Amanda Prado's Reviews > The Uncrossing

The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake
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really liked it
bookshelves: queer, urban-fantasy, read-in-2017

I received a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book caught my attention mostly because of the pitch tagline: "The Raven Boys meets Shadowhunters". I love one of these series and hate the other, so I was mostly morbidly curious to see how this book would work out. And then of course we got the horrid cover reveal (which btw doesn't even depict the characters as they are; Luke isn't white, for starters) and my expectations got even lower. I stayed interested mostly for the fun summary (prophecies, curses, fail of true love's kiss), but I wasn't expecting too much.

Which was probably the best thing I ever did, because with low expectations, I could easily get past the book's biggest weakness: its writing. I'm not saying the author is a bad writer, because she most definitely is not; but I AM saying The Uncrossing reads as a... very obvious debut. It's easy to see the writing isn't as polished as it could be, and the way the plot/core themes of the book are handled oscilates between very in your face/heavy handed, and so subtle it's actually obfuscating. It doesn't help that the plot is confusing by design either. A more unkindly reviewer would suggest the author bit more than she could chew.

But I really don't think that's the case.

Even if I don't think it was handled in the best way possible, this was still a really good book, and the author's intent was succesfully shown even throught the bumpiest spots. The deconstruction of destiny, "true love", happily ever afters, and fairytale cliches were all great. The author doesn't take any easy ways out, she doesn't try to make her job easier: on the contrary, this story is about how there are NO easy outs, and how not all problems can be solved; and even if they are, not always will it be in satisfactory ways. The author builds the "cliches" up in the first part of the story just to slowly and devastatingly shoot them down on the second part. You don't always find an YA story willing to deal with the messiness of real life, and that doesn't compromise its themes for the sake of a perfect HEA; the ending is a happy one, don't worry, but it's still appropriately open-ended, which works perfectly with the message it is trying to send.

The Uncrossing has sympathetic but flawed characters, a cute romance, ADULTS ACTING LIKE ADULS - the parents in this book actually exist and act like parents, trying to protect their children from fucked up magic and ACTIVELY involved in the plot!!! holy shit!!!!! -, and a refreshing take on the usual fairytale/paranormal romance tropes. All things I loved, which more than make up for the occasional messy writing (and occasional ott melodrama, though that could also be attributed to sympathetic but flawed teens acting like teens). I'm really impressed by the author's ideas, even if the execution wasn't always perfect. It just makes me interested to see how she'll evolve in her next books.
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Reading Progress

February 24, 2017 – Shelved
February 24, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
September 29, 2017 –
21.0% "i admit i was a bit skeptical, but it’s really interesting so far"
September 30, 2017 – Started Reading
September 30, 2017 –
50.0% "hmm the writing could be better tbh but the author is always drawing attention to their size diff which i appreciate"
October 1, 2017 –
86.0% "i still think this couldve been written better - theres a lot of first book mistakes here - but the thing the author is trying to do is really cool"
October 2, 2017 – Shelved as: queer
October 2, 2017 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
October 2, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
October 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Chelsea I was skeptical about this too but now I'm way more excited to read my ARC!

Amanda Prado Chelsea wrote: "I was skeptical about this too but now I'm way more excited to read my ARC!"

lol same. i think it’s better to enter with lowish expectations bc then the sometimes wonky writing and ott melodrama (of the first part esp) are just expected failings, and you can focus more on the good parts lmao.

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