First, let me just say that I am hating all these gorgeous YA covers out there. They are sucking me in like freakin Hoovers. And this cover? It sucked the hardest.
*sigh* I honestly think this cover almost tells a better story than the book itself does. Look at all that angst and dark beauty. It makes you wonder why she seems so devastated and why she's alone in a none-too-friendly lookin forest at twilight. Did some catty cheerleader steel this goth princess' prom date? Did she lose her lover? Did she find out some unbearable truth about her lover? Is she fallen or is someone she cares for? Is she going to raise her head from her lovely hands and have the Joker's face? These burning questions drove me to pick up this book even though I DON'T DO ANGELS. It's kinda my policy. And I broke it. For the goth princess. Was it worth it? Let's find out.
So, this book left me feeling frustrated and oddly fulfilled at the end. If I had written this review the minute I finished, I would have given it a 4 out of 5 or a B+. Then, a couple hours later, I got thinking about the holes in the plot, the improbability of sooo many things that happened or didn't happen, the questions raised and answers given and the ending and realized that in a different book I would definitely be giving a C. So where did I end up placing this book? I have to say, I went with a pretty solid B. And what makes this book a B? Let's discover shall we?
The feel of this book is a mix to me of Twilight, but darker and grittier, along with the movies Constantine and Hancock (sorta). Which ended up being a pretty great premise and mood for a book. It's dark and moody and angsty, yet not quite as full of angst as Twilight, thank heavens. I loved the whole, we've been together before, but it always ended badly and we can't do it again, you just don't remember it concept of the book. The battle for control of the lead character, Luce was also interesting and intriguing to watch and although I felt like it was supposed to be a battle of good vs. evil, none of the characters really screamed good or bad. They were more complex than that. A word of warning, the symbolism is thick in this book. In a way it was cool because it helped to weave a mood and feeling that set the tone of the book, but at times it was a bit suffocating.
The book raises a lot of questions during the telling of the story. Does it answer all of them? Hell, no. That's what the next 4 books (I'm presuming, I know) are gonna be for. Did I realize it was going to be a series? No. Was I shocked when I found out? Not really. Was I disappointed? Slightly. Will I pick up the next one? Most likely. You see, all those questions and the complexities of the characters are going to draw me back in. I can just feel it.
An annoyance I had with the book, though, was that the author seemed to contradict herself at times or cancel out things she had earlier said and that irritated me a bit. Also, the same thing would be repeated at different times and I felt like saying, "someone already explained this to her. How many times does she need to hear it?" And in a book like this where a certain kind of mood and feel is cultivated, a sudden change in tone of the book or a place with poor editing stands out like a sore thumb, so that was a little distracting in a couple places, too.
I heard someone complain in a review that Luce was just too bleh and obsessed too much with Daniel and let me just say that she is not nearly as bad as Bella. Not nearly. Also, there is some competition for her affections and the other guy was more interesting than the lead male and probably got more face time and definitely got more dialogue than the hero, Daniel.
I felt a little robbed because so much foreshadowing and allusion was used that I started to wonder all kinds of scenarios that were frankly a bit more interesting than what actually ended up happening. Plus the fact that we really didn't learn a lot at all. I felt more confused about some things at the end of the book than I did after reading the prologue. I understand that this is going to be a series (please God, not another "saga") but couldn't the author throw me a bigger bone than what she did?
And the school? Oy. It's supposed to be this tough ass reform school that suffocates you and sucks out your soul and yet everyone is running around with knives and booze and all sorts of fun stuff that Luce didn't even see at her former prep school. Everyone throws parties in their dorm room that would be the envy of P. Diddy and several students seem to come and go as they please. Basically the school is just a prop to create the right setting and feel for the story, but it's just another thing that had to be overlooked in order to get into the book.
You may have noticed by now that I've barely mentioned our hero and heroine, Luce and Daniel. Well, to be honest that's probably because the side characters and the setting were way more interesting and compelling than these two were. The prologue sets them up as pretty interesting, but they quickly run out of steam as the reader gets further into the book. As far as the epic romance between Luce and Daniel? *sigh* Here's where one of my biggest disappointments sets in. It had such potential to be truly epic. I mean, blowing Bella and Edward out the water, y'all, but it just was not developed well. Even the brief snippets of insight we got into their past and their feelings were contradictory at times and didn't always add up. In the end, we didn't even know how or why they fall in love in any lifetime. I understand wanting to leave loose ends for the next book, but honey, you gotta give us something. At least a why the hell would he fall from grace for her? Why would she love him so without remembering her past experiences? And most of all, the time they did spend in each lifetime seems so short, so what keeps them coming back through time to be together? To keep trying? I just kinda wanted something to make sense.
I can't say much more about the book, what I liked and didn't without giving too much away. All I can say is that it definitely is not perfect, but it is enjoyable. You will probably want to pick up the next one after you finish this one. When all is said and done, I don't regret reading this book. Despite my No Angels rule. I can honestly say I recommend this book if you're a fan of YA and like a story that is dark and a bit angsty. It won't be the best book you've read all year, but it won't be the worst.
Bleh and Meh
4 hours ago