it saddens me that i don’t hyper-love this series as much as everyone else seems to.
because i like the series; it’s good, i enjoy reading it, but whenever i read these wonderfully enthusiastic reviews for these books, i just feel a little left out. wait up for me, guys!
there’s a lot to like—it has an original plot with characters who stand out from the frequently cookie-cutter girls and boys who populate the YA fantasy/adventure books, and it seems to be going somewhere, not just treading water, seeing how many books it can stretch itself to before the audience loses interest. all of these things are good things, and i note them as such with my brain. but my heart is looking elsewhere.
this second part picks up shortly after the action in the first one, and shifts the POV from alison to tori. now, i don’t want to ruin the big “oh no she didn’t” from Ultraviolet, so i will just say that these characters are very different girls.
but—man, i gotta tell you. there comes a point in this book where the opportunity is given to COMPLETELY change everything and pull the rug out from under the reader, and i started getting really excited, “oh my god, is she really going to do this?? this could be the coolest thing in YA history” View Spoiler »because, honestly, the whole “alien” thing never really interested me, and that might be why i can’t full-heart this series. i’m just not, ultimately, a sci-fi fan. i started with this series because i am a synesthesia fan, but aliens and outer space?? nahhh, just not in my fun-zone. but when she suggested that all of the alien stuff was just a hallucination of alison’s, and gave perfectly reasonable explanations for an alternative to alison’s psychologically unstable-at-the-time perspective i started getting so into that, because it would have been such a bold thing to do to all the readers who fell in love with the outer space-y parts, and it would have certainly made me more impressed with the series but alas. people don’t write books specifically for me anymore… « Hide Spoiler
but, still, that moment of uncertainty was a good one, and i thank her for giving it to me, however briefly.
another big plus is the lack of coddling, the lack of gentleness. alison is not in this story much, but when she is, she is pretty clearly affected by what happened to her in the first book. and i like that, as a reader. you can read any number of these books where the heroine is seemingly indestructible, both emotionally and physically, but after a while, the lack of realism is wearying. alison has been through some damage, and it shows. but she wears it well, and having her just be a peripheral character in this installment is a good move.
so i am only saying good things about the book(s)! and three
stars is not a bad rating, not when i’m giving them out, but i wish whatever ineffable reader roadblock on my part that wasn’t letting me yield to my fellow readers’ rapture would be removed. i want to love.