thing about the book is that, unless I’m forgetting it, there’s never actually a scene with Blythe, Beck’s semi-rival in her writing workshop who’s mentioned many times. Not that I feel that would be essential......more
"Chilling psychological thriller"? No on all counts. "A marriage." Not exactly. "How far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers." Eh, it's no"Chilling psychological thriller"? No on all counts. "A marriage." Not exactly. "How far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers." Eh, it's not even her idea. "She, the killer, and he, the victim." Not really... "Expertly plotted." There's almost no plot. Or characterization, come to think of it. "Reminiscent of Gone Girl." Only in the sense that it's about a relationship that ends thanks to adultery, and someone dies.
Don't much see the point of the book. Especially all the pages of nothing happening; maybe it would've been decent as a novella.
Why is this ranked so highly on the list of Female Psychological Thrillers/Suspense? Did the voters just not really read many at all, aside from actual Flynn books and other wannabe Flynns? Hmm. More interesting question than the book itself. ...more
This book has a really cool concept. And great demographic diversity. But the main actual story is pointless yet predictable. And the characters outsidThis book has a really cool concept. And great demographic diversity. But the main actual story is pointless yet predictable. And the characters outside of their diversity have unmemorable personality voids.
Compared to the one October Daye book I read, this book’s less generic but also less substantial. The fairytale-esque tone while done decently also increases the feeling that the book will quickly fade away in the reader’s memory like a dream....more
Pretty writing and it’s nice that the protagonist loves a girl. But the relative lack of dialogue and action makes it feel plotless, and no one has muPretty writing and it’s nice that the protagonist loves a girl. But the relative lack of dialogue and action makes it feel plotless, and no one has much of a personality such that the reader can feel anything for them. I guess my favorite is Gwen, who barely plays a part in the story but somehow manages to come off more human than the others. Maybe she should have been a surprise Cinderella; that would've been a neat twist. I’ll keep trying out the more popular YA queer fiction; there was at least a great one last year and this....more