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16 April 2010 @ 03:26 am
Books (The Revenge!)  
Strange, this blogging about books thing is becoming somewhat regular. I blame the shitful excuses for fiction I've been reading lately. Most books of late tend to be just kinda 'meh', so there's not as much need to rant or rave, but this last trip to the library just whacked me over the head with crappy, it seems. First the Mercy series, now Blue Bloods.

For reasons I can only guess at, Blue Bloods seems to be a fairly popular vampire series. I say this because it's one we actually sell at Wal-Mart, and LORD KNOWS how picky they are about their books, right? Anyway, it's odd, because it is, without a doubt, probably the shittiest of the teenage vampire series out there (excluding the reigning queen of shitty teen vampire books, Twilight). And that's saying A LOT considering the competition, but really, it's crap. Shallow, juvenile, superficial, boring, intelligence-reducing crap.

First and most obvious issue: the writing style. Two pages into this thing and I wanted to put it down and never look at it again, it was that horrible. All tell, no show. This happened, and then this, and then that, and that, like an awkward list of people saying and doing things and going places, without ever stopping to really describe any of it. Except the clothes. GOD FORBID we don't stop every few paragraphs to describe the OMG TRENDY!!11! outfits the spoiled rich white protagonists are wearing. That's a cardinal sin of writing, to me, and one I'll cop to making - when I was twelve. You don't just STOP everything to describe the *~beautiful~* and *~hip~* outfits the characters are wearing. You want to describe their clothing, fine, but WORK IT IN. It's even worse when the characters and POV's change EVERY CHAPTER, so at the very least, you'll have a paragraph every chapter devoted to someone's clothing. At worst? A paragraph every couple of PAGES.

That's another problem I had with this series. It's a pop culture WHORE. At the very least, a fashion whore. It's centered around a group of ~SUPER RICH AND BEAUTIFUL~ preppy white kids (even if they tell you they're not, it's a lie), so I can understand that being important in their world (even if it's of absolutely no interest to me. ugh.), but it's so devoted to proving that it is hip and current that they shamelessly name-drop fashion designers and brands and trendy NY boutiques and restaurants and occasionally celebrities, decimating any chance it might have had of aging well.

Then there are the characters. If you can call them that. They're about as lifelike, developed, and realistic as a paper doll, and the author treats them as such, attaching just enough cliched characteristics to their name to put the cast of Not Another Teen Movie to shame. (And did I mention that every one of them is white? No multiculturalism here!)

You have your protagonist - if you can really call her that, since POV switches between three female leads and we spend about an equal amount of time with all of them. Anyway, the 'protagonist' is the Dense Pretty Ugly Nonconformist! (in name only) who happily jumps ship to ~Beautiful Conformist~ at the first opporitunity; her Hapless Best Friend, who is also a nonconformist and hopelessly in love with her; the Handsome Jock who inexplicably falls in love with Pretty Ugly (although in his case you can excuse some of it with his multiple last lives with a woman (her mom, long story) who looked like her - in her case, there is absolutely no reason, rhyme, or development); the Queen Bitch (who, creepily, is both the Jock's twin sister and Not-Offical-But-Yeah-Really-Girlfriend); and the Queen Bitch's BFF who DEFIES SOCIAL STATUS to be with the Dangerous (but not really) Rebel.

And that's about it. Their titles and physical features define their characters, because excepting the Queen Bitch, if you were to write their chapters without using their names, you would not be able to tell who was who. On several occasions I really was in the dark as to who I was reading about until they happened to mention the character's name. They don't act really act in distinguishable or believable ways. You're told who they are initially, and they immediately begin to act in ways that people who really had such characteristics would not. For example, in the OPENING PAGE, the Nonconformist Protagonist(ish) who is shy and OMG HATES THEM POPULAR KIDS ditches her hapless doting best guy friend to randomly speak (and flirt) with the Handsome Jock. She negates her establishing characteristics on the SAME PAGE THEY'RE DESCRIBED.

Stick figure characters and shitty writing aside, the core mythology is actually an intriguing (if almost laughably Hot-Topic-Crowd-Baiting) blend of reincarnation, fallen angels, and vampires that they proceed to ruin by trying to realistically integrate into history and explain with science. We can reincarnate fallen angels with DNA and IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION and MAGIC OK? It's a COMPLICATED PROCESS. Also, that colony at Roanoke that disappeared? They were fallen angel vampires eaten by SUPER fallen angel vampires like Lucifer called Croatans. True story.

It's a concept that could have...maybe...been done better in better hands. In stead, it ended up in those of an E! Network Correspondant. Really, that tells you all you need to know about this book, because it is exactly what it sounds like - stupid, disposable, and a cheap attempt to capitalize on the vampire craze, aimed at the E! Network-watching crowd. These are impossibly beautiful cardboard characters doing alternately stupid and boring things in their boring little superficial world, wearing stylish clothes and being completely unrelatable in any way. Is it as bad as Twilight? Maybe. In a different way. It is the vapid trendwhore cheerleader to Twilight's pretentious emo kid. It doesn't aspire to be any more than it is, but unfortunately, what it is is CRAP.

Blah, glad that's out of my system. This is definitely a series I'm not continuing. At all.