Vinaya's Reviews > Intrinsical

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
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Jan 28, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: books-i-liked, ya-fantasy, surprised-me
Read from January 28 to March 26, 2011

My ex-boyfriend used to have a bike he was madly in love with. I swear to god, that bike was like his first-born child. The thing is, it had this one, teeny-tiny problem...

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Starting trouble!!!

Unfortunately, starting trouble is a big issue for me. I'm not like a lot of Goodreaders out there for whom finishing a book is almost a point of honour. If a story can't hold my interest from the word go, chances are, I will dump it unless I'm hating it so much that the pleasure of writing a scathing review motivates me to finish it. Petty, I know, but we are what we are.

So the only reason I pushed through the first fifty-odd pages of Intrinsical was because (disclosure time!) I've been interacting with Lani Woodland, and I really like her and I wanted to like her book. I swore to myself that I would be honest in my review, regardless of personal considerations, but there were times during that initial phase where I was seriously considering dropping the book and re-relegating it to the TBR pile forever.

It's not that the initial part of the story is bad. In fact, it would have made a great movie script. The action begins on page one, dumping you right into a hot little mess. But I found myself unable to connect to the story or the characters because I was too busy editing in my head. There were typos, awkward sentence structures and disconnected dialogues, all of which would have played out great on the silver screen (well, not the typos, duh!) but on paper, it was a little frustrating.

But then Lani did a very clever thing. She put a little whodunnit type mystery in the plot, giving me all the clues, so that a big, bright cartoon lightbulb light up in my head a few chapters before the heroine gets it. Suddenly I found myself jumping around going, see it, see it, it's right there in your FACE!!! This could, of course, have gotten more than a little irritating if it had stretched too long, but Yara figures it out a few pages in, and I slumped in relief, glad to know the MC wasn't TSTL. The story moved quickly and smoothly from there, grabbing my attention and holding it.

There are two things I really liked about Intrinsical. The first is the way in which the story unfolded. The plot is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with pieces getting fitted together through the course of the book and adding to the big picture gradually. So there is no infodump, but neither is the reader left in a big black hole until the Grand Reveal at the end. Instead, it is more like accompanying the MCs on their journey of discovery, so that you can share all these Aha! moments with them as they figure out all the angles of the plot.

The second is the romance. One of my favourite romantic devices, and one that is rarely used in YA pnrs, is The Dance. If you understand what I mean by The Dance, brownie points for you! For those who aren't on the same page as moi, let me explain. You know how you meet a guy, and there's spark and fizz and all that jazz? But it's not the crazy you're-my-soulmate-i-will-fall-into-your-arms kind of tru wuvv. You circle each other, you flirt, you toss out innuendos, and somewhere deep down you know the guy likes you, and the guy knows you like him back, but you're not acting on it yet. You circle each other, feel each other out, dance on that fine line that divides the two of you, until you're finally ready to take that step into commitment. THAT is The Dance. It's a romance that you know is inevitable, but you get to savor its development. A big, shiny gold star to Lani for giving it to me! I really liked the romance between Yara and Brent.

I also liked the horror-paranormal aspect of the whole book. It's rare to read a paranormal book that flirts with the horror genre. Most of them tend to be grandiose in conception and weak in execution, always worrying about the fate of the world and putting it in the hands of lovestruck teenagers. Intrinsical, on the other hand has dark, evil ghosts and possessions and a solid plotline that focuses on the fate of the MCs alone, leaving the world to fend for itself. That said, though, there are a lot of convenient plot twists that happen without explanation. (view spoiler) The mythology and the mechanics of the ghost world definitely need more work.

I was a little irritated by Cherie at first, I was scared she was falling a victim to Vee Syndrome (stupid, overenthusiastic friend who drags the protagonist into untenable situations blindly), but then Yara explains the origin of Cherie's obsession with the paranormal, and I found I could forgive her after all. Also, the way she's portrayed after Yara's "accident" really made me sympathise with her. I'd love to see more of her and Steve (who developed a real personality towards the end of the book!) in the rest of the series.

All in all, Intrinsical was, to my surprise, a highly readable book. 3.5 stars, except GR would rather make stupid 'G' signs than program those half-stars in! I do wish the first quarter of the book had received a little more editorial attention, but I'm glad I persisted, because the story really took off from there. I'll definitely be coming back for Indelible. My recommendation? Try it!
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Reading Progress

03/26/2011
30.0% "So here's what I'm speculating... Brent left his body to astral project and the evil ghost possessed it, and his spirit was the one leaving Yara the message saying NOT ME. amirite? amirite?!!" 2 comments
06/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Georgia (last edited Oct 09, 2011 05:18AM) (new)

Georgia i believe i am just like u when it comes to reading the start, if the book doesn't keep me going i will most likely put it down, i actually hate how people just keep reading even if the book just completely despises them and the only reason they keep reading is to just say that they finnished it...i don't get...


Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes) You know. I see what you mean. At some point though the writing flowed better, the characters seemed to become more fluid, the story really picked up. I didn't think the beginning was that bad, but there is definitely a difference


message 3: by Neomi (new) - added it

Neomi I just got this book signed by Lani, and will start reading it soon. Can you explain how you came up with "Vee Syndrome?".. I get the concept, and you nailed it on the head, that particular female "type" is way over played in YA. I just want to know the origin, think it's hilarious!


♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief i'm not actually mad! great review!! adding it to my to-read list now!


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