Fucked Up YA Adaptions: What Makes a Successful Versus a Flop YA Adaption

I’ve watched several YA adaptions and I’m now sort of seeing a pattern in what makes a successful transition in media versus a flop.  So, today I thought that I’d discuss what sticks out to me with the more successful adaptions versus (well, the flops):

1) Choose the Right Medium:

This is where I think a lot of poorly received adaptations failed. Let’s face it, some books are better off as TV shows than movies and vice versa.

Two particular adaptions stuck out for me in this category, those being Vampire Academy and City of Bones.  Both of these books had multi book series and spinoffs built off of them.  Trying to condense that into ninety minute segments for multiple times might not be the way to go.  Sure, there are some large series (Harry Potter) that were successful movie wise.  But really besides Potter, most of the successful adaptions have been smaller series.  Trilogies.  Four book series.

So, what’s the deal?

Larger series are harder to fund for one reason.  Keeping the cast is more difficult.  And staying true to the original script is even more difficult.

A TV medium would allow more flexibility and while it wouldn’t be an exact derivative of the series, it would allow such an adaption to do more with the series.  While the special effects might be cheaper, more could be done.

And it has been done.  The CW has taken a lot of long going series and turned them into big market shows such as The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl.  Lifetime has adapted Melissa de la Cruz’s adult witchy spinoff of the Blue Bloods universe into a show of its own as well.  While there have been certain changes made from the original series (Witches of East End), the TV show format seems to be a better fit for the universe because it allows this growth.  Movies can limit a series since their suppose to be more compact.

Likewise, some YA TV adaptations or attempts at TV adaptations might be better off as a movie.  Remember, The Selection?  Oh, you wouldn’t since it never got past the pilot stage (twice).  And the thing is, had they tried to adapt this as a movie instead of a TV show I actually think it might’ve succeeded.  Because the plot and the world seemed to be more contained to a movie than a TV show.

Really, how many seasons can America whine over Maxon versus Aspen?

Definitely not eight.  I don’t even think I could watch one season.

2) Looks Matter:

Sometimes these adaptations are just hideous to look at.  Everything just seems off.

Yes, but everyone’s imagination different and it’s not like you’re going to find an entire cast  of how you imagine the characters.

Yeah, but sometimes the shallowness goes beyond having Edward Cullen played by Henry Cavill’s hotter younger brother. Sometimes the movie or TV show just looks off.

In paranormal YAs this is often seen with poor CGI.  I can still remember the first time those wolves came out in New Moon all the fangirls in the theater glared at how much laughing I did.

And Vampire Academy, don’t een get me started at how wrong everything looked.

When your love interest immediately makes you think Professor Snape, you know there’s something wrong there.

But can looks really make up for an otherwise poorly cast movie?

Well, yeah.

Look at Twilight.

Robert Pattinson is not how Edward Cullen is described in the books (Meyer explicitly stated  that she imagined Henry Cavill at one point), but the styling made all the difference.  Well, it made him stomach-able enough where every fangirl had a crush on him that they could ignore the fact he didn’t look like Superman.

Same goes with The Princess Diaries.  While Mia didn’t look like Ann Hathaway, Hathaway was styled to look enough like Mia where I could give her a pass.

However, when styling goes wrong.  Forget it.

In addition to Dimitri’s awful Snape hair, other YA adaptations have been marred from poor visual cues.  In Beastly, Alex Pettyfer’s transformation to horrible looking beast never resonated  on me.  Because he didn’t look bad.  Just more like a bald guy with some facial scars with tats.  And honestly if I wanted to find a guy like that I’d just turn on TLC or go to my local Valero station.

3) Source Material

Yep, this one matters.  As many changes as you can make, you’re not going to be able to do a complete do over with the source material you buy.  Unless, of course, you don’t even attempt to do an actual adaptation and this has been done-see Lifetime’s adaptation of Meg Cabot’s 1800 Where R U.

However, if you try to follow the source material-at least where it’s recognizable-if the source material is bad the movie’s probably not going to be great.  Breaking Dawn  is a prime example of it.  The first half is almost unwatchable because of the horridness of the plot, and even though drastic changes were made to the second half it’s tolerable at best.

Even if the source material is arguably decent, if the book is followed too closely it can often hinder an adaptation.  City of Bones is a prime example of this.  While parts of the movie diverge greatly from the movie, there were scenes that were so faithful to the book it hindered them.

Yeah, I’m talking about that infamous falcon scene.

Knowing when to diverge from the book is important.  When done correctly it can make the film a success.  The first Princess Diaries film is a perfect example.  While that movie differed greatly from the source material, the changes that were made weren’t extreme enough to change the spirit of the story and made sense.

I mean, does anyone really think Mary Poppins could play a psycho grandma?

Though I do hate the fact they killed the dad character.  He was awesome. Just saying.

Concluding Thoughts:

Obviously, these are not the only factors that make or break a successful adaptation.  But I do think they are important to consider.

So, what do you think?  Is there anything that you notice that makes a movie or TV show version of a book better or worse from other adaptations?

The Almost Quarterly Report: Fall is in the Air!

It’s time to summarize another quarter of reading (woohoo).  I have to say, overall it was a far improvement from the second quarter where there were a lot of OMG why am I reading this.   Okay, so there were a few bombs.  But there were lots of good books to talk about as well.

 

Total Amount Read:  Thirty-six.  Yes, it seems impressive (well, to me at least), but there were lots of DNFs.  I also read a lot of short books as well.  Also, I had a couple of weeks off, so I was able to catch up on some reading then as well.

 

Biggest Surprise:

Um, dude.  If you haven’t, read this duology.  I want books more like this.  I was just expecting a cute little book with some light genie mythology, but Ribar actually writes a cute little book that discusses all different types of serious issues. I actually gave the first one in the duology five stars (which I hardly ever, ever) give.  Buy.  It.  Now.  Or at least library it. You won’t regret it.

Biggest Disappointment:

Lesson learned from this book: if you’re going to compare yourself to Sherlock and Dr. Who, you better be able to back up those claims.  Or at the very least, not seem like a poor fan fic.  Honestly, there were times when I squinted that this book really worked for me.  But for the most part, it was a big fat disappointment.  Except the duck.  The duck was amusing.  But not as amusing as this.

Best Contemporary:

Duh.  It really shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that a Stephanie Perkins novel wins this category hands down.  The thing was though, overall I was sort of disappointed in this book.  It hit the right buttons, but in comparison to Lola and Anna (which I reread this quarter) it just wasn’t doing it for me.  Sorry, Isla.  Maybe if you hadn’t ruined how I view rabbits we’d be better friends.

What’s more upsetting than the book was that I was totally going to go see Perkins and Kiersten White at a recent signing.  However, a stupid sinus infection got in the way so I spent the day in bed watching Dr. Who on Netflixs instead.

Well, the Dr. Who part was okay.

Worst Contemporary:

Ew.  Gross.  Would be the best way to describe this one.  I’m sorry, I just can’t take a book that describes the love interest looking like a young  Republican (what exactly does a young  Republican look like, since I know plenty of Republicans who look, well, different from each other) and a mother who decides to take it upon herself to teach an entire lunchroom vaginal exercises.  A little over the top and TMI, you think?

Best Paranormal: 

Honestly, I almost listed The Art of Wishing again, but because I like to feature as many books as I can on this post I’m putting Illusions of Fate here.  While it’s true I only gave this book three stars, it had a lot going for it.  And I have to say, I like the fact that it wasn’t a totally gritty and dark book (which seems to be the norm amongst the genre).  Sometimes it’s nice to have some fluff. Especially in historical paranormals which never seem to be fluffy.  Please, let fluffy historical paranormals become a trend.

Worst Paranormal:

It didn’t exactly get the lowest rating, but this one was probably the worst paranormal I read if you looked at expectations going in.  Blue Bloods was a series I once loved and it was like this new spinoff sequel did everything in its power to make me hate that series.  Seriously, why, why, do you ruin one of your best couples like that?  And late twenty somethings do not act like their in their forties and NOT everyone that age has decide whether they’re going to reproduce or not.  This book is just really scary of when author takes their series way too long after its expiration date.  Hopefully, de la Cruz will stop before her characters get to the age of Depends (at the rate this book is going at that will be the ripe old age of thirty-five).  And stop contradicting yourself.  If you can’t keep up with your mythos. Stop.  Just stop. And give me Kingsley.  And Jack.  And Oliver before you turned him into a tool.

 

Best Retelling:

I’ve never really been one for The Phantom of the Opera, but I loved this book.  Fine did an amazing job with incorporating the slaughterhouse setting in the book and the main character was sort of a refreshing change from the typical archetypes you get in YA.  I also loved how there was the perfect balance between character evolution and plot. And the best part, I didn’t get that Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtrack stuck in my head (okay, maybe I did).

Worst Retelling:

To be fair, I didn’t read that many retelling this quarter.  But even if I did, I’m pretty sure this one and its sequel would’ve been there.  I give a lot of leeway to self pub books, but God what was the point of this one?  It was like someone was going all fan girl over Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook in ABC’s Once Upon a Time) and wrote this book but made him blonde so that the reader couldn’t see that this was really a Colin O’Donoghue appreciation book.

It just didn’t work.

Add the fact that Peter Pan is aged up merely so that the reader can get a pointless love triangle.

And it’s no wonder why Captain Hook is always drinking rum on that show.

Best Overall Book:

Yeah, big surprise.  I mean, I did give it five stars.  And as I said before, I hardly ever give anything five stars.  Once again, if you haven’t.  Read this book.

Worst Overall Book:

Ugh.  I was actually really looking forward to this one.  In a genre that’s so full of WASP main characters, I live for stories about diverse protagonists.  Unfortunately, I felt like this one more or less bashed culture and religion.  Having a main character that is constantly ashamed of who she is is no bueno, especially into day and age where we need books that improve our knowledge and awareness about ones culture and beliefs.

Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading Next Quarter:

I feel like I’ve been plugging this book a lot lately on the blog.  But can I say, I’m really excited about it.  I’ll read anything jinni oriented in YA and I loved Something Real.

Claudia Gray is like my number one guilty pleasure novelist.  And lately I’ve been liking the whole alternate realities trend, so I think I could potentially get into this one (hopefully).  Oh, and is that Russia on the cover?  Books involving travel=win.

Even though it’s a companion novel, I’m still looking forward to this novel if the chemistry between these two characters is anything like the first book.  Plus, I think this trilogy has some of the prettiest covers ever.  Though, I do prefer the green flowy gown to the leather bodysuit.  Seriously, bodysuits.  Only Jennifer Garner (via Alias years) or Angelina Jolie can make them look acceptable.

Is this Some Sort of Parody: Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

In her small town, dubbed “Dullsville,” sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long…

The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people — especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town prattle actually ring true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander’s loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.

Ellen Schreiber’s spooky and stirring romance tells the story of two outsiders who fall in love in a town where conformity reigns, and ends with a shocking surprise.

Source: GoodReads

 

There’s no way I can talk about Vampire Kisses with a straight face.  If it was intended on being written as a parody then Schreiber succeeded.  If it was written to be a serious romance. Then…

This is bad guys.  So bad.  It’s like the literate version of My Immortal.

Take every Goth stereotype known to man, add some really out dated vampire references (including a cringe inducing cameo by Anne Rice), and top that off with a couple of romances that don’t make any sense then you have Vampire Kisses.

Well, this book makes PC and Kristin Cast look good.

That’s something.

Actually, I take that back .  Vampire Kisses (as far as I know it) isn’t quite as offensive as House of Night.  It could though, with future installments.

A part of me really is thinking of continuing this as my drinking game series because they are painfully short.

The thing is,  the novelty wears off pretty fast.

Raven is such a fanfiction cliche of what a Goth is suppose to be it’s not even funny.

The plot itself is flimsy .  And the writing does not read YA. Well, modern YA.  Maybe YA of the 90’s.  And even then I’m thinking I’m pushing it.  It really reads like middle grade at best. And bad middle grade at that.

If the book would’ve been pitched as a parody, I think it would’ve been great.

However, as an actual novel, I’m sort of flummoxed about how it got published.

Well, I know how it got published.

Twilight obviously.  Well, I think Twilight was what got it’s US rights released.  It was actually sold to Belgium before that (surprisingly).

But it’s sort of sad the standards publishers will have.

Vampire Kisses does amuse me though.  The character, Raven, is such a trope it’s ridiculous.  Even her name’s a trope.

And it’s not like it’s the worst book I’ve ever read.

I did laugh.

A lot.

But again, not the sort of laugh you want to have.

More the kind of laugh that’s asking is what I’m reading real?

But it is real.  Very really.  As in a nine book series real.

I even wonder what you’d drink when reading this book, because besides a God awful main character.  There’s really nothing else to the book.  Except her whining.  No plot whatsoever.

It lacks catch phrases too.

But man, I know a lot more about Goth couture after reading this book.  And surprisingly, Raven doesn’t got to Hot Topic.

Not even once.

What is wrong with her?  Doesn’t she know that’s where all the cool Gothic people go according to My Immortal?

Well, I would’ve thought so considering just how similar this book was to My Immortal.  Except better written.

And a little less grosser too.

The thing was, when I finished it I really was wondering what I just read.

I think the fact that the plot was so flimsy, the characters were so 1d, and that there wasn’t anything really that remarkable about this book had me shaking my head.

I know that The Twilight Saga basically was the golden ticket for any crappy vampire book to get published, but this is just ridiculous.  It’s like every cliche that you can possibly think of thrown in a book and yet…it got published and I didn’t hate it to the point like I did with House of Night.

And I think that might be because Vampire Kisses  knew not to take itself seriously.

Overall Rating:

If a parody: A solid B

If take for real: Hahahahaha.  Um, no.  Just no.

 

Fucked Up YA Adaptions: Vampire Academy

It’s been awhile since I reviewed a YA adaption.

Well, I watched Vampire Academy this weekend-I had a sinus infection and was on a wide array of antibiotics and steroids.  I think that’s what made the movie actually tolerable.  That and I went in with low expectations.

Yes, I’ve seen a lot of hate for this film.

And I  totally get it.

But it’s honestly not the worst YA adaption I’ve ever seen.

That still goes to The Princess Diaries 2  (oh, how I loathe that movie).

And while I think about it, Ella Enchanted was pretty shitty too.  But, Vampire Academy  has a breed of foul all to itself.

It doesn’t know what it wants to be.  Half of the time its trying to be a bad copy of Mean Girls.  Half of the time it’s channeling its inner Harry Potter.  And then swirl in a little Twilight in there and you get this mess.

When your movie can’t decide what it wants to be, how can your audience watch it?

It also doesn’t help that there were a lot of styling and bad action sequences and CGI to boot.

I think one of the biggest issues though was the casting.

Why are you making poor Dimitri look like Professor Snape, stylist?  You know, I’m already weary enough with that relationship.  But throw in the Snape hair and I have some flashbacks to some rather dicey Hermione/Snape fanfics I accidentally read.

Well, you do get a nice hair flip with the Snape.

And they were quite bad by the way.  Not Snarry or Snaco bad.  But bad.

Look, I get that Dimitri is older than Rose in the books, fully accept that.  But in the movie he seems a lot older than her than he does on paper.  At least on paper, I have leeway.  But in the movie, I just can’t accept it.  There was one scene I was just wanting to hit the panic button and get Sexual Harassment Panda all up their ass. I blame the Snape hair.

I did like the Lissa and Christian relationship though.  Though Lissa’s accent drove me crazy.  Who did she think she was, a reject of The City of Bones movie?

The accents in this movie were hilarious.  Just like the movie itself, it seems like it just doesn’t exactly know what it wants to be.

The writing was more or less in the vein of Mean Girls which for the most part worked.  Oh, sure the series doesn’t have that tone.  But I sort of like some of the quips that were in there.  That being said though, a lot of times it just didn’t work.

Why?

Because for one rather lame dance scene, the setting and everything else about the movie didn’t scream Mean Girls.

Still though, when you’re on a heavy dosage of antibiotics and steroids and the rooms spinning around and you smell like Vicks, it’s not that bad.

Not that great either.

In fact, it felt rather fragmented to be honest.

And that I blame on the rather lame special effects that they used all their budget on.

I got to tell you that opening action sequence with Rose and Dimitri.

 

That was pretty much how I reacted to every special effect thing they tried to do with this one.

I think the thing that probably was the most upsetting to me (and to a lot of people) about this movie is that this should’ve been the one.  Vampire Academy is a pretty good book.  And I enjoyed it’s sequel.  I finally actually have bit the bullet and just bought the rest of the series so that I can do a binge read on it, sooner than later.  But the movie just doesn’t do it justice.  It almost belittles it.

Odd as that sounds.

I mean, shouldn’t a movie adaption promote it’s source material.  But in this case, it doesn’t.

I don’t know, if you’re a die hard Vampire Academy fan you might want to give it a try just so that you did, but personally it just sort of leaves a weird aftertaste on my view on what otherwise has been a rather enjoyable series.

Overall Grade: C-

Top Ten Authors I Need More From

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish (I know, I got them confused with The Bold and the Beautiful a couple of times too).

 

10)

This was a really cute Hollywood theme book that was different from the usual Hollywood faire in YA.  Adler has a great voice and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

9)

I really got wrapped up into this story and I think I’ll be reading a lot of Fine’s stuff now.  While Im not a huge Phantom fan, Fine makes me like and appreciate the story.  And she adds a wonderful spin to it.  However, I am a little squeamish about the sequel.

8)

Sometimes I love a good character oriented piece.  And Queen of Hearts is jus that.  I really love how Oakes dives into the queen’s psyche.  And she actually makes her a sympathetic character.

7) 

While I wasn’t terribly impressed with this debut, I do think that Saxon has potential and I’m interested in seeing her writing as she ages and it becomes more polished.  The imagination is already there so I’m hoping that within time…

6)

I like cute books about cooking and this is just one of those books.  Though I do have to wonder, why these two are featured on the cover.  They’re on every YA cover.  It almost made me forget about how cute this book was and that it was about cooking.  Thank you (not).

5)

Yes, believe it or not this is the only Rowell book I’ve read.  I don’t know why I haven’t read others.  This one really did showcase her writing though.  And it’s fluffy and I like fluffy.

4)

Despite it’s lackluster main character, the plot of this book really pulled me in and I’m interested in what else Doller has up her sleeve.

3)

Cotton candy fluff.  I  really enjoyed this one.  It’s just so cute.  I really am interested to see what else Cook has to offer.  I’m always looking for a fluffy author.  You can never have enough fluff.

2)

I really loved Demetrios’s debut and am looking forward to her jinn series.  I think what attracted me to Something Real though, was the fact that it took one of my obsessions (reality TV TLC style).  Which is refreshing because most reality themed YA books involve lame MTV shows.

1)

 

 

Cruel Beauty seemed to be hit or miss with some people, but it really worked for me.  I liked the fact that Hodge doesn’t create perfect characters.  Her upcoming releases look especially interesting too.  Fairytale and Shakespeare retellings are my sort of thing.

My Series Resignation: Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

Source: GoodReads

Dear Blue Bloods Series,

I’m sorry I can’t do this anymore.

I read all seven full length books, the half books, even those two rather hellish spinoffs that I’m forced to read in order to understand you.  But I have to stop here with your hipster horror attempt at New Adult.

Though, it’s not adult.  Everyone is in their later twenties or early thirties and acts like they’re about forty.

So no.

Not New Adult since there are no random hookups with the BMOC.

I sort of wish there was though.

Maybe it would’ve made this book more tolerable instead of  hearing just how old thirty is.

Really, most late twenty somethings don’t act that old.

I guess I actually have to talk  about the actual book that did me in.  This one is broken up into three main viewpoints.  Though, we do sort of  have a couple of interludes in a couple of other people’s heads.

I think the best way for me to fully explain to you why I’m breaking up with you is to talk about each of the parts.

A. Ara:

Why is she even in here?

Seriously?

Change her coloring and she’s basically Deming Chen Part II.  In a lot of ways, this really did remind me of a rehash of Misguided Angel, especially Ara’s part.

Though, Deming wasn’t disgusting enough to like smelling like body odor.

Besides, she liked the way she smelled, like sweat and hard work, after spending the last seventy-two hours sitting on her suspect. (1)

Is that suppose to make her endearing?

It doesn’t.

More or less her POV was used to do all the detective work.  Personally, I wish they would’ve stuck us mainly with Kingsley who actually kicks butt.  Ara was just…well, disgusting.

And I really have to wonder how someone who was nicknamed Minty back in grade school can like smelling like sweat and perspiration.

The romance or romances that Ara has our even more ridiculous. Both seem forced.  One for the pure sake of a lame plot point, and the other one because de la Cruz just can’t couple anyone.

I’m sorry book, people who don’t wear deodorant shouldn’t be viewed as attractive.

Sorry.

B. Oliver and Finn:

Snooze fest.

Honestly, I wonder what happened to Ollie.  In the first series, he was probably the most decent character out of the lot of them.  Now though, he’s an asshole just like the rest of them.

It’s sort of ridiculous how he’s not the same character.  I literally groaned when he started inner monologuing it about how he was no longer the nerdy kid and he was now ripped.  Yeah, there was an actual quote that said that don’t believe me.

He’d been a skinny human teenager, but he was almost thirty years old now, and to put it bluntly, he was ripped. (13)

So, needless to say Ollie’s head has grown about three times the size it normally was.

I was almost gleeful when his bimbo girlfriend ruined his life.

God, I hated Finn.

She really is a sad excuse of a Schuyler replacement who just impulsively decides to do something stupid with little to no buildup.  And I can’t help but saying she sort of deserved her fate.

C. Mimi and Kingsley: 

Mingsley is the only reason I really was giving this book a chance.  To be honest, until I heard that Mingsley was going to be in the story I wasn’t going to even bother.  I mean, the whole hipster horror thing in the summary is a bit (a lot ) of a turnoff.

But what did de la Cruz do to my beautiful couple.

She ruined them.

And that ruined us, book series.  It really did.

The characters regressed.  And Mimi was just stupid and sort of sad to read about.

A receptionist.

Seriously, Mimi Freaking Force a reciptionist. No.  Just no.  She should’ve been at least a brassy news anchor if not the star of her reality show or something that had her face in the tabloids every other week.

But no, she’s just doing a job that pays probably $12.00 an hour and is still living in a high dollar neighborhood. And complains about being old even though she’s barely thirty and has those Blue Blood genes.

And Kingsley. Well, I felt bad for him for about 2/3 of the book until he basically cheated on Mimi with an underage girl.

Ew!

But he was lonely…

No.  Fucking excuse.

But he looked seventeen…

Still no fucking excuse.

But he and Mimi had great makeup sex.

That apparently is a fucking excuse in Mimi’s world.

Infidelity is a huge issue in any relationship.  And even though Kingsley doesn’t completely go through with it.  If I was Mimi, I’d not have him in my pants the same night.

This is a character who is suppose to be in control.  Having her just be like oh the sex is good and you’re like forgiven is just sort of sad.

No thank you.

D. The Last (Gimmicky) Chapter:

Well, surprise.  Surprise.  It’s Sky and Jack.  Obviously, there to get you to read the next book.  With just a hint about what’s going on with them to make you want to read it.

Funny, I never saw the two of them as vineyard owners.  Nothing in the previous books indicated to me that this would be the route they’d go.  Of course, that’s what Allegra did.  And I guess Sky is suppose to be a duplicate of Allegra.  But like every other character in this book, the career choice makes no freaking sense.  And I’m sorry, I think tacking the kids thing on and having them leave is just stupid.

You know, if you want them to have kids have them wait.  People can still reproduce in their late twenties/early thirties.

Oh, I forgot, thirty=ancient for de la Cruz.  Not flirty like it was for Jennifer Garner.

Regardless, I really don’t know if I’ll continue.  I think this really is it book.  I mean, I’ve read fan fics that have done better justice to these characters.

So excuse me but I’m out of here.  Going to find myself  a new book romance.

MJ

I Should Thank My Mind for Repressing this Mess: Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Moonlight can totally change your life.

And it all starts so simply.

You. Him.

The moon.

You’re toast.

Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had “borrowed” that Porsche?). But her stepmother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior: Suddenly Shelby’s summer plans are on the shelf, and she’s being packed off to brat camp. It’s good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots.

Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there’s more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby’s help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn’t be getting tangled up with another bad boy . . . but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one? One thing’s for sure: That pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.

Source: GoodReads

Oh, lord.

You know, part of this reread project I’m doing is to give second chances.  But upon rereading Never Cry Werewolf I think I hated it more than I did way back when it was released.

Have publishing standards really changed that much since the book was released?

Well, no.  Obviously.  Otherwise Halo and a host of other horrible YA novels wouldn’t have been released.  But Never Cry Werewolf  is just well…bad on so many levels.

Levels that are almost, too boring to talk about.

I have to though.  And I think the best way to start off this so called glorious conversation is to talk about the era it was published in (2009).

Five years ago, which doesn’t seem that long.  But in the terms of YA publishing, it’s a lot.

Five years, ago Twilight  fever was at it’s height and if you had anything with a vampire, werwolf, or hot guy who had paranormal ability with abs automatic publishing contract.

I can just imagine how the query letter went:

Dear Agent/Publisher,

You should represent/publish my book because it has a hot guy with an accent and a paranormal creature in it.  The hot guy takes his shirt off a lot.

Signed,

Author.

Okay, Davis probably went into a little bit more depth than that, but the substance of the book really didn’t go that much beyond that.

A part of me wants to say that it’s eerily similar to Born at Midnight, but even that book in all it’s sheer awfulness is better because it actually attempts at a plot.  And doesn’t just try to push the YA tropes to the max and then well forget having an actual plot.

I’m serious.

I can basically sum the book up like this: Evil stepmother sends our innocent heroine to a camp full of evil campers.  But never fear, there’s a hot guy at the camp so it’s not that bad.  But our heroine has to get herself in trouble because she’s as brave and stupid as Clary Fray.  Except unlike that lackluster series, there’s not even an attempt of a plot made here.

Yep, that sums it up.

Yes, we have a character who has Clary Fray level of stupidity there.

That’s a pretty big insult.

If you have no idea who I’m talking about (and I hope you do, you really need to be spared that pain) Clary Fray is the insipid heroine of The Mortal Instruments series.  She thinks she’s Batman.  But she’s not.

That’s about how stupid Shelby is, but since she has no supernatural powers whatsoever I’d say she’s a shade dumber.

That’s hard for me to admit, that someone is dumber than Clary Fray.

I’d almost feel sorry for her.  Almost.  At the beginning I did think her stepmother was over reacting by sending her to brat camp for missing curfew.  Actually, a lot of the adults I thought were overreacting to the point that the were caricatures, but at the same time I sort of think Shelby deserves to be sent to TSTL school.

Hum, TSTL school.  You know, I could make a lot of money from such a school.

Shelby would be a prime candidate.  I mean, if you were being sent to brat camp would you openly defy your counselor to search for a complete stranger in the middle of nowhere.

And yeah, even if you’ve been camping before it’s still the middle of nowhere.  In an environment your not familiar with.

Oh, but wait.  He’s British and that means (according this book) that he lacks the skills to survive in the wild.

Funny.

This book forgets that the British empire colonize a large portion of the world centuries in the past, and had to survive in the wild. Well, let’s not count Roanoke.

Add that with the all British people are hot because they have an accent-never mind that there are several types of British accents-I start to feel sorry for anyone who lives in the United Kingdom when reading this book.

As for the hot guy with the British accent.  Well, Austin, is well as dull as they come.  If you imagine Jack Osbourne looking like Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, that’s Austin.  But add a boring streak.  And that’s really him.  Funny, she used Ledger he’s  Australian not British.  But I guess that’s close enough.

I don’t get how Davis can think her audience is so shallow.  Add an accent a pair of abs and that’s all you need for characterization apparently.

Besides, having to extremely dull and stupid characters as are protagonists, there are the side characters to contend with.  The best friend character (Ariel) surprisingly did not offend me, but what did offend me were the adults.

As I already said, total caricatures.

I really don’t think society has changed that much in five years.

I mean, I remember when I was Shelby’s age and while my parents would freak out if I missed curfew they wouldn’t send me to brat camp.  Also, those counselors making you (no, forcing you) to share all the details of your past.  Psychology 101, don’t force people to share things they’re not ready to share yet.

So, wouldn’t happen.

Unless they wanted a big fat lawsuit.

There is such a thing called privacy and something else called negligence.

As for the whole drug contraband plotline.

Jeez Louise.

All it would’ve taken would’ve been a quick phone call to Austin’s dad.  They wouldn’t even call his personal assistant in real life.  Because in those type of situations you’d call a parent or guardian or perhaps the police-if they believed it was illegal substances.

So, that whole plot point.

Stupid.

And the fact that there wasn’t anything else going on in the book made it even more stupid.

So, what was I left with.  To boring useless character.  With a dumb plot.  That gets resolved that only leaves the narrator in deep shit.

Lame.

Needless to say, I don’t recommend this one.  It’s not fully fleshed out, and purely written to cash in on what was the time a growing genre.  I really wish I had something nice to say about the book, but I don’t.  I think upon reread it was even more painful.  While it’s true that there are still some God awful books being published in the genre, I do think that YA has improved since the publication of this book.  Which I’m grateful for. What I’m not grateful for, is that there are still lots of books like this being published.

Overall Rating: F.  It just fails.

 

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Top Fall Picks

Yep, it’s that time of the month again.  This time I’m focusing on fall covers that I’m or was interested in.

The reason why I do this-I think there’s a lot a cover says about the book and often my first impressions of it are way off target:

 

What The Cover Says:

Don’t Blink.

Seriously, I’m reminded of one of those creepy angels that were on Dr. Who a few years back.  Except, it’s America-fied by adding the Brooklyn bridge.  That was a pretty awesome episode of Dr. Who though.  And it would make an interesting YA plot.  So, yeah this cover totally screams rewritten Dr. Who fan fiction.  Oh, right.  There’s already sort of a book out there like that.

What the Book is Really About:

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

Well, it’s a definite departure from the Blue Bloods covers- the series that it’s spinning off of.  I honestly, like the Blue Bloods covers better, but it could grow on me.  But man, stone angels.  Really creepy.

 

What the Cover Says:

Thirteen has always been an unlucky number.  So, the thirteenth sign has to be pretty deadly, right?  And when’s the thirteenth sign anyway?  That would be for leap year babies.  Which is what Francie is.  Of course, she has tried to hide this horrible fact by claiming to have a March 1st birthday all her life.  However, there’s only so long you can hide the truth.  Especially when a group of rather unsavory people want to get their hands on thirteen-ers to do their evil bidding.

What the Book Is Really About:

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

Source: GoodReads 

Verdict:

I really love this cover.  It looks fun and sci-fi like.  And it’s not embarrassing.  So, work appropriate.  Did I mention I love anything dealing with astrology? Yeah, I’ve sort of preordered it.

 

 

What the Cover Says:

An alternative look at what happened to Rapunzel once she was cast away from her tower?  With her chopped off hair, her prince running around blind somewhere, and her mother not wanting a thing to do with her.  Rapunzel has to scavenge what she can to survive.  Along the way she comes across a band of goodhearted thieves in the woods.  And starts to stray from finding her prince, and instead finds out about her past.  About family she never knew she had.  And why is the leader of the band of thieves that she’s staying with, one Robin Hood, have to be so dashing?

What the Book is Really About:

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale will be released October 7th, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

I like it.  The woods give it a mysterious feel and I feel like the pretty dress effect isn’t overdone here.  But it is a nice touch, admittedly.  All I know, is this book cover demands a happily ever after.

 

 

What the Cover Says:

Ice Princess.

That’s what they call her.

She shouldn’t blame them too much.  It’s not like they know her real name is Claire.  And that she was frozen by what had to be the most insane geek she knew.

Oh, you’ll love me one day, Claire.

Yeah, when no one else in the world existed.

Which she guessed sort of happened.  Since the world exploded and somehow the Geek and the box are on a spaceship full of the survivors of the world.

She hasn’t even begun to ask the geek how he lived so long or took over the world before it exploded.

One way or the other though, she plans on taking control of this ship and the world.

Because that geek needs to learn a lesson.

Hell, have no fury like a woman frozen.

 

What the Book is Really About:

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

Meh.  There’s times I look at this cover and absolutely hate it.  And there’s times where I get it.  I think my overall thoughts on the matter is that it just doesn’t work.  There’s just too much going on and the concept seems a little too literal for me.

 

 

What the Cover Says to Me:

Marta Gomez has been thrown from one home to another since she can remember.  And it’s not because she’s some foster kid or her mother can’t hold down a job.  It’s that somehow or another her house mysteriously catches on fire. There was the electrical fire in her first home, in the apartment that they lived two years ago it was collateral damage from a bakery fire.  The last house she lived in….well, Marta might have set it on fire herself.  The reasons why she’d do such a thing are explored in literally snooty fashion through chopped up flashbacks where the author undoubtedly will do some real character discovery while annoying the rest of its readers who are in desperate need of a plot when they don’t want to throttle Marta (p.s. she started the fire because she thought the shutters were ugly, not because her mom was having an affair with her crush/she’s a pyromaniac).

What the Book is Really About:

Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

I sort of like it.  The fire is catchy.  Though the hands are a bit cliche.

The Snow Queen? No, the Snore Queen: Crown of Ice by Vicki L Weavil

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

Source: GoodReads

You’d think with the success of Frozen that there’d be more YA Snow Queen retellings.  But Crown of Ice was only one of the only few that I’ve seen.

That being said.

I didn’t finish it.

Really, this has not been my week with books.  It’s like everything that looks good ends of sucking.

Why I should’ve loved this plot?

There’s so many reason The Snow Queen, anti-herorines, quests, but none of them were successfully used by this book.  And to be honest, this makes me sad.

I think I’ll break up the review by talking about these three things:

1) The Snow Queen

The actual fairytale is a bit too moralistic and like a great deal of Anderson’s tales are, but it has lots of potential.  Look what Disney did with Frozen and I really liked Weavil’s blurb.  That (not the horrible cover) was what made me pay any attention to this book.

But the actual take of the fairytale on paper…sort of a snore.

Which is shouldn’t be.  But in the fifty percent I read, it wasn’t that different or that unique.

Yes, some extremely cheesy bits were added and the audience was info dumped with pieces of plot information, but it didn’t add to the story.  It just made me feel like this book was written for overgrown fourth graders with hormones.

In other words, at times the prose seemed a bit condescending.

Yes, if you info dump heavily and have 1D characters your writing can seem condescending.  Sad but true.

Oh, I didn’t talk about the 1D characters yet?

Well, it sort of goes with the info dumping.  I mean, if your characters are going to robotically tell you everything you need to know, then they’re probably not going to be that developed.

I’ll probably dive more into just how bad the narrator was in the second topic, but the side characters were not peaches either.  Being 1D affectedme from having any sympathy towards anyone.

And to be honest, I don’ t like being apathetic about books.  Especially Snow Queen retellings.

Sigh…I guess, I’ll just have to let it go.

2) The Anti-Herorine 

Or try the anti-likable character.

I really tried.  I really tried.  But Thyra was not likable like Elsa.  Or even like Regina when it’s a halfway decent episode of Once Upon a Time.  She’s just an awful YA heroine who happens to mention she’s the snow queen every other page, even though she’s NOT a queen.

Well, not the queen in the sense you think of a queen.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a queen I think of someone in charge not someone’s minion.

Okay, to give Weavil some credit, the puppet master did somewhat play a role in the original.  But come on, here he only serves the purpose to make Thyra a sympathetic character.

And she’s not.

She’s absolutely not.

I mean, how can I feel for a character who so callously causes a destructive blizzard to destroy one’s town and then lies to said victim to keep them at her ice palace?

Seriously, what do you expect me to do hug her?

No.  This is what I wanted to do to Thyra.

Thyra’s backstory (while sad) doesn’t even make her likable.  Not even her sense of self preservation.

I just did not like her.

There’s no redeeming quality there.

It would’ve been one thing too, if Weavil didn’t want me to sympathize her.  But the prose is clearly slanted in such a way that suggests that I should like this character.

My suggestion: create a horrible half sister who’s ten times worse than Thyra, then maybe I’ll like her (hey, it worked for Regina).

3) Quests

There’s nothing like a good quest to get the blood pumping and the pages to fly by.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen better quests in children’s programs.

First, we must talk about the chatty Cathy reindeer.

No, one likes talking reindeer. Talking snowmen, yes.  Not talking reindeer.

Just watch The Santa Clause 2 if you need any further proof to why talking reindeers are not likable.  Especially when they’re named after the Dark One’s son.

To be honest, Bae sort of creeped me out.  It was like, hey there’s a talking reindeer that’s going to serve as one of the quest buddies and he was just sort of half baked.  And for a talking reindeer, that’s saying a lot.

The whole quest had a half baked sense to it.  Take for example,how math was suppose to be an answer to these characters’ problems.

Yeah, I got that but…you never explained it.

I’m not a numbers person.  Why do you think I went to law school not veterinary school?  But I did want some more information into how math played a role to this puzzle other than a lackluster explanation that I got.  I was actually pretty excited in the flashback when Thrya talked about her past math encounter with Kai.  That could’ve been a really cool plot line to explore.

Le sigh.

But no.

I think this one might’ve been a bit of a downer for me because I had a lot of hope for it.  It wasn’t exactly terrible.  Apathetic feelings aside, it had lots of potential.  But having potential and being a good book are two different things.

Overall Rating: Tough but I’m going to go in the  C-/D+ area.  While I liked a lot of the things Crown of Ice had to offer, in the end it wasn’t for me.

Obviously, I Must Loosen Up: Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne

A charming novel in the vein of The Wedding Plannerfeaturing an ambitious and by-the-books event planner who finds herself at odds with her new assistant, who happens to be the son of her boss, on the eve of the biggest wedding of her career—from the New York Times bestselling author ofThe Runaway Princess and the Little Lady Agency series.

The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in London: its elegant rooms and discreet wood-paneled cocktail lounge were the home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike during the golden age of glamour. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, it’s reclaiming some of its old cachet as a wish list wedding venue. While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; her focus is fixed firmly on the details, not on the dramas. She lives with a professionally furious food critic and works tirelessly toward that coveted promotion. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to help run Rosie’s department, she’s suddenly butting heads with the free spirit whose predilection for the unconventional threatens to unravel her picture-perfect plans for the most elaborate—not to mention high-profile—wedding the hotel has ever seen, a wedding that could make or break not only the hotel’s reputation, but also Rosie’s career.

From the author whose books are described as “deliciously addictive” (Cosmopolitan), Honeymoon Hotel will reaffirm your belief in happily ever after.

Source: GoodReads

 

I received an advance copy of this book via Netgalley.  It did not affect my opinion of this book.  Though it did make my sister a Browne zealot extremely jealous.

As most of you know I’m a woman in my mid twenties who’s an attorney and whose idea of “big” fun consists of watching General Hospital or going to Barnes and Noble and spending my rather pathetic salary on books (yes, attorneys can make pathetic salaries, unfortunately).  Consequently, I don’t do spontaneous or fun things.  So obviously, I need a wacky hot guy to come in my life and yell at me for how serious I am, make a total disarray of my life, and then obviously I will finally “relax” around him and have a happily ever after that’s worthy of any rom com.

Realistically, if someone told me to relax, I’d bitch slap them.  And if they continued to meddle in my life trying to make me realize how uptight I was I’d send them a truck load of elephant dung (yes, that’s possible, you can actually order excrement on the internet).

That being said, when I saw this cliche coming.  I groaned.

It’s just not my thing.

And it didn’t help that I didn’t think this was Browne’s strongest effort either.  To be honest, I’m going to be talking a lot about the cliche that would make me send my perspective carefree love interest a truck full of elephant shit , but I’ll also be incorporating why Browne just couldn’t pull it off.  I should also state that I couldn’t finish this one before I continue.  However, since I read over half of it I think I can write a fair and full  review.

Back to the cliche, it just annoys me on so many aspects.  I think because it facilitates the idea that a a career woman must be an incredibly dull person.  Which to me almost, just almost has a sense of antifeminism about it.  Which probably isn’t exactly the case..but it sort of appears that way (IMHO).

And seriously, what’s wrong with being serious?  And not being carefree. Is it so bad I cared about actually having a career instead of going hang gliding all the time and “breaking the rules”.

Some people just don’t and won’t loosen up.  At least according to Joe’s standards.

Browne’s books have always been a bit cliche, but usually I love them.  They’re like gooey delicious bites of chick lit that you just can’t help but eat up and they sort of remind me of all those 1990’s/2000’s rom coms with Colin Firth in them, but this one…

It just didn’t work for me.  I didn’t like either of the love interests or the side love interests.  Maybe Joe would’ve grown on me if I’d continue, and I’ll ask my sister because again-total Browne zealot- but I just couldn’t like the guy.  I didn’t like how he interfered with the weddings.  It annoyed me.  And while I think Browne was trying to (rather over forcefully) teach an important lesson how the groom should have just as much of a role in the bride’s wedding, and how traditions should be broken so that the couple can have a unique wedding.  It just didn’t work for me.

An the fact that Rosie was forced to work with this clown and everyone seemed to love him despite the fact he acted like a boneheaded idiot.

Blood pressure rising worthy.

Then there’s Dominic….

Love interest two, or really the original love interest who I can tell is being demonized for the soul purpose so the heroine can get with the carefree boneheaded character.

So, he’s a food critic.  And writes bad reviews.

Big freaking whoop.

That doesn’t make him a jerk.

The food just sucks.

Much like people who write books about foul books aren’t automatic jerks either.

Just saying.

But I like how all his faults, obviously relate back to his reviews…

But that’s obviously another big lesson from this book.

Besides, getting together with the rich idiot.

Sigh…

Even though I really didn’t like this book, it was well written.  Browne’s prose is as engaging as ever, I just didn’t like any of the male leads which is sad because I did like Rosie.  Well, non-transformed Rosie (which was in process when I gave up on the book).  I like strong career driven women as characters, but what I saw with Rosie was a happily ever after that just seemed to be forced.  While I didn’t like Dominic, I didn’t like his obvious replacement either.  Maybe if the book would’ve been about a single wedding planner who just happened to get with a Colin Firth (via Pride and Prejudice days) look alike, I might’ve liked this one better.  Instead, I got a moocher for a hero.  And a best friend who’s new boyfriend looks like Prince Harry.

Side note: Has anyone else noticed the trend of the “hot” Windsor is Harry.  Which is funny because for years Will was considered the hot commodity.  However, there was a gradual change in that view even before Will got engaged.

Though really, why must every hot British guy look like a member of an overbred family.  Seriously, there are so many other hot Brits out there. Case in point:

Whatever.

Overall Rating: I didn’t finish it, but I might pick it up again if my sister says it’s really worth it.  It’s sad when a book doesn’t work for you, but I can see some people liking it if they’re not as bothered by the same cliches I am. Right now I’m giving it a C as in cliche.