Lexie's Reviews > Cold Fury

Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein
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If I look at this objectively, I can say that I enjoyed it.

It was fun. It was interesting. It was fast-paced and intriguing. I never forced myself to read on, even through the info-dumps--despite the pages-long barrage of information, it was interesting enough to hold my attention.

And I really, really liked our heroine. She was courageous, intelligent, cunning, relatable, imperfect. She was thoughtful and witty, and her commentary on all that had happened--as well as this whole crazy world in general--was a pleasure to read. Also, she kicked ass. Yes, she did tend to take the approach of brute strength over reasoning, but it was refreshing to see a heroine who could and did try to handle her own problems.

But here is the problem: despite its marketing, despite the character's ages, I spent this entire novel feeling as though I were reading a middlegrade.

I have nothing against middlegrade. Not at all. Some of my very favorite reads are children's books. But I was told this was YA, and the character is 16, so I came into this expecting a more mature novel. One where side characters were created with real depth and attention, not made to be one-dimensional stereotypes. One where the dialogue was sharp and captivating, not impossibly cheesy and unrealistic. One where the plot was complex and thrilling, with actual stakes and actual obstacles, not a simple, random, tension-less creation where everything always works out. One where the sixteen-year-old characters acted like teenagers, not elementary schoolers.

Also, while I won't go too in-depth for fear of a ramble/rant, I was very troubled by the way the subjects of bullying, suicide, and depression were handled in this novel. It seemed as though all of it were created to be a superficial sub-plot, and the author seems to think that this can all be shoved away in an instant. That someone who was genuinely contemplating killing themself will be A-OK once they find their "purpose" or "fate" or some bullshit like that. It was yet another thing that stressed to me the overwhelming middlegrade tones in this novel; I know in many children's novels, authors are reluctant to get into the nitty-gritty of issues such as these, for fear that children won't be able to handle it/grasp the gravity of it. While I disagree with this, I do recognize that it's common in novels aimed at a younger audience. Since this is a novel geared towards teenagers, I see no excuse.

Overall? It's not a bad book. It's really not. The concept was great, the MC was well-developed and intensely likable, and the book itself always managed to hold my interest. It just did not meet my expectations for a novel in this genre.

2.5 stars.
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Reading Progress

05/28/2012 page 38
12.0% "Actually enjoying this far more than I expected! The writing has this lovely, quirky feeling I tend to associate with middlegrade."

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