Friday, June 11, 2010

On Timing & Novels (A Shiver review)

I just read Shiver, a pretty popular paranormal YA novel. I didn't like it. Part of me realizes that this probably is not my ideal genre. I enjoy romance in fantasy novels, but it always needs to be secondary to the rest of the story. Take Tamora Pierce's Tortall novels, the characters almost always fall in love. I relish the romance, but the rest of the story leads to the romance not the other way around.

Another reason I think that I didn't like Shiver is timing. Anyone who knows me or follows me realizes the last month has been…well rather horrible. My Papaw who I was very very close to passed away suddenly and I'm still grieving every single day. There may be some strain & frustration in other relationships that I'm not going to go into details are.

Maybe now is not the time to read a slow, sad, kinda sappy romance/paranormal. Recently I've read books like Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and even more recently Soulless & Changless by Gail Carriger. Soulless is probably the epitome of what works for me right now. It's so much fun - really fun characters, intriguing world, interesting plot, and it makes me blush with complete embarrassment sometimes.

Shiver has around 100 pages where there are two teenagers just being "oh so in love" and melodramatic. I just want to smack them through most of these ooey-gooey encounter. Especially when random people like clerks at shops comment on how cute they are together (when I first started dating my boyfriend we were very ooey-gooey & I'm fairly certain no one thought we were cute, but rather found us obnoxious. I apologize to any clerks I encountered during this period). I do think some of this was probably unnecessary, but even if it fit perfectly I was never going to like reading that. Not now. (Maybe not ever, but thats taste).

There were some redeeming qualities in Shiver. I really enjoyed the ending when the plot really started pushing everything forward. The pace quickened and things aside from canoodling started happening. For that reason alone I'll consider a library copy of "Linger." But sometimes the teenage characters spoke and behaved in ways that just weren't….teenager at all. At a pivotal moment in the story they made a quiche. I'm not sure how this fit into the plot at all. Maybe I'm missing something, but at that point I could have done without the quiche.

For people who really like Shiver, who knows maybe I'll come back to this book (with its beautiful cover art - the real reason I read the book) someday with a happy perspective and enjoy the love story. The book isn't horrible. I'm listening to Witch & Wizard by James Patterson on CD and that book is horrid. No redemption for it. I'm finishing it because I spent 20 bucks & don't have another book on CD right now but under serious duress. I was disappointed by Shiver, but at least its not complete disdain and hatred. I think there were some beautiful passages (language wise) and when there was action I liked that. Just the mush was too mush for me.

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