Monday, March 7, 2011

The TBR Back Burner Challenge: Round 2 Reviews

Yep. I'm back to YA. You may recall that last month I was on a brief hiatus from it so that I could take on some of the chick-lit that has accumulated in my TBR pile. Well now I'm back in the sweet embrace of my one true love.
Starting with: 
EvilEva reviews...... Fallen by Lauren Kate.

Luce is haunted. By the events that transpired the night she lost Trevor. By dark ominous shadows, always reaching out for her. And by a boy from her dreams. A boy that looks impossibly like Daniel Grigori, whom Luce meets her first day at Sword and Cross, the reform school she's been exiled to. Luce finds herself drawn to Daniel even as he tries to push her away. He's hiding a huge secret and Luce has to find out what it is. Even if it kills her.

This is the first book in this paranormal series. You could probably guess what mystical being it's about simply by reading the title. However if you're a complete dum-dum face, you're in for a long wait because Daniel's "secret" isn't revealed for nearly 400 pages.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked Luce but there were a few times when she was too wishy-washy for my taste. I mean, really. Team Daniel or Team Cam. Just grab a shirt and pick a side already! Although truthfully she shouldn't jump on board either side so quickly as she JUST MET these dudes! Try Team Get To Know Somebody First, how 'bout that?!? But if, gun to my head, I had to choose? I suppose I'd be Team Daniel. Although I personally didn't feel the swoony-swoon for him. He runs too hot and cold. And as an adult lady, I ain't gotta deal with that kinda shit! This is why sometimes I feel like teenagers have the patience of saints because where a teenage girl sees a brooding soul that she can "change for the better," adult lady me sees an asshole with a chip on his shoulder. And "changing someone for the better" seems grossly time consuming. Ok, I seem to have gone off on a rant here so I'll long story short it--- No one likes an angsty man. So act all mysterious and aloof while you can boys coz after awhile it stops being sexy.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, Luce is haunted by these creeptastic shadows. The way Lauren Kate described them it called to my mind the Dementors from the Harry Potter series. Any time they were present in the book I kept envisioning Dementors. I thought that aspect was pretty cool but I was a little disappointed that it was never fully explained why Luce saw them or what exactly they were. And the same goes for the whole Trevor situation. I felt like I kept making assumptions but was never given the full story.

As for the supporting characters, I really liked Arriane. I thought she was plucky and cool and quirky. It seemed to me though that she was introduced so strongly and then got ditched about halfway through the story. I found that a little odd, especially since there was no explanation for her sudden absence. She was just there and then not and then back by the end of the book. It was like for some reason she was suddenly demoted as Luce's resident best friend for Penn. Which wasn't a bad thing at all because Penn was made of awesome! In fact, she may very well be my fave character from Fallen. If I had one of those Best Friend necklaces I would totes give her the Be Fri half! She reminded me of Mac from Veronica Mars. If Fallen goes all Hollywood (like seemingly every other YA novel out there) then the role of Penn should definitely got to Tina Majorino (who also happens to be made of awesome!) I also liked Roland. I can't explain that one. He was hardly in the book but there was something about him that intrigued me.

As I said at the beginning of this post, this book, it gave me the mixed feelings. I really liked the setting and the imagery. And I liked most of the characters. But, the reveal, the biggest part that the book has to offer, fell flat. There was all this build up (over 300 pages worth!) and then we get about 5 pages for an explanation. I guess I was expecting something a little more grandiose. That being said, the epilogue totally recaptured my attention. And since it ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger (plus I'm kinda hoping some of this other stuff: i.e. the shadows, Trevor, Penn *sob*, will get better sorted out) I'll probably give the sequel, Torment, a shot. 

The Scale of Judgment says...... 3 and a half.

EvilEva reviews...... Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Ethan Wate has lived in the small town of Gatlin his entire life. Nothing EVER happens. Until the day Lena Duchannes shows up. Immediately gossip begins to spread about this strange new girl, niece of the town recluse. She's different and the ass backwards folk of Gatlin County do not care for different. But Ethan is drawn to Lena and he'll stop at nothing to know her. But he has no idea just how different Lena truly is and that knowing her could be a very dangerous thing.

Ugh y'all! This book is 563 pages long. And it felt like it. That's not a good thing. Unfortunately there wasn't much about this book that I liked. One of the main problems I had with it was that it was too draggy. For a book with 563 pages, nothing really happened. In that respect I felt very much like I was stuck in Gatlin County, where nothing ever happens reading about Gatlin County whilst nothing is happening.

Most of the story is about Ethan wanting to get to know Lena, the literal girl of his dreams and Lena pushing him away because she's a Caster and shits gonna go down on her 16th birthday and she doesn't want to get close enough to anyone that she might end up hurting plus she's just coming into her powers and she's all nervous about becoming either a Dark or a Light Caster even though she thinks she doesn't have a choice in the matter and blahbiddy blah teen angst blahbiddy blah. I just couldn't connect to any of the characters or to the story. It never held my interest for very long. In fact, I would literally count the pages until I would FINALLY be done with it. That is also not good. 

Another problem I had with this book was the dialogue. Granted, it's been a hot second since I was a teenager but, do teens nowadays really talk like this? To me it seemed more like adults trying desperately to sound like teenagers rather than the actual flow of a bantering, profanity-laced, teasing conversations between youngsters. 

So, yeah, there were quite a few things I didn't like about this book but the one shining spot for me was the descriptions of the town. I love that old crumbling-down, swampy, gothic-style South where there could be treasure or trouble around every corner. 
The sequel to Beautiful Creatures is out now in hardback. I think I'll pass though. 

The Scale of Judgment says......2.

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