Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mara Dyer's dire situation.

Laides and Gentlemen, gather 'round! welcome to......*trumpets blare* Cait's Review of Mara Dyer! 

The profound, prolific, and purely dramatic prologue. *lights dim and a single spotlight focuses on me; a narrator's voice comes out of the loudspeakers* 

Cait doesn't think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer can get any more terrible than reading Twilight and having no memory how she read that without imploding. 

It can. 

She believes that there must be more to this book with the beautiful cover that left her friends squealing and biting their nails in anticipation and left her mysteriously excited. 

There isn't. 

She doesn't believe that after everything she's read about this book, she can't not instantly fall in love with it. 

She's wrong. 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is everything I hoped it wouldn't be, and even more. Not the good kind of more, but the oh-dear-God-please-no-make-it-stop-I-can't-take-this-anymore- kind of no. Now having said that, though, I really can understand how some people would like this book; the writing is fine and there are actually some good quotes like: 

I twisted my arm to curl him behind me and he unfolded there, the two of us snuggled like quotation marks in his room full of words. 

Mara does have some pretty good quips and comments especially at the beginning of this book; I actually did gigglesnort a couple of times. 

Can I just say thank God or else this would have been a full-blown rant, for sure 

The pacing is actually pretty fast; I went through this book a lot quicker than I ever thought that I would, and it did, for the most part, hold my attention. However, it help my attention for almost all the wrong reasons. Here, let me explain: 

First up, everyone, we have our maestro of this disaster, Mara DYER (hint, hint, people about her speshul-ness) 

I know that I've said that people have been insane before, but this girl literallyis one of the most insane characters that I've ever read about. Until at about this point in the book I at least had a small grasp on the belief that she hadn't totally lost it, but, at these lines, I totally abandoned any support for this character. I know that some books are meant to have the MCs bust a nut, like Katniss from the Hunger Games, but Mara's break with reality was not believable and somewhat scary/absurd especially because we're supposed to believe that she's not insane. : 

"This must be very difficult for you."
You have to admit, the paranoia was humorous. What could the detective possibly know? That I thought Morales should die and she died? Crazy. That I wanted the dog's owner punished for what he did to her and he was? Laughable. Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.
"Yes, it is very difficult." I said, nodding again, making the hair fall farther over my face to mask my insane grin.
"I'm sorry for your loss," he said. My shoulders trembled with the attempt to stifle my laughter. 

Back it up, you crazy-ass bitch. I will kill you if you come one step closer. 

How in the hell am I supposed to defend and believe in the fact that she's not insane when she does things like that? There are also other times ( I believe 4-6 other times) to support this where she just stands somewhere for up to two hours and has no idea what she did there and why she just stood there for so long. Her "ability," which I will talk about later, should not attribute to any of these "episodes" that she has. I can't even comprehend any of what she does; it's all so random, and put in the worst situations that make me anything butlike Mara Dyer. I wouldn't touch that girl with a ten-foot pole if I saw her in real life. Call me cruel, but after you kill someone then you start maniacally laughing about it; about how funny it all is, then I will not be friends with you or even equate myself with you. Ever. 

Oh, and another thing that really annoyed me? How much she complained about her "perfect brother" this and "he should be less perfect" that. All she ever does is gripe about how perfect he is, and not in a joking manner either. She means it as in the teenage angst why does he have to be so perfect while I'm not kind of way. You know what, Mara? Your brother has been nothingbut kind, gracious, and covering your sorry little ass every step of the way! Let me list them, here: 

1. He talks and convinces your mother several times to let you come out and hang out with people your age, while your mom thinks you're too mentally unstable to do so and, frankly, I agree with the woman 
2. When he does convince your mom he has to promise to not leave your side and basically alienate the rest of society; even the girl he really likes, to stick by you to make sure you don't go crazy and start laughing manically by yourself in corners about killing people. 
3. He drives your sorry ass to school every single day even when you're being depressed and in that typical Bella Swan kind of "oh, woe is me my life sucks I hate everyone" moods which, by the way, happened a lot. 
4. He is constantly out for your best welfare, and apologizes to you right away if he's done something, in your definition of it, "wrong". Most of the time it isn't even his fault and really shouldn't apologize to you, but he swallows his pride anyways. 
5. He's basically the prefect blend of being attentive to your needs and not being over protective (like your mom is) and still letting you still do your own thing without judging you. 

So, why in the hell are you whining about how perfect he is and wishing he do something bad in his life to lower himself to your sorry level? Without him, you'd have probably killed yourself by now. You wouldn't have been able to do half of the things that you did without him! Just for once, be grateful for the amazing gift your brother has given you by staying with you through thick, thin, and always has you covered. I just......I just.....*snaps* 

I would rather have read a book just about Daniel and his girlfriend than read about you. 

Also, whenever Mara's with her family, she's on this constant, never-ending loop with them. Their dynamic never changes even after several tragedies, and it's just so.......stagnant. It goes something like this: 
Mara's mom freaks out. Mara gets mad at her mom for freaking out for perfectly good reasons . Daniel walks in. Daniel tells Mara something important about life and helps her. Mara makes a snide comment about him being "perfect". Mara feels oh-so-sorry about Mara and Daniel and mom. Mara sleeps. Aaaaannnnd repeat. 

In short: Mara is annoying, selfish, self-centered, and insane. I'm not one of those kind of people that tends to enjoy that kind of writing, characterization, and repetitiveness. If you truly do and are the .0000000000000000000001 percent that enjoy that then, by all means, go for it. 

And now, we have our illustriously lame, ineffable man-whore, Noah! 

But you've had sex with people before!" (Mara)
"That was just for fun" ( you fucking little man-whoreish bastard Noah) 

Nothing more needs to be said about.....about that. I have thoroughly insulted you with French insults, now. 

Okay, just one more thing. By saying that comment am I in any way against sex. If you want to do that with a person and makes you and you're doing for "fun" then by all means. If you are, however, with a girl and tricking them into believe that you are some chaste saint, even though you've had sex with the entire female student body; going through them like used condoms, no less, then you can still say stuff that and have them still like you; then that's just messed up. Again, I'm not going to stand by your relationship, or with you as a person if you go around saying shit like that to a girl. Especially if all you want to do is "fix" said girl; take her on as your little project to make into the person you want her to be. Saying you want to help and fix someone is fine and cute if used sparingly, but when the person messes up that you're trying to help and you take is as your own failure because your obviously didn't "fix them enough" that's when it becomes a problem. Mara is her own person and should be treated as such no matter how much I may dislike her.She needs to be able to change herself, not you change her for her. That's not how it works or should work. This quote, actually, is the only time I ever agree with Mara about Noah. 

" Is that how you see this working? I'll screw up and you'll take care of it, right?" I was just another problem that could be solved if only we threw enough time or practice or money at it. At me. And when failed, he would just blame himself. 

Otherwise, though, Mara was about as dull as a fruit fly when it came to their relationship. 


I already talked about Mara, though, so back to Noah! 

I guess the one thing left that I would like to delve into about Noah was how Hodkin changed the normal dynamic (view spoiler) Now in this book that's the opposite; <spoiler Mara is the killer ( mean, come on, Mara DYER?) and Noah has the healing powers. (hide spoiler)] I can imagine Hodkin sitting in a chair if I interviewed her going 
Me: So, Hodkin I would like to talk to you about Mara. 
Hodkin: Yes, yes, sure! About how much you loved her? 
Me: Uhhhhhhh we' I actually had some problems with- 
Hodkin: Sure, yeah, right. Did you notice how I made Noah the one with the healer powers? 
Me: That wasn't my question but, yeah, sure, if you want to talk about that I- 
Hodkin: Wasn't it awesome! It's so different and cool! 
Me: Well, actually, I do agree with the fact that it is different if you do it correctly, but I felt like there wasn't enough of a backbone to it, and the only time he used it was on Mara, (many times just to find out if she was lying when he asked inmate questions) and he really didn't seem to focus on helping people. Or anyone but himself, really. He didn't even notice Mara sometimes. He just wasn't much of a healer, so it didn't really work for me. 
Hodkin: ....... 
Me: .......... 
Hodkin: ........... 
Me: ......... 
Hodkin: ........ 
Me: You still alive in there, Hodkin?  
Hodkin: ....... 
Hodkin: ........ 
Me: ...... 
Hodkin: .......... 
Me: *blinks* 
Hodkin: But....but he's sooooo hawt! The rest doesn't matter! 
Me: Uhhhhhh...... 
Hodkin: He's such an awesome healer! It's soooooooo different! 
Me: Goodbye, Michelle Hodkin. 

And last, but certainly not least, the poorly-written, non-preferable, plot! 

Although I said this book was a quick read, it wasn't a fun read. There were so many in-between points where it was just an endless repetition of the same exact scene, but just slightly different. She probably could have cut a solid quarter of the book if she or her editor had noticed. I understand that there has to be a certain word count to publish a work for certain publishers, but if you can't get enough words in then you probably shouldn't submit it, or, if it's just that good, you'll submit it below the word count and they'll just like it that much. I would really rather not have to re-read the same lines or plot threads about ten times in one book. It's just not.......not what I want to do when I spend ten dollars on a book, obviously. 

Oh, and there's a quote on the back of this book where an author who is supporting this book said at points you need to "hide under your bed covers" so, I tend to assume that that means there will be some scary/gruesome parts in this book. Was there? NO. There was never a single point in this whole novel that made me feel like I needed to hide or was going to pee my pants. The three times when people do die are not in any way terrifying; one is just a normal news report and we are only given details that her body is "horribly mutilated" and hear about a picture that was leaked on the internet. That's all. The two deaths we do actually see first hand are not overly graphic, and any other scenes that I would have expected to be scary weren't. It was almost over-dramatized, in way. Mara freaks out and becomes absorbed with soooo many small, insignificant things, that any horror or scariness disappears. When you read this book, expect a slightly darker theme, harsher language (there were actually a couple of fucks in there!) but that's it. Don't go into this having your breath catch in suspense or fear. Not gonna happen. 

Like I said earlier, I really can understand why people would like this book. The common tropes like sleep-in-bed-with-you-love-interest-without-the-parents-knowing, and everything else that I listed is a lot more subtle than other novels like Halo, Hush, Hush, or Fallen, but my main point? It's. Still. There. Having said that, the masochist in me will read the next book; hopefully there will be more character development and the plot will get going. I beg on my knees crying I hope that it will get better, but doubt it. If there's a main thing I would say to this book it would be this, in the end: 


Now here's a non-boring picture of the Doctor! 


In the end, go ahead and read this book, but do it cautiously. You may be like me and hate it, you may be like some of my other friends and enjoy it. This review is just going out as a general warning to be careful.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wow. Before I start this review, I'm going to do a little fan-girl gushing: this book was soooo amazing and wonderful and flat-out (haha I'm punny as a fan-girl) stupendous that if you don't have this book on your to-read list, put it on there now.........

Hahahahah I'm just kidding

But seriously.

Let me start off this review with the characters, because they are so incredibly real to me. I feel like I could walk out of my house and they'd be the ones standing next door. Park broke away from what other authors write as your typical "unhappy" family- alcholic mom or dad; maybe no parents at all, kids on drugs, lives in a broken-down house because the parents are dead beat, or just the opposite: rich, bratty, mom and dad who live in a huge expensive house and ignores the kids. This is pretty much an easy out for many authors to give you as little as they possibly can yet still give you the general idea of what they're talking about, but Park pretty much gives all those authors and their mediocre ways the bird and does it her own way. She wants you to feel like I did while reading this book: that this is your average, everyday, American family-with a secret. Now lets be honest, here; almost every family/ person, whether you know about it or not, has at least one secret, some hide-it-in-the-closet-and-never-let-it-see-the-light-of-day-again kind of secret. You ever walk into somebody's house, hell, it could very well be your own, and you can just tell that something's wrong? That there's a giant, polka-dotted, elephant in the room, but you feel like you can't say anything about it because it's none of your business?

Hello, and I'm what ruined everyone's lives, but you can't talk about me.....orelse 

Parker created that wonderful, amazing, girl, Julie, to be able to barge into that home and figure out what was really going on and help heal the whole family, especially Celeste. She was stubborn, kind, witty, gutsy, and just wanted to help. It's almost like you're living vicariously through her; you're finally finding out that secret that your best friend has kept from you for years, or that unspoken tightness between your mom and grandfather that has kept your family apart, and it really is exhilarating.

I loved all of the shades of grey that Park put into the family. Nobody's perfect; in fact, they're quite dysfunctional: Erica at first seems great, but then you find out that she's extremely depressed and ignores her kids to a fault, Roger, the dad, is always gone due to his job and is non-supportive because of the secret (yes it's very infuriating; you're supposed to feel that way, but it's all part of Park's grand master plan, so hang with it) Matt tries to help his sister the best he can, but his protectiveness is smothering and he's on the computer excessively, and Celeste, well, I can't even describe her on here; her character has just so many layers to it; which is just another reason why you should pick up this book.

Hahahahah I'm just kidding again.

But, seriously. 

But my point with saying that isn't at all to say that they're horrible people; it's quite the opposite. Flat Finn, or; in other words, is the rigid, life-size, cardboard picture of Finn, the oldest brother, that Celeste carries around with her everywhere she goes is why they are the way they are. Finn being gone on what you at first think is just a vacation has destroyed the family. He's a lot like Phineas from the novel A Separate Peace he was enigmatic, smart, funny, charming, devilishly handsome, and the glue that held the family together. With him now gone, all of the traits that I listed above that used to be more hidden in the family are now even more pronounced; even though the family tries so hard to hide from Julie when she first arrives. They aren't horrible people, what happened to their family was horrible, and it affected them all very differently and park uses the Flat Finn almost as a character foil to that. When Julie first gets there, the family looks fine, if not a little weird like flat Finn, but then you begin to notice the stiffness of it, how two-dimensional they are, and as Julie helps Celeste get over her problems and adds hinges to Flat Finn to make him more flexible and portable, the family also becomes a lot more open and starts to recover. It was very nice to see a book where every little thing had a purpose, and every purpose/change had a person or an item it was attached to that responded accordingly.

And oh my God the plot. I'm in love with it. It was so hardly there with Julie and Finn, and I loved it. It didn't overpower the rest of the novel and what was going on, but it was still there and everything eventually rounded back to it so that you wouldn't never really forget about it. Park had me laughing soooo much with the banter between Julie and Matt, Celeste's strange actions, sad when Julie's feelings were hurt, angry when her dad abandoned her, and gasping at the sheer sexiness of other parts. And Park swung me around so quickly from one emotion to another that she got the most raw emotions out of me as well. I was gasping then laughing then crying, all in the space of ten pages. My mom even asked if I was alright because of all the assorted odd sounds I was making. I don't know if it was just how late I read it until, but I actually didn't figure out what was going on with Julie, Finn, and the family until Julie did. And I liked that. It made it all the more heartbreaking for me to find out what had happened, and made my heart bleed horribly for Julie.

So, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good story after reading a lot of snark, like me. It lifts your spirits and makes you just feel so good. Like I said earlier, if you don't have this on your to-read list put it on now; you won't regret it. Ever.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Mephisto Covenant is one book I will never be picking up ever again.

So, Mephisto Covenant.

Sounds like it would be a good book, right? A nice enough premise, seems as though the author actually did some research and, from the plot, it looks like he actually has to win her love, instead of it being the common YA insta-love. It's going to be fabulous!

Bhahahaha whooo... I love that picture. But anyways.....

It. Was. Terrible 

Let me start with some of the horrible logic and conclusions you're supposed to make while reading this book:

This is one of the most confusing books I've ever had the displeasure to read. Let me just start with the sheer amount of fuckery with the first three chapters, here. In the fist ten pages you get one of the hugest info-dumps I've ever read about the Mephistos and Anabos. Even Sasha had to get her mind wiped in order to keep from having some sort of seizure or epileptic fit because Jax decides to throw a shit ton of, well, practically shit in her face the first time he ever met her. Just as a hint, hint to future authors out there, pretty please don't do this. Build it up so that we're only getting a little at a time; throwing it at us like Faegen did ruins the suspense. While we're on the topic of mind-wiping, can I just say that this is what almost immediately put me off about Jax. He seriously needed to get some self-restraint. The dude's over one-thousand years old, you would think that he'd be able to control himself and not blab his and hers life story twice, each time trying to erase her memory of it, although the second time it didn't work because they shared spit.

.........wait. What did I just say? Because they shared some saliva during a make-out sesh she was suddenly irresistible to a mind wipe? And oh, wait; it gets ever better. Due to Jax doing a little bit of spit donating, Sasha also becomes incredibly strong, is able to move to things telepathically, and is suddenly a kick-ass ninja. I'm sorry, but my poor brain just can't process that idea very well; maybe it's because I've never heard of it before, ever, or that it's just plain dumb and looks more like an easy out than something actually plausible. Probably the latter.

So that's how wonder woman came to be; it was just Lois Lane makkin' with Superman! *rolls eyes*

Another part of the saliva debacle was that during what was practically the whole book Jax didn't kiss her because part of the "magical powers of someone else's spittle" was that it would make Sasha able to become angry and feel strong emotions. She's pretty much been a kicked puppy all her life, and that's how Jax wants her to stay.

I have a question. What's wrong with getting angry? What's wrong with feeling mad and needing justification after someone's done you wrong, and has done things like rip your room to shreds, spread a rumor like, oh, I don't know; saying that at your previous school you had send nude pictures to everyone, that your mom was a Russian whore, deleting all of your college applications, and trying to freaking rape you? I'll tell you: nothing. The only time I actuallyliked Sasha was when she got mad and really took some revenge out on who did her wrong; which was pretty much the whole freaking town. I absolutely hated when she was trying "not to be a bother"

And she has an automatic ticket to Heaven no matter what she does; even if she becomes Mephisto and has emotions, so who really gives a flying fuck? She could get angry, kill everyone on the planet, shoot all the fluffy bunnies around the world, and blow up the Earth, and when she dies, as far as we know as the readers; she'd still go to Heaven! So, literally, why the hell is Jax freaking out about it?! Everyone else on the entire planet gets angry, and for the most part; they can control themselves, so what's so wrong with Sasha just being able to stand up for herself?! Ugh; I just didn't understand it at all.

Oh, noes, my little girl is angry! What tall, dark, and clueless man has been making out with my daughter and making her actually have feelings!?

Just a lot of the logic in this book makes little to no sense and, if you can't tell, it detracted considerably from the book as a whole. One last example before I get to the Twimitation *shivers* is how everyone else hates Sasha because they can supposedly sense, in some inner part of themselves, that she's Anabo. Even people that she helps with school, or saves them from bullies, hates her because they can somehow tell that she slightly glows and can't get angry. If someone saved me from a beating or a verbal shouting match I wouldn't feel like, afterwards, that I had to stone her to death because she glows (yes, that actually happens in the book, people) People just aren't like that, at all and to portray us as such is kind of like an insult to the human character. I at least like to think that people are capable of a greater good than that.

And now we get to the dreaded Twimitation part of the review; the biggest turnoff for me of this book, ever. I swear that she literally stole the words right out of Meyer's mouth, and she did it twice! Here's the first quote: ""I should let you go and walk away" His lips traveled across her face, kissing her forehead, her nose, her temples "
Yes, you should"
She didnt.
Me: please don't let it happen again, pleaseeeee!
He moved his head so that his lips were close to her ear " Run from me, Sasha. If you can do it, run like hell and don't come back."
My breath came out in short little gasps "I don't want to run"

Why oh why oh why did she have to do that to the both of them as characters?!? I mean she pretty much turned them into Bella and Edward; except Edward, the poser, only wished he could be demon spawn, Jax is actually the real thing, so that makes it better, right? And Sasha gasping all the time and not running away from what is clearly a dangerous guy/situation doesn't make her like Bella, because she actually rejected him!

I can tell that Faegen was trying to break away from that mould by havingBella Sasha reject Edward Jax at first instead of having total insta-love, but it was basically pointless, because that's basically what it was. Every other page Sasha was obsessing over Jax, all the while denying him to help her out in order to keep up with the illusion in her head that she was rejecting him. She was trying to "defend and lookout for herself" but in many cases that's not what she was doing at all, which is what scares me for impressionable people that read this book. Especially in one scene where a guy comes over and he starts putting his hand all the way up her skirt, grabs her boobs, and is basically sexually molesting her in the middle of fucking lunch. And she just sits there, cries quietly, and lets him do it because she doesn't want to attract attention. Even just typing that makes my blood boil. That is not, and never will be okay. EVER. I'm going to send out a PSA right now and say that if a guyever does that during lunch, or anywhere, you do NOT sit there and quietly cry. You scream bloody murder and hit that motherfucker so hard in the balls he'll be sterile for the rest of his pathetic life. And in that same scene, Faegen also writes that no one notices, and if they do, they ignore it, because the rumor of her being a slut is still going around. That is such bullshit I'm almost speechless. Even if a girl at my school had a reputation as a whore if a guy came up to her and you could see where his hands were and she was crying, I know probably half of my student body would go pummel that guy to the ground, especially if it was in such a public place as a freaking cafeteria. Sigh. I'm so sick and tired of this book.

The only thing I liked about this book was the sex scene. Yes, a YA author finally got the balls to write a descriptive sex scene, thank God There has only been one other YA book that I've read that has even mentioned the two love interests doing the deed is The Iron Queen - which is a lot better than Mephisto Covenant, by the way, and Kagawa wasn't nearly as descriptive about it as Faegen was. So, if you want one decent sex scene, read about 300+ pages of shit and you'll get there!

The only people I would suggest this book to is other reviewer to fuel up their snark, but, besides that, I would never suggest this book to anyone; this book doesn't deserve to be enjoyed by anyone. And now, I'm left with my simmering feelings and no one to understand me *sobs*

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slumber-a well written twist on the classic tale

Some spoilers are in this review. You have now been warned and I will not be responsible for any red-face, shock, and/or heart attacks that may occur if you don't like spoilers. 

Slumber is the remake of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, but with a couple of twists. The heroic "knight" that saves her from her deep sleep and restores her crumbling kingdom-instead of the dashing Prince Charming- is none other than her best friend Rogan. 

The book starts off in a way I didn't expect. Instead of it beginning with her in the present time, it starts off with Rogan telling of her childhood in a nice (but slightly wordy) whimsical prose: 
When I was a child the world smelled of summer.

The heady perfume of the dancing wildflowers would hug my senses every time the breeze rattled their song and took them with it on its journey to soothe my cheeks from the heat of the afternoon sun. The relieving scent of the damp soil when the sun had pushed the sky too far and it wept rain for days on end, before wearily turning the world back over to its golden companion. The refreshing aroma of lemons in the thick air of the house, mixing with my mother’s baking as she prepared our afternoon repast of bitter lemonade and thick warm bread, slathered with creamy butter made cold from the sheltering shade of the larder.

And my father’s pipe.

The sweet odour of tobacco tickling my nose as he held me close and whispered the stories of our Salvation and the mighty Kral who lived in the grandest palace in all the land with his beautiful daughter the Princezna... how kind and gentle they were... the reason my private world was one of innocence and endless summer." 

Then, very quickly, Rogan's childhood, and innocence, really, are shattered when Vikomt Stovia arrives at her house and brutally murders her mother, father, and little brother right in front of her eyes. Why, do you ask? Because she's an Azyl: a person with the magic to seek and find anything anyone desires, and with magic slowly dying out, she's needed at the palace to be the Princezna's Seeker. 

Now, before I continue on, I'll fill you guys in on how this world works: it's run by a group of people called the Dyvatzi (who the Princhezna Hayden is) who pretty much have this super-sweet power to keep things calm and keep people from hating and being cruel. Then there are the Dravilec, who are the healers, and the Glava who are pretty much wizards and can control the elements, have telekinesis, and can control people's minds, and as I said, the Azyls. 

So the King dies and it is left to his 8 year old daughter, Hayden, to rule (they are the only Dyvatzi left), she has Stovia go find one of each of the tribes of people, but due to her weak powers being only a child, Stovia uses some cruel-and very unnecessary- ways to find them all. 

I found Stovia to be a great bad guy in the story. The things he did were truly awful: he murdered, ripped children from their homes, and used Rogan's own powers to find and murder the healer's family. Also he really has a total disregard and carelessness for human life. He broke Rogan's mother's neck ,slit her little brother's throat, then stepped over his body like it was just a log. Oh, and he branded is own freaking son and called him his property, so if that's not a messed-up guy I don't know what is. I also like how Rogan described him: like a snake. I know that that's kind of cliche, but Young really extends it to his whole being; his cloak hisses, his eyes are black, he stalks and slides along the ground, etc. He was bad to the max, essentially. A pretty good villain, in my eyes. 

But, back to the plot line! 

So Stovia brings all of the children with the powers back to the young Princezna, Hayden (who has no idea of what means he used to acquire these children) and Hayden immediately latches onto Rogan to become her family, since she lost what little she already had, and her and Rogan become close friends as they learn palace life. There really isn't much about them growing up except for one part (but that's a bit of a spoiler) and the story jumps ahead to present time where Hayden is 17 and Rogan is 19, and, as Hayden falls under the sleeping ailment, her country is thrown into chaos and only Rogan can find the location of the one flower that can save her life. 

I have never hated-and yet loved- a character as much as I have one feisty little Rogan. I loved her because she's gone through so much horrible shit in her life: her parents and brother dying, and (view spoiler) instead of being oh woe is me my life sucks, she moves on because get this, guys: she knows that there are more important things to do and she has to move on to help her and her country. I'm not saying that she's some unemotional robot, either. She has horrible nightmares every night about that time with Stovia and the Mountain Man, and she can't deal with certain things because they remind her too much of that horrible time in her life. But she puts her own demons behind her for the day and doesn't let it effect her. Now that's a MC that I can get behind and root for in a novel, which is exactly what I did. 

Before I get to what I also didn't like Rogan, I have to talk about one hot piece of man, Wolfe Stovia (whom I also like to call Wolfie and my Wolfe-man ) I love him. Now I know you're probably thinking, Stovia.....hey, isn't this his son?! *gasp* why do you love him I'm sure he's totally evil! And in response to that, I have a question. Who says that just because it's the son of the bad guy that he also has to be rotten to the core? This has become very common in YA these days; the child of the bad guy is evil, bitchy, backstabbing, pretty much the cliche "the apple never falls far from the tree". But Slumber breaks off of this mold which couldn't make me happier. Wolfe is the total opposite of his father. He's Captain of the Guard, has a deep sense of right and wrong, and is virtuous. Don't get me wrong, he's not some angelic good boy; he's badass and he knows it, but it's a different kind of BA than the norm of: 

* guy rides up all in black leather on a black motorcycle and leans against a light-pole: " hey, my name's Malcolm, totally cool bad-boy name right?" *tucks hands into dark-washed jeans in the typical fashion* 
Me: Alright, then...Hey. 
Malcolm: "'I'm going to go be a rebel and do something highly illegal/dangerous, coerce you into coming with me, then, when we're on a total adrenaline high, I'll let you in on some highly deep and personal secret of mine that shows I actually do have feelings." *puts on black sunglasses* "let's go" 
Me: Uhmmm that's alright, I've seen it before *yawn* 
Malcolm: what?! No one has been able to resist the secret soft side that is Malcom! Lets try this again." 
Me: well, if you really want.... you can try. 
Malcolm: *staggers a little bit up to me* " hey, I'm totally drunk and hammered, but it's not because I'm bad; that's all show, it's because I've had really bad stuff happen to me and I think about you all the time so I drink! I love you, Cait! Come away with me!" 
Me: *eyes get huge* "have fun with that" *runs away* 

This is what Wolfe is like: 
*comes up on a horse in his Guard clothes looking all badass with his sword and expertly swings off of his horse and looks at me with those crazy-hot blue eyes* 
Me: Ohhhh boy. 
Wolfe: "I've had bad shit happen in my life, but that's neither here nor there. I'm just going to try and protect you as best as I can, and maybe, once I earn your trust, you can grow to love me as much as I've loved you ever since I first saw you. Maybe then, and only if you want, we can share and help each other through what's happened to both of us. " 
Me: *swoon* 
( I know I probably failed at that, but, seriously, he's amazing) 

You can tell right from the very beginning that Wolfe loves Rogan, even if both of them say snide remarks and push at each other's buttons. He's always right there with her, protecting her, no matter what, and I loved him for it. 
*some spoilers ahead relationship-wise. If you really don't want to know what happens in their relationship, then stop here, although it's pretty obvious the second you first see Wolfe* 

Which is exactly why I hated Rogan. After him only having to save her life about four freaking times, she finally realizes that he loves her and, well, they do the deed ( which was a really good scene). But, guess what she does, folks? She gets up in the morning, sees Wolfe gone, and decides that she's making......get this.... a mistake. If that wasn't stupid enough, she goes and tells Wolfe that and essentially breaks his heart, for really no reason that I felt like was a big deal. Then she still has the balls to make out with him two more times, have sex with him again, listen to Wolfe tell a girl he used to be in a serious relationship with that she loves only her, and STILL deny him. I mean, whhhaaattt?!?! To use an analogy to reiterate my point it was kind of like this photo: 

To set up the scene in case you don't watch baseball, the pitcher throws the ball and hits the hitter in the thigh, and the hitter rushes the mound to go: 
A. Punch the pitcher 
B. Pick up his leg and hop at the pitcher, who does the same in return 
C. Spit in the pitcher's face 
D. A & C 

Well, if any of you are crazy and chose B, you're.... 



Besides the craziness of that; it's pretty much how I felt about Rogan. I thought that they would just go into their relationship easily after being together, but then she does a japanese pitcher and throws me all off-balance. I felt like, after Stovia was gone as the villain, Rogan herself was the villain in this book. She kept on making all the wrong choices and sabotaging herself almost everywhere she went, which was probably why I ticked off the star. 

The only other thing that bothered me in this book was some of the language that Young set up. I felt like it was a mix of slavic and italian, and some of the names were hard to pronounce because of it. 

Besides all that, though, I really liked this book. The journey was really well-written for the most part. There was a lot of action (mostly in the way of kidnapping and other things that put Rogan in danger) and I liked that Rogan could take care of herself. She was tough and the journey made her even tougher, while also making her grow and mature in ways she and I didn't really expect. Really, really horrible things happened to her on her mission to save her friend, and she just kept on going no matter what the cost when, if I was in her shoes, I don't think I'd be able to. 

There was no horribly random cliffhanger at the end of the book, or Wolfe and Rogan separate again; really, it's all tied up an taken care of, so I'm kind of excited to see what new turn Young takes with the next book in this series. Definitely read this book if you haven't already.