I feel like I need to talk about this book. It's been out for awhile now, but I just got to reading it within the past month. Now I feel motivated to write a little rant about it.
The novel begins well. I was actually quite excited, especially because there was not some over dramatic overly love oriented vibe to it. The two main characters, at the beginning, were both strong, talented, and mostly reasonable. However, there was one thing that really bothered me about them, which was the fact that they were quite one-dimensional. They actually sounded like they were the same person at times, despite being brought up in completely different circumstances. Not only that, but the perspectives sounded way too much like a middle-class view mixed with serious clichés. For example, Day is proposed as the cynical-with-a-soft-side, rebellious, charismatic/womanizing, dark protagonist character. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? If not, call to mind a few other male lead characters from YA novels, such as Jace Wayland (Mortal Instruments), Fang (Maximum Ride Series), and Loki (Trylle novels). Furthermore, June is a cliché as well, pictured as brilliant, curious, spur-of-the-moment, and well off until she meets him. Again, call to mind the characters of Clary (The Mortal Instruments), Grace (Shiver trilogy), and Wendy (Trylle novels). However, these similarities are pretty common, and I'm surely not doing enough justice to the actual differences, so I continued to enjoy it.
When the romance came along, I was not expecting much. I knew it would, as who could possibly write a novel with two main characters of opposite sex and not make them fall in love with each other? So it showed up, with its lack of necessity and irritating drama. However, it was pretty well done. Of course, sadly, it was based off beauty, but it was more complex than the typical romance and I was enthralled when the characters kissed. Yet still the novel was definitely dragged down a bit because of it. To begin, such an enthrallment is a reader's enthrallment. It is one of the most powerful reactions, as it can create sheer enjoyment after the anticipation of it. However, so often it is used before the anticipation can build up enough. This makes it very difficult to continue the romance afterwards, as well as making a sort of anti-climax for the novel. Examples of this could be shown within the Shiver series, the Mortal Instruments, the Twilight series, and so many others. My preference is always to wait until the end of a series before the two characters get together if at all.
Moving on, I had one of the biggest issues with the descriptions and exposition. I feel my issue is best represented as notes to Lu and her fellow authors, stated as follows:
-I don't care if it's a novel, people do not just randomly think of their names (ex: I was named Joe after my grandfather. Let's go rob a bank)
-People don't describe, in detail, familiar objects. (ex: I glanced at my name tag, which I'd been wearing all day. My normal, curly script had become messy in my rush, so my name had been barely visible)
-Go easy on the descriptions. Save the elaborate ones for scenery. You are not recording a police description, so they do not have to be written down one after another. This is especially apparent with clothing. (ex: I looked down at my blue dress, with little pearls and eloquent silk ribbons. The same silk was used to wrap my high-heeled shoes, which were covered in the layers of tulle beneath the skirt. It reminded my of the top half of a globe, minus all the splotches of green and white. Where the north pole should have been, the skirt met my tightly strung bodice. The strings pulled at my skin so I could hardly breath.)
The final conundrum was with the preview of the next novel, which is partly why I don't plan to read the sequel in its entirety for a long while. As stated above, the romance issue occurred. The romance seems to have died and now the author is trying to pull together two people who really shouldn't have gotten together in the first place. What I mean by this is that the main characters seem angry with one another, and are lacking all the humor or passion that makes romance useful in a novel. Furthermore, they seem to have slipped into another cliché. This time, Day has become the overly-protective/controlling boyfriend and June has become the clingy, trying-to-make-it-work girlfriend. As you can see, it seems stuffy.
I know that was long, but I have a lot to get off my chest. By the way, when I write these things I am not saying that I don't make these same mistakes. This is simply my perspective as a reader towards this novel.