AudryT's Reviews > Tithe

Tithe by Holly Black
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Apr 28, 2010

Read in August, 2010

I have absolutely no objection to smoking, swearing, et al. in a YA novel and I'm not about to knock stars off for something as superficial as that. I also have no objection to stories being gritty, dark or disturbing, with gut-wrenching events or unfortunate endings, so I didn't knock any stars off for that, either.

However, this book left a bad taste in my mouth. After sorting through it in my mind for a while, I finally figured out what was so damn annoying about it -- when the dark and dreadful things happen in this book, they are glossed over in favor of a quick out, so the book can get on to the next plot point. None of the events or their consequences are explored in detail, ergo they generate no depth in the storytelling. There's a lot of material here that could be powerful, but instead a book full of grit comes off as nothing more than a light romp with a sexy dark fairy snogfest at the end of it.

There are plenty of readers who would thorougly enjoy such a romp, but for me, it's a big, fat, "Meh."
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Maria D'Isidoro Initially, I wanted to argue with this review, but after a moment, I realize that I feel largely the same way. Part of why I love Tithe so much is because I read it when I was 14, when I hadn't encountered YA like it before, and when I'd spent a year reading almost nothing but fanfiction (you might even have handed me Twilight at that point in time and I would've accepted it as a good book). But reading it as an adult (ha) it has left me unsatisfied. We're told of darkness and evil and we see it occasionally, but we hardly ever feel it through Kaye. While I prefer this story to it's sequel, Valiant, I liked the writing in Valiant better because it's not as afraid of venturing into consequence and hurt. I still enjoy this book, but if it were possible for Goodreads to give half-stars, I'd change my own rating to 3.5.


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