Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really want to give this book 2.5 stars, but since that's not an option, I went back and forth on whether to give it 2 or 3. I finally settled on 3 to be nice.
It's not a terrible book, but it's not very good either. The writing is quite repetitive and tell-y (and full of so many typos), with sentences like, "he opened his mouth to bare a mouthful of sharp teeth too sharp to be human." Ok, so they're sharp then? Wait, are they sharp? I'm guessing they must be sharp. And it really feels like I'm being told to feel sorry for this girl who constantly feels sorry for herself. Well, I do what I want, not what I'm told. So there.
And, ugh, Loupe is so annoying. She drives me nuts. She acts pathetic and, though we're told she's really tough and won't give up, we don't see that; we see her giving up. Then she goes from weak and pathetic to strong and determined with nothing in between just because she's in love. It's the Power of Love! Give me a break.
Speaking of giving me a break, what's with all the purple prose? Like this: "Her jaw dropped. The most gorgeous man she’d ever seen was standing at the edge of the lake. From her angle, she couldn’t tell how tall he was, but he radiated strength. His soft brown hair and clear grey eyes, paired with a lean, muscled body, conspired to heat her blood. She wondered that the lake wasn’t boiling around her." So, I guess he's hot? Oh, and also, "Arabelle’s red hair fell like curling fountains of blood to the puffed sleeves of her dress." As a redhead, I think I might be offended or something (since Arabelle is EEEEVIL).
Why oh why is it always love at first sight? (Or, lust at first sight, maybe.) Loupe and Etienne don't even know each other—they've spoken twice!—when he confesses his love. I don't wanna say love at first sight never happens, I just don't think this is a very good way to begin a relationship. What if she doesn't like the way he chews his food? What if he doesn't like the way she rearranges the furniture?
And everything is so emotionally overdone, overwrought, and exhausting. (SPOILER: The sex scene wasn't even sexy it was so overdone.)
Am I allowed to request some realism even though this is fantasy? For example: (SPOILER: Loupe's stepsister shoots her with a crossbow while Loupe is in wolf form and shoots her toe off. This is her actual line: “Wow, I really shot your toe clean off. What a shot. There isn’t even any bone from the toe left, just a hole. I must have taken it off at the joint.”/ENDSPOILER) Are you kidding me? I don't think that's even remotely possible.
But I did enjoy the plotline, and I couldn't actually abandon it since I wanted to know what happened next. So it wasn't all bad.
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