I can pretty much bucket all of my problems with this book into two main categories: Melissa Walker’s version of the afterlife (which I realize is entirely personal) and the way the plot unfolds. This ended up being a little more rant-y than I initially intended, so I’ve included a healthy dose of Dean and his wonderful facial expressions to make it a more pleasurable experience
Issue 1: The Afterlife
In Ashes to Ashes, the afterlife is full of ghosts hovering around their unknowing loved ones as their presence heals the living, helping them to move on and therefore allowing the ghosts to basically level up to the next plain of consciousness where they will supposedly find peace and oneness with the universe. While I can get behind leveling up to peace and oneness, the hanging around watching the people you love be sad sounds incredibly depressing to me. We’re told it’s okay because normal ghosts (of course, Callie is special) are kind of like the Dolls in the show Dollhouse.
Shadows is the kind of thing that’s just up my alley. A kick ass protagonist, nephilim, enough sexual tension to cut the cheese. Wait, I think I’m getting my sayings mixed up…
At one point I shook my iPad and was all, “Do you or do you not have memory issues?!” then I yelled, “You’re not my supervisor!” over and over again because it just felt right.
I know amnesia is complicated and how much memory is lost works on a case by case basis and all that jazz, but Rafa was dropping tantalizing hints and making vague statements all over the place. Yet Gaby is so frustratingly incurious. I mean, his hints were pretty obvious, but most of the time she brushed them off as if every guy tries to pick up girls by implying things about the girl’s life and personality that clearly aren’t remembered. Last guy trying to pick me up was totally like, “Hey, when are you going to do that thing you do with the tiger and the mayonnaise?” and I was all like, “I have no idea what this means, but he’s hot so… splooge.”
Here is one of many examples I could have picked from:
“You’re really going to keep this up?” he asks when I sit back down.
This is an open letter to Sarah Rees Brennan demanding she be held accountable for my feels and I have asked James Van Der Beek here to express them for emphasis.
Do you mind if I call you Sarah? As you have repeatedly done horrible things to my heart, I feel it’s only fair for me to address you as though we’re acquainted.
What. The hell.
You have said before that your goal as a writer is to make your readers feel something. I generally find this to be a worthy, admirable goal and rest assured, you do an incredible job. Unfortunately you seem to have decided somewhere along the way to use your powers for evil and I just don’t understand why.
Untold had me ping-ponging back and forth between laughing out loud, crying my eyes out, frustrated to the point of screaming and at one point, actually hitting myself in the head repeatedly with the book.
I was hanging out with my good friend, Elizabeth May. We were riding unicorns along a deserted beach as our hair whipped in the wind, occasionally strands of her red and my brown locks blending together. We gazed lovingly together as we rode, smiling as joy filled our hearts in an almost mutual amount.
When we pulled our unicorns to a break, having reached the peak of a cliff overlooking the sea, I took an opportunity to ask her a question.
“Elizabeth,” I said whimsically as I gazed out at the setting sun glinting off the ocean, “Why did you break my heart with the ending of The Falconer?”
She smiled sadly and beckoned me forward, cricking her finger in my direction to encourage me closer. I leaned in expectantly. In a flash she was on me, stabbing me several times in the abdomen before whipping behind me, yanking my hair back and slitting my throat.
This is not a young adult novel.
I mean, it is about a young adultish human and zombie who fall in love and set about to change the world with love. But this is not a young adult novel.
It has themes of young love and disaffected youth and hopeful new beginnings but this is not a young adult novel, people!
Regardless of what it is, it’s a pretty good novel, but I have a confession. This is going to translate in people’s minds as me being simplistic and unable to handle the deeper, more complicated themes of this book – but I don’t care.
I liked the movie better.
Major fans of the book are going to virulently disagree with me – but I thought it actually managed to streamline the story highly effectively, keeping the spirit of the novel without deviating from anything important. In fact, the way it restructured some events, I actually thought, created a more emotional impact.