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Lark

Pitter Patter of Little Thoughts

If I had an addiction, it would probably be books. All kinds of books. There is almost nothing better than curling up with fuzzy pillows, warm blankets, a mug of hot chocolate, and of course a book to fall into. Trying to get a full account of all the books I've read in the past - and also trying to be more diligent about documenting the books I read nowadays (and reviewing them). Thus, all current books I read will be reviewed, and all books I've realized I read in the past will not be reviewed unless I read them again. Also trying to expand my palate in books and genres. There's nothing I love better than a recommended new book in a different genre that surpasses my expectations. Feel free to leave a recommendation ^^

Currently reading

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens, Stephen Koch
Elfland (Aetherial Tales) - Freda Warrington Rosie is typical girl. Wondering about love, trying to figure out her place in life, cavorting with brothers and friends, and oh yeah, trying to figure out how to be Aetherian in this mortal word. But the gates between their world and "Elfland" has been closed permanently because of a great danger - or so says the Gatekeeper. As Rosie and her friends grow up, exploring into their lost heritage, they will find themselves in the midst of breaking this mystery.

This is the first book with decent grammar and writing that I've had the displeasure of finishing. The characters are complete imbeciles. All of them. All of them!! How is this possible? It's as if they're stuck at a hormonal age of 16, making idiotic decisions and irrational statements. Ummm marriage for 4 months and then realizing you can't stand the dude because you didn't face up to your real emotions? Ridiculous. It's like they're playing with life, and when a wave of lust comes across them, they treat it like real love and change their entire life. Argh, love - this pisses me off! As if any of them show real emotional attachment. All they have connecting them (Rosie and Jon; Faith and Matt; Jessica and Lawrence, and Sam and Rosie, especially) is just pure lust. And ugh, gratutious sex scenes. I'd rather have a scene that shows me that there's a true connection besides longing for their hot bod. And the worst part is that all of these characters grow up into their late twenties and they are still incapable of making rational decisions. Sure, emotions can make someone a little wonky, but their dumb decisions happen over and over again. Please. Excuse me as I roll my eyes.

The characters have utterly no depth except for what we are spoon-fed from the narrator. For example, Jon is supposed to be someone with whom everyone falls in love. But from his characteristics and actual dialogue, he's a bit of a stupid idiot. Rosie is supposed to be generous and kind and forgiving with a bit of spunk. But her actions and words just make her seem like a selfish, love-sick fool who can't do anything. Honestly, does she do anything at all in this story? Sam is supposed to be a violent, rude person that later is revealed to be actually a good guy who helps out his brother - but his words say that he's just a creepy, obsessed dude who has issues. The author wants us to believe these characters are a certain type of person by telling us exactly who they are, but all the dialogue and actions point to the contrary. That is poor writing.

There is absolutely no plot. My summary in the first paragraph sucks because I feel like it's a little impossible to summarize this convoluted, no-directional story. It's basically about Rosie and Sam hooking up and getting together and opening the gates. With a ton of teenage drama. Oh there's an affair. Here's a marriage. There's a hookup. There's a stepmom. There's unrequited love. Etc. That's the bulk of this book. It's more like a television high school soap drama with the amount of dumb relationship problems hidden between two families. And the closed gate is more like a subplot thrown in to make this drama possible. Shakes head.

Thus, the resolution of the "main" (in quotes because obviously the real emphasis is on the dysfunctional relationships. "Main" can probably be replaced by "fake") plot, is incredibly weak. The ending was a cop-out and the villain was too easily defeated.

You would think that having faeries in the real world would be a little bit interesting. I love learning about new magic systems and delving into new worlds. But this book.... manages to make faeries mundane. How is this possible? They're basically like humans with shiny skin and one more dimension. Rosie manages to reveal her status as a faerie to every single human she meets - and they're supposed to keep it quiet. What the heck? There is no magic in this world. There is no discovery. It's completely boring. Instead of new lore and a beautiful world where senses are incapable of describing the new dimension, Warrington just dumps the entire history of these Aetherians in long, unreadable, completely boring paragraphs. Information dumps. Horrible way to reveal a potentially beautiful world.

And one thing that I noticed and that I can't believe with a bit of outrage is that there are no humans in this story who are remotely portrayed in a positive light. In contrast, the main characters (all Aetherians) can do no wrong. Even Rosie when she commits adultery to her poor husband seems to be in the right at the end of the day when Alastair turns out to be a complete scumbag despite the initial courtship. Arghhh! Stupid girl!! Lawrence, for all his horrible, almost inexcusable mistakes, is still portrayed as a swell guy with courage to face his fears by the end of the book. Jon gets a free pass for his bastardly actions when he's all redeemed at the end as well. What the heck? How can these main characters (all Aetherian) do no wrong? And Sapphire, someone who could potentially defeat the stereotypical wicked step-mother turns into a caricature of that exact stereotype. The only humans in this book (besides maybe Mel, who isn't really a character), are all horribly in the wrong. Is it just me, or is that kind of weird? Especially since they're living in the mortal world and choose to stay here. Even besides that, it also points to the fact that this is a pretty empty world. Despite them going to college and getting married and whatever goes on in their drama-filled daily lives, they only interact with other Aetherians. It's poor world-building and poor characterization.

I hate how Warrington portrays the women in this book. These women all have stupid affairs and romantic relations and do absolutely nothing. They flip their waterfall of hair and let their hair swish around. They just get married and plant gardens. Do they have no ambition or any purpose in life besides swooning over boys??? Rahhh!!! Feeling angry. I am disappointed in Warrington for creating a female protagonist that can't do anything at all.

So. After all these rants, why did I finish the book? All 500 pages. Ha.. I'm not sure. Because I wanted to know how it ended, even though I hated so many parts of it, I guess. Maybe because it's a fairly easy read as well. But ugh. I don't think it was worth my time at all.

One star. This is incredibly low, even for me. But it's because even though sentence structure, grammar, and perhaps even basic story construction is okay, I really did not like it. At all. It's basically a teen angst romance story with multiple love plots. That is not what it sells itself as, though, and therefore extremely disappointing.
Would not recommend to anyone at all. Unless you like stupid girl stories about romance with a hint of magic.
I won't judge if you actually do like those stories. Okay. Maybe a little. Read at your own caution.