Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 book 40

Seth Fishman's The Well's End
This book starts off really strong, with a girl based on Baby Jessica (you know, the little girl that got stuck in that well) now a teenager at an elite boarding school. "Great," I thought to myself, "Another cool contemporary YA book about the perils of fame. I dig this subgenre!" (Clearly, I had not remembered the book's description.) Anyway, then suddenly the school alarms sound and they are under quarantine! There is a disease that causes rapid aging and death! Baby Mia's dad tells her to come find him at his mysterious office where he does mysterious things!

OK, now I need to take a paragraph for a digression of sorts. Sometimes I think that YA authors feel like they HAVE to include a romance for their book to be successful, even if the story doesn't really warrant one. I have to think that's the case here, because I have never read a less organic romance plotline in my life. Like, the girl meets the new boy at school, a day later they're on the run with some other teens, but keep like pausing in their escape to make out. Like, mid-run. Now, maybe I have just taken against this character because his name is Brayden, but he has no personality and no character traits other than "interested in main girl character" and "very willing to hit dudes with baseball bats." I mean, at one point he's like "Do. You. Trust. Me?" which is a direct quote that indicates the level of discourse between these two (not that they even once have a regular conversation throughout the whole book) (both of which also illustrate the level of the writing).

The backstory, when it is revealed, is actually pretty interesting. And the very end is intriguing. But everything else about this did not really work for me. C.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be available on February 25th.

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