Customer Review

61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of potential, but never really follows through., January 8, 2012
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This review is from: Brightest Kind of Darkness (Paperback)
Okay. Recent controversies may have cropped up about authors and negative reviews, but this book was a two-star book for me, and I'm sticking to it. Which actually is kind of weird, because there were a few parts that I really liked.

First, the good stuff. The concept itself is pretty cool, and there's a lot of tension building up in the first half of the book. Nara Collins is a teenage girl who consistently dreams of her future, and not just little things. We're talking EVERYTHING: goals scored in soccer games, phone calls from her estranged dad, the works. Consequently, Nara is a control freak. The book opens with her claiming to enjoy surprises (comparing it to "wearing my best friend's favorite shirt"), but to be honest, her actions don't really back that up later in the book. Nara likes controlling her life, and who can blame her? If I could've seen the future in high school, I'd probably have aced all of my exams too.

Her romantic interest, Ethan, is also actually pretty interesting background-wise. He's a loner, has his own complicated background, and seemingly knows something about Nara's ability.

SPOILER:

[We eventually learn that he's able to somehow STEAL Nara's dreams from her, which is kinda weird and never really explained. He's also got some sort of psychic tattoo thing going on, which again isn't addressed, other than the fact that it's apparently hot and gives him the quintessential bad boy image.]

(The spoiling is done!)

Now, the not-so-good stuff: the writing. Ethan reads like an textbook example of damaged bad-boy 101. When he's not smirking, snarling, or angsting (all of which are actual terms used to describe him in the book, I have page numbers), he's protecting Nara from falling bookcases and the forces of fate. I get that the whole protective-guy thing is considered romantic to some people, and I really don't have a problem with it to an extent. But there's a fine line between protective and just plain paranoid. Nara can SEE THE FUTURE. Rather than calling on your old juvenile-delinquent buddies from another school to fight the guys who threatened her (which happens, yes), maybe the best solution would just be to back off and let the girl do her thing.

I'm not totally clear if this is self-published or not. I initially assumed it was, but the cover touts the author as "award-winning" and I think the inside advertises more books written by her, so I'm not sure. Either way, the language in this book is clunky. Here are some examples:

"You must speak of free will. I cannot tell you more. Hurry!" (Keep in mind this is Ethan, a teenaged boy, saying this.)

Curling his lips inward, he continued with a determined snarl, "Nothing will happen to you!"

Despite the uneven writing, I think I would have given this book a 3-star rating if there had been any actual rising action, falling action, or even a conclusion in the plot. As it is, the book just sort of keeps going until it stops, presumably leading into a sequel.

Basically, reading this book didn't make me feel like I'd been cheated out of the $0.99 I spent on it, but I don't know that I can really recommend it to anyone. I might read next book, depending on how long the series is intended to be. I'm not really interested in seeing everything dragging out over several books.
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