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JessicaRobyn

Reading Robyn

I am a lover of libraries, a reader of everything, a girl easily swayed by pretty pictures, and overall just your average, nerdy fairy princess.

 

2013 is the year I'm finally keeping up a regular reading blog Reading Robyn! There I post extended versions of my GR reviews so be sure to check that out!

 

I always seem to be on the move having lived in seven cities and counting in my nineteen years. I'm not on the run from the law as many have assumed (at least I don't think so), but moving around has given me an appreciation for how places make stories and people make memories. While change is inevitable, books are the friends that I take with me from place to place. They comforted me when I was sick, they push me to continue to learn and grow into myself, and most importantly they opened me up to the possibilities of living in thousands of places all at once.

 

I primarily read YA fiction, as well as a lot of graphic novels and manga. However, I tend to be this combination of odd reads, so expect the unexpected!

 

Cheesy Life Quote: "In this world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself." - Frantz Fanon

Shadowland - Meg Cabot Shadowland takes us on an introductory ride of ghostly encounters, California beaches, and a heroine that's ready for almost anything! The plot of Shadowland was solid for a first book in a series. A lot of the story was focused on just setting up all the elements to introduce the characters and locations. For the most part I didn't mind, it made it things very easy to consume, which was nice for some light reading. I also liked the arc the story took and how the overall design opens up a lot of future possibilities. Right now, I'm hopeful for the complete series. The I-see-dead-people aspect was handled very, very well. It was simplistic enough to leave room for speculation but was complex enough to get behind. I enjoyed reading about how having to deal with the dead effected Suze (our main dame) over her many developing years. Her past encounters rounded out her motivations rather nicely. However, Suze's personality did a lot of bouncing around throughout the book. She's a tough cookie but it was clear that Cabot was also trying to show (without much subtlety) that underneath all the tough talk she's still just another teenage girl. Sometimes this worked, but other times it felt like I was reading about three different girls. Girl One can talk the talk, walk the walk, risking her life like it's no big deal, and licking her wounds like a big boy.Girl Two really likes the boy meat! The dead boys, the live boys, if it's talkn' and has a nice set of abs this girl shall be there to ogle and/or feel slightly conflicted about her lack of experience. Insert hormones here. Girl Three is of the thoughtful sort. She cares about family, doing the right thing, and sitting down to laugh and watch the sun set with friends.The transitions between these three aspects of her personality were not always smooth from scene to scene and left me less connected. I mean, ass-kicking/name-taking Suze was excellent, I could have done with even less of Girl Two then there already was, and Girl Three gave me just enough of a soft underbelly. I just think that the book should have connected the dots between these girls for me, instead of making me try to tie them all together myself.Although I should say, Suze is still a winning character for me. Her wit and charisma is undeniable, and I definitely found myself rooting her on as she faced the dark forces of the story. I just think some of her characterization was lots in the transitions of the writing. My biggest complaint of the book though is a big one, specifically the over-abundance of boy meat. Now, I call them "meat" because that is essentially their only purpose in the story. It was like you've taken a handful of male characters and told them just to stand there and look pretty. I'm being told I should care about these guys, I should want to take each of them and pair them up with Suze, but a lot of the time I just didn't care. I don't feel like I was ever given a reason to care. The only two of the men I found the least bit interesting was "Doc"/David, the youngest (and most endearing) of the step-brothers and Father Dom, our friendly neighborhood priest. And Cabot, I see what your doing with the whole love-interest thing and I will have you know that you have to work a little bit harder then just giving the boy an accent, a hero complex, and a tragedy to get me to like him. Maybe that would have worked two years ago but I'm wiser now! I like my men to have personalities, interests, motivation, etc. Needless to say, Jesse did not impress me much. Which is never fun, because I want to like this guy! I know I'm going to be seeing a lot of him, at least give me something to work with here. Right now, although this review has mostly been me griping, I did enjoy this book and am completely committed to reading the next one in the series. Hopefully I'll attempt to do this in a timely manner but we'll have to see. I'm going to try and pick up #2 next time I see it on shelf. As a side note, I have to mention that I really like this cover art! The way that it's carried throughout the series is pretty cool and it's nice to see a graphic design cover done both well and consistently.