by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: December 1, 2009
Book received from: Book trade
Genre: YA Fantasy
Cover: I like it. It’s simple, but has plenty of flourish, and the theme is carried throughout the series.
Characters: Argh. Boring and annoying, for the most part.
For Fans Of: Twilight, The Secret Circle
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Worth the read? Not really. I’d say skip the 600 pages and watch the movie.
From the Cover: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
The Short & Sweet of It: Oh boy. Here we go. I had this on my did-not-finish pile from last year, and decided to pick it back up to participate in a read-along with Readers in Wonderland. ‘What’s the harm in giving it another chance?,’ I thought. ‘There’s an entire series and so many people love it,’ I thought. Of course, I had the same thoughts about The Hunger Games and Twilight. But, you never know if you don’t try. So I tried. Oh, did I try.
Okay, so I did finish it this time, but only because I pushed myself to do so. Where to start? Well, I’ll keep it fairly short, because I really don’t want to tear it up too badly. First off, I really did like the story. I thought the Southern gothic setting was perfect for the subject matter, and the idea of the story really has a lot going for it. There were a couple of characters that came to life better than others, like crazy uncle Macon Ravenwood and Lena. But, it ends about there.
The writing was pretty uneven and repetitive. There were several inconsistencies throughout the book. For instance, at one point, Ethan is talking about taking a shower, but then in the next sentence is struggling to wake up and get out of bed. I actually stopped, reread, and thought, ‘Wow, I wish I could get ready for the day before even rolling out of bed…’ I’m just saying, that a bit more editing is in order when you are releasing a book with a major publisher. If you took out all the times that Ethan (the most boring and annoying narrator ever) felt the need to say ‘The thing about Gatlin is…” or the 27 variations of the same idea, I really think the book would have only been about 350 pages. Which, actually, would have been a perfect length for this story. The characters, except the two mentioned above, were pretty annoying, and gave me no doubt why ‘outsiders’ never lasted long in the town. I would have left as soon I could have, too, just to save myself from slapping them silly. And, Amma, seriously, I like crosswords as much as the next gal, but stop spelling things out. Really, just say your peace and be done with it.
So, I am glad I read this all the way through finally, so I can actually judge it in its entirety. However, I think I’ll just watch the movie and hope it gets to the point faster and in a more entertaining fashion. Will I read the other books in the series? Probably not. There are just too many books worth the time that I shouldn’t have to push myself to do so.
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