by Lauren Kate

Cover Beauty Score: 5 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 2 out of 5

Plot Blurb: We follow the cryptic story of a teenage girl named Lucinda, who gets sent to a reform boarding school after she is involved in an awful accident in her old prep school. When she gets to her new prison, er, I mean, school, she meets a boy named Daniel whom she is inexplicably drawn to. Unfortunately, he wants nothing to do with her whatsoever. Lucinda has to figure out who Daniel is, and why he knows so much about her - not to mention the weird vibe that the rest of the students give her at Sword & Cross...

My Reaction: I expected to like this one, but alas... it seems more often than not I'm disappointed in the world of YA Literature. At least when I choose a book from the best seller list. I heard this one is being made into a movie, and it seems to pop up in my face everywhere I look these days, so I wanted to give it a shot. Ultimately, I'm depressed that I stuck through to finish the whole thing, hoping (beyond hope, it seems) that it would pick up somewhere in the middle. And then by the time you get 3/4 of the way through, you might as well finish it.

This book felt very much like 50 Shades of Gray to me. Deplorable writing fit for an elementary school reading level and a plot that wheezes out by about page 10 or so. And there was such potential for a good story, here! 5th grade writing aside, there was literally nowhere for the plot to go. I feel like Kate was so focused on creating a story to arch across multiple books that she neglected this one. We literally learn nothing by the end of this book that we didn't know by reading the back cover. Like. Don't insult your reader, please.

Why would I read a book in which nothing happens? Apparently I did anyways.

None of the characters experience any growth, as a matter of fact, we don't even really get to meet the characters at all. I felt like the climax of this story should have been the opening hook... instead we get a long drawn out fiasco of epic proportions and cryptic snakes and weird visions and lots of teenage boys dying. It's no fun if I literally know what the big secret is - if I know what the climax will bring - just by reading the back of the book. Plotting 101 - keep your reader guessing.

And let's not even get started on Daniel... so he's good looking, but that just doesn't make the reader want to swoon over him. He's a grade A asshole, selfish weirdo. So your gf dies when you kiss her. Here's a tip... put it back in your pants and just let her live without jumping her bones! There was no chemistry between them whatsoever.

And that painfully awful scene where they swim to the rock? I was having horrible flashbacks of those stupid Lux books running through my head.

In summary, this book stinks. If you like it, please consider reevaluating your priorities in life, and go take a class on plot/character development.

Here's one that we can only hope will be slaughtered by the movie execs to make a decent motion picture. Because that's the only way it will ever make it in Hollywood.

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