Rating: 3 stars
This was both better and way way way worse than the first book. I won’t even compare it to the second (yikes)
As usual, the pacing was atrocious, with hardly any coherent transitions at all; a lot of the story was just left for me to figure out on my own, I guess. Characters would change location at the drop of a hat without any preamble or explanation. It killed any flow or suspense or tension the story had managed to garner and left me bored and confused, and only wishing it would end faster.
The awkward instalove between Luis and Corny was super random, but since Luis was barely recognizable anyway, I guess it didn’t matter. (To be fair, Luis’ side of things felt a bit more natural, whereas it’s been established that Corny should be renamed Horny) Corny’s character arc came out of nowhere and also he never got any consequences for some very questionable decisions from the beginning of the book. Like, love can’t conquer all when one of the partners is a sociopath (looking at you, SJM 👀)
Roiben’s plot was the more interesting storyline but also his character arc made no sense because he was barely in the book. If the book had been solely about him, it might have been better and had more room to expand on themes instead of mentioning them and moving on. Kaye’s storyline was mostly okay, but everything with her mom melted into saccharine mush, which was a real shame, since I had actually liked that part and even shed a single tear when she confronted her again. It had been really intriguing, but then Black took the easy route and decided to have an off-screen character arc for the mom and ruined the story. *sigh* It really could have been decent.
Also, so many names were thrown around and I honestly don’t know if these characters had been introduced before or not, because they were treated like I already knew them and I definitely didn’t.
This series was largely incoherent but 12 year old Faith probably would have been trash for it. Maybe I should have read this first so my expectations of Black’s work weren’t at least middling. The other two books I’ve read outside of this series (The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Coldest Girl In Coldtown) both weren’t great but I at least enjoyed them. Black has improved, I guess, but her books are still pretty and meaningless.
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