Saturday, 21 January 2012

So I'm still very much in the testing stages of this blog. This is me seeing if I can embed a we go

Ahhhh, it worked. This is my latest book review on Youtube >.<

Now, let's see if I can add a review from Goodreads...

FeverFever by Dee Shulman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Hmmm, where to start? What I will say is that if you are Dee Shulman, look away now. I am doing this for your own good. And apologies, this is going to be a long. I will do my best to avoid spoilers (though it be difficult as there are a lot of specific bits that I really want to moan about!!!)

I really did try to find some positives, as I don't like giving a completely negative review It's not really fair or constructive, but it was difficult. The only thing I could find, was that the author can put a sentence together well, and technically speaking, her writing is pretty, well, readable. The problem that I had then, was with what the words were saying.

So lets start with her characters. I don't think I have ever instantly disliked a character as much as I did Eva. She's just too perfect. It's never really spelt out for us, as Eva's storyline is written in first person perspective, and being so humble and self-deprecating (which gets really annoying!!!) she never says 'I'm stupidly intelligent', but when we discover she can hack into computers at the age of 8, it's kind of implied.

Then once she hits her teens, she suddenly becomes some kind of radiant goddess that boys can't seem to resist, which girls hate her for.

So far she has brains and beauty. What are we missing?...oh yes, talent. She can play guitar and sing!! There we go, the perfect package. To be fair to the author, she did try to balance Eva out by giving her family/friend issues, but by that point my dislike was so firmly cemented, I just couldn't bring myself to sympathise or care and I just wished she'd stop whining and get over it. You can't have everything.

Her family doesn't understand her, which she often reminds us of, and she has no friends because she can't let anyone know her secret super-duper brain powers. All the boys want to date her because she is so beautiful and all the girls loath her because they are riddled with jealousy!!

Later on though, she meets Ruby who becomes her first friend. But when they fall big style (not Eva's fault of course, and yes, that was sarcasm) she becomes a stereotypical jealous, teenage villain, calling Eva lots of nasty names very publically. But don't worry, Eva's not alone, and the friends she doesn't even realise she has come to her rescue in the most cheesy fashion you could imagine. Yay.

A lot of my criticisms are probably just me being a bitch though, as I find people like Eva extremely hard to relate to and empathize with. It didn't help much that was particularly believable either. It soon becomes obvious to all that she's a brain-box, gorgeous and a mean musician, but it's the fact that she's so modest about it to the point of denial, that irritates me so much! How can she not know that she's stupidly attractive, when every guy who takes one look at her instantly seems to throw themselves at her feet, or how intelligent she is by the fact she gets accepted into the Boffin Institute (actual name St. Magdalene's)? It all comes across, to me, as a bit false. Just a little self acknowledgement of her many gifts, and some simple honesty would have made me like her more.

Then there's Seth, the male lead. A gladiator. He's strong, agile, quick and has this uncanny ability to pre-empt an opponent's next move before even they do (facts that we are reminded of constantly). Basically the perfect fighter. Then there's the fact that the poor dear, has to be beautiful and ooze charm that seems to draw in the opposite sex like a magnet. It's a hard life. But like with Eva, the author has tried to balance him out with being a slave and lacking in the freedom department. I actually found that I liked him to start with, but then his love interest, Livia, appears and he becomes a bit of a simpering romantic obsessed with love and the need to be with this girl he barely knows. I'm afraid I lost all respect for him. Again, this is probably just be my own personal failings when it comes to matters of the heart, but it started to get a little cheesy.

So within a few chapters, I was already finding this book a bit of a struggle, as I wasn't really invested in the characters. But I will say, which can be viewed as the second positive, is that though I personally didn't get on with her characters, the author has admirable character building skills, as through the course of the book, you really get to know them inside and out.

You may at this point, be wondering why I continued reading. The answer is the plot, as I was interested in finding out how she was going combine the two very different story lines together. The book makes it clear that time travel is involved, but it takes a while for that particular plot point to develop as there is a lot of initial back-story to wade through. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed as the whole thing becomes a little silly.

We are introduced to the concept of Parallon, an alternate dimension (I think) that exists outside of time...and that's about all we get. There is very little explanation as to what it is, why it's there or even where it got it's name and although there's a character in Parallon who seems like he might have the answers, he is too irritatingly evasive and vague to be of any use.

It is from this point Eva and Seth finally meet, and it all seems a bit patched together, erring on the side of random. A series of events that don't really fit together or flow, leaving the whole thing disjointed. Towards the end of the book, I waited for a climax to the plot and maybe a few answers to some of the many mysteries hinted at, as, though this seems to be the start of a series, usually there is some sort of sense closure and of wrapping up. However, as there was no real focus to the story, this was absent. Instead we got some technical jargon about the fever for which the book is named, and although high-lights the research the author must have done, was detailed to the point of being boring and I'm afraid I began to skip chunks.

Then we finish on a scene that was missing from the earlier narrative, and should have been the grand finale, in which we discover the key details of a pinnacle event that occurred previously and that links, Seth, Eva and Livia together (badly and tenuously). Yet alas, by this point, I had lost all interest and just wanted to finish the book.

So, in conclusion, not good. Characters that are hard to like and unrealistic. A plot with too many holes and (deep breath) missing explanations that leaves the whole thing feeling like lots of random ideas just thrown at each with no real effort to linking them together, and too many mysteries that are left unresolved and therefore make no sense.

A lot of this (as I always say in my reviews) is of course personal preference so I won't tell you not to read it, as you may miss out on a book that you may in fact, like.

My goodness, that's the longest review EVER. If you made it this far, I commend, congratulate and thank you. You are super.

View all my reviews Yay!!!!

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