Not the Worst Book Ever: Triple Moon by Melissa de la Cruz

After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.

Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.

Source: GoodReads

Ah, Triple Moon it has been on my shelf dearest blog readers for months just sitting there staring at me to read it.  Obviously, I put it off for awhile—it was published in fall 2015 and I only now have gotten to read it.  But to be fair, I have been pretty busy and when I did have time to read I really didn’t want to take a chance with a Melissa de la Cruz book because I have been burned.

Burned so many times by this author.

To be fair though, I think a lot of my recent disgust for de la Cruz’s latest work might have been because my taste has evolved as a reader and the quality of YA books has—believe it or not—gotten better.  When the Blue Bloods series was first published way back in 2007, the YA selection wasn’t near as large as it is today.  And there was something so innovative about the mixture of mythology that Melissa used.  Of course, that series didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it too—way too many continuity issues—and its subsequent spinoffs were a little less than ideal for the most part.

Triple Moon is  essentially a spinoff of a spinoff.  Its parent series is The Witches of East End which was used to base a slightly cringe worthy Lifetime show that I sporadically did reviews for during its two year run.  I actually like the TV series better than the books—even though TV Ingrid deserved to be hit by a bus, but if you want to hear me rant about that read those reviews—but I never finished it so that might tell you my distaste for the TV series AND book series.

So, why read Triple Moon the first book in the Summer of East End series, nostalgia maybe.  That and I was hoping that maybe I could relive my glory days with de la Cruz’s books.  Needless to say, I didn’t BUT, BUT Triple Moon was far from being the worst de la Cruz book I ever read.

Note, when your competition is Frozen that’s a pretty low bar, but there were some things that I liked about this book.

The beachy setting for one, is always fun to read about.  I think the East End is supposed to be a set in for the Hamptons, where only people who are in the 1% seem to live.  And yes, while it does get old reading about rich people, I think de la Cruz can really capture the setting whether it be Manhattan or the Hamptons.    Yes, the cynical part of my brain is rolling my eyes throughout the entire read as teenagers drive around in Ferraris and wear clothes that cost as much as small animal surgery, but if you like those sort of settings de la Cruz nails it.  And admittedly, it’s the sort of setting you want to read on a nice hot spring day.

Though, I think she could’ve tried a little bit on the fashion realism since most teens aren’t likely to wear a bikini top when they’re driving through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to the Hamptons in their Ferrari.  Especially if their plans don’t concern going to the beach or on a boat-which FYI Mardi planned to go to neither at the time.   If it was South Beach, I maybe could see it, or if they were going to the beach—again, maybe.  But for a traveling outfit: um, no.

It’s just like I don’t expect someone to wear a studded dog collar as part of their daily wardrobe like Mardi does.

Why am I mentioning these ridiculous outfits rather than focusing on principle issues of criticism that we’re going to eventually get to in this (probably) long, long, review?  Because they were so jarring they had to be mentioned.  At this point, I feel like Mel’s editor  should know to look for two things  to put the little red pen on 1) stupid fashion ensembles that only a drunk clown would love, and 2) Continuity issues.

And yes, there’s continuity issues here (again). If you need a recap of some past continuity fails where I use quote by quote comparisons check out my review of Gates of Paradise.

Sad that’s it’s not surprising at this point and that I reading this principally for leisure and to review because that’s what I do, could find them by only paying half attention to the book while looking at the cute pictures that my sister posted of my mom’s new Corgi puppy—Elsie Clementine—that we picked out for her for Mother’s Day.

But I noticed some major continuity issues right off the bat.  Like Freya’s appearance, for example, has evolved to match that of TV Freya’s.  AND there was more than one major plot hold that had me hitting my head throughout the book.

Whatever.

One though affected the climax of the book, and I really, really, had to wonder how the editor’s missed it.

The characters were a bit blah as well.  And were more or less.  Mardi is more or less a rich version of Schuyler (from Blue Bloods) who was mentioned in passing to be bisexual.  Other than her saying this and having a bit of a girl crush on Freya, her sexuality is never mentioned again in the book.  More or less it’s used as tokenism in the book.

Then there’s Molly.  Oh, poor, dear Molly who dresses like Mimi Force and practically de la Cruz’s character to bash and to belittle throughout the entire book.  The villain we’re kept told is a misogynist, but his misogyny is not what I saw so much through the book but where I saw real misogyny was the way this character was handled.

How Mardi and everyone else frowns on her, calls her stupid, and how she learns a big lesson at the end of the book about not being so trusting it made me want to roll my eyes out.  Does that mean the character wasn’t a selfish brat-no.  But I felt for the way they handled the character.  Truly terrible.

The love interests are equally bland in this book-do not expect a Kingsley Martin, and Oliver Hazard-Perry or even a Jack Force.  All of them are forgettable.  And if you think there might be resolution to the Freya love triangle plot in the original triangle….

Well, you’re getting punk-ed again.

I know I am complaining a lot, but again not the worst de la Cruz book ever.  If you  like light frothy beachy reads, and can forget some major plotting and character faux pas you might enjoy this.

Overall Rating: A C-

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