These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Monday, 12 September 2016
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I feel as though I belong to the majority when I say this: I picked this one up because of the movie.
I’m not big on the whole book to movie shebang, as nine times out of ten the movie leaves me ashamed. Details are always missing. Events are altered. Sometimes it is merely the premise of the book retold with a completely different story. Very rarely, though, the movie manages to do better than the book.
Somehow, I feel as though this will be a situation whereby the movie will be the better option.
I picked this one up because of the movie trailer. I have yet to watch the film, but I probably will. It seems like such fun. It promises action, action, action. The trailer is enough to get your heart pumping. You know something good is coming. Thrills await. Action in abundance. Emotions on high. It seems to offer all you would expect from a high velocity teen movie. Being a firm believer in books before movies, I opted to read the story before watching it. Truthfully, everything offered in the movie trailer seems to be missing in this one. It appears to be the premise and some of the characters are taken, being retold in a more interesting way.
Instead of action and thrills, I was given a mediocre read for the majority of the book. Rather than being a young adult thriller, it seemed to read like most of the other young adult books on the market.
First off, we have the teenage drama. There is the usual angst, failed romance, tension between friends, and everything else that is thrown together to show how teenage life is oh-so-very hard. I grew bored of reading through all of this. I wanted the thrills, not the teenage drama. I admit that it was interesting when the teenage drama was pulled into the game… but mostly I really didn’t care for it. I also couldn’t comprehend how such a thing would make good viewing. We spent far too much time listening to the main character being overly whiny. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to be done with all the teen drama.
Second, following on from the first, is the romance. It was expected in such a novel. You know, the whole teen drama story doesn’t work unless you add in the romantic aspect. For me, however, I found it to be even more annoying than usual. The aspect playing in with the teen drama I could have dealt with, what I found hard to deal with was the progression of romance between the two main characters. I understand that emotions are high in situations that leave the heart palpitating. Most of the scenes may have read as rather drab but for the characters they were intended to be blood-pounding moments. Thus, I can understand there being something between them. We see it in crime novels all the time – the thrill of the chase leaves people misattributing their aroused state. They mistake excitement and fear for attraction and love. In fact, there is a lot of evidence for this. It’s really useful if you want a sure fire way to confuse someone on a date. Get them excited and they’ll believe they’re in love with you. I once attended a lecture where the lecturer informed us she confused her aroused state whilst on a rollercoaster for attraction to the male she was with. It’s great dating advice. There is really something to it. Yet with the duo in this story, I felt there was a lack of chemistry. There was a lack of anything between them, and the notion of them getting so deep so quickly seem ridiculous to me. I understand heightened emotions, but the way things progressed between the two was too much for me.
Third, taking something I mentioned in the above paragraph, is the supposed action. The trailer for the movie suggests we’re in for a really wild ride. Oddly enough, there isn’t anywhere near the action shown in the trailer. There is very little happen in terms of dares. There are a handful, but none of them are really as heart stopping as they could have been. One I could mention had the potential to be a real heart stopper… and yet the way the story was told prevented it from having any real effect on the reader. The story telling, therefore, nullified any potential thrills. Honestly, I could rant on and on about the lack of real action, yet I fear I will bore you. The book touched the tip of the iceberg when it came to showing just how dangerous the game could be, and it all felt rather lacking because nothing much seemed to happen. Except, you know, increasing the teen drama and forcing out some apparently necessary romance that I couldn’t care less about.
Those are my three main issues, but there are also some other things that bugged me. Such as stereotypical characters, apparent messages being lost in the storytelling, the book being unsure of where on the young adult spectrum it fell, and the fact it was labelled for fans of The Hunger Games when such a thing makes very little sense.
Despite all of this, I was interested to see where things would go. It was a short easy read, and I was more than happy to work my way to the end to see how things played out. There was a constant promise of more, and whilst the more was never delivered, the expectation of it left me pulled into the story.
All in all, I had expected something more. Something much more, in fact. It leaves me both worried and hopeful for the movie. I fear the trailer showed all the good bits, yet I’m hopeful it has fixed all the issues with the book. Considering all I’d been hoping for, this one was rather lacking. Nevertheless, it could have been much worse…
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