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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Serpent's Kiss - Melissa  de la Cruz To See full review which includes pictures, Youtube clips, and casting click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/06/serpents-kiss-melissa-de-la-cruz.htmlI feel like I just found out that Santa Claus isn't real and that the Easter Bunny got ran over by a semi.Yep, that should tell you how disappointed I was with this book. Melissa de la Cruz has published some great books. The Blue Bloods series, for example, just awesome. Grant it, I do understand why people have grown annoyed with them recently, but I do think the last installment was a definite improvement over book five. But this book, this book....Oh dear lord, it read like one of those House of Night books with some Jar Jar Binks and Charmed thrown in. And okay, I do like Charmed, but this book isn't like when Charmed was good and Phoebe was with Cole not that freaky cupid guy and...okay, I am babbling.Let's discuss the problems with this book. Probably my biggest problem with this book was the characterization. Let me be honest, in the first book I was really found of one only one of three leads (Ingrid). In this book I don't even like Ingrid anymore. To put it simply, there is some annoying business about Ingrid being a virgin that was used as some weird form of comic relief.Then there's Freya. A character who I'm suppose to like even though my introduction to her was her cheating on her fiance. But I'm forgetting that she was really suppose to be with her fiance's brother so that's okay too. Besides, Freya there's her mother Joanna who is suppose to be the most mature/mother character out them all. In the first book I found her to be boring. In this book, she was a little bit more interesting, but that doesn't mean I like her. I found a lot of the things she did immature and I honestly wanted to slap her a couple of time. But she was nowhere near as annoying as her son....Oh, Freddie. You give dumb asses bad names. This is a character that is supposed to be a god. A god who was in limbo for thousands of years and yet is tricked by a weaker god into signing a contract in blood because-hey, that's how contracts are become a legal enforceable document consideration doesn't matter at all.It's not just his sheer stupidity when it comes to contracts that makes Freddie a virtual idiot. Take the fact that he was obsessing over a girl for most the novel and then he finds out, well, that there are complications. And he just gets over it within the span of five pages-obviosuly, he has not read New Moon.Pacing in general was a huge issue with the novel. I think it not only negatively effected character development, but the story itself. Things dragged throughout most of the book and when they happened, it honestly felt like the book was on acid. This probably wasn't helped much either since the pixies (who played a relatively major role in this book) reminded me of Jar Jar Binks.So, with a plot that just dragged and then dramatic things sudden happened and issues were suddenly resolved, it was really hard to just get into the story and explore what sort of things could've been offered in this book. Best Feature: Norse Mythology: Norse myths are interesting and I don't know a lot about them. Even after reading two of these books. I'm still stating that this is probably the books best feature because it really does make the book unique. But honestly, I probably found out more about Norse mythology from the Thor movie than I did these books. Names and certain aspects of the Norse world are merely skimmed over. Unlike the Blue Bloods series where de la Cruz excels at world building, this series leaves me confused. I just think there were many moments where de la Cruz could've expanded the world building in this book and she just didn't.Worst Feature: Characterization: Horrible. Just horrible. One of the best things about the Blue Bloods series is it's characters. Although, Schuyler has a tendency to be a little perfect, de la Cruz does make her heroine have faults. And then there's Mimi who I think has to be one of the best and most bitchy characters in YA. The same goes with the romantic leads in these books. But in Witches...the characters don't have any internal logic. Freddie just makes a lot of plain stupid decisions, as does the rest of the cast. Plus, as I said before most of the cast is not likable. This might be in part because some characters who I want to know more about, like Killian, are pushed to the back-burner unless Melissa wants to throw in a raunchy sex scene in a greenhouse.Appropriateness: This is an adult book and it really should only be read by adults or older teens. There are some pretty raunchy moments. Though the sex scenes aren't explicit, the way they are handled just sort of has me shaking my head. There's some cursing in the book too and some drinking as well.