Look at the cover art. Look at it. Isn’t it lovely? Doesn’t it catch your eye? Occasionally that is how I pick my books. I will wander into a Barnes and Noble and meander aimlessly until a book cover catches my eye. I, surprisingly, have had great success with this. Some of my favorite books have been found with this method. Two of my favorite authors, Samantha Shannon and Christopher Fowler, have been discovered by this method alone. Just by the cover art on their books. So, you can imagine, when I saw this one I was ecstatic.
I regret every moment of my literary life from the moment I opened this book until the final moment I closed it.
Now, I promised myself when I started writing these reviews that I would be completely honest in everything I said. While I do try to at least find something positive to say about every book I read with this one I just couldn’t. So, you’re just going to get my review in all it’s irritated glory.
What completely baffles me is that on Goodreads there are four and five star reviews of this book. I beg your pardon, but did we read the same thing? The only reason I gave it one star was because things were spelled correctly. That at least gets it a one, right?
But that is all it deserves.
I have never in all my life been slapped in the face by so many weak willed, shallow, single minded characters outside of hormonal boys in high school. The story’s main character, Alessia, has had a troubled time as of late. Since her parents deaths she hears the thoughts of every person around her in her own head unless she has bags of water over her ears. So, instead of being clever and inventing ear plugs with liquid insides or water bag earmuffs she walks around literally holding bags of water over her ears. Way to solve your problems, Alessia.
Dear, sweet, simple Alessia’s aunt (who kindly took her in when her parents died) sends her to an island institution because everyone thinks that she is crazy. Fair enough. I would probably think so, too. And right that moment, within the first chapter of the book, is the last time I agree with any other concept put onto the page. Alessia, in her infinite wisdom, listens to a couple of brand new voices in her head and dives into the ocean surrounding the island institution. A wave tugs her under, she loses conscience while the new voices babble in her head, and instead of drowning she wakes up in a warm safe bed in a whole new world reached through a door in the water.
You must be thinking, “Oh, but you closed minded person writing this review, that could be fun! Give it a chance!” I agree. It could be. It wasn’t.
What we find in this underwater realm that doesn’t actually seem to be under water is Alessia’s long lost grandmother. Apparently her mother jumped in a pool in that world and washed up on shore on Earth some odd years ago. Many residents in this new land are mind readers, just like Alessia, and her grandmother throws a party to welcome her home. There she meets a fellow with red eyes (I can’t remember his name and simply do not care enough at this point to look it up) who is enamored with her. Luckily Alessia trips on some stairs into his arms and it’s love at first clumsiness.
For the next several chapters all we get hear about is how much Alessia loves her red-eyed friend and how much her tortured fellow loves her even though he keeps running away every time there is an uncomfortable situation. This goes on chapter after chapter after chapter. Almost every character we come across is perfectly pleasant and kind and, well, boring. Alessia gets in trouble, her gentleman saves her. Alessia gets in trouble, her fellow makes her feel better. What kind of message does this send to young women reading this? That only a man can rescue her? It’s infuriating. This ridiculous character is teaching YA readers to rely on a man to get her through tough situations instead of relying on herself.
Several more utterly ridiculous and dull situations occur through the course of the book but I simply do not see the point in relaying them here. They were barely worth my attention as I read them so I see no point in giving them my attention now.
I nearly feel bad giving this book such a poor review. Nearly. I know a lot of work, time, and thought goes into writing and precious few of the books written actually get published. It took bravery for the author to put her neck out and I commend her for that. Be that as it may, this book is not for me and I will not be recommending it to anyone.
This book was provided to me by Net Galley