Double Crossed- A Spies and Thieves Story: Ally Carter

General Summary: Every wanted a Gallagher Girls/Heist Society.  Well, this is the short story for you.  Macey and Hale meet at a robbery of all places.  Of course, hijinks occur.

Review:

This was a quick free read that was released probably to advertise Ally Carter’s third Heist Society novel by incorporating her better known Gallagher Girls series with it.  Since it was free, I went for the obvious gimmick.

The story is actually quite good and I have to say I was impressed.  A lot of crossovers seem clunky, but this one didn’t.  Rather, the storyline was very fluid and I could see it easily being translated to television or film.  That is a good thing, even though I think I’ve seen a lot of the techniques that Hale and Macey used on Burn Notice, White Collar, and Leverage respectfully.

I also liked the little hint that these characters might run into each other again in the future.  You could take the ending either way you want.  And I liked that.  If she decides to expand this idea later on that’s great if not, I can live with it.

Probably the best thing about this novella was the fact you didn’t have to read either series to enjoy it.  If you a novice to either series you an enjoy this novel and not get that loss.

Best Feature: Free.  This short story was free thank God.  In this day and age of cash cows, this was actually quite refreshing.  Though honestly I would’ve been sort of pissed if I had to pay for this it was ridiculously short.

Worst Feature:  Super short.  This isn’t a novella really more like a short story.  But whatever.  It’s short and sweet.  I think it took me about half an hour to read, so if you don’t have a lot of time to invest this will probably be the story for you.  But I do have to say, I really wish that this story would’ve been expanded on more.  I think it would be great if these series really did collide more.  This is one multiverse that actually makes sense unlike others that try to mesh Christian and Norse mythology together and end up failing  quite epically.

Appropriateness: This is pretty clean.  Some violence.  Maybe mild cursing (I honestly can’t remember if there was cursing or not, I know I would curse if I was in the situation Hale and Macey were in).  But overall, it was pretty clean.

Blockbuster Worthy: I like both of these series.  In fact, I think I’ve already have done casting for both of them.

Overall Rating: Eight out of ten jewels.  This is quick easy read.  I wish it was longer, but I can’t complain mainly because it was free.  This is how crossovers should be done. And above all, it made sense.

Winter White: Jen Calonita

Pretty sure that’s suppose to be Savannah, by the way.  I was going to mock the expression, but now since I know who it’s suppose to be I think the model did a good job.
 

I think I have said it before on this blog, but if not I’ll say it again: in an idea world where I could do anything I want, I’d write for a soap opera.  I love soaps.  I’ve grown up for them.  Sure, they’re ridiculous.  But they’re addictive which is sort of how I see Jen Calonita’s Belles series.

General Summary: After finding out that her uncle is really her dad and that her bratty cousin is really her sister, Izzie faces a bigger a horror story-cotillion (a.k.a. become a debutante–a.k.a. wear a marshmallow dress and get presented to “society”).  Will she be able to handle the cotillion pledge that makes all those Lifetime hazing movies look laughable?  Or will she be smart and burn her marshmallow dress?

Review:

This is a cute book. If you can’t handle ridiculously cute books this is not the book for you.  Also, if you cannot handle melodrama or debutantes this is not the book for you.

I can handle pink books.  I can handle melodrama when handled correctly (see the worst feature section for more details).  But at this point, I’m pretty sure I can’t handle debutantes.  Because after reading this book, I’m reminded how much debutantes are like sororities with their stupid pledges (better known as hazing).  In fact, if you would’ve changed a few things about some of these pledges, made them a little bit more dramatic it would resemble a Lifetime movie I saw the other week about….

Wrong blog entry.

That being said, the pledge stuff got on my nerves.  I honestly found it stupid.  Maybe it’s because I’m older, attended a urban university where sororities weren’t really a big thing, and maybe it’s because I’m an antisocial law student who is constantly forced to stay in the law library all day but I didn’t find these pledges to be cute.  I found them to be a waste of page space.  And excuse me, if you’re going to force someone to go out on the football field dressed as Lady Gaga you have to do the diaper or meat outfit.  Doing neither is just….well, it’s not right!

Pledges and other forms of debutante stupidity aside, this was a pretty cute book.  I really like the soap opera flare Calonita tries to give to it even though at times it comes off unrealistic.  Why is it unrealistic?  Melodrama.

A lot of the character reactions and  dialogue, just came out forced almost wooden.  It reminded me a lot of a bad soap opera .  Also, guessing the culprit was sort of predictable and sort of reminiscent of the past book.  Still, it was enjoyable.

Also, while the main characters (Mira and Izzie) were fleshed out, I felt the supporting cast could’ve been a little bit more dimensional.  I was interested in  seeing some of the characters roles expanded, most notably Izzie and Mira’s dad, but there role was much more diminished than I would’ve liked.

I have to say though, despite the flaws I will be reading the next book.  These books are fun.  And since I’m pretty sure the next one isn’t going to be about cotillion I’ll probably enjoy it more.

Best Feature: Fluffy fun.  If I have to give props to one thing that Calonita does right is that her books are always age appropriate and not annoyingly so.  You can read this book at twelve or eighteen and be okay with it.  Parents won’t have to have embarrassing conversations with their kids about topics talked about in this book, but at the same time teens will enjoy this book.  And okay, as a twenty-five-year old there were some parts that had me rolling my eyes, but I think it was a result of me having an extremely long day.

Worst Feature: Melodrama.  Yes, I get these books are suppose to be soapy, but they are beyond unrealistic.  And I’m not just talking about family secrets and the things that are suppose to make them soapy.  Emerald Cove makes Port Charles look tame.   And it’s not because Emerald Cove is prone to more ludicrous plot lines than some guy wearing some guy’s face via mask.  The difference is Port Charles dialogue and drama comes off more realistic.  Oh, and Ron Carlivalti has a knack at making the melodramatic hilarious while Calonita’s melodrama is just about as melodramatic and as drab as The Young and the Restless (and yes, that soap has gotten so droll as of late).

Appropriateness:  Clean as a whistle.  Jen Calonita’s books are friendly for both older and younger teens.  I can’t even remember if there’s any cussing in this book (I don’t think there was) and the characters barely even get to first base.

Blockbuster Worthy: ABC family should grab this in a heartbeat.  It’s really up there ally.  Of course, there’s no As, but there is long lost siblings, and unbelievably rich people.  I think I’ve already done preliminary casting too when I read Belles.

Overall Rating:  I’m giving this one six out of ten.  It was good enjoyable fun, but I was glad I checked it out at the library rather than buying it.  If you like fluffy books, can handle groan worthy dialogue and allow yourself to believe that a twenty-five year old can become a PR maven two years out of school then, well, this might be the book for you.  I’ll stick to General Hospital though for my soap cravings.  I hear that one of the characters is publishing a YA book (well, it was originally YA book until another character stole it and turned it to a Fifty Shades of Puke wannabe).   So who knows, maybe it finally do justice for my cravings for soapy books.

Gates of Paradise: Melissa de la Cruz

We never learn what the deal is with the flower.



Warning: This review has lots and lots of spoilers.

I never thought I’d compare Melissa de la Cruz to George Lucas, but now I am.  Both individuals have created series that I love and both individuals have concluded their series dubiously.    It’s really sad too because this is really a series that I can connect too.  I’ve been reading Blue Bloods throughout my college career and it’s coming to an end now and hopefully my college career will be coming to an end too in May.

General Summary: Well, this is it.  After multiple spinoffs, seven long books, Blue Bloods is finally coming to an end.  Will Sky die?  Will Jack and Sky finally say screw it and hop on a plane to  Antarctica leaving the Blue Bloods to kill each other?  Will Kingsley get sexiest character of the year?  Well, one of those things happens or maybe not.

 

Review:

How do I review this book?  Well, there were some beautiful things about it and then there were some things about it that reminded me that indeed de la Cruz wrote the atrocities better known as Wolf Pact and Witches of East End.  Mainly because if you haven’t read those books a lot of things that are brought up will be slapped in your face, despite the fact it’s been said you don’t have to read these books to enjoy the Blue Bloods series.

Oh, the lies.

If you don’t read these books you’ll be confused.  And honestly, that’s not a good thing for fans, de la Cruz, or for that matter those series.  Also, one of the characters I deplored in Wolf Pact is heavily featured in this book.  No, Mel, Lawson is not going to happen.  Not in this girl’s book boyfriend mind.  It’s really surprising after some great male characters (Jack Force, Kingsley Martin, and Oliver Hazard-Perry) that we get Lawson.  Lawson who instantly falls in love with Bliss after almost having grief sex with her because the girl he almost had bathroom sex with dies (I freaking kid you not, read Wolf Pact if you don’t believe me).  And oh yes, did I mention that Lawson is controlling and in Wolf Pact was borderline physical with Bliss.  What a charmer that one is.

I didn’t even have Jack to balance him out.  Jack’s barely in the book and when he is you sort of think he’s a tool till the very end.  Thank God, for Kingsley though.

That being said there wasn’t way enough Kingsley to balance the bad from the good.  I not only had to put up with Bliss’s POV again and Lawson (barf), but I also had to put up with Allegra who I never liked and who’s story contradicted what we were told in earlier books (see worst feature part of this review).  Additionally, I thought Schuyler was really dumb throughout most of this book and was acting really out of character.  I really wish that instead of being with Oliver looking for her family history and not acting like the strong vampire that she is, she would’ve fought for Jack. And that she would’ve bucked against him a little more when he first returned into her life and was in full Abbadon mode. That was always one thing I liked about this series was the potential of the Sky and Jack relationship and it just never seemed like it reached that.  And honestly, the end was sort of lame.  I get why she did what she did, but come on.  Let’s be realistic here most people would’ve acted like Michael.  And the whole twist with Schuyler’s heritage didn’t make sense and made me also question Bliss’s heritage as well (does she have two dads too?).  I also thought the way the whole Oliver story was handled was contrived and I honestly didn’t comprehend his ending at all.  Why of all things would he wish to be a vampire?  Couldn’t he just wish to be immortal?  And how’s that going to affect his relationship with his consolation prize Sky’s sister (who’s basically the same as her, but blonde).  I guess you’ll have to read the next book to find out.

Because guess what guys, there’s a cliffie here!

Best Feature: Kingsley Freaking Martin.  You can thank Kingsley, and Mimi for the most part, for making me tolerate this book.  And believe me that was hard.  With the lack of Jack and having to get through Bliss, Allegra, and Lawson’s point of view I was close to liver failure.  However, Kingsley regained my faith in this series.  This is how hero’s should be created, de la Cruz, not like Lawson.  I do not like Lawson.  I do not like furry Edward Cullen wannabes.  I like guys like Kingsley who are gray characters, like donuts, can handle Mimi’s antics, and are just pretty much awesome in general.  In fact, I would just like a book written in Kingsley’s POV.  Now that would be awesome.  The Duke of Hell I can just see it now in fact, I’m thinking of a brief summary for the book as we speak….

Hot sexy good times happen between Mimi and Kingsley in their underworld paradise.  When Venator Martin realizes he has to have his own book to save a series.  Can he do it? Oh, yes he can.

Worst Feature: Continuity: Oh dear, lord.  I think I got drunk from this book just on the countless continuity errors a lone.  Let’s count and quote them shall we?

1) The whole Florence thing really happened in Rome.  In Keys of the Repository Kingsley tells Mimi about the horrors in Rome which included Bliss’s birth:

” “But what does Rome have to with what happened in the Repository?”  Mimi asked…

Kingsley nodded.  The twins had been given the task, but had balked at the wrongness of it and so he and Forsyth had kidnapped Gabrielle from her room.  He remembered everything. The silent birth, the frightened midwives, then Charles and Lawrence taking the baby…the burned swaddling clothes, the ghastly smell of death all around.  Then Gabrielle waking up with no memory of her ordeal or even that she’d born a child.”  ( de la Cruz, Keys to the Repository 132, 133).

This isn’t the only time that it’s alluded to that Bliss was born in Rome or that Allegra knows of her existence (despite having no memory of what happened in Florence which was Bliss birth).  In  The Van Alen Legacy Allegra reiterates that her memory was forgotten that only now she just remembered Bliss. However, it’s not until The Gates of Paradise that Charles tells her about the same events that happened in Florence that happened at least a thousand years after the events in Rome.  Furthermore, what happened in Florence which would account as rape (Lucifer slept with Allegra through fraud) would not count as love (  The Van Alen Legacy, 358).

2) Deming Chen was with Sam Lennox not Ted Lennox.

A relationship between Deming and Sam Lennox is developed in Lost in Time and the two of them are later married.  The relationship is highlighted several times throughout the book.  Case in point:

 

“Weapons were quickly holstered, and the couples reunited–Sam and Deming and Ted and Dehua instinctively going to each other’s side.” (Lost in Time, 65).

At one point in the book, Sam realizes that Deming has been taken and essentially loses it trying to get her back (227).  Later on, they have joyful reunion (297).

So, why after all this building a relationship with Sam in Lost in Time is she married to Ted in Gates of Paradise? 



3) Blue Bloods need blood to survive, as evidence by the fact Schuyler collapsed in Masquerade and Lawrence tells her she’ll have to take a familiar.

 

” By exercising your vampire powers, your blue-blood cells are working overtime, and since your red-blood cells aren’t high to begin with-because the mixed nature of your blood composition-your energy flags.  There is only one solution to keep your blood counts in the normal range.  You must take a human familiar.” (Masquerade, 220).

4) Schuyler could’ve easily jumped out of the car and would’ve been fine and could’ve avoided being taken to hell.  In this excerpt, Jack talks about all the times he tried to kill himself.

” “I’ve jumped in front of trains.  I’ve cut myself.  I was the one who fell out the library window last year.” (Blue Bloods, 192)

5) Bliss was in possession of Lucifer’s bane in Wolf Pact.



6) Stephen Chase’s family was based in San Francisco not Malibu.

” “You look so familiar.  I’m Decca Chase.  Welcome to our home.”  One of San Fransico’s premier society matrons, who happened to be Ben’s mother, smiled at Allegra.”” (55)

7) Arthur was never mentioned in this series until it was convenient.  And on that note, you’d thought Lawrence would’ve had a bigger role than he did in comforting Allegra.  And oh, yeah where’s Kingsley?  It was suppose to be Kingsley, Lawrence, Forsyth, and Michael who disposed on Bliss (wish they would’ve succeeded too).  Once again, look at the excerpt from Keys of the Repository where Kingsley goes into detail of how Bliss was disposed of in Rome.  (Keys of the Repository, 132, 133).

8) So who was Paul Rayburn’s mother?   If it wasn’t Simonetta like it was implied in Misguided Angel.  And for that matter what was the point of the Nephilims?

”  ” So tell me what happened in Florence?”

“It’s simple, really.  Stuart and Victoria were part of a sect.  They were called the Petruvians.  Ghastly group, really.  Butchers.  Murderers.  The worst kid of slayer.  They killed in the name of peace, in the name of justice, in the name of God.  They killed my mother.” (Misguided Angel, 245).

9) Sky’s non existant death sentence.  In Lost in Time Jack leaves because he thinks Schuyler is dying.  This is shown throughout the book.  With Schuyler getting ill and thinking she’s knocked up.  In Gates of Paradise other than being maybe a little thinner the illness is never mentioned again.

10) Not all vampires are shape shifters. In Gates of Paradise several of the vampires are able to shift their features.  Only a select few were able to in the early books.  For example, in Revelations Schuyler is surprised to learn her form of the mutatio is shape shifting.

“Most likely you are like me.  I cannot turn into a cloud or a creature either.  But I can shift my features, liek so, and take a different-but human-disguise.  Try it.” (Revelations 244).

Furthermore, it’s stated early that Mimi’s mutatio power involved changing into fog not shifting her features(111).  And if Jack could change his features don’t you think he would earlier when he was on the run with Schuyler?

11) Stephen’s death was anticlimactic with all the foreshadowing (see number 9).  In Lost in Time Stephen’s death was correlated with Schuyler’s mysterious illness.  However, her disease disappears in the seventh book and we find out he just died from cancer of all things.

12) Multiple times in Wolf Pact and Gates of Paradise Bliss talks about having access to her mother and father’s memories.  It’s stated that Bliss carries a part of her parents with her like all children, yet Schuyler who should have access to them for some reason doesn’t.  Thus, not allowing her to figure out the obvious sooner.

Appropriateness: I see Blue Bloods as more of an adult series than teen.  There’s mature relationships, violence, and in this book allusions to rape though the victim as you see above doesn’t exactly see it that way.  Oh, and there’s underage drinking too.

Blockbuster Worthy: Of course, I’d like to see this on the big or small screen.  I’ve already said that.  And you know what, it might actually fair better on television.  At least you can always pull a Dallas if you screw up.

Overall Rating: I’m being generous here and giving it a seven.  When the book was good it was good, but there were so many glaring errors for fans that I just was about to roll my eyes.  Look, I get that seven books is a lot to keep up with.  But she has that encyclopedia she wrote, a team of editors, and probably a whole closet full of notebooks of planning done.  Some of the continuation errors I found in the book were just silly (seriously, the whole Rome thing turning into the big secret in Florence.  Um, remember The Van Alen Legacy?)  This isn’t a bad book, I liked how a lot of things were wrapped up, but I feel like everything could’ve been resolved a lot sooner and that some character (Jack) weren’t showcased the way they should be.  Will I be reading the second cycle of Blue Bloods?   More than likely because I’m addicted to these books, but this a series that definitely will be on probation.

Works Cited: de la Cruz, Melissa: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, Van Alen Legacy, Keys of the Repository, Misguided Angel, and Lost in Time.

Holy Cash Cow!: Moo Ching

Moo ching!

You have a successful book.  It turns into a series and then that series gets a spinoff, or maybe two spinoffs, a graphic novel, a movie, toys, games, and wow you’re Stephenie freaking Meyer.

All kidding aside, there are lots of books in YA that have gone this route.  Most of them haven’t been exactly as successful as the Twilight Saga, but they have managed to squeeze every inch of decency out of their respective series.  Today, I’m going to examine some of these cash cows.  And whether or not they’re really worth milking.

1. The Twilight Saga:

 
Ah, yes, Twilight.  Probably the biggest cash cow in the YA universe if you don’t count Harry Potter (which in my opinion is not a cash cow since the series for the most part didn’t suffer from the blitzing of press that surrounded it and there’s not a Hermione Granger Barbie).  Not only has this series spawned off four books (and the last one really wasn’t necessary, though you could argue that books two and three were not needed as well) and five movies (really were there two movies needed for Breaking Yawn), but there’s a graphic novel version of the series as well, Barbie doll versions of Bella and the rest of the Twilight gang, and a potential TV spinoff on the horizon about the wolf pack and Sneezy (Renesmee).
Yes, more Twilight.  I freaking kid you not.
Wasn’t that puke inducing happily ever after ending enough for everyone?  Apparently, not.  And I have to give it to Stephenie Meyer she is a genius at capitalism.

2. The Mortal Instruments:

 
 Cassandra Clare has jumped the gun a little bit.  You’re suppose to do all your graphic novels and spinoffs after your book becomes a blockbuster success.  However, regardless Cassandra Clare has succeeded in milking and continuing milking out her shadowhunters series.
There are three spinoffs people.  Oh, four if you count the Magnus Bane short story collection that she and her friends are writing.  Yep, her friends are contributing to her series.  She’s decided to hire out work for a series of books that she has came up with.  Well, at least she’s honest about that.  I’ll give her that (see number 7).
The thing I think that bothers me most about all these spinoffs, is that the first series isn’t complete (well, sort of).  Initially, TMI was only planned to be three books, but Clare decided to expand the series to six after everything in the series was pretty much wrapped up.  The later half of the series doesn’t even feature the same villain.  Rather, a poor wannabe who wants to rape his sister.
I will give Clare this, unlike de la Cruz (see number 3) she has made it possible where you don’t have to read every book in her various series to understand what’s going on.  But it gets so annoying seeing that there are going to be fifteen spinoffs of this book, plus an encyclopedia, a graphic novel series, and some critical essays edited by Cassandra Clare herself, when the original series isn’t freaking finished.  And the movie hasn’t even been released yet.

3. Blue Bloods:

This is the series that actually inspired this blog entry.  I love these books, but enough is enough.  There’s not only one, or two, but now three spin off series to the original.  And then there’s the graphic novel and a potential television show as well.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have a problem with a lot of these spinoffs if they were as well written and thought out as the original series of book (oh, and didn’t force you to read them in order to understand the latest editions of Blue Bloods as well).  Seriously, I’ve talked to more than one person who got a little confused about things because they didn’t read Wolf Pact.

And speaking of Wolf Pact,  I hated the way it was released.  I get that they released it as an ebook in the US because of scheduling conflicts and delays,  but it was beyond ridiculous charging people $3 to read just sixty pages.  You can sometimes buy paperbacks for three dollars (when they’re on sale), but the point is sixty pages isn’t worth three bucks.  Especially when you can buy the whole book for $9 if you get it from the UK.

Anyway, my main annoyance with the Blue Bloods franchise (as I’m now calling it), isn’t the series so much.  I do think it could’ve continued, I just felt the spinoffs were unnecessary and an easy way to get a buck. Plus, honestly, Bliss’s story could’ve filled in the much needed gaps in Misguided Angel and Lost in Time.

4. Hush Hush
The Hush Hush Saga (yes, it’s called a saga) was originally suppose to be a series of three books.  However, Becca Fitzpatrick decided to torment  delight us with a fourth book that was just an absolute delight to read let me tell you.   In addition to that absolutely wonderful and needed fourth book, Fitzpatrick has also decided to release a graphic novel based off of Hush Hush. Which I would have no problem with, if it even remained remotely true to the source material.  And oh yes, film rights have been sold.

I think my biggest problem with this series is besides the un-needed fourth book, it just  wasn’t needed. It just seems like it was added to get an extra buck just lack the lackluster graphic novel.

5. House of Night:
Oh, the House of Night…. What book are we on now thirteen, fourteen, twenty, one hundred and twenty.  Okay, actually they’re only on book ten right now.  But several short novellas, guides, graphic novels, oracle cards, apparel, comics, and a potential movie.  Honestly, I can’t keep up with all the various spinoffs they have and maybe that’s why I quit reading the books besides the blatant slut slamming.

From what I can remember the books themselves weren’t that great.  Sure, they followed the typical YA trends (vampires, love triangles  X infinity, bitchy mean girls that the super special snowflake manages to take down, super special snowflake has super special legacy and do I need to continue…)

While there aren’t as many spinoffs with this series as there are with Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, I think this series trumps her in the merchandising (seriously, House of Night t-shirts).
6. Packaged Books:

Packaged books are a particular thorn in my side.  Mainly because I view them as being sort of unethical (but that’s another story for another day).  Many of these books though have been a success.  Most notably The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Anne Brashares, Fallen by Lauren Kate, and The Pretty Little Liars series by Sarah Shepard.

Part of the problem with packaged books is that they were merely produced to make a profit.  The idea isn’t the author’s own and they’re contracted to fulfill the specific needs of a book packager.  The good/bad thing about book packagers is that usually these books are more prone to getting other media deals.  For example, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants got two movies produced while Pretty Liars has gotten a TV show.  Perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why these series never end.  Take Pretty Little Liars.  The series is still going on after thirteen books and A’s identity still isn’t known.

7.  Every Ghost Written Book on the Planet:

There are some books that are obviously ghost written (a.k.a. Nancy Drew) and there are some that are not (a.k.a. Gossip Girl) for the books that are obviously ghost written you can sort of understand their continually better.  Nancy Drew, for example, the series is clearly written to appeal to the young mystery lover.  The books aren’t that great (personally, I think the computer games are better save for those 1980’s/1990’s ones with the Hardy Boys), but you know what you’re getting into.  Ghostwritten series like Gossip Girl and The Lorien Legacy try to fool the reader and often that ends up with some backlash.  Though in the case of Gossip Girl, you could argue that that series is doing pretty well since it has had several spinoffs and a very successful TV show.

8. Honorable Mentions:

  • Stephanie Plum by Janet Evonovich: Though not YA this series has been going on for about twenty books and has a movie.  And the series, it seems has stalled though I have heard the latest book has been a slight improvement.
  • Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor: This series has been going on for what seems forever (okay, since 1985, but that’s longer than I’ve been alive).  I remember reading these when I was eleven thinking they were cool and then some really weird shit happened to some of the characters.  And yet it’s still continuing to this day, though I think the final book is suppose to be released

 

Verdict:  I get why there are cash cows (capitalist society, baby), but honestly cashing out is a lot like whoring yourself out.  And okay, everyone who has a semi successful series does it (honestly, I would probably do it too thanks to law school loans and the cost of living in general), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying.  Or that it even works.  Case in point, Tokyo Pop made a deal with Harper Collins a few years ago to produce collaborative products between its artists and Harper Collins author (most notably Meg Cabot).  However, the deal eventually went bust with Tokyo Pop breaking up with Harper Collins and Cabot’s Jinx manga was scraped.  I think if anything this shows how dispensable some of these projects are.  The various spinoffs and other media versions of the original series are merely filling for die hard fans.  Whether the fan purchases the goods or  not depends on them, quantity of sales not quality for the work matters for these goods.  Once again, to the Tokyo Pop example.  I remember reading Meg Cabot’s Avalon High manga thinking it was an okay addition, but it felt disjointed from the original source material.  I think the fact that the Jinx manga was scrapped entirely illustrates this point.

I’ll give it to Tokyo Pop at least the story lines were new.  They didn’t rehash plots that had already been told before in print.

Anyway, I’m interested in what you think about cash cows.  Any series that you think should’ve ended a long time ago?

Blue Bloods the Graphic Novel: by Melissa de la Cruz

The cover actually looks pretty kick ass (little does the unsuspecting reader know what horrors awaits them).

As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of Melissa de la Cruz’s series Blue Bloods.  This series had everything for me great characters, New York glamour, paranormal, intricate mysteries, and some pretty good world building.  However, as of late I’ve been getting annoyed with the books. It started with the fifth book.  A lot of people thought the series should’ve ended after the fourth book, but I wasn’t so sure.  I thought there was still a lot to work with this series.  Then the sixth book came out.  It was better than the fifth, but to be honest I thought a lot of things were missing from the series that once made it such a delight to read.  I still gave the book a high rating though mainly because of the set up it gave for the final book.  And I haven’t read the final book yet, but I have read a lot of the spin offs that have spawned out of the book.  Most of them have been a mixed bag at best.  I felt like in comparison to the original series, these books lacked the maturity that they had (which is really bad for Witches considering it’s an adult book but when you mock someone’s virginity what do you expect?)  So why did I decide to read the graphic novel version of this series, a blatant attempt to cash out on  the series, well I sort of wanted to see how the characters would look.  Okay.  Jack Force has been one of my favorite book boyfriends for several years and seeing someone’s illustrations of him could potentially be droll worthy.  However, they weren’t.

Though a bit primitive, I think some of this artwork is better than what you see in the graphic novel (and no, the artwork is not done by the same person).
 

General Summary: It follows the first Blue Bloods book with some mild changes.  If you haven’t read Blue Bloods.  Basically this poor little not so rich girl finds out she’s a vampire and gets invited to this super duper society and this unattainable boy starts showing interest in her despite her sad Olsen twin wardrobe.  And there are some killer vampires after them.  Really, that’s what the book is about.  I swear.

Review:

What did I think about this graphic novel?

Well, in comparison to most of these YA graphic novel adaptions this one is pretty decent.  The storyline isn’t changed that much, the characters look sort of how they’re suppose to, and it’s all done in one book.  That’s a plus right?

I guess.

To be blunt about it, there were a lot of things about it that bothered me.  Things that might be more subjective than objective.

The artwork for one.  I talk about this more in my worst feature part of the review, but there were some frames that were just really heinous.  Look, I get that it’s a graphic novel but there are graphic novels that look really realistic.  This isn’t one of them.  In fact, I was sort of angered at how cheestastic the artist made some of the frames look.  Most notably the modeling ones.  And God, Schuyler.  As I’ll tell you later on, poor Schuyler is in dire need of a makeover.  I really wish the artist who did the cover, did the drawings for the rest of the book.  The cover is beautiful.  The inside contents of the book is mixed.

Another thing that bothered me was the pacing.  A lot of things from the beginning of the book were kept in, but the middle and end felt rushed.  And some important scenes were missing too.

If you’re expecting something really great from this graphic novel installment, you’re going to be disappointed.  It’s essentially a watered down version of Blue Bloods with bad art work.  Yes, it’s better (in my opinion) than other YA adaptions out there that try to make three graphic novels out of one book, but it’s hardly a Batman graphic novel by any means.

Best Feature: One book one story.  In a lot of these YA to graphic novel adaptions they’ll try to drag one book out to two or three books  and it takes forever since the turn out of these books is like one every two years (they still haven’t gotten to New Moon yet in Twilight the graphic novel and it’s been like forever since the first one came out).  So, it was nice getting a complete story.  Though, I do feel like there were parts of the story and definitely the illustrations suffered from this.

Worse Feature: WTF Did You Do to My Characters.  Okay, so they got the basic descriptions right, save for Jordan who is suppose to be homely not a junior Belle a la Beauty in the Beast.  But there were some frames where I was appalled at how unattractive these characters looked.  And I really hated the way Mimi and Schuyler were drawn in general.  Mimi is suppose to be into high couture (that does not mean she dresses trampy), she has a tan, and she’s suppose to look polished.  This Mimi does not.  She dresses like a hooker and she looks like that lady who married the head of Intergang in Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman.  But even Mimi looked better than Schuyler.  Poor Schuyler.  I don’t know what the heck they thought they were doing when they designed her.  Seriously, her eyebrows needed a  good tweezing.  And there was this one really unflattering frame where she and Oliver look like they just passed gas-I swear.  And then there were the boys in general, it looked like my poor Jack Force was wearing makeup.  Not very flattering for him.  Sigh…I know beauty is in the beholder, but God I thought the artwork in the main book was pretty awful.  The cover though was beautiful (perhaps because it was done by another artist).

I’m sorry, but this is not Mimi Force.
 

Appropriateness: It’s pretty appropriate there is some violence in it with a Martian Manhunter wannabe, but nothing other than that.  They even took the risque jean billboard and turned it to looking like billboard designed by someone on  acid.

Overall Rating:  I’m giving it five out of ten fangs.  While I felt the storyline was handled well enough, I didn’t really like the artistic interpretations of the characters or how watered down parts of the book felt.

The Raie’Chaelia: Melissa Douthit

I don’t read a lot of indy books.  It’s for a lot of reasons.  The main reason being I don’t have an e-reader other than my laptop and the other being I don’t want to shift through all the shit to get through the few gems that exist in the independent book world (and yes, there are a few good indys you just need to know where to look).

So why am I reading this?

Well, this little book has caused a lot of controversy or should I say its author has caused a lot of controversy by harassing and publicly outing reviewers amongst other things.  Honestly, the book itself has developed a reputation of being like The Room of YA/Fantasy books.  However, I think it’s worse than that movie (though you can argue that the author’s actions are about on the same level as this)

Before I start reviewing said book, here’s some things you need to know about me.  My undergrad degree is in creative writing.  That does not mean I’m necessary a good writer, but that does mean I’ve had training to find basic writing mistakes and I know how to workshop stories.  This story, I’m pretty sure, has never been workshopped.  So, that’s what I’m going to do today.

Title: How do you even pronounce it?   I get that this book is a fantasy, but the title of your work should be something your audience should identify with.  It should draw the reader in.  This title just makes the reader look at the book oddly wondering what the heck it is and if it’s even written in English.

Grammar:  People do make mistakes, but this is published work.  Published work for sale which means it should be rid of typos and internet chat speak (yes, !? would be considered internet chat speak).  Having these sort of errors are glaring and makes the work look unprofessional.  Honestly, I’ve seen fan fiction that has less grammatical errors than this.  I get that indy’s lack the resources that the major publishing houses have, but it’s not that expensive to hire a copy editor.  Case in point, I have a cousin who makes her living from copy editing and most of her client base consist of poor college students.  If a college student can afford to have their term paper looked at then Douthit can afford having her manuscript looked at.

Show Not Tell: This is like the first rule you’ll learn in a creative writing class.  Need an example of what showing is versus telling.

Telling:

“Yeah, right!” she said with a sassy sniff and mounted.

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 2024-2025). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

How could this have been turned into showing.  By merely chopping off sassy sniff.  And showing through the characters dialogue and actions that she’s sassy.  Remember, the reader isn’t stupid.  This is only a small sample of the over use of telling that goes on in this book.  I chose this particular quote because it’s one of the least painful to read.  But imagine reading a whole book like this, it would drive you crazy.
Info Dump: Even the most experience writers have problems with world building.  It’s a complicated task.  However, one of the big lessons about world building is not to info dump.  Here’s a sample of this hideousness:

“Ben hesitated for moment and then said slowly: “Your father is King Duquaine, the Rightful King of the Realm and a scion of the Ielierian.”  Chalice’ heart sank.  She hung her head again and rubbed her temples.  Her head was no longer hurting but she knew what being a daughter of the King meant and she didn’t want to believe it.”

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 2704-2706). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

This continues for  another thirty or so pages.  I know, right?  Just this paragraph alone is causing you to yawn.  That’s why info dumping is so bad because the reader gets bored.  Plus, it upsets the balance of mystery vs manners.  Good authors don’t tell the reader everything at once, they let information slip gradually.  Sometimes through dialogue (but not dialogue like this), actions, narration, or other devices. Remember, the Harry Potter world wasn’t built in one book.  Rowling took her time with gradually emerging Harry and the reader into the wizarding world.  That’s why it worked.

Forced Dialogue: Dialogue is hard to do.  You have to make yourself (as an author) sound like multiple people, keep the flow of conversation, and at the same time that dialogue needs to convey the relationship/s that the characters have with each other.  Let’s look at a typical dialogue passage in Douthit’s book:

“Let me see that book, Chalice,” he demanded, holding out his hand.  She gave it to him and he studied it thoroughly. “What is Shae’Ielian?” he asked.

“That means the Rightful King.  Why?  What do you think the verse is talking about?”

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 846-848). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

This is essentially how the dialogue is used throughout the whole story.  Question.  Some lame answer. Question.  It doesn’t flow and these two characters that are suppose to share some great bond come off as lame.  Speaking of characters…..

Horrible Characters: The characters in this were horrible.  You can basically summarize them up in one or two sentences.

Chalice: Special snowflake (see below quote)

“Chalice was also very beautiful.  She had fair skin and a smooth oval face that was caressed by long, golden, butternut curls.  They folded down the sides of her cheeks and framed her red rosebud mouth, button nose, and large sapphire eyes that were decorated with long dark eyelashes. “

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 200-202). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

Jeremy: Special snowflakes boy toy.  Who author avoids using the cliche insta love by making them long lost friends (it doesn’t work, it just makes the forced relationship between the two even more painful).

“She couldn’t believe she had forgotten him.  They had been inseparable during the three years he stayed with her and her grandparents at the inn.  She remembered the words of Grandma Naelli: Those two are always together.  You can never find one without the other.  She should have at least recognized him by his eyes.  He had the same eyes.  Of course, everything else had changed quite a bit.  Time had done its job.”

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 527-531). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

Chinuk: A rip off of George Lucas’s ewoks (better people than me have went into more depth on this)

Ben: An Albus Dumbledore/Gandalf wannabe who info dumps so profusely that his info dump has turned into info diarrhea.

Horses: Oh, God there are more descriptions (even a chapter) devoted to the horses than anyone else.  This horse obsession reminds me of Grace Brisbane’s obsession with wolves in Shiver.  Here’s a sample:

 “She was the most beautiful horse she had ever seen.  She was pure white with four dark hooves and dark eyes.  Her forelock, mane and tail were as white as the snow and they draped down her forehead, neck and rear, blowing smoothly in the cool wind.”

Douthit, Melissa (2011-05-27). The Raie’Chaelia (Kindle Locations 2223-2225). Couronne Press. Kindle Edition.

Supporting Friends: We have the bland girlfriend of Chalice (really, what’s with that name) and their chubby friend who eats all the time–now where have I seen that before (oh, like every bad movie that involves a quest)?

Plot: So we come to this.  Since the characters are so cliche it shouldn’t surprise you then that the plot was cliche too when it exist.  That’s right when it exists.  Most of the book consisted of info dumping that was inconsistent and so boring that I didn’t quite understand what their quest was.  Maybe that’s because of the made up language that was used heavily throughout the book too which looked like someone got drunk and then decided to have fun on Microsoft Word.

Verdict: The Ra-Rashakaka (okay, The Raie’Chaelia) needs a lot of work.  I don’t even know if it is salvable.  It  needs to be completely  rewritten probably at least twice and then heavily edited (probably about ten to fifteen times) and then looked at by a copy editor or least someone who did fairly well in English in high school.  I get that this book is a self published book, but it’s still work people are paying for.  You know, despite her antics I feel sorry for Ms. Douthit.  It must be hard to live in a delusional world where you can’t accept that your writing isn’t perfect.  Criticism is there for a reason.   That’s why creative writing classes are spent eighty percent of the time workshopping  others work.  Do I suggest reading this book?  No.  I got it for free that’s the only reason I read it.  However, if you like looking at a good train wreck (like me) this might interest you.  At the very least, it’s a good way to workshop work without attending an actual creative writing class.  Oh, and Ms. Douthit, my creative writing teacher didn’t care if anyone’s comments for the workshop were negative.  We didn’t get to talk to the end and we had to accept and appreciate what other students said to us.  After all, it’s not like you paid for this review

Dreamless: Josephine Angelini

I have came to the conclusion that any book that takes place in hell/underworld/or Forks,Washington or is just the second book in a paranormal Twilight Saga knockoff is going to be shitty.
 
 

Screw the format I usually follow.

I can’t do it today.  Not after I read this rainbow turd of a book.  That’s right, I said rainbow turd.  And when I say rainbow turd, you know the book’s shitty.  If you don’t want to read my entire rant about why Dreamless was even more insipid than its shitty predecessor, I’ll briefly summarize why I hated it: it was way too long, the character is on the same Mary Sue level as Bethany Church, and I’ve seen more coherent plots come out of Power Rangers.

So I guess now, I’m going to start my rant.  I thought a lot about how I was going to address my issues with this book.  But maybe I’m not the best person to address how foul this unicorn rainbow barf/fart is.  That’s why I’m leaving that job to Helen.

Yes, I’m letting Helen freaking Heavenly Hamilton tell you why this book sucks.  Well, actually I’m  going to be interviewing her (don’t worry, I’ve taken proper precautions).

Me: So, Helen, we meet again.

Helen: Aren’t you going to tell me how beyoutiful  I am?

Me: You look like a Barbie. But I really don’t care about how you look.

Helen: But I’m the face.  Everyone looooooooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeesssss…..

Actually, she’s the face.  Seriously, my dog is about as vain as the character.  I kid you not.  She would pose all day if she could.
 

Me: Shut up.

Helen: Gasp!  What did you tell me?

Me: I said to shut up.  I honestly, don’t get it.  Why everyone bows down to you?  When you’re one of the most useless characters in YA literature.

Helen: I thought that went to Bethany Church or that Luce girl

Me (groans): They’re annoying too.  But I just spent a week reading about your shitty glitter antics and how you never have consequences to deal with.  And how your freaking perfect and how all the boys love you.  And how anyone who doesn’t is an evil person….Jesus, can’t you give it a rest.

Helen: I didn’t think I did anything wrong.  And I can’t help it that I have the face.

Me: Oh, you can help it.  You can start by not being so useless.  Or maybe taking responsibility for your actions and not solving every problem (like the furies) like a freaking bad Saturday morning cartoon.

Helen: Cartoons are for babies.

Me: Um, no they’re not.  There’s actually a lot of really good cartoons that I still watch as an adult.  But your whole story reads like a bad cartoon.  The solution to your problems is way too easy.  There’s no character development between you and any of the characters.

Helen: But what about Orion?

Me: You mean the replacement Lucas that you instantly fell in love with.  When he was suppose to, I don’t know help you fight the furies.

Helen: He’s not a replacement for Lucas.  Lucas is…ew, he’s my cousin.

Me (rolls eyes): You know, it’s still legal to marry your cousin in a lot  of the US (including Massachusetts which is where your from), right?  It’s not the same thing as dating your brother (looks in the direction of Clary Fray) though it’s not exactly what I’d consider…The point is, it’s legal and considered normal by many people.  It’s not that taboo.

Helen: But we’ll end up like Oedipus.

Me: Hmmm, unless Lucas’s dad went back in time and was either Lucas or Orion then I don’t think you could be his own mother.  And God, you’re still thinking about him.  Them.  Why can’t you like do something constructive like learn to fight?

Helen: I don’t mean to be useless it’s not my fault that I’m powerless in the underworld.

Me: (skeptical look) Didn’t you sort of blow off Hector in the last book?  And that’s another thing I don’t get, if you’re supposedly related to him why didn’t you want to kill him….

Helen: Um, I’m a special snowflake who doesn’t like being special.

Me: Of course you are.

Helen: Was that sarcasm?

Me (Acting innocent): Of course not.  Though I do have to admit you’re a bit of a dumb ass by now if…

Helen: If what….

Me: Spoilers.

Helen: But I want to know?

Me: Moving on….

Helen: Hey!  I want to know.

Me: This is my interview, Helen.  Now I want to talk about that ludicrous plot of yours.  Did your author take an acid trip when she read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology?

Helen: That’s mean.

Me: Well, I’m sorry.  I’m just making a generalization, I just don’t understand the concept of Angelini’s world building.  Then again, I can’t figure out why she’d get a seven figure deal for this shit fest.  Heck….

Helen: What’s so bizarre about the story?  It uses Greek mythology, right?

Me: More like it has rainbow and glitter diarrhea all over Greek Mythology.

Helen (crosses arms): It does not.

Me: Okay, does this make sense to you: Emo teen who can go in the underworld without being dead or a dignity every night dying because she can’t dream (rolls eyes on this one),  emo teenage boy we’re suppose to find hot who beats up things because he can’t bang his cousin, some scions from different houses hating each other some not, magic rivers with special river juice, ant men who aren’t a part of the Marvel universe, furies who no longer try to kill you even before you give them river juice, people being more afraid of people with invisibility powers than girls who can shoot lightening out of their hands, having people go to school after they crash their bike into sewage water and touch a dead animal that could’ve been rabid….

Helen: Hey, that last one doesn’t have to deal with the world building.

Me: That last one was just there because it was gross.  Seriously, any self respecting human being would’ve headed home or better yet the hospital after touching dead squirrel.  For all you know it could’ve had rabies or some other wild animal disease.  And to go to school like that?  Do you really want to be known as Rotten Rodent Girl?

I’m sorry, but ew!

Helen: But it was school…

Me: You weren’t there and once you got a pass, you basically skipped the whole day anyway.   And I used this particular example because it was really gross and unnecessary just about like the rest of the 480 pages of this book.  Seriously, it could’ve been cut in half and it still would’ve been too long.

Helen: You just hated it because I’m beautiful.

Me: No.  No.  I got annoyed that I kept hearing how pretty you are.  But I could care less about your looks.  Honestly, I thought it was sort of cool that Helen of Troy was your archetype at first because you could’ve been a real bitch of a character.  But nope…you’re perfect annoyingly squeaky clean Helen.  And I hate you.  Heck, Angelini can’t even do archetypes right….it’s not even like she knows the characters.  Like Paris, he’s not suppose to be the hero.

Helen: Paris?

Me: Lucas.  But your author renamed him, probably because calling a guy Paris isn’t going to make him sound like Edward Cullen which is what I think she was striving towards.  Honestly, I have to wonder if this series was originally fan fiction.  I mean, it’s pitched like it’s Percy Jackson for girls.  Lucas is a rip off for Edward with his controlling and stalkerish ways.  Seriously, he sits in front of your bedroom all night that’s not right, and you two are broken up in book two just like Bella and Edward.  Oh, and you know have a lightening bolt scar like Harry freaking Potter.  And Orion could just as well be a teenage Sirius Black.

Helen: Are you finished?

Me: No, quite frankly I’m not.  Seven fucking figures.  Seven fucking figures.  Do you know what I could do with that sort of advance.  And it’s not even like she tried with this piece of unicorn poo.  Even my fan fictions are better than this….this fucking piece of….

Helen: Hey!  What about the other characters?

Me: What?

Helen: You’re not complaining about them….

Me: Oh, I’m not.  I already mentioned that she loves archetypes didn’t I?  That all of you scions are based very loosely off of Greek figures.  Oh, did I also mention that she’s generalized all the supportive human roles too.  Let’s see, while there is some diversity in these books the characters are token characters at best like Claire (or Giggles if we’re using your stupid nickname for her).  And while that by itself is great, we’re told that Claire is sort of weary about dating guys who aren’t the same race as her (i.e. she’s in love with Jason).  And we’re told this is a tradition.  WTF!??!!?!?!  Oh, and if that little generalization isn’t bad enough, the Latina characters in this book are described frequently as saucy.  Note to authors writing diverse characters, just because their skin color/culture/background is different than yours we don’t have to generalize them by describing them as saucy or having their relatives frown when they bring their non-Japanese boyfriend/friends home for dinner and have that character contemplate about dumping a guy just based off of skin color.  Fucking unicorn sparkly……….

Helen: Can you just shut up already.

Me: No, I had to put up with you for a week and….

Helen: (lightening bolt forms from her hand) Seriously, shut up now…

Me: You’re too much of a Mary Sue to do it (grabs water gun from purse and sprays Helen.  Helen falls to the floor withering and claiming that she’s melting).  Wrong book.  Now that that nonsense is done.  I think it’s time I read another book, something that makes me retain my faith in humanity.  Seven fucking figures…..

 

* Note, for those who don’t know I am not Josephine Angelini.  I do not own the character Helen.  I merely using her character to review this God forsaken unicorn puke book.

Do Judge a Book By It’s Cover: 2013 Edition

New Year, means time to analyze some 2013 book covers.  Let’s take a gander at a few shall we:

What the Cover Tells Me: Seventy-five years in the future and things have changed.  Forget about trying to even be popular.  There’s now a machine that’s going to classify your high school caste. One look into the eye of the machine and you’re brand for the next four years of your life (really, all your life if your going to get technical about it).  So imagine, Lucy Wright’s surprise and horror when she’s labeled a nobody.  But what no one has told Lucy is that nobody’s aren’t entirely losers.

What the Book is Really About: So apparently there are these invisible people in the world that make the perfect assassins and are collected early in life.  The MC in this book, isn’t found till she’s sixteen (surprise, surprise) and the guy who’s suppose to collect her falls in love with her.

Verdict: After reading the summary, I think the cover does a pretty decent job summing up what the book is about.  Though, I have to admit, it’s not the flashiest of covers.

What the Cover Tells Me: Ava can’t remember anything.  Not that it matters, no one remembers her either.  And, oh, someone’s trying to kill her.

What the Book is Really About: So apparently, this girl gets in a plane wreck.  Wakes up with no memory, finds out that she has super powers, and a hot guy is totally eyeing her.  

Verdict: Close enough.  I like the blurred effect the art department went with this one.  Really conveys the feeling of confusion that I’m betting we’ll be seeing a lot of in this book.

What the Cover Tells Me: It was only suppose to be a book.  How did Clara know that when she opened it she was going to let out all the world’s demons and a very sexy demon slayer from the future?  This is sooooo not her day.  

What the Book is Really About: It’s the third book in the Infernal Devices series ( a stempunk series that takes place in The Mortal Instruments world by Cassandra Clare).  Oddly enough, I actually like these books better than their anchor series.  Perhaps it’s because they’re not fan fiction based. 

Verdict: I like this cover: I actually like this one.  I really like how the art department has kept a cohesive theme with all of Clare’s books.  

What the Cover Tells Me: She knows everything and she’s not afraid to use it against you.  Shelley Brooks, is a mind reader.  She can hear what everyone thinks (and yes, it’s even more annoying than that Mel Gibson movie would make you think it was).  So, imagine Shelley’s surprise when she hears three guys in her class talking about robbing a bank.  And Shelley tells them she wants in.

What the Book is Really About: It’s another Heist Society novel finally (I can’t really remember what happened in the last two, so I’ll need a refresher course).  From the summary from GR, it looks like Hale is going to be bowing out of Kat’s crew.  Should be interesting.  

Verdict: Once again, this series has a cohesive theme to it that I like.  Though the outfit Kat is wearing is a bit more fun in the sun than corporate boardroom.  If you want to get nitpicky about these things. 

What the Cover Tells Me: Alyssa is a perfume model for Va Va Voom Cosmetics.  Ever since she’s been a little girl, all Alyssa has wanted to do is model.  There’s the dresses, the trips to exotic places, the cute guys.  And that’s pretty much how modeling has been-grant it, that one job where she had to shave her head on the runway (but that was a long time ago), so imagine to her surprise when her job at Va Va Voom is different.  When she finds out that her ultra hot modeling partner, Enrique McHottiePants, is really a zombie.

What the Book is Really About: Pierce and John must face the furies wrath in this final installment of Meg Cabot’s The Abandon Trilogy.  A life was saved, now someone must die.

Verdict: Pass.  I don’t like a lot of things about this cover.  I already covered these reasons in a previous post, but is it necessary to have the model popping out like that.  I do like the guy they got for John though, though I pictured him with longer hair and not wearing a muscle shirt.  Got to love those biceps though.