Fucking awful book. Wanted a light piece of fudd-worthy fluff, a Twilight wannabe bit of bubblegum for the brain. Fails even by that small order. Fails on almost every level. The kind of book you read and think, “Wow. So almost anyone can get published. Huh.” Makes you want to encourage all your friends and acquaintances to get started writing because, if this piece of shit can be published, any halfway articulate person stands the chance of making a decent career in the business.

Jesus, where to begin with what’s wrong with this book? First, no B plot. So you are subjected to the unrelenting, unbroken stream of mooning over this non-character love interest. Jesus, haven’t you ever read a book? Or seen a tv show or movie? Have you ever experienced real life wherein myriad things happen and multiple elements interact? How can you not know that’s how things work?

Secondly, the main character has the emotional life of a puddle. Period. Moving on.

Thirdly, the ‘real world setting’ into which this fantasy romance is injected resembles the real world in no way. Not even in the bad teen fiction schools-and-malls kind of way. It’s set in a reform school in which no one has committed any serious criminal offence, no one is shit-feart that they are essentially caged in with the county’s most dangerous young people, and no one is even violent (the worst is gets is a food fight). Apart from being the world’s nicest reform school with less average disruption per day than a regular school, it also is a church. Or church ruin. Or something. Why? Dunno. It’ll look good on the cover and if we ever have to sell the options. No one ever goes to class, when they do they learn about Milton’s Paradise Lost, no one knows how this is relevant to the curriculum, and these failing, fuck-up reform school kids are exclusively tested in essay format. Also, there’s a crystal clear lake and real Southern gothic graveyard. Whatever.

This book is so obviously cynical and so by-the-numbers pitched to pick up the goth demographic of Twilight fans looking for another book, it makes your skin crawl. It reads like a committee commissioned a book with the following elements and then gave it to an illiterate to write.

And the writing is definitely the worst. Cringe-worthy. Actually makes you groan aloud. Actually makes you go, “HA!” with how fucking clangingly, clankingly bad it is. Makes you think, “Jesus, I wrote better than this when I had to hand in creative essays in school.” Makes you think, “How can an adult be writing this?” Makes you think, “Oh Jesus, I don’t know how much longer I can go on reading this.”

I could go on. Pretty much every aspect of this book could be held up to ridicule. I don’t have the time.