Lissa's Reviews > Fractured Light

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
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's review
Nov 08, 2011

bookshelves: kick-ass-heroine, 2011
Read from November 15 to 19, 2011

Genuinely torn as to what rating to give this book. So much hate for the execution of such an awesome idea and a heroine that still made me want to punch her in the face on most pages. I will have to sleep on it and think about what I'm going to say.

This book gets better the more you read. I truly hated the first hundred or so pages and would only give them one star. The next hundred pages were so poor they only deserve two stars. But by the time I got to the end, Llona partially redeemed herself and I would even go so far to say that I LIKED THIS BOOK AND I WANT TO READ THE SEQUEL BECAUSE OMG IT'S SET IN A SCHOOL FOR MAGIC GIRLS AND IT'S GOING TO BE AMAZEBALLS.


I really don’t want to hurt McClellan’s feelings or pride because I know what it’s like to love a book and release it into the world and have someone rip it apart piece by agonising piece... but I truly feel this could have been so much more developed if she’d had an experienced mentor helping her out and guiding the craft. The potential is there, which is why I’m not being harsher. With experience, I hope McClellan becomes a big name in this genre: she’s already part way there with a very solid plot and, my most favourite thing in the world, a heroine who does not just lie there and let her sparkly boyfriend do all the hard work. But most of the chapter endings were extraordinarily forced and predictable. I was reading an ARC so I can forgive the spelling and grammar mistakes: they shouldn’t be in the general release. Sometimes some really stupid things were said by characters or thought by Llona that just made me want to punch them. And Llona was more than happy to wait when characters, for no reason, decided they didn’t want to reveal information that would have brought the inevitable ending to a faster conclusion.

Like I said, the concept from the blurb is totally awesome. Llona, following typical YA paranormal romance tropes, is abhorrent at the beginning and I’m lucky I decided to push past 100 pages (which is my turning off point). At page 70 Llona turns around and starts trying to be awesome, and sometimes failing, but sometimes managing it. At first I thought she was a very typical helpless doormat heroine, but she surprised me by turning around and actually not only being capable, but kicking butt. She embraces typical feminine traits but ends up becoming much more the kind of heroine I admire, and fights back against what everyone expects of her.

Also – Christian Knight. Is that not the most hilariously bad name ever? Christian had the potential to be one of the very few boys in YA literature I do not hate with a fiery passion, but he was way to judgemental, chauvinistic, sarcastic, mocking, and pushed Llona around too much to gain that honour. Llona was more than capable of what he could throw at her and he kept mocking her for wanting to push herself and learn how to defend herself: not only that, but learn how to fight.

I could totally predict who the bad guy was. Here’s a tip for American authors: (view spoiler) We’re on to you. You always do that, and I’m sad to say it’s way too predictable. I’m marrying one of those guys, and they are totally awesome.

So all up, I think this was a superb first effort from McClellan. It’s not easy writing a book, and I was so excited when I first read the blurb. I’m looking forward to the sequel. And the ending is probably what made this book for me: it’s a perfect ending for a book that deserves a sequel. If you love typical paranormal romance and enjoy seeing a girl learn how to protect herself, you’ll like this book.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and it has in no way influenced my review.
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Reading Progress

11/17/2011 page 11
4.0% ""I never got to see his face, but from his backside knew it had to be good." Oh no. Is Llona another stupid heroine? Since when does the shape of a man's ass correspond to his face? I mean... for real?" 6 comments
11/17/2011 page 13
4.0% "What the fuck? Are you lecturing me? Are you suggesting I'm so weak-willed that if I hang around people who use drugs I myself will start shooting up? NEWSFLASH. Some people don't succumb to peer pressure that easily. Fuck."
11/17/2011 page 15
5.0% "I can't believe you're having those thoughts either you horny little bitch! Someone needs to have a cold shower! I hope this isn't how you NORMALLY are."
11/17/2011 page 20
6.0% "Oh yeah, your hair is 'crazy' because it's so unique and beautiful. Oh god... you're going to be a speshul snowflake, aren't you, Llona? I can just feel it."
11/17/2011 page 21
7.0% "Christian Knight. CHRISTIAN KNIGHT. No way. This is just too bad. Having an ebook is a bad idea. I've already made more updates in the first 21 pages than I normally do in an entire book."
11/17/2011 page 22
7.0% "What? If the moon affects your physical activity so much you can't play basketball and you're on the team, why can't you join the book club, which is, like, NOT physical at all? Dumbass." 3 comments
11/17/2011 page 25
8.0% "Really desperate to know who McClellan's agent is." 2 comments
11/18/2011 page 30
10.0% "Oh, you lying little cow, Llona. Just fourteen pages ago you were in love with your maths teacher. At least now I know for sure you're an unreliable narrator."
11/18/2011 page 35
11.0% "Don't pick on a ARC for having bad spelling. An editor will get it before the general release..."
11/18/2011 page 36
12.0% "Oh god she did it again. This indicates she thinks that it's the correct spelling. I just can't even... where's a gun. I need to end this."
11/18/2011 page 38
12.0% "Oh fuck off that does not happen!"
11/18/2011 page 46
15.0% "I want the new student to take care of someone who's just peeled off several layers of skin even though I'm the teacher and I have a duty of care. Oh god, this book has GOT to be a parody."
11/18/2011 page 50
16.0% "Why are female sports teachers always portrayed so manly in YA films and literature? In high school I had the most gorgeous athletic female surfer as my sports teacher - long blonde hair, golden skin, very pretty. She was also incredibly fit."
11/18/2011 page 53
17.0% "Oh, god no. Please, don't tell me that's who her father was."
11/18/2011 page 54
17.0% "What the fuck? Do you seriously want a punch in the face? How dare you be so judgemental." 2 comments
11/18/2011 page 57
18.0% "I am trying desperately to get to page 100 before I give up."
11/18/2011 page 65
21.0% "Understanding Shakespeare doesn't make you cool. I know this: I am a Shakespeare scholar."
11/18/2011 page 70
22.0% "I love those plot twists where the parental figure says, "You need to get a life, you pathetic whiny emo teenager."" 1 comment
11/18/2011 page 78
25.0% "I think this book hates women."
11/18/2011 page 95
30.0% "Two more jabs against women, trying to make Llona feel like the speshul snowflake she is." 2 comments
11/18/2011 page 117
11/18/2011 page 121
39.0% "It's that exact same scene from Twilight. Why would you do that? It's SO iconic!"
11/18/2011 page 131
42.0% "The colour of water in a white sink is CLEAR, not a hint of blue. Water isn't naturally blue. Water is CLEAR. TRANSPARENT. GOSSAMER. SHEER. SEE-THROUGH. DIAPHANOUS. Take your pick."
11/18/2011 page 147
47.0% "Llona, kindly remove this stick from your ass."
11/19/2011 page 155
50.0% "Nice little rant to promote inequality. Feel like someone's preaching."
11/19/2011 page 164
53.0% "When people tell Llona they don't want to tell her something 'just yet', she just accepts it. If it were me I'd be all like TELL ME GOD DAMN IT! This is just a poor plot device designed to keep the mysteries going." 1 comment
11/19/2011 page 174
56.0% "Her teacher is so creepy and touchy-feely. I don't remember ever making physical contact with any of my teachers and he's always touching her shoulder or back. It's called grooming. Last time a creepy adult did that to me I ended up getting sexually assaulted. Look out, Llona! (Yes, I made a joke out of a nasty situation. Deal with it.)"
11/19/2011 page 182
58.0% "Roley-poley bugs. I'm told they're actually wood louse. In Australia we call then slaters. Don't ask me why."
11/19/2011 page 201
64.0% "This is one of those books that makes me question why I work so hard on my own." 3 comments
11/19/2011 page 208
67.0% "Einstein spent a lot of time perfecting that formula. It didn't come to him in a sudden epiphany. He used superior intellect and complex mathematical reasoning, which I am more than willing to bet you DIDN'T, Llona, because things 'just come' to you 'all of a sudden.' It took Einstein 10 years to solve that riddle. So the solution did NOT 'come to you like Einstein's E=MC2 formula.' Lying little tart."
11/19/2011 page 218
70.0% "Gah! Christian is a chauvinistic moron who thinks it's OK to assault doctors. Mr Steele is a fucking PERV. I would put a restraining order on that guy."
11/19/2011 page 217
70.0% "Christian's asking to be punched in the face as well."
11/19/2011 page 225
72.0% "Oh, you moron. You seriously need a slap. Don't send him away when someone's stalking you."
11/19/2011 page 235
75.0% "To survive, you must embrace stereotypical feminine attributes such as being calm and collected." 5 comments
11/19/2011 page 254
81.0% "Yay, last fifty pages and we finally get to what the blurb promised!"
11/19/2011 page 272
87.0% "She's used 'Little did I know' at the end of two chapters now! This is too funny. At least we know she's going to survive."
11/19/2011 page 273
88.0% "What kind of a moron goes paint balling the day of the prom? Hello? Paint in hair, anyone? Hair styles work best if it's not freshly washed."
11/19/2011 page 282
90.0% "Of COURSE you choose that particular character, heaven forbid anything bad should happen to anyone we actually care about! PLEASE make something awful happen to a character we care about so I can retract this statement. I desperately want to."
11/19/2011 page 286
92.0% "Oh for god's sake Llona! I predicted this on page 11."
11/19/2011 page 287
92.0% "And now the villain is monologuing..."
11/19/2011 page 294
94.0% "Bonus points for not lying there and letting you perfect boyfriend do all the work!"
11/19/2011 page 302
97.0% "Don't just tell me he reminds you of Mr Bean, tell me WHY. Is it because he looks like Rowan Atkinson (who's actually quite dishy when he's being an asshole in Blackadder 2nd), is it because he doesn't talk, does he drive a little green mini and run three-wheeled cars off the road, does he keep his brown teddy with him at all times? WHY does he remind you of Mr Bean?! I'm forced to believe that it's ALL OF THE ABOVE."
11/19/2011 page 305
98.0% "It's actually a really awesome ending."

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Taneika (new)

Taneika Netgalley is exciting isn't it!!
I just requested this too :)

message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan I think...I'm going to stay away from this one...

message 3: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Megan (Book Brats) wrote: "I think...I'm going to stay away from this one..."

It's probably for the best, kitten.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I think I'll enjoy the review more than the book. I'm laughing and cringing already.

message 5: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa I have no idea what I'm going to say in the review. I'm saying everything in the status updates.

message 6: by Steph (new) - added it

Steph Sinclair Excellent review, Lissa. This one just might stay on my TBR list. :)

message 7: by Taneika (new)

Taneika Excellent review :)
And excellent point about the English villains! Gee, people from England are just EVIL aren't they?

message 8: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Stephanie wrote: "Excellent review, Lissa. This one just might stay on my TBR list. :)"

If you can get past the agonising parts, you can see underneath that it's a good little story. It didn't make me mad like my 1 star reviews and I realised upon finishing that I wanted to read the sequel. So even though some of it was really painful, if you push through, you might end up enjoying it.

Taneika (Flipping Through The Pages...) wrote: "Excellent review :)
And excellent point about the English villains! Gee, people from England are just EVIL aren't they?"

Actually, my hubs is kind of evil. He made me realise there's a very fine line between cuddling someone and holding them down so they can't escape.

message 9: by Taneika (new)

Taneika Hahahaha! That's cute, I love it! My family is English, and I don't think they're evil hahaha!

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

"...a heroine who does not just lie there and let her sparkly boyfriend do all the hard work."

Have to think about adding this to my TBR list.

I think there was a guy called Jesus Christian in Eurovision one year...

Really, why can't a villain be Finnish for example? That would be different, a shaggy dude with a beer gut and an axe :P

message 11: by Lissa (new) - added it

Lissa Yeah, parts of this book annoyed me so much and then some parts genuinely caught me by surprise. I think McClellan needs to write a lot more, because a lot of the prose was very choppy and smoothing it out only comes with experience. At the same time, it was a better book character-wise than a lot of other YA PNR.

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