First Lines: “Ohhh,” Katrina moaned in protest at the loud buzzing of her alarm.
I was asked by the author to read and review this, otherwise I never would have heard of this book.
Just for the sake of things, I’m going to include the description straight off of Goodreads: KATRINA DAVENPORT’S Junior year at Morgan Springs High starts off like any other—boring and routine. Little does she know, fate has other plans. COLE ALDRICH—a mysteriously attractive new addition has arrived and will change everything. Katrina’s world is turned upside down, as secrets are revealed and the past comes back to find her. Will she succumb to her destiny or live to fight it?
Sounds like something I would want to read, right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Actually, the problems weren’t so much with the plot but with the writing itself. I had to quit reading it after 50%. That’s right. I didn’t finish. It’s the 2nd time this year I’ve done that.
Just reading this description, what do you think this book is about? Maybe a mystery of some kind? Perhaps something with historical ties based on the cover? It’s about vampires. And I am literally spoiling nothing by saying that because it is pretty much stated at the end of chapter one. I had no idea this was going to be a paranormal read, so I wasn’t ready for it. It was a surprise I didn’t like.
My biggest problem with the story had to do with Katrina, the main character. She was darn near unlikable after a while. She’s clumsy to an extreme and constantly needs rescuing. I mean, it’s cute at first but then it gets really annoying. She is utterly incapable of saving herself in any way, shape, or form. Also, Katrina had the attention span of a gnat. She kept forgetting she’d made plans with her friend and then go off with Cole. She’s lucky her friend was ok with that because I certainly wouldn’t have been.
Something else I had a problem with was the characters themselves. That whole “attention span of a gnat” was pretty common to all the characters. No one could take anything seriously. Here’s a perfect example: Katrina and Cole were in the midst of a time-sensitive and potentially deadly conflict. They needed to leave before they were discovered. So what do they do? Make out in Cole’s car. I mean, what? Seriously? If my life was in danger, there is no amount of snogging that would make me forget that.
Basically, these points as well as others lead into the fact that the writing needed a lot of work. Not spelling or punctuation work, but pretty much everything else. Things would happen too suddenly, too out of character, or too obviously. I’ll give an example of each. For “too suddenly,” the story had a very hard time being at all suspenseful. Literally, by the end of chapter one, characters are going, “You know those new kids? I think they’re vampires.” It’s a little too soon for that.
The “out of character” points are the ones that bother me the most. This was was on Cole and Katrina. Cole believes he knows Katrina from a past life, where she was named Caroline. So he spends literally the whole story calling her Caroline. Katrina snaps a few times and tells him that’s not her name, so he tries to fix it for the rest of the chapter. Then he goes right back to calling her Caroline. Dude, if you’re going to date a girl, at least get her name right.
And then there’s “too obviously,” which was perhaps the best indicator that the writing needed work. The book never says anything as mundane as While Katrina sat puzzling through her predicament, the school bell sounded through the parking lot. (I just made that up on my own.) No, instead it’s always through dialogue, as in, “Crap, that was the bell.” (And that’s nearly a direct quote.) It was annoying because I always had to wait for the dialogue to reveal what was going on rather than, you know, the actual story.
Whenever I talked to anyone about this book (and you better believe I talked about it), I called it a “cheap Twilight knockoff.” You wouldn’t believe how many similarities there are between this and Twilight. Almost too much for it to be a coincidence. And here’s the funny part: I liked Twilight better. It was written better. At least the Cullens acted like real vampires from time to time. All Cole ever did was hiss and do a little mind magic. He had no problem with large numbers of people, sunlight, garlic, nothing. If they hadn’t been revealed as vampires, I wouldn’t have guessed that’s what they were.
If there was one good thing about this book, it’s that the action did start to pick up and get interesting about the point where I quit. It just wasn’t enough to get me to keep reading, when I’d spent the first 45% wanting to put it down.