Confession of a Book Junkie

Reviews by a certified Honest Book Junkie

(Buy it HERE)
320 pages
Point; 1 edition (April 26, 2011)
(Book 1)

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Let me just say that I really wanted to like this book. I did. I was a little hesitant to purchase it as the reviews seemed just so mixed ( I didn't read many as I didn't want it to taint my view of the book). I mean really the storyline if very compelling. Retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades?Absolutely. Not to mention the cover, it's just down right beautiful. So I decided that I would get it from the library and purchase it if I found it worth the hardback cover price.

I will say that I'm glad I didn't spend the $15 dollars on it. The story starts out with Pierce at a party and everyone treating her oddly because of her NDE (Near Death Experience). While others may experience 'peace' and a 'white light' not Pierce, her experience was unique. While the set up is slow, 230 pages slow. (There is 366 pages in the book.) Different things are happening, but even though this was my first read, it was hard to resist the urge to skim through more of the boring passages.

Pierce is very one dimensional in a sense. You get small glimpses of who she was and what her personality has changed into, but really it's sort of a glimpse here and there and then left up to the reader to put together. While in most books that can be a good thing, in this one it leaves our heroine rather flat. Also I have a small tolerance for heroines that don't show some sort of back bone anywhere in the book. Unfortunately until the last two chapters that's exactly what Pierce is. Some things are so blatantly obvious you can't understand why she doesn't see them, while others are thrown out of proportion by her temper.

I would have to say that I got tired of things being explained away by her NDE. Wether it was her or someone else, the excuse quickly got old. There are a ton of loose ends in the book where the characters would mention something and then finish off the new found information by saying "Nevermind, it's not important" (Wait? What? Yes it is! Get back here!) Her cousins hostility, some of the things the care taker tells her, her mom's past, the island itself and so on. At times while she seems to be self pitying complaining that people don't understand or simply retreating into herself. There seven short encounters with the main guy of the story "John". While he's described as 'moody' you don't get a sense of him being 'moody' or anything, as the interactions are brief (one wouldn't even count in my opinion). During the story you don't see the character Pierce really do any evolving or growing on her journey at all and at the end her self realization about certain things in her life seem to come from left field wondering how she got there.

The second issue is the one that many seem to have. While the timeline/frame doesn't necessarily take away from the book or make it overly confusing, it is confusing. I found myself having to read several pages before I would realize that Pierce was in the middle of a flash back. An example would be: She's ordering ice cream and then in the next chapter she's having a flashback of her old school for no reason really, then back to the ice cream. It's literally that disjointed, I felt even a small claimer that was labeled "Six Months ago" or something like it wouldn't have been unwelcome. Timeline wise it can be a bit frustrating as you don't understand why they are placed where they are within the book itself.

With all this being said I didn't evoke my five chapter rule hoping against hope that it would become the story I knew that it had the potential to be. The storyline is different and could have been wonderful and still has the potential to do so as this is a trilogy rather than a single novel. The ending is abrupt, but I have a feeling that it was meant to be so as lead into the next story. The timeline can get aggravating, but isn't as confusing as some would have you believe, they just seem to be out of place and random.

The story has great potential and the ending chapters seemed very promising. Once the explanations were out and the story started rolling along, you still had major questions, and some of the explanations simply common sense, you can sense maybe a bigger picture. I will be reading the next book (but borrowed from the library) as I would like to see the stories progression and if it becomes something that is worth recommending.

All in all I would say if you can make it 3/4 of the book for it to pick up give it a try, but you are warned that it's redundant, boring in some places, blaring obnoxious in others and the heroine has a lot of growing to do to compete with other YA heroines at this time. I'm not sure that it's worth the listed hardback price, but the library is free.

RATING: ☆☆ 1/2 (I gave it another 1/2 star for potential)


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