Friday, October 4, 2013

Aberrant by Ruth Silver

Oh, The Hunger Games. What a fantastic dystopian YA novel. It has the honor of a five star rating on GR from me, and a huge fan base for the movies AND the books. More importantly, it is on my hallowed shelf called Inspiration. Inspiration houses Harry Potter and Twilight, among a couple other choice selections.
"But Mollie, why Twilight?!" you ask. "How can a respectable book blogger possibly put Twilight on their Inspiration shelf?"
Well, I'll tell you. Twilight sparked a bunch of other vampire-themed novels: Some good (oh haaaay Blue Bloods, Vampire Academy, and House of Night); some okay (ehhhhh Glass Houses. Sorry, you Morganvillians); and some just BLECH NO NEVER AGAIN (looking at you, Tantalize). 
The very same can be said for the dystopian YA genre with The Hunger Games. After HG took off, the dystopian novels just started word vomiting everywhere. Harried book bloggers struggled to keep up with the seemingly endless pile of dystopian ARCs they were receiving, and much to their dismay, realized that many of them were utter crap. I am one of those bloggers, and I was overwhelmed with the underwhelming dystopian novels I was trying to get through. Pretty sure it was the Reached series that did me in. 

So, I decided months ago that I needed a vacation to Hiatus Hawaii as far as dystopia went. A few days ago, however, I decided to test the waters and see if I could stomach it. Aberrant was my choice because a) I hadn't read an ARC in awhile and b) You know, the cover. I'm a sucker for a good YA cover. 
Now the real question: Did I choose well????
Sadly, not really. Actually, I'm not sad. This wasn't a terrible book, but there's a couple of things that I just couldn't get over. But first, the good, because I'm feeling nice!
1) Fast paced. This is a blessing, and a curse. It's a blessing because like all book reviewers, I need to get through my books quickly so I can get to the next one. We don't like to be bored, because that slows us down. I burned through the 250 pages with ease because the plot kept moving. I like wanting to know what comes next, and that's what Aberrant did for me.
2) The ending. This isn't one of my spoiler-filled reviews, because deep down, I actually do enjoy not spoiling endings for people. But I will say that in the last couple of chapters, things really pick up. You're left wanting more at the end, and that's ALWAYS a good thing! Kudos to Ms. Silver.
3) THE PLOT TWIST. Yayyyyy, a plot twist I wasn't expecting! This is also towards the end, and it's one that caught me off guard. 

Regardless of all this good, the bad just couldn't be ignored. 
1) EDITING. PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF SEASONED SWEET POTATO FRIES, CAN WE PLEASE START REREADING WHAT WE WRITE?! I get that this is an ARC. I get that this is self published. But the grammatical errors were just STUPID. Like, mixing up "you're" with "your." COME ON! There are just so many of these.
2) The chapters. It's like the author wanted a bunch of chapters, and decided that when she felt it was the right time, she'd put some generic closing sentence at the end of a paragraph and then jump into a new chapter. Seriously, I started anticipating when the next chapter would appear. More often than not, I guessed correctly each time. Not. Okay.
3) The characters. Joshua had no depth. I couldn't picture this guy. I will honestly forget about him by tomorrow, because there was nothing desirable about him. He wasn't given enough emotion or time. Like, dude, you found out your mom has been lying to you your whole life. How can you have NO REACTION to this?? 
And then Olivia. I mean, she's okay I guess. But memorable? No. She's a weak character given strong traits, and it doesn't mix well. You should know when your character isn't up to the challenge, and accept it.

Giving this book a three star review seems nice of me. Maybe I'm being too nice. I think the ending was so out of left field that I became biased, because up until that point, I was seriously considering a one star rating. Oftentimes, the book reads like a poorly-written Hunger Games fanfic. There's archery, tributes, escaping from the government with a boy, and even matching outfits. And a shit ton of other stuff, but it's not really worth drawing comparisons because that's not why I write reviews. 

So, three stars, and probably not a book I would recommend. It just left me with a lot of meh.


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