Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net's Reviews > Rebel Spring

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
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did not like it

See this review and more at www.bookbastion.net

Falling Kingdoms 1: ★★✩✩✩
_______________

Incredible. It's somehow even worse than the first one.

I'm a patient person but this series tests the limits of that patience in a big way. If I hadn't been reading this as part of a Fantasy League group, I probably would have DNF'ed it. There's simply not enough of value in this discount Game of Thrones to make the journey worth it, and it boggles my mind that it's seen as much success in the YA community as the writing just isn't very good.


The plotting in this book is so predictable. It follows a pretty standard formula that repeats itself every 5 chapters or so.

🗡️ Cleo reminds someone how terrible her life is - they both cry over the tragedy.
🗡️ A character reminds Jonas how perfect he is at everything he does - usually with a declaration of love.
🗡️ A character reveals themselves as evil, usually with a monologue about how evil they are.
🗡️ Someone related to one of the 3 leads (Cleo, Magnus/Lucia and Jonas,) dies. The person they were closest to cycles every 5 chapters.
🗡️ Repeat

Characterization really goes straight out the window here in favor of cheap surprises meant to shock the reader. Let me make it very clear though: there is a difference between true character growth, and completely altering a character's personality between chapters. It happens multiple times here that a character who was previously defined by one generic set of traits suddenly reveals themselves to be the opposite of those traits and they get to deliver a robotic and cliche-ridden speech about how evil they really are, while I wondered why I was supposed to care.


The writing feels emotionally manipulative to me. It's clear Rhodes hasn't plotted this thing out from start to finish, so instead she relies on shock factor and excitement to keep readers invested. Every time things start to get stale, either a death or unexpected romance is thrown in, and then the story spins on in the same cyclical fashion from there.

___________________

***Since my friend and fellow Fantasy League member, Kaylin, explained this next part better than I did, I'm going to include a link to her review about the treatment of a bisexual character as a plot twist type of reveal near the end of the book.***
Check her review out here!


___________________

There's a great deal of pandering too. Such as involving an established straight character in a gay/bisexual subplot 2 chapters from the end, which should tell you how much it factored into the story. Almost like someone informed Rhodes that it's in now to have gay characters in YA books, so instead of crafting a new character she just up and makes a straight character bisexual in the 11th hour to claim diversity points.


Edit: for the SJWS getting angry: I'm not erasing the fact that bisexuality exists with this complaint. The fact of the matter is - this revelation about this character happens 900+ pages into this series, and there is quite literally NOTHING foreshadowing it. At all. In fact, the reveal itself is played for suspense - Rhodes makes the reader fear for this character's life before he's suddenly being kissed by his would be murderer and it's revealed that he decides he's into it after he just spent 900 pages pining over a woman. I would have zero qualms with the gay/bisexual reveal, if it had been properly developed. Get out of here with your fake outrage and virtue signaling.


Lastly, while no character here is particularly memorable or likable, Jonas remains one of the worst characters ever. I hate him. Hate him, hate him, hate him.


He's clearly Morgan Rhodes' favorite and as such he can do absolutely no wrong. Our Fantasy League took to hashtagging #JustJonasThings (Thanks Kaylin for coming up with the term!) every time Jonas did or said something totally ridiculous - which was all the time. If we had played a drinking game I think we all would have died of alcohol poisoning.

I just do not get the hype with this series. It has got to be the most overrated, poorly written, popular series I've read this year. I was alternating between 1 and 2 stars again, but I'm settling on 1 this time. Given that this is the second book in the series, I would have expected many of the issues from the first book to be fixed here - but they're not. In fact they're amplified, so I'm settling on 1 star. This series just is not worth the time.

That being said, the League is forging on and we'll be continuing on with the third book in a few weeks, so keep your eye out for that.

★✩✩✩✩ = 1/5 "read anything else, really," stars

__________________
A shout out to our Fallen Kingdoms Fantasy League with these fine folk:

🗡Frankie Lovely
🗡Mary, ~Ravager of Tomes~
🗡Kaylin
🗡Rachelle
🗡Jeremy

__________________________
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Reading Progress

March 4, 2017 – Shelved
March 4, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 14, 2017 – Started Reading
May 14, 2017 –
page 71
17.71%
May 21, 2017 –
page 140
34.91%
May 27, 2017 –
page 194
48.38% "I literally cannot with this book... If this keeps up the way it's going, my review for this book might even outshine my review for book 1."
June 3, 2017 –
page 255
63.59%
June 12, 2017 –
page 318
79.3% "Eager to finish this one up this week!"
June 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 91 (91 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

i pray this works out better for you than the first one did😂👐😂 good luck!


message 2: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) good luck, guys!


message 3: by maram ☂︎ (new)

maram ☂︎ GOOD LUCK!!! 😂


Twila Good luck! You can do it!!


Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ I love the sword emoji omg


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Solomon wrote: "i pray this works out better for you than the first one did😂👐😂 good luck!"

OMG me too! @_@ I can't handle another Falling Kingdoms!


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ wrote: "I love the sword emoji omg"

Me too! They're fitting for this series. :)

and thanks for all the well-wishes everyone!


message 8: by marielle (new)

marielle oh no good luck!!!


Frankie Lovely That ending has me so bitter right now!!
(view spoiler)


message 10: by Scrill (new)

Scrill I still can't believe you read the second 😹


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Frankie Lovely wrote: "That ending has me so bitter right now!!
[spoilers removed]"


Me too, Frankie!! >_<


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Scrill wrote: "I still can't believe you read the second 😹"

Haha I'm planning on reading them all with this buddy read group! I'm going to need a lot of booze to handle it. XD


Peppermint I think I gave up after the 2nd or 3rd one. Me not remembering shows exactly how much I cared :D . Good luck with the other books!


message 14: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Humphrey Omg BAHAHAH! Why are you torturing yourself boo?! 😂🙈😭


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Peppermint wrote: "I think I gave up after the 2nd or 3rd one. Me not remembering shows exactly how much I cared :D . Good luck with the other books!"

Thank you Peppermint!! It is totally forgettable, despite all the deaths and betrayals, nothing of actual importance ever seems to happen! XD


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Chelsea wrote: "Omg BAHAHAH! Why are you torturing yourself boo?! 😂🙈😭"

Hahaha I know! I bought all 5 of the books though when I joined this fantasy league, so I feel like I have to see it through, no matter how painful it is!


✶Rachelle✶ "We would all die of alcohol poisoning" bahahahahahahaha 😂😂
So, so, so true lol


message 18: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) I'm more happy every day that I ditched

also, was the character actually established as straight, or were they just not established at all and assumed straight?


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Rachelle wrote: ""We would all die of alcohol poisoning" bahahahahahahaha 😂😂
So, so, so true lol"


Isn't it?!?! The #JustJonasThings hashtag became everything to me while reading. Helped me make it through for sure!


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Elise wrote: "I'm more happy every day that I ditched

also, was the character actually established as straight, or were they just not established at all and assumed straight?"


They were definitely established as straight. It's the same character who spent book 1 and most of book 2 pining over Miss Cleo as an unrequited love interest.


✶Rachelle✶ So I haven't read any of the chapters yet cause I haven't cared enough lol, but now I'm morbidly curious about this straight-to-gay character. Guess I know what I'll be reading tonight


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Rachelle wrote: "So I haven't read any of the chapters yet cause I haven't cared enough lol, but now I'm morbidly curious about this straight-to-gay character. Guess I know what I'll be reading tonight"

I can't wait to see what you think about it Rachelle!


message 23: by Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net (last edited Jun 17, 2017 01:03PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net taryn (sunlitlibrary) wrote: "I was enjoying reading this review, right up until you started talking about Nic. I'd like to introduce you to a sexuality: BISEXUAL. Nic isn't suddenly gay because he was with another man when he ..."

I'm not saying that he cannot be bisexual, so lets not try to play that game. Nic, the character in question here, was previously estabished as a straight character. In fact, his one defining character trait aside from his red hair is the fact that he is romantically interested/obsessed with Cleo from the moment he's introduced in Book 1. If Morgan Rhodes had taken the time to have little moments where it was implied that he was interested equally in men, I would have been totally okay with it. The way it's done here though, is totally disingenous.

In fact, Nic is actively afraid of the man he kisses, right before he is kissed. It's not a romantic scene, but it's played as one because it's supposed to be yet another surprise that the audience doesn't see coming. I would have LOVED it if he had been allowed to grow ORGANICALLY as into character romantically interested in men and women but unfortunately he was used as a diversity bait just so Rhodes could score some points right at the end of the book.

Get of my reviews with the SWJ crap. Not everything exists to be turned into something to be outraged about. xo


Jacob the Bookworm I thought about reading this series, but with all the negativity surrounding it, I may want to reconsider lol


message 25: by Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net (last edited Jun 17, 2017 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net The only problem I have with SJW is when they come onto my reviews and try and create issues where there are none in order to bolster their own feelings of self-importance.

Like I said, I have zero problems with Nic being bisexual - (I'm gay, myself and welcome all types of representation in books!) it's how it's done here that I have a problem with. It all stems from the author not having the skills or capabilities to pull off organically growing her characters and making their growth realistic. Nic's interest in men isn't brought up until 900+ pages into the series - far too late to be considered anything other than pure pandering, especially because there is nothing in the earlier pages of the series to imply that he: A. likes men romantically. or B. is afraid to come out. To reiterate: THE QUALITY OF THE WRITING AND CHARACTERIZATION IS POOR.

I get it that you're happy about the representation - I would be too. But it's incredibly poorly done here and THAT is the point I am making. You are purposefully misconstruing that point so you can feel moral outrage and superiority from that soapbox you're standing on.


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Jacob ~Bookish Hufflepuff~ wrote: "I thought about reading this series, but with all the negativity surrounding it, I may want to reconsider lol"

I definitely don't recommend it Jacob. There are hundreds of better YA/fantasy series out there than this one.


message 27: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) I mean, it's possible that it was in there for diversity points, but... If someone has a crush on Cleo, it means they're canonically attracted to women, not that they're canonically straight. Not all people attracted to another gender are straight. I know you know that, but it isn't coming through in your review.

This isn't a callout; it's our society, not you specifically, that thinks of heterosexuality as the norm. It's just that assumption erases bi people. (Actually, beside the point, but a lot of studies have pointed out that most people are technically attracted to both genders.)


message 28: by TheHufflePuffle (new)

TheHufflePuffle (Lindsay) This review reeks of bisexual erasure and I'm not here for it.


message 29: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Humphrey ^^^trolling on other people's reviews doesn't make you a SJW. He's allowed his opinion as much as you're allowed yours. 🙋🏼


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Elise wrote: "I mean, it's possible that it was in there for diversity points, but... If someone has a crush on Cleo, it means they're canonically attracted to women, not that they're canonically straight. Not a..."

It's possible that I worded it poorly in my review. My problem is not with Nic being reveled to be bisexual, it's with the fact that Morgan Rhodes doesn't know how to properly develop her characters. His sexuality just becomes one more "Suprise!" moment in a sea of them in this series. Just like all of the character deaths - it's done to shock the audience rather than to organically grow him as a character. The fact is, that his sexuality being used to shock the audience in the final hour of this book is actually offensive in its own way, considering the way it plays out. You literally think he's about to murdered and suddenly it's like: "LOL nope, he likes kissing boys! Got you readers!"


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Chelsea wrote: "^^^trolling on other people's reviews doesn't make you a SJW. He's allowed his opinion as much as you're allowed yours. 🙋🏼"

Thank you Chelsea!! <3 <3 <3


message 32: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) oh god that trope is terrible and I totally agree on that!! It happens all the time and it annoys me, it's such fake rep

The wording of your comments, though, still wasn't great. I know you didn't intend to be biphobic but what you said comes off a bit... gross. Maybe edit it if you can?


message 33: by Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net (last edited Jun 17, 2017 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Elise wrote: "oh god that trope is terrible and I totally agree on that!! It happens all the time and it annoys me, it's such fake rep

The wording of your comments, though, still wasn't great. I know you didn't..."


Eh, I'm not into censoring myself to protect the feelings of others who decide to feign moral outrage over the way they construe other people's opinions. I think I've explained my point enough.


message 34: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) @Bentley you've explained your point plenty. It's an understandable point. I haven't read the book, but to be honest, there's a high chance I agree.

But, um... what you said is genuinely hurtful. This isn't some kind of “moral outrage”, it's annoyance at a comment that erases bi people. People aren't faking being annoyed at what you said. We're friends and I know you mean no harm, but I'm still a little annoyed.

I'm not going to unfriend you over it or anything, but please do understand no one's faking annoyance at this.


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Elise wrote: "@Bentley you've explained your point plenty. It's an understandable point. I haven't read the book, but to be honest, there's a high chance I agree.

But, um... what you said is genuinely hurtful...."


I get that - and you are totally allowed to your feelings. Obviously I wasn't being biphobic, and quite frankly it's offensive that I've been accused of it as a gay man and active member of the community, but I've not defriended anyone over it either. I apologize if I (unintentionally) offended anyone, but quite frankly I think people are taking things a bit far. Especially when my point was in regards to the quality of the writing in this book being poor. That remains 100% the point - which people will overlook because they'd rather be upset and argue.


Jeremy Wow there's no need to make a scene if you don't like a review or disagree with something. Just stop reading it and move on?


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Jeremy wrote: "Wow there's no need to make a scene if you don't like a review or disagree with something. Just stop reading it and move on?"

My hero! 💖 Thank you Jeremy!


✶Rachelle✶ Yeah I'm with Jeremy. If you don't like it, move on. Also, as a person who is a member of the group reading this, I completely agree with Bentley that the way the author presented Nic did not make sense. It felt like it was put there just for the sake of having a gay/bi character. There was no lead up and no hints dropped that maybe he wasn't straight. This is poor writing on the author's part, not biphobia on Bentley's.


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Rachelle wrote: "Yeah I'm with Jeremy. If you don't like it, move on. Also, as a person who is a member of the group reading this, I completely agree with Bentley that the way the author presented Nic did not make ..."

Thank you, Rachelle! That is EXACTLY my point! One must still consider a little thing called "Characterization" when reading and writing reviews, and the fact of the matter is: the big reveal moment here didn't match up with the characterization at all. It was just a ploy to hook the audience into book 3 with one last "surprise" right before the end of the book.


Jacob the Bookworm I agree with Jeremy and Rachelle. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinion, and everybody can word something wrong or vague. If it bothers, move on. Don't bash Bentley for an opinion


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Jacob ~Bookish Hufflepuff~ wrote: "I agree with Jeremy and Rachelle. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinion, and everybody can word something wrong or vague. If it bothers, move on. Don't bash Bentley for an opinion"

Thank you Jacob. <3 <3 <3


Jeremy Great review Bentley :) liked the gifs! XD


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net Jeremy wrote: "Great review Bentley :) liked the gifs! XD"

Thanks, man. Just trying to keep things light and fun. :)


message 44: by ✨ jamieson ✨ (new)

✨    jamieson   ✨ Being gay doesn't mean you're going to get it 100% right on bi issues all the time. I agree being part of the community but it's not the same thing. As I bi person I dobt claim to know everything about trans or gay margianilisations. I'm not going to argue with you because you've made your point plenty and everything I would have said has been said, but it's pretty upsetting even your friends telling you this is offensive and bierasure isn't enough for you to reconsider your review 🙃


message 45: by Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net (last edited Jun 17, 2017 09:33PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net @jamieson: like you said, I have argued my point enough. Secondly, my point is that the characterization in this book is a mess, just like the world building and plotting, not that bisexual people don't exist. You have a disclaimer on your own profile that you write controversial reviews, and that people should get over it, and yet you're asking me to edit my own review? That seems like your cherrypicking, and being hypocritical if I'm honest. Like I've said multiple times, I meant no offense, and am not going to keep apologizing, but people will allow anything to outrage them these days.


message 46: by L A i N E Y (last edited Jun 17, 2017 04:35PM) (new) - added it

L A i N E Y Gosh i feel like hugging you right now Bentley!! Or if it's too much then a handshake or a high-five or something! LOL! And your review is spot on!


Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net @lainey: thank you so much, love! ❤💜💙


message 48: by Elise (last edited Jun 17, 2017 05:07PM) (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) Okay, calling me an "SJW" with "fake moral outrage" when I've been perfectly polite is honestly a bit rude, especially considering we're friends and we've talked before?? I thought this was a polite conversation, tbh.

Also, to clarify what I said: I have no issue with Bentley pointing out he thought the rep seemed false or thrown in as a plot twist. That's a perfectly understandable issue. It's the wording that comes off gross. Literally just the wording, not Bentley as a person. And reasonable people can disagree on events in books; that's what GR is all about. Sorry if I've offended anyone by disagreeing with the wording of a review, I guess.


Melissa ☽ Midnight *raises hand* I'm bisexual and I'm not offended by this post because I understand that sometimes the way people word things can be misconstrued, and because Bentley very clearly states (several times) that he didn't mean to offend/didn't mean to be biphobic with the words he said, only that he feels the AUTHOR hadn't written it well.

Now if everyone will take a deep breath and try to stop the negativity and the arguments and the everything-needs-to-be-phrased-perfectly-or-im-boarding-the-neverending-offended-train.


message 50: by Elise (last edited Jun 17, 2017 05:46PM) (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) Melissa Boookmarked wrote: "*raises hand* I'm bisexual and I'm not offended by this post because I understand that sometimes the way people word things can be misconstrued, and because Bentley very clearly states (several tim..."

hey, so that's absolutely fine!! I personally disagree and that's fine too. All I want at this point is not to be talked down to or condescended, and to have polite discussion of an unintentional comment I and multiple other people found offensive. I really think there's nothing unfair about that request, at least from my point of view.


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