Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bits of Books: Splintered, Cruel Beauty, Bewitching

I've read bad books, and great ones... but what inevitably results from this obsession is a high mortality rate, of books whose characters and plots just haven't rendered lively enough engagement with me, as a reader,  to warrant greater discussion. Still, they're books just the same, and I spent enough time reading them that they deserve to be noticed. So, here's some recent reads I'll take the time to gloss over. 


Alice in Wonderland gets reworked for the Hot-Topic-circa-2004 crowd when high school sk8r gurl Alyssa Gardner starts hearing the voices of bugs and flowers - the same delusions that got her mom holed up in a mental institution - and is thus forced to follow a crazy prophecy down the rabbit hole to a world that feels eerily familiar (and should to everyone). 

I was pretty excited for this one, because A. Hype and B. Alice, which are both kind of hit-and-miss subjects for me that invariably incite a lot of enthusiasm, especially with me having just done a College Fashion post oriented around Wonderland. Unfortunately, a half-baked plot, loose storytelling, ridiculous love triangle, and strangle-worthy characters constantly making bad decisions left me frustrated, and wondering whether the world really needed another Alice adaptation (I'm thinking no).  Goodreads Rating: 2.0. 


Mixing Greco-Roman mythology and Victorian culture with the kind of history-oriented dystopia and world-building that might make George R. R. Martin confused, Cruel Beauty follows Nyx, a young girl cursed by her father's ineptitude, to marry a monster who has cursed her world so that there is no sun and shadows eat people and stuff, and - because, duh, YA - she falls in love with him. 

This book had so much potential, and for the most part, was decent. I wish they hadn't slapped it with the "Beauty and the Beast" comparison, because there wasn't really much to be compared. Everything went to hell in a hand basket on the third arc. Also, what is said to be a "sexy" plot might also be termed by those with a slightly more well-rounded vocabulary as straight up child endangerment (our main character is seventeen). I have absolutely no idea what bloggers are finding so captivating about this "alluring" master. Ick. Goodreads Rating: 2.0. 


Flipping Alex Flinn's previous best-seller, Beastly, on its head, is Bewitching, which follows the aforementioned novel's big baddie, Kendra the witch, as she attempts to help out yet another kid's life, and inevitably ends up screwing that up, as well. 

For fans of Cinderella stories and way too much middle school angst comes yet another one of Flinn's fairy tale fairly predictable romances. They're good fun and pretty cute, as long as you don't expect too much from them. Unfortunately for me, I was simply expecting a cohesive story line that stuck with its purported narrator for the duration of the trip. I was mistaken. And not only did we get something that defied those basic guidelines, but the story was so generic that I literally read it a very short time ago, and had to re-look up the plot. Not one of Flinn's best, that's for sure. Goodreads Rating: 2.0. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 

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