Author: Stacey Jay
Publication Date: July 23, 2013
4 StarsOh, how refreshing it is to read a YA fantasy novel that is not part of a series.
How invigorating it is to read of a fairytale that stays faithful to the original while deviating from the standard to create a world that is incomparable in characters and prose.
Recently, I read a novel based on Beauty and the Beast -- Cruel Beauty, by Rosamond Hodge (here is ze review) and while I do admit it was quite good, albeit peculiar, it didn't wow me as much as I'd hoped it would. That cannot be said of Jay's novel. I went in with fairly average expectations and finished with bittersweet tears streaming down my face. To say I was wowed does little justice to the novel.
What did I read? I read a novel that was authentic and deep, romantic and heart-breaking. It was equal parts hopeful and crushingly bleak -- perfect for an emotional masochist like me. I hate sounding vague but attempting to expand my thoughts is fruitless when it comes to Of Beast and Beauty; I am utterly tongue-tied.
Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
What went wrong, Ms. Dessen? Was it the high expectations, or my bad streak with the contemporary genre? This is my first ever book from you, and I am displeased. I have a lot of respect for you and your experience in the YA genre, but to be honest I don't know what makes this novel different from the millions of other contemporary novels out there.
From the start, I was unable to connect with a vast majority of the characters. The story-line was practically non-existent and, therefore, the book was a chore to read. The writing wasn't all that great; it leaned towards the melodramatic and certainly isn't the best of genre. As for "compelling storytelling?" My frequent yawns should be enough to disprove this.
I understand what Dessen was aiming for, but this is an ultimately forgettable read. I'm not ready to give up on Dessen just yet, but my disappointment with this might discourage me from picking up one of her more promising reads.