Reynje's Reviews > Obsidian

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Dec 18, 11

bookshelves: e-book-kindle, not-for-me, read-2011, young-adult, no-just-no, sci-fi, scoundrels-rakes-and-creeps
Recommended to Reynje by: Myself
Read from December 12 to 13, 2011

First, a caveat: I did not enjoy this book. The following is my honest opinion, however I mean no disrespect to those of my friends who liked it.

Just to be clear, I approached Obsidian optimistically, looking for something fun and entertaining to read. Because hot alien spells fun, am I right? Particularly on the heels of a couple of quite emotionally taxing books.

Well, apparently I should have checked myself before I wrecked myself, and paid heed to those little warning bells in the synopsis: “Arrogant.” “Stab-worthy.” Attaching these descriptors to the love interest should have tipped me off that at least part of this story really wasn’t going to gel with me.

Overall though, I am more disappointed than anything, because I feel that there was a lot going for this premise. It makes me sad to see such potential and a fun idea be eclipsed by a banal romance that draws so heavily on YA paranormal tropes and clichés.

There was promise in Katy. Despite her familiar casting as the new girl in town who has no idea that she’s pretty – Katy has personality, interests, a good relationship with her mother and is generally down to earth. She wasn’t a vapid, self-insert type of character, which was a positive sign. Sure, the “bookish” type heroine feels a little tired these days, but Katy seemed like a strong enough character to carry this story.

Enter the hot alien mysterious boy next door.

From this point on, while there were flashes of the book I thought this would be, it started to take a disappointingly familiar path. I felt my enjoyment steadily decline, to the point where I was frankly just angry and frustrated.

Having the protagonist state upfront that the love interest is a “douche” does not give said love interest carte blanche to go around committing Random Acts of Assholery in the name of Broody Hotness. The fact that the protagonist acknowledges the bad behaviour does not suddenly make it acceptable. Beating readers to the punch of calling out the love interest as a jerk does not award him a “Be A Jerk For Free” card.

Honestly, it makes me just plain cranky even after Katy recognises that Daemon is a douche, we are supposed to simply swallow this and understand her poor choices because he’s so allegedly “intriguing” and has a smokin’ bod. Demeaning, obnoxious behaviour is still demeaning and obnoxious any way you slice it. No matter how rock hard his abs, how finely chiselled his jaw, how piercing his eyes, I don’t find it hot. Acknowledgment and justification are not the same thing.

In short, and to channel Cher Horowitz of Clueless: “So okay, I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get YA love interests today. I mean, come on, they just turn up to the door shirtless and throw around some insults and make suggestive comments - ew - and then ignore you completely and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so.”

Unfortunately, I suspect that there is an Edward Cullen style “I’m horrible to you because I secretly love you and I can’t admit it” dynamic at play here. I can’t help but speculate that beneath Daemon’s outward displays of arrogance and kick-to-the-crotch-worthy insults, Armentrout is going to slowly reveal a tender heart that beats with genuine love for Katy.

Please.

While there are some scenes that are quite funny and/or tense, and the make-out moments are well-written, I have to say that I feel the whole thing is let down by a rather formulaic plot. A few sharply rendered, interesting characters are counter balanced with some that feel like caricatures. The pacing, particularly of the climax, is gripping and fast – yet the events themselves feel all too familiar.

Given the fact that a book I wanted to find entertaining yet left me feeling wound up and annoyed, I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t for me.

So if anyone can rec me a good alien book, please do. I’m all ears
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Reading Progress

12/12/2011
9.0% "I honestly don't know if I can get through this.."
12/12/2011
20.0% "Daemon, your mood swings are kinda giving me whiplash. (Yes, I just stooped to quoting the Twilight film.)"
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Comments (showing 1-41 of 41) (41 new)

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo Oh no.... I was looking forward to this one.
Eventhough the cover makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.
That's right.... a spork


Reynje Thus far, the contents are making me want to gouge my eye out with a spork :<

Remember our conversation about swaggering arse-hats and how they are not the Pinnacle of Sexy for me? I'm 9% in and I'm wondering why this girl doesn't just pick up her gardening spade and whack him with it.

Sorry, feeling a little punchy. This was not a relaxing read for my commute!

oh! Also, Solace of the Road arrived, so if you're still up for a readalong, just say when :)


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo Oh god.
Does she have a gardening spade? That's pretty amazing.

But ew... this guy sounds stupid.

Oh yes! I am definitely up for it. Just ordering it as I speak type.

Should be with me soon... you don't mind waiting do you? :)


Reynje Not at all! As you can see, I have plenty of infuriating er, fun! books to tide me over until whenever you're ready.

Yes, our MC likes gardening - so points for her. Zero points for it being implied that this guy backing her up against a tree and getting all intimidating and threatening is hot.


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo Why do boys even think that's attractive?
Surely if there is a risk of splinters when you are having angsty flirtytirty times with a boy... alarm bells should be going off.
I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere, right?

(view spoiler)


Reynje (view spoiler)

I draw the line at: (paraphrasing here): "You're kind of dirty aren't you? *leers* What, of course I'm not flirting, I was refering to the dirt on your hands. LOLOL I'm so sexy" *swaggers off*


message 7: by Jo (last edited Dec 12, 2011 02:51PM) (new)

Jo I just vomited in my mouth at that.

Suggestive comments are only acceptable in two situations.
1)When the boy isn't a massive douche hat.
2)When they are accidental and it's like 'OH MY GOSH, I DIDN'T MEAN IT LIKE THAT!" and there's blushing and cuteness.

For you.



Reynje I am a big fan of the accidental inappropriate comment :)

For me?! *gasps* Best. comment. ever.


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo Because I know you missed me terribly.

Oh and p.s (view spoiler)


Reynje It's true. I wept.

(view spoiler)


message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo (view spoiler)


message 12: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Hello mr hoult!

DO IT JO! THE INTERNET REQUIRES IT!


Reynje (view spoiler)


message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo (view spoiler)
Mmmmm inappropriate spoilers.


message 15: by Reynje (last edited Dec 12, 2011 04:37PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Reynje (view spoiler)


Wendy Darling So I take it he's not a Baldwin? :D

Also, I want this to be a new warning label that can be slapped on books: Includes Random Acts of Assholery in the name of Broody Hotness.


Reynje Haha :) Clueless references are always appropriate. Always :)

Me too - it would save me a lot of time and disappointment!


oliviasbooks That sticker would be great Wendy, but I fear there wouldn't be many readers who appreciated it. The assholery is welcomed with open arms in most cases.


Reynje oliviasbooks wrote: "That sticker would be great Wendy, but I fear there wouldn't be many readers who appreciated it. The assholery is welcomed with open arms in most cases."

Sigh. This is true...


message 20: by Steph (new)

Steph Perfect use of Clueless is perfect. I am having the same exact problem with the book I am reading. He tells her he will kill her and she gets excited. Plus she's always tripping and falling into his arms. I don't understand why this is a thing.


Emily May That's it, this goes off my TBR. Thanks for the review :)


Jasprit Great review Rey I had the same issues with this book that you did!


Reynje Thanks Stephanie and Emily, I don't understand why it's a thing either, but it bothers me so much.

Jasprit, thanks, I'll be interested to read your review :) (view spoiler) Shame, because so much could have been more fun than it was..


message 24: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr Awww shoot. No hot alien fun. I'm still hanging out for the rumoured review of Obsituosity!


Reynje That one is filed away in a folder called "Things Rey Writes When She's Drunk." :)


message 26: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr I must get to this folder *shifty eyes*


message 27: by Nomes (new) - added it

Nomes i am impressed you made it through this book :)

i got it for review from netgalley but abandoned it pretty fast ;)


Reynje Nomes wrote: "i am impressed you made it through this book :)

i got it for review from netgalley but abandoned it pretty fast ;)"


It was a feat Nomes :) I contemplated giving up many times..


message 29: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana You might like Singing the Dogstar Blues.


Ariana Oh, I am so proud of myself for not even trying to finish it when I realized that I couldn't possibly like this book.
But I read Existence (btw, with the same couple on the cover) and it sucked just as much as this one.. I'm not so proud anymore *sigh*


message 31: by Steph (last edited Dec 20, 2011 06:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Steph Sinclair Hmm...How disappointing. I love the review, especially the very appropriate Clueless reference.


Reynje @Tatiana - thanks, I've heard good things about Singing the Dogstar Blues, I'll check it out.

@Ari - This couple is everywhere at the moment! Apparently they're the "go to" image for PNR/Sci-fi :)

@Stephanie - Yeah, it's a shame when one mysterious jerk has to ruin the whole thing :) However, Clueless never fails to cheer me up.


Julianna Helms @Reynje have you read I Am Number Four? I liked the first one, but didn't like the second one. Maybe you'd like it, though.

And yes, that would be an amazing sticker, Wendy. @oliviabooks is totally right, though. Not many people will necessarily take it into consideration. Le sigh.


Julianna Helms Oh yeah. Alex Turner... How about him for Sam from Shiver? OH YES.


message 35: by Amber J. (new) - added it

Amber J. this review is awesome, but I still bought the book; hope it doesn't disappoint


Reynje Amber J. wrote: "this review is awesome, but I still bought the book; hope it doesn't disappoint"

Thanks Amber :)


message 37: by KJ Shadows (new)

KJ Shadows bwhaha on Edward Cullen part tee hee


message 38: by Lola (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lola I actually really liked obsidian, although I do agree that Deamon really is an asshole for the most part. I also read the prequel shadows, which gives some more insight in why deamon is that way. The lead male in that book is totally different from Deamon.


message 39: by Catherine (last edited Nov 14, 2013 03:37AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Catherine "From this point on, while there were flashes of the book I thought this would be, it started to take a disappointingly familiar path. I felt my enjoyment steadily decline, to the point where I was frankly just angry and frustrated."

Oh my god, this is exactly what happened with me. I mean, verbatim!

PS - Love the Clueless reference. ;)


message 40: by Serena (new)

Serena Barbacetto I could recommend my own sci-fi novels (similar premise, veeeery different characters and development), but they are in Italian... :-P


Audrey 5th wave is good


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