Ahmet من عند Notia Kinouria, اليونان
I've gone back and forth on the rating on this one, and I just don't know that I am going to be completely satisfied with anything. After reading the first page, I almost quit entirely. Some unnecessary (stupid) hyperbole, a really, really dumb character name and a teenager who thinks it's entirely possible to get biology removed from the curriculum? No thanks. But, I had heard nothing but gushy-gushy-awesome things about this book, so I persevered. The hyperbole and idiotic teenager are part of the plot, and I have to admit that after a bit, I remembered: "OH YEAH... that's how teenagers actually act!" Everything is dramatic, and an overreaction is the only kind of reaction. So, score one for the realism of the characters, but it was an adjustment. That realism is carried through the book, with plenty of cringe-worthy embarrassing moments and things that I just wanted to roll my eyes at. But, really, I am pretty sure I would roll my eyes at the way I functioned on a day to day basis as a sixteen year old. The story is Twilight-esque in its pacing, and once I got about sixty pages in, I just didn't want to put this book down. There was never a "slow" point, where I felt I could just walk away for a bit, and had the timing been right, I would have kept reading into the wee hours of the morning (luckily, this was a daytime read, and I finished around 11 PM... the bags under my eyes will thank me for that) The sexual tension is perfect, though the catalyst for creating it is the ultimate cliche. Please, she gets a sexy new biology lab partner on the day they start doing reproduction and human sexuality? Also... can somebody explain to me how blood pressure studies related to the reproduction chapters they were doing...? No? OK then. A semi-well placed mystery, and the pieces that didn't quite line up (thus creating more mystery) were perfectly explained in the end. Though I was annoyed that the fact that it seemed like there was more than one mystery going on was explained by the fact that there was, in fact, more than one mystery. It felt... awkward? Bulky? Cumbersome? I can't think of the right word, but it seemed to me that the author wanted there to be these pieces of the story that just didn't line up with the semi-obvious solution to the mystery, so she threw them in there, trying to confuse the reader, but then had to explain them at the end. Instead of having a cool Rowling-esque method of wrapping it altogether and getting an "AHA!" moment out of it, she pulled a Heroes-style wrap up "They're BOTH doing it!" Blerg. Mostly this applies to the "Marci" storyline. Unnecessary and stupid. I do feel like this was the better fallen-angel story, and I am going to go change my rating for Fallen accordingly (the longer I think about that one, the more I dislike it anyway). So, to sum up: Five stars for suspense, romance, action, and pacing. Four stars for characters and overall theme. Three stars for the mediocre red herring, convoluted motives and one completely superfluous side story. Two stars for creating the names "Vee Sky" and "Patch Cipriano". Really? "PATCH" is your romantic lead? Stupid. PARENTAL ADVISORIES: Language 1/5: Some teenage-name calling, including some derogatory sexually explicit slurs. Violence 3/5: Some scary scenes, though most of it is B-movie level intimidation and nobody actually gets hurt. An extremely minor character is shot. A hanging is talked about briefly. One character intimidates, threatens and knocks around a few other characters. A girl is beaten up. A brief but intense fist fight. A woman tries to burn down a house to "smoke out" another. A character tries to commit suicide. Some wrestle/fist fighting of various intensity several times throughout the story. A girl is mugged. A boy threatens a girl and nearly hits her. Sex 2/5: A lot of loin-burning desire, but no actual sex. Some passionate kissing. A boy and a girl are in a hotel room together (ostensibly NOT for sex) and she is in a tank top and panties while he is commando in his jeans while they have some heated discussions/fights/wrestling matches. Some frank (and fairly juvenile) discussions about sex, shirtless boys and the like. Teen girls buy racy lingerie while talking about the boys in their lives. Substance Abuses 1/5: A character gets drunk. A girl is in the hospital and has morphine and talks about how "good the drugs are," making jokes about beginning a prescription drug addiction.