Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mortal Danger (review)

2/5 stars

Part of me feels guilty for how much I disliked Mortal Danger (Goodreads | Amazon).  It tried to do some good things, to acknowledge problems with society that we often see with other books and to upend some common cliches that I hate.  All of that is good and well if the book had been readable.

The story follows Edie, an overweight unpopular girl who's on the brink of suicide.  As she contemplates ending her life, an unnaturally attractive boy named Kian shows up and offers her a deal that she can't refuse.  Suddenly Edie's whole life changes, including her physique, and she's hell-bent on taking revenge against her high school foes.

The problem is: I kind of hate Edie. There's nothing really to her, aside from her hatred and unpopularity.  She doesn't feel like a real character but she's suddenly a super-special person to the people Kian works for without ever showing any spark of being an interesting character. The first 60% of this book is nearly unreadable.  Edie's the kind of self-oriented person that spends too much time whining and focused on herself.  I'm all for flawed heroines but damn I didn't want to spend anymore time in this girls head.

It didn't help that the book tended to fall into cheesy over-descriptions and eye-rolling metaphors.
"The two of us were like magnets with the same charge. No matter how much I wanted to be close to him, circumstances kept shoving us apart." 
Gag. I can't cope with that sentence or the whole love-story-from-nowhere that's behind it.  Did I mention there was an unbelievable romance in the novel? Do I even have to anymore?

Now, onto things this book did right.  After you get through the unbearable beginning, this book fleshes the high school popular characters.  That's not something you typically see, normally they're just cliches bullying the protagonist but the novel acknowledges that they have their own problems and motivations.  It also tackled some of the gender dynamics of boys pitting girls against each other and society pretending girls have no depth.  However, while it's nice to see those elements it doesn't rescue the story.

I have a lot of trouble imagining non-reviews will make it through this story.  However past the 60% mark the story drastically improves and suddenly it's readable. Just good luck making it through the beginning.

I received an advanced reading e-book in exchange for an honest review. 

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