Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: dropped-series
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-18 08:00
Review: King's Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard
King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Quick review for a not so quick read. Short version: This book was a hot mess. I'm basically ending my journey with the series here because of how things were (mis)handled through the narrative. Read on for details.


Yeah, I'm a fair shade of vexed, might as well get the hot air out of me before I dive into the bulk of my review. I feel like I just wasted a day and a half's-worth of reading time just to do, what - power through close to 500 pages of filler? Anti-climatic self-indulgent character tokenism with incomplete scenes that seemed to jump willy nilly? Vital scenes that could've been interesting to watch/see/experience are skipped while others about bland place details or character self-loathing go on for page after page? Side characters, who have interesting motivations on their own, keep marching to the chain of centering on the heroine while their own stories and revelations get shafted?


I just...can't, man. Argggggh.


Okay...hot air gut reaction released. Now into the reasons why I'm so thoroughly vexed at the journey of this book. I'll put this in list form just to make it easier to digest.





1. Poor pacing which is both anti-climatic and over focused on details that don't matter in the scheme of the story. This book could've easily been shaved about 200-250 pages. I'm not kidding. The story summary of "King's Cage" summed up in a nutshell has Mare being held captive by Maven, wallowing around in her own misery for a good 200 some pages while waiting either to be rescued or for some political conflict she witnesses to give her an opportunity to act like a badass and escape. (Though many times she's like "What's the point? I'm just gonna get captured anyway. Can't use my power. They're all too powerful, blah blah.") And then after said revolt comes into play, she has a momentarily happy reunion with Cal, some time with the family, jumps back into the fray of conflict, leaving less than 15% of the book to put in some key scenes of conflict. Much of the narrative felt like wasted space and time.


Granted, I'll give credit for a few scenes that furthered the political rift between the Reds and Silvers. I can name them on three fingers really:


Mare being marched like a puppet and causing doubt among the Scarlet Guard in their respective role for things - but we've seen this before.


Mare witnessing the union of Maven and his new bride to be a show of power and prominence. (including an awkward bath scene for sexual tension when Maven and Mare have a conversation about said pending union).


And lastly: Mare and Cal having to deal with the aftermath of a key battle that didn't go according to plan.


But even then, considering how much time it takes to get to these key points, was it really worth wading through about 500 pages just to get to those points? (Answer: nope, nope, noppity, nope, nope.)


2. Misuse of multiple POVs: This could be contentious because, for what it's worth, I liked reading Evangeline and Cameron's perspectives and I wanted more of a deeper experience with their roles in the story. Definitely not when they were essentially tooting Mare's horn, leaving less room to dig into their own motivations and contentions within the overarching conflict (and it's pretty bad when you feel like one of the characters highlighted basically has her sexual identity shoehorned into the story just to add conflict and not for the time and connection that it truly deserved. Same with another character whose sexual identity really didn't have a lot of time to expand or develop, these are things that happened off scene and left me wondering "Wait, where the heck was I when this happened?" )


That served to piss me off on several occasions. Dude, when you have multiple POVs, it's to get into the heads and motivations of the characters you're writing about specifically, not toot the horn of the main character. Mare has her own space for that. It doesn't need to be spelled out. I get that Cameron has a like/hate relationship with Mare, she doesn't have to tell me this. I get that Evangeline reluctantly has to call a truce with Mare because she has her own reasons for acting the way she does, that can be shown as well. I get there's a purpose to their POVs in the novel, but the way they were done just felt...very fillerish and empty. Definitely not what they deserved through the whole of this narrative.


3. Mare. Yes, Mare still continues to be the Achilles' heel of this series. This is unfortunate because for a while, I was willing to follow her journey even with how insufferable she was through the last two books. It was hard to care, but at least I still cared enough to continue.


At least until this book. It showed me just how this series badly wants to paint her as a badass, TCO character only to actually portray her as being very passive and a product of the plot points this series pushes her through. This is said even knowing that the experiences she's going through are supposed to be traumatizing and noting the PTSD that she suffers towards the end of the novel. I didn't feel convinced by how this was framed because other dystopian/fantasy novels have done it with much better conviction and connection and didn't drag their heels while doing so. When her powers return, basically she has moments of returning to her self worth, but in the end it's dampened by her self-centeredness yet again. Which leads me to:


4. The climax/the ending. Oh heck no to all of it. I honestly think if the pacing and characterizations were more solid, this could've not led into another book. That may be up for debate in itself, but there were two things about the last 15% of the book that upset me. From the scheme of events, Cal and Mare are training for a battle against Maven and his respective forces. Okay. (Even if some scenes feel like they're lifted too closely from The Hunger Games or Divergent.)


They get into that respective battle and fight with a few harrowing scenes to match (never mind that none of the extra characters here are relevant other than passing mention. There's even a point where Mare says she doesn't remember a character, and I'm like "What goes with the main character mind, goes with the reader" so whenever Mare says she's bored or doesn't remember someone, how would one expect the reader to feel?)


I was thrown from the story towards the very end because a key scene felt like it was missing between the battleground and the direct aftermath (which switches to Evangeline's perspective). I couldn't get past how it just took that leap and the climax/promise of that scene just felt relatively unfulfilled. Maven escapes their grasp, but...you barely get to feel that sense of defeat or frustration from the main characters involved because of the change in POV and how it just sums up events.


The second point of frustration: Mare's selfishness creeps up again in the epilogue, leading to the next book for obvious *drama*. "Choose me or your kingdom, Cal!" essentially is what it boils down to without rehashing the whole of the exchange. Never mind all of the political tensions the book has established up to this point. Never mind that Mare knows very well what's at stake and is like "I don't care."

(spoiler show)



At that final point, to the effect of seeing this series through to the end? My reaction was much the same:




So I think I'll wait to see what other series Aveyard writes because this one's lost me. And that's unfortunate really, because there's so much potential in the ideas this series has, but the execution isn't there. Not at all.


Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-07-13 03:55
Review: Beautiful Sacrifice (Maddox Brothers #3) by Jamie McGuire
Beautiful Sacrifice - Jamie McGuire

Initial reaction: Nope, this book was the worst in this series so far, and narratively showed more of a decline in the writing style. No imagination in the plot or character resonance whatsoever. I'll admit there were a few moments when I genuinely laughed (the "Macho Pikachu" line was funny, dangnabit), but it was such a slog to get through this crap that instead of taking me hours to read, it took days.

The nicest thing I can say about it was that the colors in the cover scheme were nice. The inside on the other hand - different story.

Full review:

I debated a little while as to how I'd write this review, but for the sake of summary, this will be half discussion, half (constructive) venting.

I actually had more fun buddy reading this series with my bookish friend (with whom I've read the first two books in this series) than flying solo for this read. We had ideas and discussions about McGuire's expansions and New Adult as a whole that were food for thought, and I wish I could telegraph everything that we were able to discuss. She asked me if I was going to continue reading this series after the second one, and I said "Yeah, might as well - it's two more books. We can read it between us and discuss them when they release."

Well, two things happened in the time between me reading "Beautiful Redemption" and this book: my bookish friend moved away (she and her husband both got job ops in another state, which made me happy for them and sad at the same time), and another, I pretty much had to decide whether I'd still foot the bill for reading this. I did end up paying the $5.99 for this from a gift card I had on Amazon (which I assure you, I bought other books I knew I'd enjoy). Some might ask me: "Rose, you hated this series from the beginning, and you were still willing to give this series a chance?"

Well, considering I read K.A. Tucker's "Ten Tiny Breaths" series and hated all of them save for "Five Ways to Fall" - I figured there was a chance that my mind would change in the progression of a series (and I've been impressed since following K.A. Tucker's narratives from there). There were some reads that worked the same way with me for Samantha Young and other NA authors. I haven't completely written off New Adult as a category either, I've read titles I've really liked, but I've been hard pressed to find anything from McGuire that would suggest there's some narrative growth and resonance that'd connect with me personally. Was there a chance this would be different? Maybe, but I figured the only thing I had to lose was $6 and time. Some would probably say I shouldn't have even bothered putting money in the author's pocket, but considering I paid to read Raani York's "Dragonbride" earlier this year, I figured this couldn't be worse than that experience.

So the verdict: Not to sugarcoat it - it's the worst in this series thus far. The long and short of it was that this featured very bland, underdeveloped characters, dialogue that was drawn out with more self-insertion-y comments that made me shake my head, and for another thing: this was really...boring and tedious considering the scheme of events of the novel. I mean, it's hard to follow characters that you feel are pretty much being force fed to you from point one and that the heroine is pretty much Abby Abernathy 4.0 for voice and recounting of events. But the more vexing thing is that this devolved into a drama that was so over the top that I shook my head and said "Yeah, even if Jamie McGuire ends up writing five more books in this series or even a new one entirely, I'm not going to follow her as an author even if she co-writes with an author I actually do like." Reason being, the quality of the book isn't there for the price tag or for the time taken for the read.

First, there's cases of awkward writing that are more frequent than not:

"Before I had time to stop my expression, I narrowed my eyes and sneered."

"His lips baptized my skin in a line of tiny kisses..."

Then there are contradictions in the text, such as Taylor saying he has a master's degree in Women's Studies bud didn't go to graduate school. This was my comment on the matter for one of my status updates on Goodreads:

The reason I'm quoting this is because it's a contradiction: he says he doesn't have a graduate degree, but then says he has a masters in Women's Studies, but then doubles back and says he was kidding about the degree and then said he'd taken a few courses in women's studies.

Dude, what level of a degree do you think a masters is? It's graduate school, it's considered a "graduate" degree. Not to mention you pretty much contradicted yourself in the scheme of the conversation to Falyn. She should've seen through you lying because of the contradiction, but she didn't until you pointed out the truth.

Yeah...this likely didn't see a final edit for the turns of awkward phrasing and logic for conversational flow.

Another problem comes with the repetition for story elements/scenes: in this book, we have a laundry room scene (there was a similar scene in "Walking Disaster"), a scene where Taylor walks in the shower on Falyn and she giggles after the fact even when she tells him to get out (Travis and Abby did this in "Beautiful Disaster"), Taylor makes references to try to "bag" Falyn (Even though Falyn's like "No" -by this point I want to facepalm every time I see the word "bag" - it's such a stupid word for having sex with someone) and Falyn refers to Taylor as a stray puppy (which Abby made about Travis as well in "Beautiful Disaster." That's too many narrative references to be a coincidence, and it doesn't work as an ode to the original book because the nature of the inclusion feels repetitive. There are more references like that through the book, but think about how much of that is from the *beginning* of the story.


Read more
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-04-05 04:04
Review: Manwhore by Katy Evans
Manwhore - Katy Evans

Pre-read: I told myself I wasn't going to read any of Evans' "Real" series because of issues, but I might try one book of hers on my own to see if at all her narration or anything with respect to her writing/plotting has improved.

We'll see. I'm not going into this with high expectations though.

Post read: So even with not going into this with high expectations, I was still very disappointed. Poor writing, juvenile presentation, threadbare characters, plodding pacing, predictable plot, and manipulative cliffhanger ending.

I can honestly say I didn't enjoy this at all.

Full review:

This may be a quicker review to write than the time it took me to get through this book. I will at least give the book credit for having a decent audio narrator with Grace Grant. I've read a few audio narrations with Grant as the lead voice. She's fair with this performance; her narration did insert some signs of life into the narrative that I wouldn't have gotten if I'd read the print version. She's the only reason I'm giving this book even a fraction of a star.

Honestly, I don't understand the hype around Katy Evans's writing at all. Nothing about this was steamy or sexy to me. Nothing about it was even really worth writing home about. It's incredibly juvenile and everything about this book was just horrifically rambled and bland, leaving the experience for me an empty read.

The book isn't necessarily bad as far as the premise is concerned. If anything, probably the only thing that could be bad about the premise "in theory" is that it's predictable. A woman (Rachel Livingston) is asked to write an expose on a public figure (Malcolm Saint) who's considered to be a "manwhore" for her publication. I knew in a sense that this story would be a matter of me waiting for the other shoe to drop, so I decided to go along for the ride.

But all I got out of this were two lifeless characters who really had little to no flesh to pinch from them, mounds of infodumps defining their beings, and predictable scenarios from point one. Yes, Rachel shows up in unconventional clothing (she comes from a volunteer experience in paint covered overalls to meet with him in a very well-to-do business office) meeting Saint for a potential meeting to hook up with him, but really the only two things that are tying these two together are that they're unconventional for what they're used to. Saint's attracted to Rachel because she's the first woman that's not falling at his feet and having sex with him (except when she does) and Rachel's only attracted to him because "OMG, he's so hot - I can't stop thinking about his abs/muscles/insert body part here!" I can understand if some of that is part of the dialogue, but not when it's constantly repeated and nothing else is given to bring the appeal of either Saint or even Rachel's attraction to the other.

Where the heck were their personalities beyond the blushing girl and brooding, private businessman who had multiple "floozies" (and man, don't even get me started for how many times this word was used, or even the obvious slut shaming that came with this narrative, because you know every other woman is useless in the relationship with Saint except for the heroine - and that every other woman is the enemy including a co-worker that Rachel works with at her magazine)? I feel like this book was trying to convince me these characters were developed, but failed miserably. The bulk of this information was told, not shown. Despite the proposed sensual scenes and "hot" sex - there was no true intimacy here. No intimacy for the characters, no intimacy to the situations, just surface details and hyperbolic comparisons that were mostly in Rachel's head and presumptuous for the situation. I don't care how old Rachel is supposed to be, even with her naivete, the presentation of this was just too juvenile to work. Just because you have a juvenile character doesn't mean that the presentation should be lacking or completely absent for development.

The side characters aren't even interesting because they're simply used as background noise to justify doubts about the relationship coming together, between Gina's prejudiced justification of a previous relationship making Saint to be a bad deal (she doesn't know the dude and never really does through the narrative), and Saint's posse congratulating him on another potential conquest, another lay.

With that consideration, let's talk about how the title of this book is a completely misleading fabrication. You would think that with the title "Manwhore" this book might have something to offer as to what makes Saint the way he is and why he lives his lifestyle the way he does, maybe with Rachel observing his interactions and the way he changes from this to be with Rachel. But no, all we get are infodumps on his "tragic past" and his so called bad boy antics when really all we see of him is how he's different toward Rachel and her prejudiced assumptions over what he's doing when she's not with him. I felt cheated because it was no true coming to terms or showcase of change, just surface details, just as bad as the so called judgmental attitudes that surround Saint in the book in social media circles and beyond. And what good does that do? It doesn't develop the characters. It doesn't show them growing beyond perceptions. Heck, it doesn't even show how these two really came to bond with each other. It's empty, it's presumptuous, and honestly I'm a little more than fed up because I see this all too often in New Adult and erotic stories following the "bad boy billionaire trope."

The ending was the thing that made me really throw in the towel with this series, because it's really a non-ending. Nothing's resolved. You get to the point where the other shoe drops and there's some hint for a resolution, but then it's yanked out of your grasp just to lead into another book, to make you buy into another story, which it's hard to tell whether it'll really have another resolution or just drag out details just for the sake of promoting more drama between characters who are little more than surface cliches.

This reader is not going to be manipulated out of her time following what happens. Apart from the narration, I didn't like this at all, and it's not likely I'd pick up another one of Evans's works if the quality's just going to be like this.

Overall score: 1/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-01-20 06:38
Review: Dragonbride (The Dragon Chronicles #1) by Raani York
Dragonbride (The Dragon Chronicles Book 1) - Raani York,Brian Wixson,Howard David Johnson

Pre-read: Guess who decided to foot the $4.99 bill on Amazon and read this book?

Guess who's going to read this sometime this weekend and review it critically?

I'm perhaps partially bonkers, but I'm also a scientific mind. I have no regrets.

(And frankly, I'm reading Pierce Brown's "Golden Son" so I think I have a good buffer read to counter to this one if it's not my cuppa.)

Post-read: So I ended up surviving the whole read.

Bought this on Amazon for $5.35 ($4.99 plus tax), managed to read this over four days time. Decided I'm not returning it to Amazon. I think my notes on it are ones I'll want to return to on how not to write fantasy.

It wasn't very good to be honest. Very few moments where I could say it had potential as a respectful fantasy tale, but there were too many problems. Some points I was offended, some points I was bored, other points had lacking development and awkward transitions as well as translation (and yes, this book was translated, but even then, I think the content had problems as well as the formatting).

I've been brainstorming a few ways to write this review, but I decided I'd better just stick to standard and explain the issues I had with it. I have a feeling that this review would've never been posted had I asked the author's permission. =/

Full review:

This review will probably end up breaking the character limit (or coming somewhat close), but I'm going to try to streamline this into sections to make following this easier. There's much to cover.


I think there are other people who have articulated issues regarding York's ill thought, naive blogpost much better than I. I picked up this book in light of the controversy, because I was genuinely curious at how it came across. If a single 1-star review triggered that particularly censoring "wishlist" for people perusing and reflecting upon this book, then what was it about this book that worked/didn't work? I didn't read the original blurb (at first) that this book had while on Goodreads, but it seems that it was cleaned up to clarify what was essentially a full on summary that felt too long, too tedious to read (and that probably should've told me what I was in for in the long run).

Unfortunately, that amended blurb doesn't really tell you much about the meandering story this book contains, and really - "Dragonbride" had little standing for plot and establishment for a fantasy novel. It's false advertising, because while the MC is said to be Shalima, a witch who trains and plays a role in fulfilling a prophecy that could mean the end of the world, the book starts in a completely different place. It takes the route (first, because there's no chapter 1, it has to start at chapter 2, which seems to be a formatting error, and some of the chapters are broken up into decimals, which I have no idea why and it seemed extraneous/tedious) of describing a vague setting, then transitions to a translation of a prophecy involving the birth of a girl named Ardelia and a woman named Imra.

So if the MC's Shalima, why does this start with Ardelia/Imra? Keep reading, you'll find out.

Ardelia's birth has all the grandeur of a stereotypical TCO (The Chosen One). She's beautiful, her mother was beautiful but died because her father "was too cheap" to get a proper midwife (and somehow the author makes it clear it was his fault his wife died). Ardelia was (at first) sent to another family but since the woman (Imra) had too many children to take care of, she sends Ardelia back to her father, who sells her as a sexual slave. SHE'S REPEATEDLY RAPED, including an attempted rape by her father, who "couldn't get it up" in Aurelia's words, because he was too drunk to do so.

And the attention to the rape(s) are a fixation I do not understand in this narrative, on multiple levels. It wasn't so much the fact that rape was mentioned as it was portrayed in the narrative that left a bad vibe with me.

Take this quote, for instance. It has to do with Imra and Ardelia when Ardelia worries about a dragon potentially eating her since a certain type of dragon feeds on virgins, when she realizes that dragons are a real entity in their world.

Imra says:

"Don't worry, Ardelia. Only Water Dragons eat virgins, but since you're no longer a virgin, you have little to worry about..."

What kind of thing is that to say to a child who's been repeatedly raped? From a character that's supposed to be sympathetic, and why was this detail even important? On one hand, Imra says that what's happened to Ardelia's a horrible thing (as does the villagers who witness Irma buying the child from her abusive father), but there are suggestions later on that despite Ardelia's victimization, she's not someone whom "anyone" would want. I'll get into more of that a little later.

There's a bit of an Interlude/Intermission (between the First Second chapter) of another story of a Golden Dragon which makes the narrative even more confusing to follow, because there's multiple stories going on at one time. It isn't until 12% in the novel that we meet Shalima, and the book trades back and forth between Third Person and First to show the differences between Ardelia and the Dragon's experiences. versus Shalima's. I think at some point the author decided it was a bad idea to keep going back and forth between First and Third Person, so eventually, it just becomes Shalima's story in First, but it wasn't a transition that was done well at all. It felt like large dumps of info instead of being resonant and intimate to the characters involved.

The dialogue between Ardelia and Imra was frequently very static and stilted, and part of me realizes that might've been the translation, but it was still very detrimental to the pacing of the novel in the part, even for one (long) chapter.

Middle - Instalove and Call to Battle

Shalima's story is probably the longest and most tedious part of the novel because it's a combination of a play by play of her instalove with her marriage to a Golden Dragon (matter in point THE Golden Holy Dragon), who has three names that are frequently confusing to follow: Dagron (obvious human to dragon name is obvious), Draco, and Golden Dragon and her training as a witch (which some of it I liked, others I didn't). And the names of Shalima's lover were so similar that I had a hard time keeping up with them because all three names referred to the SAME person/being and were used interchangably. I almost wish the author would've chosen just ONE.

The author took the time to fully (agonizingly so) telegraph the exchanges between the Golden Dragon/Draco/Dagron and Shalima; there was very little intimacy between them despite suggested (and really generic) sexual interludes, and constant pet names for each other, which made it cheesy. There was even the unveiling of Draco's true form as a dragon when Shalima saw him just before they were to be wed, and he shed a single Dragon Tear (which was an inconsistency for a later quest when Shalima had to gather a Dragon Tear and Draco says "Dragons don't shed tears!" and they have this long process of trying to get him to cry in his dragon form.)

According to a prophecy though, Shalima's training as a witch is needed, since marrying Draco (I'll call him Draco from now on) means she's now a "dragon princess." So how does Ardelia play into this? Shalima saves Ardelia's life by casting a spell that forced Ardelia's father to leave her alone, but somehow at the expense of Ardelia becoming mute for the rest of her life (so now she's repeatedly raped and mute, poor girl). But Ardelia can mentally communicate with Shalima since Shalima's a witch (don't ask me how this make sense, I don't know). At one point Shalima and Ardelia shame Ardelia's condition, saying that "no one would want her" because of her so called sexual history (for crying out loud, she was RAPED!) and her disability. But conveniently later on, Ardelia meets a "dark skinned" man named Li whom she shares a fondness for, which I had a hard time seeing also because the whole matching was a part of a prophecy that Shalima mentioned.

Matter in point, a whole heck of a lot of things in this novel are explained by way of convenient prophecy, which is a cop out for the world building and development to make these relationships hit home if they were even to be remotely established. This becomes a problem with the establishment of the greater conflict of the novel, as Shalima has to step up to the plate to battle a force of evil that means the end of the world.

Ending - Where the eff was the villain/conflict; possibly meaningless sacrifices?

So, the whole novel is supposed to culminate over a final battle that means a fight to prevent the end of the world, but you never really know who the villain is until the very end of the novel, and by that time, it's really hard to care because the only motivation that the villain has is 1. He's evil and 2. It's a part of the prophecy. Not to mention Dragons are said to become extinct as a part of the "prophecy", and Shalima realizes with horror that it means the sacrifice of one she loves.

It was her husband the Golden Dragon/Draco.

(spoiler show)

And the narrative literally goes on and on and on for chapter sections about his purported demise, and I'm to the point where it's telegraphed so blatantly that I want to say "Just get to the scene, already!" I found it hard to care, because if you keep saying that a character is going to die over and over again for prolonged sections, it kills the tension of when the event actually happens. There was even another character that was killed (he wasn't in the novel long enough to matter, just someone to reconfirm the "prophecy") that served as just one of those throw in things after a long stretch of nothing happening in the novel but massive infodumps.

After the final battle, Shalima has to move on in her role as the TCO *cough* Dragon Princess, when she figures out she's pregnant and things for her kingdom have to move on from there. And the novel ends for the promise of a sequel that follows the family from there.

Honestly, I think someone could've made this story work in more resonant ways than what it provided, because the story wasn't bad for theory for an epic tale, but the execution was terrible and even offensive in points for the way it expounded on sensitive things like rape and disability, and not to mention it infodumped constantly, cut tension in places where it could've been very impactful, static character development, stilted dialogue, and very lazy worldbuilding where every conflict and resolution was predicted by a vague "prophecy". Plus, no true villain with motivations other than the fact they were "evil."

In the end, I've read more vested fantasy tales, and I won't be following this series or buying future installments - it wasn't worth the long slog and it was incredibly tedious to read. I did buy this from Amazon, but the thing about it is, I won't be returning it because this is a good example of what not to do with a fantasy tale. I took copious notes and highlights in my copy, some of which I couldn't quote in this entire review. Whether by translation or just by the writing in itself for origin, I can't tell, but I think it's warranted to say that York has a lot of work cut out for her, to be able to respect variant opinions of her work, respect her readership, take criticism, as well as use it to improve her craft tremendously.

Overall score: 1/5 stars

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-12-14 21:00
Review: "Twisted" by K.A. Robinson
Twisted - K.A. Robinson

Initial reaction: I technically read this before I participated in #BloggerBlackout, so this isn't a part of my recent reading streak, but dude...are you serious? This book was horrible. I thought the first book was bad, the second is just atrocious and pretty much everything of what's wrong with New Adult. Ugh.

Full review:

Before I get into the full review of "Twisted", I'm just going to give you guys the short version of my reaction to this book. I didn't particularly enjoy the first one in this series, "Torn", but I was willing to see where this particular book went since I got the approval for both books around the same time. And I'm fair and forgiving when it comes to picking up a series. If I don't like a first book in a series, if I'm willing to see where it goes in the second, I try it on good measure and hope it improves upon even what might've been a frustrating and/or mediocre read.

Dude, I have no idea how this even got published by anyone. I don't know how it even became a NYT Bestseller. It's not worth the digital ink it's printed on. It's horrible. The writing is juvenile, the characters are one-dimensional, the pacing is disjointed and none of it is remotely plausible. If I'd paid for this book, I would've felt cheated out of every dime. Even the time I spent reading this was just...I don't know. It took me the longest time to figure out how I would write a reaction to this. My first reaction after finishing it was laughing so hard tears were coming out of my eyes because I thought "Could this be a parody of NA? Please tell me it is because if it's something I'm supposed to take seriously or think it's meaningful, I'm going to cry." (It's not a parody, just for the note.) My second reaction was frustration and horror that I'd even spent as much time on it as I did.

I'm going to do something of a short character summary of events in this novel. This might be relatively short for a review where I feel like ranting about it, but I think I'll let the dialogues speak for themselves. I promise you, I'm not exaggerating the tone for presentation or events here. It's truly this ridiculous.

Chloe's the heroine, Drake's the hero. This might take me a bit to telegraph because I'm having to check back over a few details, but - this book was so annoying. So supremely annoying.


Chloe: Oh la la, my boyfriend and I are finally together, possibly forever even if I'm not of drinking age yet. His name is Drake and he's in a band and OMG he's so hot. We have sex, and it makes me happy, and it's so good to finally have something go right in my life after my tragic past with the abuse I suffered. But OMG, my aunt is dying and my mother's a bitch and soooo jealous that I could possibly come into a big inheritance and she won't get a single dime. I have to meet with my aunt before she dies to go over the details.

Drake: I'm pretty well off too, but I'm worried about Chloe because her mom's a bitch, but I have to be on the road with my rock band and Chloe told me I shouldn't worry about her. I'm worried about the fact that she's reuniting with an old boyfriend, whose ass I would kick if Chloe hadn't assured me that things were fine. I'm on the road now, performing with my band, ran into an old girlfriend who's such a STALKER and just so happens to know Chloe's family.

Chloe: Oh la, la. I'll send you a naked picture of myself on the phone. Better?

Drake: Whaaaa? Oooooh. Oh crap, my bandmate accidentally saw her naked picture and I told him I would kill him if he mentioned it to Chloe. But Chloe's such a serious upgrade from the stalker bitch I used to date. Yeah!

*Rose's note: Trust me, it gets worse than this.*

Chloe: Oh, la, la, being without Drake is sooo lonely. And it's sad that I spend each moment with my dying aunt who's assure me that my mother will not get a single cent of her estate. When she dies, I ball into a corner and cry. The lawyer then meets with us and the estate's split between me and her children, but my mom's left with options to put her through a substance treatment program and an assurance that she will get nothing unless she goes through the program. While my cousins and me each get $600,000, my mom will only get $10,000, and only if she goes through the programs that are offered to her. My aunt's final message was for my mom to treat me better and not blame me for her circumstances.

But OMG, the crazy bitch blames me for not getting her share of the inheritance. She tries to KILL me and beats me up and breaks my ribs. I end up in the hospital, but oh no, no, no - I can't tell Drake because then he'll be worried.

*Rose's reaction: You'd think?!!!*

Drake: I'm on the road with my band playing gigs and my old stalker bitch of a girlfriend calls me to say that Chloe's been cheating on me, and that she has proof because she went to Chloe's aunt's house and witnessed it first hand. Even after I told her to stay away from me and leave me the hell alone! But she keeps throwing herself on me! I told her even if Chloe's cheating on me, I don't want anything to do with her. Then she tells me "You'll be sorry, Drake Allen!"

But all this stuff I did for Chloe and she doesn't even want me. Oh well, I guess that means I can go back to my life with my groupies...

*Rose's reaction: Oh for the love of everything...*

Drake: But no, I spent two days missing gigs from my band getting high as a kite and worrying everybody I knew. They even called Chloe to say I was missing. At first I had nothing to say and wanted nothing to do with Chloe, but then they said she left to try to find me and I got pissed. I saw Jordan, the "friend" she was supposedly staying with, and punched him.

Chloe: Oh la, la - I'm so worried about Drake! Even after coming out of the hospital with broken and bruised ribs and a beat up face, I found him, but he's so upset.

Drake: I'm so pissed that I confront Chloe about the damning pictures that my old stalker girlfriend (Kadi) took. She was practically hugging and in bed with Jordan, so I'm interested to see what she says about that. But it turns out he was just hugging her because she was upset about her aunt's death, and they were in bed because she had broken ribs and Jordan stayed with her because he was afraid her mom would come back and kill Chloe. I feel like an idiot. I didn't even see the bruises she had because she tried to hide them. And they looked bad...

Chloe: Sorry.

Drake: Sorry.

Chloe: I can make it up to you by trying to give you a blowjob on the highway. Nevermind my ribs and the fact I have to take painpills for the pain, they're not that bad.

Drake: Yaaaas. But wait, you're still in Jordan's arms even when we're on the road. This is not cool.

Chloe: Stop being jealous! But OMG, you're with your groupies and taking drugs and WTF is wrong with you? Never mind that my mother killed herself! This is too much!

Drake: Does it help if I ask to marry you? I promise I'll be better and I'm sorry I worried you. Please forgive me.

Chloe: Yeah, sure! And I'll have your kid too!


(spoiler show)


Yeah...no. There are some things that happened between this, but I think I'm just done with it really. I can't say that I'll never read another book by K.A. Robinson, but it's highly unlikely. Not for what I had to wade through for this one.

Overall score: 0 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?