Wendy's Reviews > Existence

Existence by Abbi Glines
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's review
Mar 07, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy
Read in March, 2012

Okay, I'm confused. Frustrated and confused.

When I started reading this story, I came into it with the understanding that this guys she's seeing is Death. I mean, I read the blurb about the book. The blurb said she falls in love with Death. What confuses me, then, is why it takes almost eighty percent of the story to actually get to the part where she figures it out? I kept wanting to scream at her HE'S DEATH, YOU IDIOT! For someone who's been seeing souls wandering around her entire life, I don't think that consideration is too far out of the realm of possibility.

Then there's the whole co-dependency thing. I honestly think that Twilight has ruined the world for YA fiction. (And I actually liked Twilight when I first read it.) Never before have I read so many stories about teenagers who fall madly into all-consuming "love" that makes stalking and co-dependency acceptable aspects of a relationship. He watches her when she sleeps. It's one thing when it's to protect her, but before that? He was just watching her. When she didn't know he was there. CREEPY!! Then there's the several weeks/months/whatever when he leaves her "for her own good" and she completely collapses in on herself. She was able to function perfectly well before he came along, right? I mean, she doesn't even know all that much about him, for crying out loud! It's not like they've had years to form a bond based on trust and devotion and honesty. SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHO OR WHAT HE IS!! I have a really bad feeling that current YA fiction is setting a tone that this kind of co-dependency is a good thing. IT'S NOT!!

I struggled a lot with the names. Let's start with the main character. Pagan - a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions; heathen, infidel, idolater. I get it, with the whole subject of falling in love with Death, that the author is making a few not-so-sublte hints about her beliefs on religion and the afterlife, but REALLY? Then there's Dank - disagreeably damp, musty, and typically cold; clammy, moist, humid. Talk about a sexy name for a leading heartthrob! I like to think of my dream guy as clammy and disagreeably damp, don't you?

You might wonder why, with my not-so-favorable comments, I still managed to give this book three stars. The answer is simple: it completely drew me in. Other than the aforementioned issues and the way the average teenagers in this book had moments where they talked like college literature professors, I actually enjoyed a lot of it.

Gee made me laugh, too. I kept picturing Angelina Jolie from Girl, Interrupted, and it was an amusing comparison.

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