Fairest: Gail Carson Levine

That is not how I imagine Aza looking pre or post makeover.

General Summary: Aza has always been a bit of an outcast with her pale complexion, dark hair, and solid figure.  However, despite the fact she’s no beauty queen Aza has a voice that dazzles.  That gives her a chance to have a life she never imagined.

Review:

I really wanted to love this.

To be honest, Gail Carson Levine was one of my favorite authors as a kid.  Ella Enchanted is still easily in my top ten reads.  The characters are great, the take on Cinderella is great (she actually makes that fairytale  about a pushover make sense).  One of the main reasons I haven’t picked up a book of hers in years is well because of this movie.

Yeah, Ella Enchanted.  Blockbuster disaster that caused Ann Hathaway to reevaluate her career and its only redeeming feature is that Hugh Dancy was hot in it (might do a movie review of that one later on, we’ll see).

So, that turned me off of Levine.  Until I made my list about bad movie/bad YA book comparisons a week ago and I saw Fairest at my library and being the naive idiot I am I picked it up.

This really isn’t a bad book.  I’ll say that now.  It’s not great either.  It’s just average.  And normally that wouldn’t be such a bad thing but….but…Ella Enchanted.



So, let’s talk about what this book had going for it.  I liked the fact that Aza was not an attractive character throughout eighty percent of the story.  That was a nice change.  But I hated the fact she wanted to be pretty for a good chunk of the book as well.  Girl had a prince liking her.  That should’ve been enough, but nope she still is like oh woo is me I’m ugly.  And since she had a prince going at her, you really had to wonder how ugly she was.  And she had that gorgeous singing voice.

Honestly, she just complained a lot.

I also like the fact that Levine uses the world she created in Ella Enchanted, but  honestly the whole singing thing in Ayortha annoyed me.  I’m sure they’re really nice lyrics put to song.  But I just don’t want to read song lyrics.  It annoys me.  I think I skipped like about ten percent of the book because of that.

Also, the plot was weak.  As I’ll mention later on the Snow White stuff didn’t happen till the last third of the book.  And while that part of the book might’ve been in a way the best thing about it, in a way it was the worst part about it.  It just didn’t work.  The plot really didn’t work as well.  Seriously, Lucinda.  She should’ve been kept to Ella Enchanted her story was over there.  And well I guess I really shouldn’t expect much of the plot because the characters, the characters.

They were weak beyond words.  I already bitched a little about Aza, but the rest of the cast wasn’t better.  She falls in love with a guy who’s hardly Char.  All I really know about him besides the fact he has a name I can’t pronounce and have to look up to spell, Ijori, is that he has big ears.  Some of the best parts of this book’s predecessor was the development between the relationship of Char and Ella.  Here.  Here it doesn’t work.

Best Feature: Um, Snow White retelling.  I like the idea of a Snow White retelling.  But this really wasn’t that direct of a retelling-until the last hundred pages which just seemed rushed.  I’ll be honest, I think Snow White is one of those stories where justice is never due.  The original fairytale version is so deliciously dark.  And I guess I like the Disney movie enough, but it takes out some of this darkness and I know Walt  hand picked the girl who did Snow White’s voice but God it irritates me.  I can’t watch the movie often because of that.  Okay, back to the book.  Yeah, as a Snow White adaption it doesn’t really work.  And I know it’s the best feature of this book, but it’s what drew me towards the book.  But the extra Snow White parts are pretty weak and not in an okay way like how Marissa Meyer brilliantly loosely adapts fairytales to her Lunar Chronicles series.

Worst Feature: Book Musical.  Maybe it’s just me, but I hate reading songs.  It reminds me of those stupid song fics you’d see popping all over the place on fanfiction.net or High School Musical and I hate High School Musical.  Of course, I’m sure these songs were better written than songs about basketball, but I really don’t care.  I skipped them.  If I wanted broadway, I’d go to a broadway show.

Appropriateness: It’s not that bad.  Pretty PG.  Nothing really major or inappropriate that I can think of. Well, I take that back.  Aza’s whole attitude towards her self image was disturbing, but after What the Spell Aza’s self image problem isn’t that bad…well, I guess you can sort of make an argument for that.

Blockbuster Worthy: Um, no.  Levine’s books can never be touched by Hollywood again.  And honestly, this would be a weird movie.  It would have to be a musical, but I honestly don’t really care to see how Disney or whoever would butcher it up.

Overall Rating: I’m giving it five out of ten crowns.  This one isn’t terrible, but it’s Gail Carson Levine.  It should be awesome.  I was really disappointed with this one and I came up with a song about it…um, no I didn’t.  No more songs.  No more songs…….

 
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What the Spell: Brittany Geragotelis

This is going to be a rant.

It’s not going to be impartial.

If you like this series you might as well get the hell out of here because this is not going to be pretty.  Currently, I am studying for finals which means I have high stress levels, am writing this during my limited breaks, and have had three cups of tea .  Though to be honest, I think this book accelerated my heart rate more than the tea did and that’s not a good thing.

I’ll be blunt about it, this book sucks ass.

The only quasi redeeming feature is it’s cover for it’s pinkness and that stupid wannabe Leven Rambin ruins that.

Okay, now that I have the disclaimer for going bat shit crazy out of the well.  I’m going to say it how the fuck did eighteen million people view this shit fest on Wattpad because that’s how it got published.  And that’s honestly why I picked it up because I was excited that someone got picked up from Wattpad but this…this piece of elephant shit.

Okay, I’ve cursed it but I haven’t really gone into why this book bothers me or what it’s even about.  Well, have you seen that old 1980’s movie, Teen Witch, that’s this movie but add an extremely creepy counselor and an even more obnoxious heroine who has body dysmorphic disorder.

 
Oh, yeah our little darling of a heroine named Brooklyn (like the bridge, get it!) has body dysmorphic disorder.  And it’s not even dealt in a way that’s appropriate.  Instead of her parents talking to her rationally after she zaps herself a boob job and a Kim Kardashian rear, she just gets told to use her magic carefully because of the Salem Witch Trials which happened four hundred years ago and a lame story about some great aunt who was killed by a reporter-there were so many plot holes with that explanation I’m not even going to go into how stupid it was.  It would be a waste  of my time since I have to complain about thirty other things that were wrong with this book,  and try to get myself relaxed enough to fall asleep so I can start studying at the crack of dawn tomorrow (law school, makes you such a happy bitch during finals).  The thing is, she’s radically changing her appearance and the majority of the readers for this book are impressionable teenage girls who are probably insecure about their appearance from the get go.
Look, I can understand why she’d want to give herself these things, but no consequences?  No talk from her parents?  And the only person that really gives a flip is creepy counselor and I think there’s really creepy motives there that we’re going to get to in a minute…it’s just wrong.  I’m all for not having a heroine that’s prettier than she really thinks she is, but this is the wrong direction to go in.  Is it wrong I want more Rose Hathaways and Suze Simons who are satisfied with the way they look imperfections and all.  Having this twit zapping herself some new tits, a butt, and a couple of inches, in addition to changing her hair and eyes, oh and lips too that’s just wrong on so many levels.  Especially considering that she was the I’m pretty but don’t realize it type to begin with.
Most sane people would’ve stopped after the insta makeover but I continued.  Only to get some bizarre version of Mean Girls.  Seriously, the popular people at this twit’s school call themselves The Elite.  Yeah…I know.  And I thought Starseed was the only book to go to that level of stupidity.  But nope, Gregaotelis seems to take the same idea of thinking that Mean Girls is an accurate portrayal of high school life.
No.  Just no.
As much as I love the Tina Fey movie, it’s satire.  It’s true that high school girls are probably some of the most evil people in the world, but they aren’t that overt.    And most popular kids I know wouldn’t dare name their little group something, let alone The Elite.
Not to mention it’s also the title of a shitty YA book.
And why the hell does Brookie even want to hang out with them?  It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that they’re using her.  And it’s not even like her Man-cessory hangs out with them.  So, it’s completely stupid.  And irrelevant.  All we get out of it is she hurts her bestie, the freaking school counselor-that’s right our main character’s best friend is a school counselor who is about ten years older than her.  Isn’t that creepy.  The school counselor is my age and her best friend is a sixteen-year-old who’s her student.  They eat lunch and trade Little Debbies every day (maybe not the Little Debbie part), but they eat lunch together every day.  Like besties.
I have no words.
You know it’s one thing to have a favorite teacher or administrator.  I can maybe even understand the lunch thing, if Brookie was working as an office aid or something.  But it’s like b.f.f. lunch.  The counselor is jealous when Brookie starts making friends her own age.
Though maybe she was just missing her Little Debbies (mmm, Little Debbies).
Oh, and also apparently becoming a school counselor is a fate worse than death since apparently creepy counselor used to be a cool high school chick before listening to high school melodrama-hey, she majored in education it was her choice.  And what’s so sucky about being a school counselor?  You’re helping people, that is a good and noble career.
Okay, I think I need a wine break.
That’s better.  So yeah…the school counselor was just about as weird if not weirder than the love interest and his sister who just randomly show up.  Oh, and the love interest has magic powers too.  And these magic powers they’re never really explained.  The world building is zip.
I really want to know what makes this book so popular.  Eighteen million hits is a lot.  It’s very impressive.  When I saw this I was impressed.  Excited to read this.  But then all of this?  I notice a lot of people thing this book is aimed towards a younger audience, but honestly I’m calling bull shit on this.   Because younger readers shouldn’t have to put up with this trash.  They aren’t stupid and there are so many good middle grade books out there that suggesting this is really a good middle grade book is ridiculous.
This book is just a waste.  I hate saying it.  But it made me angry.  I don’t like writing reviews like this.  I don’t like DNFing another book but that’s what I had to do.  I’m just so infuriated right now.  I read two hundred pages of this book waiting for the main character to grow up a little and she hadn’t not one bit.  And even if she did I don’t think I’d care.  I was hoping for a light frothy witch book that was sort of like Sabrina the Teenage Witch but what I got was a pile of shit that I’m not going to get out of my mind soon.  Seriously, you think Mean Girls is reality.  Maybe Tina Fey should write a movie about that and people who think The Titanic wasn’t real (a.k.a. sheer stupidity).
No stars for you book.  Nada.  This is just disgusting.

Embrace: Jessica Shirvington

I think I need to lower my standards.  I really do.  This wasn’t a horrible book.  Was it meh, definitely.  So meh in fact I didn’t finish it.  But it’s not like it’s the worst thing I ever read which actually has me feeling sort of, well, weird.  And what’s weirder is the press that this piece of…okay, I’ll calm down now and review the book.

General Summary: So a girl finds out she’s a special snowflake on her seventeen birthday and two hot guys are totally after her and she acts like a total Bella.  Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Review:

Ugh.

Whenever I read books like this I can only think hamster wheel.  Because I’ve read this story thousand of times before.  I’m just going to give you a brief guide on how to write a YA PNR via Embrace:

Step One: Introduce your whiney protagonist.  Protagonist should look like a Disney princess but not know it (like that Dove study says, women are their own worst critic especially in YA girl world).  She should also have a dead parent and should be approaching that age where something more is about to happen. Also, it’s great to bring in some dark secret (in this book the heroine gets sexually assaulted by a teacher), but don’t spend much time on it since, you know, these books really don’t care much for character development and the aftermath of an assault.

Step Two; Introduce Drippy Love Interest One–this is usually the endgame (though it can occasionally differ).  Love interest one should be our Edward.  Classically handsome, has a secret, is eons old, and probably be partners in some class with our little Wannabe Disney Princess.  Oh, and they share a special connection (usually soul mates).

Step Three: Whiney protagonist finds out she’s special.  Usually this is either through the following a) she’s a princess or lineage, b) the last member of her paranormal race, c) a powerful cute paranormal creature that she later finds out she’s special.  These can vary.  Loose research should be done on said mythology.  In the case of Embrace Shrivington shows us that she’s different  by making her grigori (half human/half angel).  Never mind that a girgori is actually a watcher and a half angel/half human is referred to as a nephilm.

Step Four: Introduce another love interest.  He needs to be a little bit more edgy than the other love interest.  Or if the other one is edgy make him the quote quote, see Jacob Black who’s not really a good boy but passes as one when compared to Eddie Boy.  It also helps if there’s a past or some unknown connection that throws Disney Princess Wannabe and Second Interest together.  A quest can also help here too.

Step Five:  Have some random person trying to kill your MC.  Because, you know she’s special.

Step Six: Have the MC go over her choices of guys over and over again where you feel like you’re on a merry go round and are going to vomit-note to readers, don’t eat Skittles when you read it the Technicolor vomit is guaranteed to make you vomit again.

Step Seven:  End  with a cliff hanger because we always got to have a sequel.

Note, I only read about half of Embrace so I didn’t get to see how step seven played out, but given that there are like four sequels I’m betting it  ends in some sort of cliff hanger.  The problem with this book is that it follows this format to a T it doesn’t divert at all.  And it really is more focused on Violet’s love life than finding out she’s an angel or whatever it is.  It also capitalizes on the cliches.  We have a character, Love Interest 2, described as a Calvin Klein underwear model.  Yeah, she uses those actual words.  I’ll be honest, I have a character in a WIP I’m writing described that way.  But he’s not a love interest, he’s the main character’s egotistical best friend and it’s said in jest.  But here, it’s said seriously.  And then there’s the main character, we’re told how perfect she is complete with a creamy complexion, perfect hair, and big boobs.  Which is fine and all, but really who describes themselves that way and then does the whole I’m not particularly beautiful act.

Do you see my problem with this?

I’d like to say that the characters actions and dialogue made up for these cringe worthy descriptions, but nope.  They were just cliche as the descriptions.  The main character really was a bore.  The one thing I know about her, besides the fact she likes to dress like a hooker at five star restaurants with her dad (and no not a sugar daddy, but her actual dad), is that she never goes to school.  And as far as I know this book didn’t take place in the summer.

Really, there is nothing likable about her.  Her reactions to finding out her secret heritage and reaction to those who are telling her is childish at best.  Her connection to Love Interest 2 is eye roll worthy.  Not to mention he has hair the color of an opal.  How can one have opal colored hair?

Best Feature: I don’t know.  I really don’t know.  It was readable and easy enough to get through, but not interesting enough to finish it.  The cover arts pretty too.  Sometimes it’s really hard being nice.

Worst Feature: Meh Plot.  There were lots of things about this book that bothered me, but I think what made me throw it back in the library bin was that there was nothing interesting about it.  I’ve seen this story over and over again.  Most of the angel mythology was adapted from other works-Blue Bloods, Fallen, Hush Hush, A Beautiful Dark, and even Halo.  Yeah, if you’re using Halo as a source of your research then we have issues.  And maybe I could’ve even gotten over the poor mythology if the characters were interesting.  But we had essentially a Disney Princess in the driver’s seat with two Edward Cullen wannabes-well, maybe a quasi Jacob there too.  Do you see how this could get annoying?  Honestly, I don’t expect a lot when it comes to YA PNR (a genre if done right I really love), but this was just sheer laziness.

Appropriateness: Um, no.  The character briefly mentions being sexually assaulted but nothing comes of it.  I think sensitive issues like this should be treated delicately.  This is not treated with kid gloves at all.  Then there’s also the fact that the MC makes some pretty stupid life choices.  Language is alright, I guess.  There’s some teen drinking in it as well.

Blockbuster Worthy: It’s actually being developed into a show for the CW.  I have no words.  I really don’t.  Only that the producers can do whatever the hell they want to this and it will be okay because this book has no personality.  I really feel no emotion to the characters to cast, but I’ll do my best.

Violet: Kristen Stewart.  Because yeah…Violet is essentially Bella in disguised and described looking like Snow White.  And since Stewart infamously portrayed Snow White it’s a perfect fit.

Lincoln: Chord Overstreet.  Yeah, he looks enough like Lincoln Log.

Phoenix: I can’t find anyone with opal hair, unfortunately.  We’re not even told how old we are I’m casting Brandon Barash.  Because at least I can look at something pretty when I watch Opal head and What’s Her Face flirt.  Note to Brandon, I don’t know how you’re going to dye your hair opal colored.

Overall Rating: I’m giving it a two.  It’s not awful enough to be granted a one, but God.  She ripped off Alexandra Adornetto.  Alexandra Adornetto whose books if I were to make a top ten worst YA books ever (and yeah, I’m tempted to make that list) would undoubtedly end up on it.  I’m in Halo Therapy class right now and this has caused a definite relapse for me.

Scarlet: Marissa Meyer

General Summary: Cinder is on the run and determined to find out her past and how the heck she’s a moon princess.  While Scarlet is trying to find her grandma with the help of the big bad and hot wolf.  Wait, the wolf’s hot and not in the way Grace Brisbane thinks wolves are hot sort of way hot?

Review:

I loved Cinder so much I decided to bypass my usual wait a month for reading/reviewing a sequel of a book that I like rule and bought Scarlet off of Amazon after I got through like a hundred pages of Cinder and was swooning.  And while I liked Scarlet (a lot), I’m not totally fan girling anymore so hopefully this review is a little bit more objective-though I really did like this book.

So, the good.  I always start with the good first.  But usually it’s to soften the blow of the bad parts of the book.  The good thing is, there’s not a lot of bad in this book.  Most of my problems with Scarlet were more personal than actual problems.

So what was so great about this novel.  It wasn’t a place filler.  Important pieces of the puzzle were filled, but at the same time there’s definitely room for the sequel and Meyer does leave us with quite the cliffie-agan.

Also, the new characters worked too.  To be honest, I’m always sort of skeptical when new characters are introduced in a sequel-blame Young Justice for that since new characters (well, lack of sales of their cruddy toys) was the death to an otherwise awesome show.  But Wolf and Scarlet actually serve a purpose to the story.  And Thorne was a hilarious addition as well.  Cinder’s role is still strong and the only person I felt that got sort of gipped was Kai.

Kai’s part of the book is sort of essential and he’s going through so much emotional turmoil at this point in the series, that it would’ve been interesting seeing his perspective more.  Especially considering what he did at the end of this installment.

However, I did really really like Scarlet.  She sort of reminds me of redhead version of Marion Ravenwood-save for the fact she runs off with a guy who has fangs instead of wears a fedora.  But you got the same sense of adventure with Scarlet and Wolf’s story.  And I really liked the way the storylines interconnected.  Sort of brilliant.

 

Also, I have to give it to Meyer I really liked the way she reinvented the whole princess concept.  It’s like she took the idea of Disney princesses and made them bad ass (and yeah, I know Little Red Riding Hood/Scarlet isn’t a princes-but I’m pulling a Mulan here and making her an honorary one).  Maybe if Meyer would’ve been behind all those shitty direct to DVD Disney release–which I’m still having nightmares for (thanks Mom for having me go through all our old VHS’s)–they would’ve been awesome instead of sucky.  Hey, maybe she did help with Cinderella Three that one didn’t suck and Cindy was sort of bad ass in that-though not as bad ass as this Cinderella.

Best Feature: Little Red Riding Hood.  To be honest this was one fairytale that always annoyed me.  I mean, how stupid does Red have to be, but Meyer reinvented in a way that made me love it.  And again, I love the fact that it’s not a literal retelling.  We get just enough of the fairytale without it being a boring rehash of what we’ve seen over and over again.

Worst Feature: Fragmented.  There were like five points of view.  It worked for the most part, but I felt we got shafted with some parts of the story-notably Kai’s.  I get it was necessary, but I really liked the way Cinder was structured much better.  What scares me is that the next two installments are going to be introducing new characters to the mix as well, and I’m wondering how she’s going to juggle all these POVs around.  I do have faith in Meyer though, her crazy world building works.  But this is just going to be a wait and see thing for me.

Appropriateness: There’s some violence in this one.  Other than that though, it’s fairly clean.  Oh, there’s some gruesome imagery here and there.

Blockbuster Worthy: Uh, yeah.  I think this series would be a kick ass movie series.  I already casted some principle roles.  Let’s add a few more:

Scarlet: Emma Stone.  If anyone can carry a pistol in a hoodie it’s Emma.

Wolf: Nathan Parsons.  I think it’s his accent  and he sort of has a wolfish grin.  Plus, have you seen him on Bunheads?

Overall Rating: Eight out of ten hoods.  I liked this one a bit.  Quite a lot actually, but I think Cinder was just a tad bit stronger.  It’s not bad.  It’s actually pretty great.  But..just read it.  You should really read it.  I’m just being nit picky and well…read the book.

Any Value?: Slut Slamming

Slut Slamming.

It’s one of the tropes I hate the most right now in YA.  I think it’s because it’s just so degrading to women in general and it sort of preaches at archaic messages.  However, it seems like it’s a mainstream in YA.  I could write an essay going into the nitty gritty of slut slamming and why it’s wrong.  But I thought I’d do something different, analyze how it is used as a plot device in five books (some of these books I like, some I’m indifferent to, and some I just downright despise) and try to come to some conclusions.

1)

The Storyline: An unpopular girl finds out she’s a princess and low and behold she becomes popular.

The Victim:  Lana is the original mean girl and honestly she’s a horrible person.  Mia keeps reminding us of this throughout the series and it works.  But if you take away the fact that she’s sort of a bitch, Mia’s real hate for her resides in the fact that Lana has the BMOC and is pretty.  You could say Lana hates Mia because she’s a princess.  It’s sort of a mutual thing.  And it comes off realistic enough, save for the end where the two become besties-no, I’m not joking.  They are besties.

Efficient Use: Unfortunately, yes.  Mainly because Mia and Lana act like teenage girls.  Their hatred is mostly based off of jealousy and boys.  Cabot doesn’t degrade Lana for being sexually active like many YA books do and the two become friends.  As much as it pains me, I think it’s what saves this one is the fact that both characters admit they were petty and childish in the end.  Also, it helps that the boy they were fighting over-total douche.  Though still not used to them being besties.

2)

The storyline: A do gooder angel, that makes those idiots on 7th Heaven look bad, comes down to Earth to fight the forces of darkness but instead falls in love.

The Victim: Molly, but really everyone.  Molly is the human best friend that epitomizes what is wrong with this world-makeup and tight jeans.  Seriously, wearing make up, flirting with a boy, and tight jeans are what’s wrong with the world.  Adornetto.  Seriously.  Watch CNN.  One episode of Anderson Cooper 360 should tell you that tight jeans are the least of our problems right now.

Efficient Use: Um, no.  How about offensive use.  I really feel for the character Molly.  She doesn’t get a happy ending.  Instead she gets shitted on, put in an abusive relationship, then learns the so called “right” of her ways.  Oh, and the guy she’s really in love with total douche and ditches her (well, I assume he ditched her Adornetto never solved that plot thread).  Bethie though gets everything handed to her on a plater like the little princess that she apparently was when the forbidden romance angle in her relationship was the same damn thing that was going on in the Molly and Gabriel relationship.  But who gets the short end of the stick: Molly.

3)

The Storyline: A mermaid kisses the wrong boy and OMG has to go get her bond broken.

The Victim: Lily, our MC, mainly because she’s treated like she committed the ultimate sin.  By not kissing the right boy.  Like you can only kiss one boy.  Hasn’t Childs ever heard of that old saying you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince-I did enjoy the book at the time though, I should mention that.  Still though, that whole message is annoying and reminds me something I’d see out of a Disney movie. Oh, and did I mention Lily totally hates this one girl because she’s with the BMOC and-oh, yeah-she’s a total bitch.

Efficient Use: Um, I get the kiss thing was used for a plot device.  But man, such an annoying plot device.  When I read the book I was okay with it, but now I really don’t know.  How can one expect you just to kiss one guy?  That’s really not fair.  And any Mean Girl slut slamming has me rolling my eyes unless the Mean Girl is a really awesome psychotic bitch and that rarely ever happens

4)

The Storyline: Think The Bachelor in a world  based on conspiracy theories that think China will  blow up the US if the US defaults on their loans and you get The Selection.  I’m not even going to discuss the stupidity of this world building other than if you’re trying to get someone to pay back a debt you don’t blow them and their resources up.
The Victim: Every girl who’s not America, but particularly Celeste.  Seriously, we’re told how naturally pretty America is throughout the book while everyone else wears to much make up and is over dressed and how the prince doesn’t love them because.  Cue music….
Yeah, I had to resort to using the “Zoey Redbird Theme”.
 
Efficient Use: I hated it.  But it did fit the book.  There’s a reason I don’t watch The Bachelor and that’s because it’s like this book.  Cass needs to cut the Mary Sue crap a lot though.  And I really wish we didn’t get the whole natural is pretty, make up makes you a whore message.  But really, could you expect anything else with this book?

5)

The Storyline:  This twerp gets sent to summer camp for acting out when in reality her shrink is bonkers and claims to be a fae (she might really be one, but I prefer to think she’s bonkers).
The Victim: The MC’s best friend and girl who is sexually active.  This book really takes the whole you have sex you get pregnant and die concept.  I gave up at the halfway mark it was that heinous.  So yeah, lots of victims.
Efficient Use: Um, no.  I marked this one DNF because of the slut slamming.
Conclusions:
 
Slut slamming is one of those tropes I don’t think is really necessary.  I think a lot of people use it because they think their reader can identify with a character ridiculed by a Regina George wannabe, but this is hardly the case.  Mean Girls was an exaggeration on how Girl World works.  It’s a lot more covert than that–i.e. someone won’t just call you a slut to your face because you don’t wear the right clothes and aren’t in cheerleading (instead, they’ll torment you behind your back).  It’s just stupid to have characters act like this with little to no motivation.  While I had some issues with the Mia/Lana relationship in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, it’s probably the most realistic popular/unpopular encounter I’ve seen because there are actually reasons these characters hate each other.
Unfortunately, it seems like slut slamming has grown out of this “Mean Girl” idea to becoming intricate parts of the plot, see The Selection and Forgive My Fins.  Both of these pieces rely on archaic ideas to support their plots.  Forgive My Fins is a little bit more indiscreet than The Selection.  When I first read it, I really didn’t even occur to me how God awful the message was. And yes, I know the kissing plot was merely tooled for getting Lilly and Quince underwater.  But God.  God.  Is it really wrong for a girl to kiss more than one guy?  Seriously, most people have more than one boyfriend.  And what are these books trying to say?  If you breakup with a guy there’s obviously something wrong with you.  There’s only one true love’s kiss?
Honestly, to me all of this goes back to the purity myth at the root of it.  Which makes me wonder why go back to these ideas… Yes, I get the values of waiting and all that jazz, but why condemn those teens who are sexually active or for that matter who have had more than one significant other.  It’s really disturbing.  And it’s one of those issues, I just think I’m going to have to explore more.
 

Top Ten Lists: Bad Movie and Book Comparisons

I talk about bad books all the time-well, a good chunk of the time.  And to be honest I sort of like bad books (sometimes)  so I decided today to talk about some of my least favorite movies and compare them to some really bad YA books.  Note, some of these movies are good to watch for a laugh and some of them are just painful just like these books:

10) Pocahontas: A.K.A. the movie that destroyed the Disney renaissance.  This movie is just bland and it rapes history.  Really, Disney should not do movies that are historical based.  They should stick to fairytales.  And there are plenty of Native American legends and folk tales that they could’ve used if they wanted to do a story that feature Native American culture.  What about all those Tommy Depaola books that were coming out during that time?  There were a couple that featured Native American legends that could’ve been adaptable to a Disney movie.  Or that Cinderella retelling that was told as a Native American legend.  Those would’ve been awesome adaptions.  But instead, we get John Smith (who had a seedy reputation-and probably could’ve been a subject of a Blackadder sketch’s story).  Um, no Disney.  No.  And the songs aren’t even that great “Savages” just repeats itself over and over again…and yeah, I have issues with this movie.

YA Comparison: The Raie’Chaelia by Melissa Douthit: Like Disney, Douthit didn’t do any research whatsoever.  And takes concepts of history and twists them ever so slightly and ever so wrong to support a rather flimsy story.  She even messes with geography like Disney does, i.e. there are no cliffs in Virginia.

9) My Best Friend’s Wedding: This isn’t a terrible movie, but I really don’t like it.  Julia Roberts’ character is annoying.  The ending is disappointing. And the plot was really just sort of stupid and pointless.  I just don’t like this movie.

YA Comparison: Any YA book with slut slamming (I really need to make a list of the top offenders of that trope).

8) Cats and Dogs: Talking animal movies. Strike one.  Talking animal movies with crude humor.  Strike two.  Talking animal movies with crude humor and Beagles as international spies…. Run.  Far, far away.

YA Comparison: Mind Games by Kiersten White or one of those books where you’re like, WTF is going on.  Seriously, I don’t understand half of the plot in this movie.

7) A Gnome Named Gnorm: I found out about this movie, via Conan O’Brian.  I didn’t believe it existed.  But low and behold I found it on Youtube and God…God…who signs off on these things?  If this can be made into a movie then anyone who is halfway literate and has an idea can sell a screenplay.  What’s it about-this mole person or gerbil (I’m not sure which, though they call it a gnome) comes to Earth after a gnome gemstone is stolen and helps a cop get it back.

 
YA Comparison: Starseed by Liz Gruder.  This book is about aliens and this girl that’s an alien who wears trash bags to protect herself.  And the aliens wear silver spandex bodysuits to school (well, spandex overalls) and that’s just perfectly normal….can’t make that one up either.

6) Ella Enchanted: WTF was that, movie?  This was one of my favorite books in my childhood and you…you..you butchered it completely.  Why did you insist on turning it into a live action Shrek.  There’s only one Shrek and it’s only funny with the original cast-case in point that failed Broadway show.  And you had Annie Hathaway sing in it pre-voice lessons.  At least Char was kind of hot, but dear lord.  I haven’t been able to touch a Gail Carson Levine book since and that’s a shame.

YA Comparisons: Books that ruin classics.  There’s a lot of them out there these days.  From Jane Austen to Charlotte Bronte it’s easy enough to find a YA book that fucks up the original work in a humorous way.  Of course they try to use the words “loosely” based to cover up the case they shitted on the original work.

5) Batman and Robin: Oh, God.  This is like reverting to the campy 1960’s version of Batman which is really inappropriate considering the fact that we had this…

You had this line and then you decided to have Batman have a whiney sidekick, a bat credit card, and  villains that looked like they were on Disney on Ice.  How does that even…..

They had to reboot the series because of this.  That means, Warner Brothers had to stop and reformat one of it’s cash cows.  That’s how bad this one is.  But you know what, I can’t help but stare at it whenever it’s on TV.  Because it’s that bad.  And really it makes you wonder about George Clooney and what he was on during this film.

YA Comparison: Without a doubt the Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter.  This was a series that started strong and ended…well, like Batman and Robin.  It was just a train wreck you couldn’t help but stare at.  You were just sad because there was potential and it failed.

4) Shiloh: This movie is the original movie about bestiality.  I had to have it as a kid though because it had Beagles in it. And I’ve always had Beagles.  So if there was anything with a Beagle in it I wanted to watch it.  However, in this movie all we see is the relationship between Marty and his dog, Shiloh.  And honestly, it’s a little bit frightening.  Oh, it also doesn’t help matters that Marty’s parents never do the responsible thing, i.e. calling the Humane Society on Jude.  Instead, they’re just like a man can do whatever the hell he wants to his dog including hitting it.  Nice message, Marty’s parents.  Nice message.

Random Beagle picture.
 
YA Comparison: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater .  Obviously.  There’s loving your pets and then there’s loving your pets.  Both of these fall in the latter category.

3) Return of Jafar: This was a horrible sequel to probably one of my favorite Disney movies-okay, it’s a little better than Belle’s Enchanted Christmas which just bastardized my favorite Disney movie ever.  But The Return of Jafar was the first of these God awful Disney sequels that raped our childhood while filling Disney’s piggy bank.  I really don’t see the point of this movie other than to spawn the other Aladdin sequel and TV series.  And really, was it necessary to have Gilbert Gottfried (Iago) sing, twice.  Seriously, wasn’t once enough!

 
YA Comparison: Well, there’s actually lots of comparisons here.  Most of those books that don’t need a sequel would count in this category.  Most notably, I think of Cassandra Clare’s never ending Shadow Hunter series here.  Is she going to get a Shadow Hunter Vault much like the Disney Vault where you’ll only be able to purchase City of Bones Diamond addition for one month every twelve years and then bump the price up to forty dollars via Ebay or whatever?

2) The whole freaking Twilight Saga: You knew this one was going to get on the list.  I don’t know why people like this series.  I only turn it on when I need to get to sleep.  Kristin Stewart’s voice is so monotone it always does this trick.  And the edgy cinematography just doesn’t work.  Not to mention the storyline which is so archaic and…

YA Comparison: The Twilight Saga, obviously.  It’s interesting to try to find which version of Bella is more annoying (Movie-verse because of Stewart’s voice)

1) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: I fucking hate this movie.  Some people say it’s an okay sequel.  But it shouldn’t exist.  Forget the Star Wars prequels this is the biggest sin on fans that George Lucas has ever created.  Okay, grant it I ignored the Star Wars prequels like the plague. But this was supposed to be Indiana Jones.  But you know what, nope, the movie was mostly focused on that kid from Even Stevens and he still can’t act.  It also doesn’t help that Indy keeps talking about how old he is-yes, Indy we get you have AARP membership but you don’t have to tell us every other second.  You’re Harrison Ford you’re supposed to be bad ass and…and…that fucking refrigerator scene and the aliens.  How could Spielberg let Lucas do this?  Oh, wait, Spielberg is soulless too, see The Lost World.
YA Comparison: The Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz.  I didn’t even have to think about this one.  This book essentially raped Blue Blood cannon and a lot of  the characters were shells of their formal selves.  I’ve read Blue Blood fan fic that has more continuity than this book does.  It was just a real disappointment and I still haven’t recovered much like the kids on South Park never recovered from Indy 4.

Mind Games: Kiersten White

OOH, a marshmallow.  I like marshmallows.  They’re fluffy and soft and oh, so gooey and…

Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

Yeah, I’m thinking of Ghost Busters which reminds me of that series you know by Kiersten White you know the one with the soul sucking girl who falls in love with the shapeshifter and….she has a new book out. That’s about assassins.  Oh, yeah, I have to read this one but wait marshmallows….

General Summary: So this is like about two sisters, they don’t talk about marshmallows, instead they kill people.  Well, one’s psychic sort of like Olivia on General Hospital but she also calls hits on people.  The other girls like Black Widow except she doesn’t wear leather…and…yeah, marshmallows…

Review:

So this is the review space.  I’d rather talk about why assassins wear leather all the time.  Isn’t that conspicuous?  Then again, Fia is avery suspicious in general and I don’t think wearing leather would hurt her.  Not that she doesn’t wear leather, but she’s not really much of an assassin. 

She doesn’t kill a guy because he has pretty eyes.

Isn’t that sweet (smirks-ooh, smirking like Professor Snape at Hogwarts, he smirks a lot.  I think he does at least).

I like pretty eyes too, but isn’t she supposed to be an assassin like Black Widow.  She certainly doesn’t act like Widow.  Widow wouldn’t stop a hit if the target had pretty eyes she’d probably still do her job.  She probably also wouldn’t let her life be controlled by numbskulls because she has a sister they’re using to blackmail her.

A sister who’s sort of worthless except she can read minds.

OOH, a telepath.  I always wanted to read minds.  Like I really want to read Kirsten White’s mind and try to understand why she wanted to write a book in two characters POV who sound exactly the same.

Like there was no difference between Fia and Annie both of them were controlling bitches.  And I couldn’t get who we were suppose to like Pretty Eyes or that Playboy Guy who we saw Fia with a good chunk of the novel.

What about Annie (the annoying mind reader who makes Martian Manhunter look cool)?  Why isn’t she getting any of the loving.

You know, this book sort of reminds me of another White book about sisters…oh, wait that’s different they’re soulless and not in love with Doogie Howser.

Pretty Eyes boy is totally like Doogie.  Though he doesn’t get the catchy theme song.


But then again, she kills so willingly so maybe she is soulless….I don’t know.  I really don’t want to talk about morality when it comes to this book.  Though seriously, these assassins are really lame.

So is the organization that they belong too.  They act like they’re bad ass, but they are essentially outwitted by Fia despite the fact they have psychics.

Maybe I’m missing something from the plot, it was sort of difficult to  read.  I know White kept repeating things which I think was important but I really wasn’t sure….

The time jumps and everything…I wanna another marshmallow.  

Best Feature: Really good idea.  I liked the idea of this sister assassins.  It reminds me of a show they might have on USA with these two sisters who work for the CIA or some secret US government organization and find themselves fired and then….oh, that’s Burn Notice minus the sisters and the assassin part.  I need another marshmallow.

Worst Feature: Poor execution.  Hee, hee, hee.  A pun.  It was nice to try something different like stream of consciousness, but it just didn’t work.  Maybe because it was so random-marshmallow, marshmallow.  Or that both characters used it and it made them sound the same.  I don’t know.  I only know marshmallow, marshmallow, marshmallow….

Appropriateness:  This is pretty violent.  There is some teen drinking as well.  

Blockbuster Worthy: Um, how?  I really don’t know how a movie would go.  I’d get sort of confused.  Do I need to cast people?  Because I’m sort of confused about that so I don’t know if I should bother and…and…

Overall Rating: I think I’m going to give it like a three.  This book some interesting ideas but it’s just sort of failed.  You should only use stream of consciousness if you’re James Joyce or have spent more than nine days on writing a draft-it’s a very hard technique to pull off.  Honestly, trying to write a whole review in stream of consciousness was probably a bad idea since I’ve probably been relying on marshmallow way too much.

Walking Disaster: Jaime McGuire

You just wish you had a fucking butterfly tattoo like me.



Before my blog is taken over by a Neanderthal: I received a copy of Walking Disaster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.  Also, I am not Jaime McGuire and do not own her characters.  I am mainly using Travis Maddox (a.k.a. The Neanderthal) to review her book and do not claim any rights to him.

Yo!

It’s me Travis Maddox.  Anyone wanna be bagged?

Really?  Don’t you know who I am?

A song, you want a song?

Well, this one’s sort of like me.  Wrong name, but essentially it’s me.

Of course I’m hotter and have a cooler name, but what do I say….
 
So, I have a book I wrote (Well, Jaime McGuire technically wrote-she’s my homegirl) about how I met Pigeon and, well, got her bagged and tagged-lol, that rhymes.  I’m so smart.  And this girl, MJ, she was going to write this heinous review about what a misogynic son of a bitch I am (what’s misogynic, btw), but I was like, girl you can’t do that the Mrs. Maddox fan girls will kill ya (because even though she’s a bitch I don’t want her to die) and I took over the review.  Which is fine because I know you all love me.
And even if you don’t, I deserve a happy ending.  We all are sinners?  Grant it, most of you don’t have the balls to be as awesome as me.
I honestly don’t get why freaks like, MJ, have a problem with me.  I am a Zac Efron look a like.  I’m the big  cheese on campus.  I am Travis Fucking Maddox.
And I don’t get why she says that fuck is not a literary device.  It really makes the reading experience unique as of the three pages of text speak.  MJ, girl, this is the modern world.  Proper grammar is not necessary.  You’re just a stick in the mud.  You’re not like Pidge.
You keep talking about self respect.  Why do you need self respect when you’re with me.  Look at Pidge, we’re happy and she has no self respect.  She also agrees with me that I have complete control over her fashion choices.  That sweatshirt and track pants combo you’re wearing right now, MJ, it’s appropriate though those track pants might show just a tad bit much skin.  You should consider wearing…hey, what was that.
Okay, now that I have that bitch’s pepper spray out of my eyes (thanks MJ, you know you could’ve done me some real damage there) I’ll continue with what I was talking about…bitches don’t need self respect.  You just need a man.  School is also a joke.  Seriously, if I  can go walking around scream at the top of my lungs on campus throw a few chairs and not get security called on my ass  it just shows what a joke school is.
MJ just made a comment about what a joke of a book this was.
It wasn’t, MJ.  Stuff happened.  Like the fact we randomly went to Vegas.  That was cool wasn’t it.
And don’t get on my homegirl’s ass about how it doesn’t have any role to the rest of the book.  It totally did.   Did you read the f you epilogue (seriously, that last line Jaime, way to put the haters in their place).
That epilogue was, well, epic.  It showed how everything tied together.  And yeah, I know me as an FBI agent I’m even surprised I’d decide to do something mainstream but I’m a bad ass….so.  And my kids.  You see how awesome they are they already have their daddy’s spirit-man, I was so proud when little Maddox got his first assault charge.  We have the mugshots framed in our house.  Though Pidge wasn’t exactly enthralled, but she’s a woman her opinion is well…inconsequential.
Also, I want to talk about all that woman’s lib stuff your bitching about.  Like slut slamming.  It’s not my fault you bitches are so obsessed with the state of who’ve you’ve bagged.  Don’t you get once you’ve lost your v card you’re all sluts.  And you’re not like me, you’re not a guy who admits he likes to fool around so that makes it all okay,better than that ass Parker, who is secretly a man whore IMO.  All of you are just sluts.
Except for Pidge.
She’s a special slut.
And now you’re asking me why I’m calling her Pidge…shrugs, because I want too.  And I’ve seen Lady and the Tramp twenty seven times in my youth and had a pet Pigeon and….. and….
 
Just you’re not cool if you don’t get the pigeon reference.
Just like you’re not cool if you don’t think this is an accurate depiction of co-ed life.  MJ says college is less about hook ups and fight club and more about school (ew!) can we say nerd.  Seriously, girl, you wasted your college years writing papers, reading Shakespeare, and going to the frozen yogurt place for the heck of it.  Oh, and those books.  Really, women like to read….
Then again, if they’re reading about me…See bitch, I made you love me.  And I even have a movie deal that’s in the works.  Zac Efron should totally play me if he inks up a little, don’t ya think?  And I’m even working on a title song “Hair of a Porn Star, Face of an Angel”, you wanna hear a little.  Okay, well, imagine sort of an uplifting country song:
She had the face of an angel
Hair of a Porn Star
I wanted to bag her
She wanted to bag me
She played hard to get
I told her to stop that shit
She wore a mini skirt
I told her to cover her ass
 
Chorus:
Face of an angel
Hair of a porn star
You wanted to bag her
She wanted to bag you
A perfect romance
If she covered her ass
Face of an Angel
Hair of a porn star
You wanted to bag her
She wanted to bag you….
 
See, it’s going to be amazing.  And if it isn’t, well, I’m Travis Fucking Maddox, bitch.


MJ’s Note: Obviously, this is one of those books that gets only one star from me.  Because I can’t stand Travis and all of the other misogynic messages McGuire’s preaching.

Cinder: Marissa Meyer

Sometimes a book can surprise you in a good way…this is one of those books.

General Summary: You all know the fairytale Cinderella.  But imagine it with robots and moon people and you get Cinder.  And yeah, it really does involve moon people.

Review:

OMG.

Finally.  Fucking finally.

This book.

It’s amazing.

I have no words.

Okay, maybe I do.  But how do I….

This is what I expect from a book.  A book that will make me want to continue reading at night, despite the fact that I should go to bed.  A book that just made me smile and cry and….

Okay, I think I’m done fangirling enough to actually review.

Wow.  Just wow.  With the fairytale retelling I usually expect a cute story that isn’t anything really new.  Like Beastly.  It’s a cute enough book, but it’s nothing new.  And Cinderella…well, up until this point my favorite Cinderella telling was Ella Enchanted and even though it added some new things to the Cinderella story it wasn’t revolutionary though.

This though….

If you look at the summary alone it’s a little mind boggling.  Cyborgs, moon people, princes, Cinderella, androids, political tensions.  That’s a lot to take in.  And you wouldn’t think it works, but it does quite brilliantly.  And while Meyer changes things from the original fairytale,  there’s no little old lady going bibbity bobbity boo, it works.  Better than if she would’ve followed the fairytale directly.

Also, apparently, this is sort of a homage to Sailor Moon a series I never got to watch mainly because my parents were very anti cable.  If this is how Sailor Moon is I have got to check it out though.  Because this book is freaking awesome.

Back to fangirling, I really loved how well formed these characters were.  All of them were well formed.  Even the male lead had a personality and wasn’t an asshole (I know, a rarity in YA).  And Cinder was just awesome.  I loved how she was a mechanic and a cyborg, and the cyborg thing was actually what I was worried about most (I blame it on reading too many Superman vs Metallo comics in my youth).

Best Feature: Kick ass princesses.  Cinder’s not your Disney Cinderella.  She’s resourceful and kicks ass.  She doesn’t even want to go to the ball and she really doesn’t let her stepmother push her around (much).  In other words, she’s a really well rounded character.  And I think with the little cameo made from another character who I think is supposed to featured in a latter book this is going to be an ongoing trend (keep fingers crossed).

Worst Feature: Um, none.  Okay, well, maybe I got annoyed with Cinder’s reluctance to tell Kai she was a cyborg and that she wasn’t good enough for him.  But it worked.

Appropriateness: Theres’ some violence and some pretty heart wrenching scenes.  But it’s fairly clean other than that.

Blockbuster Worthy: Oh yeah.  You know, it’s time there’s a fairytale retelling that kicks ass.  Sure, there’s Once Upon a Time which I hear is great-need to rent that one-but this would be a kick ass movie.  And film makers it would be taking a popular trend, dystopia, and giving it a fresh edge without making it look gimmicky.  Here’s who I’d cast:

Cinder: Emma Watson.  Though she’s have to lose the accent, then again maybe the accent would be perfectly acceptable in New Beijing.

Kai: Harry Shum JR.  I honestly really wish there was a go to guy of Asian descent to use.  But Harry is hot and he’s nice too (or at least he is on Glee), so I think he could easily pull off Kai.

Overall Rating: I’m giving this a ten.  Yes, it’s getting a ten.  The first ten I’m giving all year.  It’s that good.  If you haven’t read this book pick it up now.  You will thank yourself.  It has a bit of something for everyone and if you love fairytales or wish those Disney princess would buck up and take action, well, this is your kind of book.

Pure: Jennifer L Armentrout

General Summary: After the death of her mother, Alexandria must train to get ready for her birthday.  Meanwhile, the other Apollyon, Seth, is paying more attention to her and sexy Aiden is ignoring her because he was like-dude, I’m her teacher and that’s sort of gross.

Review:

Okay.

I was on the fence about continuing the Covenant series based on the very fact it’s an obvious Vampire Academy rip off (though a good one…that’s sort of  refreshing after…).  However, I decided to continue reading it.  Mainly because Armentrout is that good and I was sort of interested in seeing if this series actually did become original like people say it does.

And it did.

To a degree.  Though there were some obvious Vampire Academy connections again.  For spoiler specifics I won’t go in to them, but let’s just say I’ll continue reading this right after I finish reading a Vampire Academy book just to compare.

It’s actually sad that there are still Vampire Academy similarities because the Vampire Academy stuff that she rips off is probably the weakest parts of the book.  Besides of course, the pure vs. half blood thing which reminds me of Harry Potter (Umbridge included).

Ripoff aside though, it’s not a bad book.  There was a lot of nice character development in this one.  I actually like Seth now and I hated him in the first book.  He sort of reminds me of Paul Slater from The Mediator which is how bad boys should be written instead of abusive dicks like Travis Maddox, a la Beautiful Disaster.

I also like how the story is developing.  The book ended with one hell of a cliff hanger and I really can’t wait to pick the third one up.  However, as action oriented and as swoon oriented this book was, there were a lot of logic fallacies in the book.

Most notably when it came to Alex.

God this girl made some stupid decisions.  For one thing jumping into a pool in a silk evening gown (are you fucking crazy) the fashionista in me was screaming.  That pretty dress and….and it wasn’t even like she was fighting and…and…

Let me collect myself.

Honestly though, ruining high couture was the least of Alex’s sins in this installment.  There’s a scene where it’s obvious she’s going to drink a mickey and I just kept wondering why was she too idiotic to figure it out?  Isn’t she training to be a body guard or whatever a sentinel is?  If it was Rose Hathaway (the character she’s based over), Rose would…okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t compare it with Vampire Academy.

The other problem I had was Aiden.  I think it’s because of the fact that Armentrout developed Seth so much that Aiden appears so well…1d.  Actually, if we’re going be honest about it, Aiden reminds me of Hayden from Armentrout’s Cursed (they even share the same coloring-gray eyes/black hair) and Seth reminds me of Daemon from the Lux series.

I prefer Daemon.

Why?

Not because Daemon can be an asshole and he’s a quote quote bad guy, but because he comes off as a more realistic character.  Hayeden and Aiden are great.  But they just remind me of Prince Eric.  Pretty to look at and nice, but bland as hell.

Other logical fallacies I found with the book includes the whole pure vs halves subplot.  It’s annoying and really unnecessary.  I really have to wonder why the halves just don’t put the pures in their place already.  Most of the puers seem pretty defenseless.  Really that whole subplot annoyed me.

Best Feature: Seth.  I really loved the way Seth was developed in this installment.  Honestly, in Half Blood I just sort of rolled my eyes at him, but Armentrout really developed him in this installment.  In fact, dare I say it, I might be Team Seth.  I like Aiden, but he just sort of seems unrealistic (too perfect to be true).  Seth has flaws and doesn’t act so much like a Disney prince.  In a weird way this sort of reminds me of the love triangle in The Mediator, save for the fact that Seth is a lot less slimy than Paul and Aiden doesn’t hold a candle to Jesse.  But it’s the same sort of dynamic.

Worst Feature: Vampire Academy.  It’s not as bad in this installment, but still there are some blatant similarities.  I’ve decided to read this series in conjunction to Vampire Academy just so I can be hyper sensitive to any similarities that might exist.  The thing is, the parts that Armentrout borrows from Mead are the weakest part of the story.  Guess it shows that the best ideas are the ideas we come up with on our own.

Appropriateness: Alex is drugged with something that is the equivalent of a Roofie.  The language can be a little rough at times.  And there is some violence.  But it’s fairly PG-13.

Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, why not.  I think I casted the roles in my review for Half Blood.  So, if you want to see my picks click here.

Overall Rating: I’m giving this a six out of ten.  It had some rather outstanding moments.  However, these moments seemed to fade from my memory every time that annoying pure vs half blood subplot was brought up.  Or worse, whenever I was reminded of Vampire Academy.  Armentrout I love your writing, but there’s only one Richelle Mead and you ain’t her.