My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As always the cover: I love this cover. To me it’s not just some girl in a dress–it symbolizes Persephone and the strong feature of myth in this novel. The blackness that is reaching up towards the girl makes me feel like that’s the shades. In other words, it’s creative just like the novel. Now, I really wanted to give this book five stars, but I want to be completely honest about this, so I can’t do it. The beginning of this book really irritated me. I’m a sucker for being dropped into a story, but this story literally drops you into a dead zone and it takes a good ten chapters for anything to make sense. Then there was the flashback slash time jumping issue. I believe that flashbacks are a great thing to use to create a point, but the way the flitted between the beginning chapters was just choppy. The countdown on each chapter beginning also irritated me, especially if it was the same time period as the last chapter. It made me feel as if I was being spoon fed the story. The writing of the novel was great, but some of the sentences were extremely choppy and lacked proper flow. I usually abstain from mentioning grammar in my reviews, because it quite irks me when others do it that don’t have any place in doing it. Here it is though, the major reason this wasn’t five stars for me–sentences starting with BUT, AND, OR, BECAUSE. This chopped the pace up for me and took away from the lovely writing. That’s the truth: this story is intriguing, beautifully written and it includes one of the only love triangles that didn’t annoy the hell out of me. The time-jumping, the way it was spoon fed to me as if I couldn’t keep time, and the choppy sentences beginning with coordinating conjunctions made this a four star for me. To be clear this is a great four star novel. It had me at the edge of my seat and reading at a blistering pace. It had me thinking about love triangles and what made this one so good. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the mature outlook of each of the characters within the love triangle. At the surface it may appear that the two contenders in the love triangle are trying to manipulate the situation, but in truth they both do truly love Nikki. They have their motives for their actions and they make sense. They are both trying to protect her in their own ways. Both Jack and Cole are relatable characters, and where Cole should be repugnant he’s not, because even when Nikki can’t see it, we can see he loves her. The other thing is that one can see why they love Nikki–she’s “selfless to the point of being self-destructive”, she’s been through hell in more than one way and made it back in one piece. She’s a mess and she works through it. She stands her ground with Cole and makes sense of her feelings, and above all, she’s not naive. I will certainly come back for more from this author, and only hope that the trend of coordinating conjunctions disappears, so I can stop highlighting and truly engross myself in the novel–but that’s my own problem!
- Everbound, Take Me Away! (ashley-townsend.com)