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.
Well, if you get through the first hundred pages of this book it’s bearable enough to not cause cirrhosis of the liver. However, those first hundred pages really those first twenty. Well, let’s just say I had over twenty status updates alone for these pages.
That’s not to say the rest of the book is good. It’s just as bad, but in a complete different way.
The first hundred pages though illustrated many things about this cluster fuck (because who am I kidding this series is a cluster fuck mess) that shows just what makes it the perfect book to get drunk over. It probably doesn’t help that in the first few pages the main character is gifted with a house, porsche, college admittance and tuition, a whole new wardrobe, and a never ending bank account.
What do I say but: barf.
Seriously. Total wish fulfillment.
It also doesn’t help that there’s a blatant self insert character in the book who makes a cameo appearance. So much where said self insert character husband looks almost identical to author’s husband.
It really is almost pathetic.
Sadly, though, unlike the first novel which could get away with some of this crap because 1) it wasn’t the author’s first book, and 2) it was not self published and a lot of the cheese had to go through several people who weren’t Houck’s friends.
These sorts of things really puzzle me.
Just as the rest of the book was.
Editing really was this book’s worst trait.
I would say out of the four hundred and seventy something pages, about two hundred and fifty pages could be cut. The fact that Houck inserts a ridiculous amount of poems that do not belong to her made me want to stab someone. Yes, I know she has every right to insert them since they belong to the public domain, but it’s a little grating especially when these are the sorts of things I skip.
It wasn’t really the tons of poems that I skipped over though. Much of the story was skim worthy as well. Like I care if Kelsey dates three random dudes who disappear after page one hundred and twenty.
Seriously, none of these dudes had any development. Save for maybe Li. And he was only there because it appears that Houck has now decided to defecated over Chinese culture.
And once again, after page one hundred and twenty. No more Li.
Instead, we focus more on the relationship Kelsey has with Ren’s brother for our so called triangle that came out of nowhere.
And yeah, it’s a triangle.
Which seems ridiculous given the past history between these two brothers and the fact that Kelsey knows it. But everyone knows that two hot brothers always make for an interesting and compelling love triangle (or so I’m told). Hence, why Houck put it in here even though it was otherwise completely unnecessary.
I really don’t get it. Why does a love triangle have to be used all the stinking time? I don’t have love triangles, but there are some times where they aren’t necessary. This is one of those cases.
And when a love triangle isn’t necessary…well, the book ends up sucking.
It also really doesn’t help when the authors characterization is so bland thatI really didn’t see any difference between brother one than brother two except one has blue eyes. And kids you know that blue eyes always means you’re going to be a winner, unless your name is Edward Cullen.
To be honest, I really felt the Twilight ripoff vibe with this particular installment. Arguably, you could make that claim with about half of the entire paranormal books in the YA genre. But some of the things that Houck did with this installment from the vast amount of ridiculous gifts that Ren flourishes on her, a remark about how one member of the uber couple is Ritalin to the other (I know not heroin, but close enough) , and of course
Edward Ren writes her a song. I know, not a lullaby but once again close enough.
These things on top of research done in Wikipedia done in haste with a little mix of fan girl involved. And it shows: painfully.
This story should be great. It really does have so much potential, but in the end it just really doesn’t work. I really can’t enjoy this series even in a campy bad type of way. Unlike the House of Night books, I can’t mock in earnest because because of its omnibus length it gets boring to mock after awhile. And it’s honestly, just sort of sad to mock because it thinks it’s excelling when it’s really not. Cheap tricks, the usual tropes, and everything else that cause me to groan and have everyone around me to ask me if I’m okay, does not make for a good book.