author: Aprilynne Pike
released: April 30, 2013
format: e-book, hardcover
pages: 352 pages
publisher: Harlequin Teen
Read: July 3-5, 2013
Acquired: Library, Overdrive
Book Type: YA, contemporary, paranormal
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.
No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so–in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history–he agrees to help her complete her “unfinished business.” But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff’s new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he’s made the right choice.
Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel.(From Goodreads.com)
I really did not like this book. In fact, it was actually a chore to finish. And if I wouldn’t have spent so much time and effort to get the thing on my e-reader (borrowing books from the library that don’t go to Kindle needs an instruction manual) and been in the middle of a read-a-thon, I simply would have just walked away. Except, probably not because I have all these internal issues with not finishing a book. Which is probably why I finished it. Going in, the book had all the factors that made me think I’d like it: great cover, unique and interesting synopsis, and good reviews. So why the meh?
1. The cover
The cover is brilliant. I.love.this.cover. But, the story is told in the first person… by a guy. So, having a pretty girl on the cover A) isolates the guys that might just have picked up the book otherwise and B) Doesn’t accurately capture the person the story is supposed to be about. This kind of left me with an identity crisis of a book.
2. The Twist
Why could Jeff see Kimberlee when no one else could? This was never explained. He didn’t have some near death experience. And once she was gone, it didn’t seem like he would see other ghosts. I don’t know, there just wanted enough science behind it for me to fully get on board. And I love paranormal and will get behind even the most basic explanations.
3. The Characters
I didn’t like any of the characters. No one stood out in the crowd. Kimberlee was too annoying and even though she is supposed to be learning a lesson about the way she was before she died, I just didn’t see any remorse. Jeff wasn’t dynamic or interesting and his love interest was cliche. Basically it was as if the genders were reversed and we had “good girl moves to new school and dresses to fit in, but finds the cool guy who used to be bad, but now he teaches the girl that she doesn’t have to fit in to be cool.” I don’t know, I just didn’t buy it being more than a part of the plot, rather than actual feelings, motives, and experiences.
4. The Author
I’ve never read anything by this author, but half way in, I noticed a few Goodreads reviews about how the author was bad-mouthing bloggers who wrote negative reviews. And after the screen caps, I was just put in a sour mood.
5. The Plot
Maybe it’s because I’ve read stories along the lines of this one who did it better (Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Between by Jessica Warman), but the plot didn’t stand out at all. I think maybe that identity crisis had something to do with it. Not being IN Kimberlee’s head, we don’t know what she is really going through. And Jeff doesn’t really seem to learn much of anything throughout the story (except that he has really, really cool parents.)
This is basically how I felt when I finally finished the book. I felt relieved that it was finally over. Books shouldn’t make you feel that way. I’ve read text books I enjoyed more than this book. And to be fair, nothing about it was bad about the book. It’s just nothing stood out, nothing seemed to drive the story forward. Basically, I just wasn’t entertained and even more basically, this book was just not for me.