Showing posts with label love triangle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love triangle. Show all posts

Thursday, April 21, 2016

[Review] Foreshadowed (The Near Deaths #1) - Holly M. Campbell: Mind Reading and Boy Trouble




In FORESHADOWED, Hope has the ability to read minds. When she meets Lance, who sees the way people will die when he looks at them, and learns of her own death, she's determined to stop it before it happens.

What intrigued me: I was in the mood for some good old paranormal romance!

I approve of the characters!

FORESHADOWED sounds like your average girl meets mysterious boy and they fall in love story. I was expecting a cheesy romance, but was surprised to find a somewhat different approach. 

The heroine Hope is a wonderful main character and very fun to read about. She's sassy, she's witty, and she's actually funny. I especially enjoyed the banter between her and her next-door-neighbor and crush Bryce. He's such a fantastically funny douchebag that you can't help but love him. I love their relationship and I absolutely adore accurate portrayals of unrequited love.

I think having Bryce and Lance, the token mysterious new guy, in this love triangle actually works. Even though I would argue that Hope should choose neither.

Not a Paranormal Romance

I also love how Campbell introduces us into Hope's world directly and we get to actually experience what her mind reading ability is like with little cursive inserts of the thoughts of the people surrounding her. This is undoubtedly very well done and probably the only time that I've seen mind reading done well without it seeming ridiculous.

However, there isn't really much more to FORESHADOWED than being a story about a girl who reads minds. She does meet Lance, a boy with the ability to see death dates, but I was hoping for more world building. Most of the novel takes place at school, in very mundane scenes and to me it was absolutely lacking the certain spark, the magic. It reminds me a little of NUMBERS by Rachel Ward.

The problem isn't really with the novel itself, but with the premise. Everything about the setup suggests a love triangle paranormal romance, when in reality it actually is a thriller involving murder and crime. FORESHADOWED doesn't let you know that it's not a sweet, cheesy romance until 75% in, which frustrated me a little. I did enjoy the novel overall, once I got into the story - I was invested. 


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

The writing is nice and clean and Hope is such a sympathetic character that I think I can't tell you not to read this.



Additional Info

Published: December 29th 2014
Pages: 314
Publisher: 48Fourteen
Genre: YA / Thriller
ISBN: 9781937546380

Synopsis:
"Hope Murdoch was born dead. The doctor brought her back, and now she’s an almost-normal sixteen-year-old. Normal: a hopeless crush on the boy next door, a negative body image, and a (mis)diagnosis of ADHD. Not-so-normal: an exhausting and distracting ability to read minds. And high school is hard enough without hearing what everyone really thinks of you.

Lance Hampton used to be normal until a car accident killed him and his parents. Paramedics brought him back to a life he doesn’t want: orphaned, uprooted and living with his uncle, and suddenly able to see how people die. At his new school, he tries to keep to himself. Seeing how complete strangers die is torture enough, let alone friends.

At first glance, Hope doesn’t think much of Lance (though a lot of the other girls do). He looks like the typical bad boy. No thank-you … but then she meets his eyes and everything goes dark. She hears labored breathing. Rapid footsteps. And then a thud as someone falls to the ground. Inside Lance’s head, Hope just witnessed a vision of murder … her own.

Together Hope and Lance try to catch a killer before he’s red-handed. A killer who could be anywhere. Anyone. Sure Hope can read minds and Lance can see death, but they still can’t see in the dark.(Source: Goodreads)
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Always the Same Love Interests? | YA Talk





If you read a lot of YA, you've probably also noticed that there's a trend in characters.

Meet Love Interest 1:
He's characterized through being
  • the epitome of the nice guy
  • probably has been friends with the heroine forever/ they're maybe even neighbors/ definitely know each other longer than love interest 2 and the heroine
  • always there for the heroine
  • they might have been in love at some point and/or are dating
  • either will mess up eventually or just flat out get ignored when the second love interest comes along
EXAMPLES:
Adam Kent from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Simon Lewis from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Mathias from ZODIAC by Romina Russell


Meet Love Interest 2:
He's characterized through being
  • the new guy!
  • suddenly comes into the heroines life 
  • smirks a lot
  • is sarcastic and ridiculously good-looking
  • not ashamed to hit on her 24/7
  • morally grey ... redeems himself at the end of the trilogy
  • almost always "gets the girl"
EXAMPLES:
Aaron Warner from from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Jace Wayland from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Hysan from ZODIAC by Romina Russell

Why I think it's unnecessary

  • You always know who's going to get the girl. SPOILER: It's always the bad guy after the redemption ARC
  • It's lazy: Seriously, at this point it's almost a stock character kinda situation. If you have to write a love triangle, please try to make it at least a little original. Like this it just seems like I'm reading fan fictions of the same characters over and over again.
  • It's boring and predictable
  • It's so easy to fix: Just throw in a little variation, kill one of them, make one of them unredeemable, honestly, at this point I'm so desperate for decent love triangles that I'd take anything that's even a little different.

What do you think of love triangles with the same characters over and over again?




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Sunday, June 21, 2015

I Hate Love Triangles | YA Talk


Either you love them or you hate them.
Eventually every reader of YA will come across them. Love triangles seem to be trend that just won't get out of style.

What's a Love Triangle?
Love triangle commonly refers to the situation a protagonist of a novel finds themselves in when two different people are interested in them romantically.

Usually, the protagonist requites their affection or is in the process of learning to love them, hence leaving both love interest in competition with each other.

Some may say "Twilight" started it all, but I think we need to stop blaming Stephenie Meyer for everything that's going wrong in recent YA.

Popular Books about love triangles include
- "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver
- "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare
- "The Selection" by Kiera Cass
- "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

Books with love triangles usually play with the "bad boy" character and the "guy next door". I've noticed that more often than I'd like to admit, at least one of them is a super problematic villain. Not sure how that makes any guy attractive though.

Here's What Bugs Me

Love triangles in theory are absolutely fine. If you're looking for them. If you love reading about them, great, but I'm just not. The market these days is FLOODED with hidden love triangles. Most of the times you can't even tell from the blurbs whether the books are all about the romance and only feature the actual topic of the book on the side.
which I am absolutely not. Love triangles never have and probably never will be something that I'm personally interested in.

I've encountered it numerous that I've tried to read a book, let's say, about angels descending their heavenly wrath on the Earth, only to find out that the novel is actually about a teenage girl falling in love with an angel and a demon (any relations to existing books are just coincidental).

This has ruined the reading experience for me so many times. Had I gone on looking for a love triangle and a girl stuck between the evil overlord and the brave hero, I would have bought a novel about that.

Every popular YA novel these days features a love triangle.

Realism? What is Realism?

If you'd live in a dystopian society where every day is a struggle for survival, your number one concern would probably not be which one of the super hot two guys you should choose. I mean, these days it's a miracle if you find a guy that's attractive, smart and respects you, let alone two! If you're seventeen, cut the odds in half.

Here's What I Demand!

There should be something like ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings for book romance like:
- N for no romance
- E for established romance
- X for multiple love interests
While I'm at it, there should be a rating for instant love, but I guess we can't have it all at once. I just want to be warned before I get invested in a book and then get drowned in love triangles. I actually did encounter novels with multiple love triangles, god knows why.

Do you like love triangles? 
Which novel do you think has portrayed them the best so far?


More YA Talk:
15-year-old Protagonists Confuse Me 
Mary Sues and Why We Need More of Them 
Instant Love and Why It Ruins Everything 
Hey Authors, Why Is LGBTQ Representation So Hard? 
I Fall For Problematic Love Interests 
Are Diverse Characters and Representation Unnecessary?

See All
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Review] Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi



In SHATTER ME, Juliette gets a cellmate after almost a year of being locked up alone because she is a threat to society. 

What intrigued me: The fact that everyone and their mothers have read this.


Little Miss Perfect?

What annoyed me the most about the plot is that every two chapters Mafi puts massive emphasis on how beautiful and goodhearted and pretty she the main character but yet she does not know it- therefore everyone falls for her. The problem with characters like this is that they are neither likable, nor interesting. 

Literally every single male character her age expresses romantic interest in her at least once and compliments her. Boring. I'd rather read about a character that stands out because of their personality than their looks. 

I’m having a hard time sympathizing with superficial characters. The books that I like usually don’t spend much time explaining eye colours and hair flowing down in chocolate rivers. I want to sympathize with the characters for the character’s sake, not for their looks! Of course shortly after the first chapters, another guy in addition to the token love interest gets thrown in, and we have 

The Typical, Predictable Love Triangle

On the one hand the sweetheart Adam, the boy that gets thrown into Juliette's cell. But what a coincidence, he's not a stranger, but a boy that used to go to her school! And of course he has been in love with Juliette forever for god knows whatever reason, since they spoke about 15 sentences total before they said I love you. Yeah. 

And then we have Warner, the villain, that bad guy who most likely secretly has a good heart and is obsessed with her. I don’t need to continue reading the series to know that he’s probably gonna go through character development, turn out to be not so bad and Juliette is torn between the two. Yuck. This is simply bad plotting. And lazy writing to be honest. 

I didn't care about Juliette and the generic love triangle is both predictable and boring. The world building confused me and I simply didn't click with the book. Just not for me.


Rating:

☆☆

   



Additional Info


Synopsis:
"Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."(Source: Goodreads)

 Have you read SHATTER ME?

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