Monday, July 23, 2012

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

You know when you do something you really like for a long time, and then all of a sudden, something happens to makes you lose interest? Reading YA pararomas usually makes me feel happy, but lately, I've been hitting a rut...

There were just so many things that were right about Poison Study. I would list them all, but I can't compare this to all the recent YA's [though evil Mollie is totes doing so while good Mollie is writing this review] because it was published way before Twilight even came on the scene. 
Still, the romance was the most refreshing part of this. I mean, I can talk about how awesome Yelena was, or how awesome Ms. Snyder is for drawing out her plot so slowly that it took FOREVER to find out Yelena's backstory. And so on, etc., etc. But Ms. Snyder managed to use only about 10% [and I seriously want to say even less than that] of the book on the Yelena y Valek love, and it still made the biggest impression on me. It was the most natural, wonderful thing. They simply stated their love, which GASP for that ever happening ever in YAP, and then they beat the bad guys. Valek obviously loved Yelena so much, because only true love allows you to let go of the one you love so that they can go on their own personal quest.
Ridiculously refreshing, like an Orangina after you've been tubing in the Rio Grande all day and haven't had a soda in two months. 

Poison Study gets my sea salt dark chocolate caramel award for deliciously wonderful writing, characters, and plot. I highly suggest to GO READ THIS RIGHT NOW. :] 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil, aka DID I JUST READ WHAT EVERYONE ELSE READ?? Because there's no way everyone else read this and thought it was fabulous while I was rolling my eyes.

Oh, Sweet Evil, you thought that by following the trend of using beautiful unrelated book covers that you'd slip past me and blend in with all the other not-so-yay-YA. FALSE! 

Warning: Oh yes, there are spoilers ahead. There is also the absolute truth, which could be a lot more harmful than spoiling this book--because honestly, there is really nothing to spoil in Sweet Evil.

I don't need to share the bulk of the plot premise, since all the raving reviews for SE do such a great job of it. There's pious Anna, Kaidan the rockstar fallen angel [what's with this current trend of making the guys super hot rockstars that have an extremely lax schedule of concert dates??], and some other people thrown into the mix who BOTHERED THE HELL OUT OF ME. 

Let's start with the biggest problem, which of course is Anna. Anna, who puts my most Catholic friend to shame, is one of the most unbelievable characters. She's perfection incarnate, and is so sheltered that she probably should have been wearing a Pilgrim dress on the cover. She's like an extremely religious Bella [loath as I am to compare anything to Twilight, too many authors are basing their "creations" off of the pararoma starter series] who has never even lied before. Uh, yeah, totally believe that. Especially because your first time sipping the lying koolaid was to tell a couple girls that Kaidan has gonorrhea. 

But my biggest problem(s) had nothing to do with Anna the Perfect, the multicultural cast of Neph friends [it was like an episode of In Living Color except more Australian], or the casual way underaged drinking and substance abuse was handled--just because Kaidan is a "Neph" doesn't make it okay for him to have a flask at all times. No, what really bothered me were the GIANT PLOT HOLES THAT I KEPT TRIPPING AND FALLING INTO.
1) If Jay is this brilliant songwriter--even though according to Anna he's not even very good--then why is he wasting time being a DJ? Why doesn't he seem to care about furthering his music career? It's like he's waiting on Kaidan's band to appear to even consider making a move. In fact, I really felt bad for Jay. He's obviously just a filler character, and Higgins treats him like crap. I wanted to know more about his substance-abusing uncle and was left like waaaaaaah I don't know what just happened. 

2) Patti is so overprotective, she doesn't even give Anna a cellphone. This isn't 2003 when I was the only one of my friends to have a cell phone because I had clarinet lessons and babysitting jobs to juggle. So if Anna can't even be trusted with a cellphone, then how in the hell are you trusting her to go across the country with a boy you don't even know??? REALLY? You couldn't give up your job if this was so important? A loving and overprotective parent drops everything for their child, they don't just send them off in a car with a guy who has a bunch of money from his porn-selling dad and has probably only been driving for, like, a year.

3) The jobs of the Nephs. Because really, how are their jobs in any way, shape, or form crucial to the burgeoning business of the underworld? They don't seem to do much of anything on a large scale, and apparently, they get checked up on maybe once a year. The "amazing job" that Anna did her first time out was like a typical college girl's night out. 

4) Anna's dad was the only character I liked. Not a plot hole, but I had to put this in somewhere. I think it's really weird that such a minor character was my favorite when the author didn't seem to care too much about her minor characters at all--unless they were flawless, sinning Nephs of course.

5) The stupid way the book was broken up. Why was it in three parts?? It was like a wannabe New Moon. They didn't flow and I could have done without the Paradise Lost quote. I'm all for breaking a book up, but it wasn't necessary, and it didn't achieve the dramatic effect Higgins was obviously going for.

Oh, I could just go on and on. I had so many bookmarks and highlights on my ereaders, but I'm exhausted from just the little that I've written so far [well, not little, but you know what I mean]. So my final words are about the weird, underlying religious basis of this book. Higgins just seemed to push her biased beliefs onto me. I am 100% open to ALL religions, but I felt like she was cramming it down my throat and forcing me to keep it down. Like her 12 sins--and I'm Jewish so color me confused, but I didn't know there were 12 sins and that two of them were combined--and the fact that Anna doesn't seem too concerned about the fact that Patti can no longer even go to church. Oh, but those of us who partake in legally doing shots at the bar are considered sinners. So if stealing is such a blatant sin, then does the poor man who steals bread for his starving family deserved to be marked a sinner? Because Higgins made it out to be like no matter what, it's sinning. Well, call me a sinner, but I do not believe in this book at all and refuse to worship it in any way. 

Predestined by Abbi Glines

That's just the way her face is.

I really don't know if I can finish this.
*****EDIT****** I finished it. Still didn't like it.

Here's my version of Predestined:

"Pagan is beautiful. Pagan is so beautiful. She is my Pagan. My existence as Death has meant nothing up until the point of meeting her."
*daydreams about cuddling*

"I am so lucky. My boyfriend is so hot. I am so in love with him and I love him to death. Haha! Get it? I'm so funny. Oh no, one of my two bff's that I've known since preschool is dead. I should probably be upset but I'm going to be mad at Dank instead for not warning me."

the other best friend, Miranda
"Pagan really loves me. I'm really depressed because my soulmate, Wyatt, just died. Pagan mostly just sits there, thinking about her new friend Gee and how much she misses Dank, but I don't even care because I know Pagan loves me. Pagan loves me so much, she was willing to get me drunk so I could forget my troubles. She is so smart!"

"I should probably be thinking about the fact that Miranda's boyfriend died right before Valentine's Day, and how traumatic that is, but all I can think about is Leif being an evil voodoo spirit and how much I love Dank."

THAT'S PRETTY MUCH IT. Pagan is the most self-centered, selfish character ever. She wastes almost no time mourning Wyatt, and she doesn't even seem to care about Miranda having just lost her soulmate/boyfriend! The only reason she even stays with Miranda after the funeral is because she doesn't want to be by herself, and because she's mad at Dank for not warning her about Wyatt's death. She's known Dank for, what, a few months? And Gee for even less? But they get top priority over her grieving best friend and her now-deceased friend Wyatt.
And Leif. If you're a "voodoo prince" with the power of your father behind you--who, in case you forgot, tricked Death by taking Wyatt's soul--why the hell do you keep running away from any appearance of Dank or Gee?? Shouldn't you have, you know, SOME power? Leif literally shows up, adds nothing to the plot, and then runs away like one of the squirrels on campus if you get too close to them.

Seriously, I can't handle how selfish Pagan is, and the HORRIBLE editing [you'd think by book two you'd have a better editor, right?!?], and the fact that Dank doesn't seem to worry about his EXTREMELY IMPORTANT JOB because he's too busy thinking about how much he misses Pagan. DANK, YOU'RE NOT A MOPEY TEENAGER. YOU ARE DEATH, AND HAVE LIVED LONGER THAN ANY OTHER IMMORTAL "HOTTIE" IN A YA PARANORMAL ROMANCE!

Okay I'm done yelling, and definitely done reading this nightmare. It was such a waste of time.
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