Monday, February 20, 2012

Let's Read "A Quick Bite (Argeneau Series, #1)" by Lynsay Sands

→ A few solid ideas (like the anemia thing in the beginning).
→ Great opening.

→ Cringe-worthy writing.
→ Hasn't been proofread/edited enough; too many grammatical errors.
→ Terrible at foreshadowing; Chekhov's gun much?
→ There were times when the thesaurus was abused and times when the thesaurus wasn't used enough.
→ Very little "showing" and too much "telling".
→ After page 13, the story dipped.
→ Poor character development; male protagonist is a moron.
→ Far too many useless minor characters.
→ Story was as bland as the characters.
→ Trying too hard at everything.
→ Was too obvious who the villain would be.
→ No chemistry between Greg and Lissianna.
→ Misogynistic, sexist, and objectifying.
→ Cringe-worthy dialogue.

I normally finish books but I already put myself through too much halfway through and received a massive migraine because of the book. This rarely happens and it would have happened with Twilight. At least that book was so bad, it was lulzy. This book was just plain bad. I expected a lot out of it because of all the high ratings it was given. Even so, who wouldn't be interested in a vampire book where the vampire suffers from hemaphobia? I was excited when I started but was disappointed after the thirteenth page when the cousins were introduced. It felt like Sands was trying too hard to give them unique personalities but it didn't take. They all had inauthentic characteristics and, quite frankly, they were a little cheesy.

What I meant by "showing vs telling" was that I want to be shown what the characters look like versus just telling the audience that they're attractive. The only character that was "shown" was Lissianna and her mother. The description was very vivid and I could already imagine how they looked throughout the book without having to try. However, I was told that Greg was attractive but I still couldn't put a face on him. The minor characters had no face to them either.

I mentioned that the book was misogynistic—why does Lissianna and her mother get to be fully described as "beautiful creatures" and not Greg or anyone else for that matter? The women in the book were described to be "overdeveloped" and whatnot but all I got for Thomas is that his eyes were just as piercing as Lissianna's (or something like that). There were so many things wrong with this book that played on double standards. For instance, it hinted on how women should be dependent on men but not too dependent or else they'll look desperate, among other things. There was also absolutely no chemistry between Greg and Lissianna after their first meeting and Greg was objectifying her throughout the rest of what I read. He was kidnapped by strangers and, instead of worrying about his life, he wanted to fantasize about being a sex slave to his offenders. The best connection they had going on was when he wanted to "hold her when she was sad" (the cheesiness in this book has just gone through the roof). BAD WRITING!

Another problem: the writing reminded me of an adult Twilight. That's a bad thing. I'm sorry to make the comparison but it couldn't be helped. Twilight had useless minor characters (like Mike, Jessica, etc) as does this book (the cousins). It felt like the cousins were just there to fill in some extra pages; it wasn't even to move the story along. Chapter 5 was especially painful to read. Each cousin went to Greg to ask that he not be mad at Lissianna for keeping him hostage and to ask that he cure her by. one.

None of them explained what the phobia was until Lissianna went to him last. Even then, after about a hundred pages in, Greg was still unable to guess the glaringly obvious fact that Lissianna and her family were vampires. Even when they spoke about feeding, mind reading, and Greg being dinner IN FRONT OF HIM. Lissianna even bit him during their encounter prior to the conversation (which was actually very well written so it was a nice break from the shitty prose; however, it was also a shitty plot device) and what did he think? He thought it would leave a nice little hickey. He should have at least thought they were crazy cannibals. THIS IS NOT GOOD WRITING! I was very ready to throw the book out the window but I like to give every book a chance (and I wanted to return the book and get my $8 back) I kept reading.

The book was trying too hard in all areas possible. Tried too hard to make the names aesthetically pleasing, feeble attempts at making humorous dialogue (which ended up sounding really dull), tried too hard at foreshadowing—it just tried too hard. Period. Never even thought to refine any of it—not even the language. There were grammatical errors in every single chapter as well as incomplete sentences and...argh! There were times when she abused the thesaurus and times when it seems like her thesaurus probably collected dust (quit with the "mental kicks" and "grimacing" and use different words or don't use it at all!). Did I mention I wanted to throw the book out the window?

It's also incredibly unrealistic. Yes, vampires = not real maybe. Well, neither is Hogwarts and yet I can still imagine what it would be like to live and taste the world of magic. I don't have as big of a problem with nanotechnology in Atlantis (look at Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire; I think that's pretty advanced except that it's natural/magical) but there were so many other things that drowned out the sci-fi idea. For instance, the historical explanations sounded ridiculous and made the vampires' personalities even more unrealistic. I have a huge problem with the language and personalities. You'd think that after a few hundred years, people would learn to grow up a little. Thomas, for instance, was incredibly annoying—I felt like Sands was trying to make him out to be some kind of hilarious flirt but, if I were sitting in any room with him, I would think he was one of the the most cheesy and most moronic person I'd ever met. He's the kind of person who thinks "So, you're a girl?" would work as a pick-up line. The other cousins were also annoying because of how bland the dialogue between everyone was and how useless they were. They were just there to meddle. The language wasn't refined at all, especially for their age. I remember Greg saying that they had accents as well as the mother but their language...if you were that aged, the new culture's language wouldn't take on nearly as quickly. I just couldn't stand it. Lissianna being over 200 years old and still suffering from hemaphobia because of something that happened when she was 13 and no one ever thought to get a therapist for her...that's unrealistic. I was overwhelmed by how ridiculous the book was getting, I had to stop halfway. I didn't even have to think to know who the villain was (I will withhold this information for anyone who wants to read it; HINT: Less than halfway through the book, you're told that they have a room full of crosses and that they put garlic in Lissianna's food...all on one page).

Great marketing device (cover, synopsis, etc) but the actual product was a huge disappointment. I think Sands was just writing it as she went along and had no idea how the story would end or be produced. She slapped together a lackluster book with cliche blond vamps with bodies meant to be on the cover of Maxim and cliche men with six packs and a big dong. It'll teach me not to read through low ratings as well as high ratings. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to return the book for something meant to entertain.

IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU'LL LOVE: Twilight. That is all I can think of, really.

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