Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Lament - Maggie Stiefvater

by Maggie Stiefvater
Young Adult
Read From: May 7, 2012 - May 8, 2012

There is only one way to describe this book, and that is: it's Twilight with Faeries instead of vampires and werewolves. And slightly, ever so slightly, better characters, and a plotline that is a bit more . . . Well, a bit more of a plotline. But that's where the pros end. I at first thought that I might like Deirdre - she was relatively funny and semi-practical. But then she starts off on boys and talking about how good they smell. What, is she going to eat them for lunch? Are they wearing chocolate-scented perfume? Deirdre ceased to be funny and semi-practical and just fell into the category of "boy crazy and obsessed with smells in a way that no real girl would ever be." And she faints way too much.

Then Luke Dillon appears on the scene, and at first I thought that maybe he would be okay. He sort of was . . . until he started sounding like Ted Bundy trying to pick up another victim. Yes, he seriously reminded me of a serial killer. If I met Luke Dillon on the street, I would absolutely grab for my pepper spray and use it, then call the cops after I had put a good distance between us. He, too, is obsessed with smells and seems to think that Deirdre is a possible baloney sandwich rather than a girl, he talks about her smell that much (and no, Luke is not a werewolf, and even if he were, the Author does not need to relate what the character thinks about another character's smell!). His feelings for Deirdre don't even seem all that genuine, either.

The only character even halfway likable is James, and of course the Author goes for the love triangle. Since Luke is an absolute creeper that any intelligent girl would shoot if he was caught lingering around her house, and James is a funny, decent, and sweet young man, the love triangle just makes things complicated and annoying. Oh yes, and Deirdre becomes even less likable. She seriously has a hard time choosing between these two guys? One is a professed killer, for crying out loud! Sorry, but there is just nothing romantic about relationships built on, Oh, I love him because he could kill me, but he won't, even though I have no proof of that. I'm pretty sure that there is a name for that type of syndrome.

The rest of the book is spent in about the same fashion as Twilight: talking about how good the other person smells, talking about how beautiful the other person looks, how forbidden their love is, kissing, groping, feeling totally creeped out by the other person, but somehow thinking that that is romantic, having immoral thoughts about the other person, begging the other person to never leave them because they'll shrivel up and die without them (even though they've only known the person for what - two weeks? No, not even that long: two days). In short, nothing happens.

For those people who care, there is also a fair amount of language: 2 f-words, and 3 s-words. All completely unnecessary, of course.

The end of Lament was as disappointing as the rest of the book. It could have been super-good and thus redeemed the book a bit. But it wasn't, so it didn't. And I seriously question why in the world it needed a sequel (I have it on good authority that Ballad ruins James's character, so that's further reason not to read it). I had been warned that Lament wasn't the world's greatest book, but I admit that I did expect better from the Author who wrote The Scorpio Races - a truly tremendous story, in both plot and characters. Hopefully Maggie Stiefvater continues in that vein and does not return to writing stories like this one.

Others in The Books of Faerie Series:

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