“Icons”—A Book Review(ish)

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Icons by Margaret Stohl…where to begin? Well, to be totally honest, that all I read…the beginning. I could only manage to make it 130 pages in before I gave up. And I’m not one to just stop reading books; I usually suck it up and finish them no matter how crappy (I think completing The Casual Vacancy can attest to that).

Maybe it’s because I just finished reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, which was awesome, so this book just couldn’t hold my interest in comparison, but Icons was just really boring. I hate to say it, but it drags on, just like the Beautiful Creatures series did. 130 pages into reading this book and nothing has really happened. I have ZERO attachments to the characters in the novel. I honestly could care less what happens to him.

AND, I’m a third of the way through and I still really don’t have a clue about what exactly is happening. Here is the gist of what I have gathered thus far:

1)      An event called “The Day” happened about 16 years ago, when an alien mother ship came to Earth and the majority of people just dropped dead.

2)      A few people lived (which was never explained how or why).

3)      A VERY select few that survived are known as “Icon Children.” These few children (only 3 that we know of so far) have different types of “abilities” and have a dotted birthmark on their wrist to symbolize which power they possess. The main character, through which this story is told, is one of these Icon Children. Both of her parents died on The Day, and she was rescued and raised by some man and grew up in some sort of borderland outside of the cites called the Grasslands or the Mission or something to that effect.

4)      It is never really explained what an Icon is, only that there are like 16 Icons above the few select cities that have managed to survive since The Day.

5)      All we know about these “aliens” are that they are called the “Lords.” Apparently they have never actually “invaded” Earth? They just kind of watch from afar? And some humans called Sympas work for the aliens?

I’m sorry, I just can’t finish this book. It is horribly slow and boring. One out of Five stars.

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“Beautiful Creatures” –A Book/Movie Rant

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“Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia is a paranormal teen book that has gotten RAVE reviews…and I just don’t get it. While I did actually somewhat enjoy reading this book, it was a bit tedious. This entire series has great potential to be a phenomenal supernatural story, but due to the over explaining of EVERYTHING, it misses the mark. Each book could be summed up in about 300 pages verses the 600+.

Ethan Wate lives in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina, smack in the middle of the Bible Belt, where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. And he hates every minute of it. With his mother’s recent death, and his father’s evasion of life since the accident, Ethan’s only companions are his best friend Link, and his superstitious nanny, Amma—a “Seer” who can see the future and contact the spirits of her deceased family.

When Lena Duchannes arrives in Gatlin to live with her eccentric uncle, Macon Ravenwood (the notorious recluse), the town gets a little shaken up. Of course, the snooty debutant-type girls at school automatically hate this not-so-prissy-prim-and-proper new comer and label her a freak, doing everything in their power to make her life a living hell. Little do they know, they weren’t that far off the mark—Lena and her family are Castors (universally known as witches).

For months before Lena actually arrived in Gatlin, Ethan had been dreaming about her—literally. So naturally, he’s immediately obsessed with the girl and learns all about her not-so-normal life. In the Castor world of Kami Garcia’s books, Castors’ powers are claimed by the moon for either the light or the dark upon your Sixteenth birthday, and Lena is terrified of going dark, like her mother.

Of course there is an entire past legend/mystery that unfolds, linking Ethan’s life and ancestors to Lena’s. A new drama develops every few chapters or so, such as Lena’s “dark” cousin Ridley (who is a Siren) showing up and seducing Ethan’s best friend Link, persuading him to do her bidding with each suck of her lollipop. No, really…a lollipop. It’s not a dirty metaphor for anything.

Again, I didn’t entirely hate this series. It has serious cool potential and characters…this quote is one of my favorite descriptions of Lena Duchannes: (She’s sounds like a badass chic that I could totally get along with.)

“She was wearing a purple T-shirt, with a skinny black dress over it that made you remember how much of a girl she was, and trashed black boots that made you forget.”

There is also a touch of snark and wit here and there in the novels, which I appreciated:

“If a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.”

Thus, to end my rant, I will say that if you have HOURS of your life to waste, go ahead and pick up “Beautiful Creatures” and give it a whirl…it’s not completely terrible. But if you are like me, and have the attention span of a ferret, skip this one and read something a little more stimulating. (If you need recommendations, just ask! I have them coming out the wazoo!)

Alas, the movie was the same as the book…it took WAY too long to end! I was intrigued for about the first 30 minutes or so, but then I found myself becoming bored and restless. There just doesn’t need to be that much extra “stuff” to get the point of the story across.

*The horrible southern accents were quite entertaining, though 😛