Remember when I reviewed Zenn Diagram and Wendy Brant was super nice and into my review?
Yeah… I don’t expect a similar response from Ms. McGee, should she ever see this.
I wanted to like this book SO BADLY, but it just fell short for me for so many reasons. It’s important to note, though, that not every book is trying to be the next great work of American literature. Some stories are just for fun and this is absolutely one of those. I think my expectations were a little too high and that’s ultimately what killed this novel for me.
REMINDER: Spoilers will be separated by two horizontal lines, as shown below
Be on the lookout; there is one in this post
This is a chick-lit-drama, so literally everything is a surprise (and by surprise, I mean predictable-plot-twist-that-you-can-see-coming-fifty-pages-away) so it’s difficult to give a good synopsis.
Oh, wait. I’ve got one:
Gossip Girl in the future.
Serena Avery, the quintessential nice-rich-girl-who-doesn’t-care-about-money-but-really-a-lot-does who’s in love with her adopted brother, Nate Atlas, who would win an award for The Most Bland Romantic Lead in History because he’s written with all the personality of a dead flea.
Blair Eris, who suddenly has the rug ripped out from under her when she realizes her father isn’t actually her father (he consequently stops speaking to her after he figures this out because he’s a real douche-nugget) and has to live on the 132nd floor (AKA: The Floor for the Economically Disadvantaged, AKA: Homes for Broke Ass People). She’s my favorite. She is the only wealthy character that has any growth or a story worth telling. She’s also bisexual and I’m a big fan of representation for the LGBT community in novels. Jenny Leda, a new-comer to money with a crazy streak a mile wide and an inferiority complex that needs years of therapy to heal, is crazy-stalker obsessed with Atlas. She’s also fresh out of rehab with the dumbest parents alive who keep letting her go to parties and drink because they’re incompetent morons.
Crazy Leda hires
Dan Watt, a poor boy genius who’s a computer whiz to stalk Atlas with an illegal quant, Nadia, hidden in his head that enables his sweet hacking skills. He’s super into Avery… there’s other stuff that I can’t remember because all of these people suck. Vanessa Rylin is a poor orphan with a little sister she cares for and they’re about to get kicked out of their apartment. She’s got a drug dealing boyfriend and starts working as a maid for a super rich kid, Chuck Cord. They fall in love or whatever. I actually like these two a whole ton and hope to see more of them in the second installment.
That’s basically it.
There are so many problems with this novel. So. Many. To begin with, the characters aren’t people. They have no personality, no relatability, and no depth. Imagine Kristen Stewart reacting to any situation, ever.
That was every. single. one. of these characters. They are their problems and nothing more, created with the sole purpose of carrying out the plot.
Cord is the one of the biggest let downs in the whole book. He’s not a main character, so the author keeps hinting at hidden depth, then backing down and moving on from him. I desperately hope she gets into who he is in her next story.
The story pulls all your standard trashy novel “twists.” (the rich girl who suddenly isn’t rich, pseudo-incest, paternity woes, addiction, stalking, pay off-a;sdjfd;askjd…. Whoops, sorry, fell asleep because BORING).
So much of the plot is wrapped up in drugs. Selling them, doing them, stealing them… it’s repetitive and difficult to relate to.
There is nothing new or exciting about this book, but it’s not necessarily trying to be ground-breaking. It’s very aware of its niche and does cater to its intended audience well. And despite the fact that it IS predictable (seriously, make bets on what’s going to happen b/c this is the least subtle writing ever. You’ll win loads.) it’s also fun enough that I wanted to know how it ended.
Truly. Why are Avery and Leda so into Atlas? The reader has no idea. Why is Watt so into Avery? The reader has no idea. Avery and Atlas are the least cute couple ever and Watt pursuing Avery is lack-luster, too. Eris hooks up with Cord, which is lame. She dates Marien, which is lame.
They’re all terrible friends to each other and have terrible relationships with their parents, who aren’t actually parents, but instead never-ending ATMs who occasionally speak and move. Rylin and Cord and the only ones worth reading about.
Writing Style: 3/5
This book has a great voice. The world is imaginable without being overly-detailed to the point where it begins to slow the story down. The events are fast paced and while the conflict is unnecessary 9 times out of 10, that’s really a staple of this genre; little mishaps turning into huge blow-outs.
This author does a great job of creating a villain. I despise Leda. She’s the worst. I have to read The Dazzling Heights just to witness her downfall.
The biggest writing faux-pas this book suffers from is that it’s entirely expositional. It’s one giant set up for the second novel. Nothing is resolved or achieved by the end. And that’s not acceptable after 400+ pages of story smacking you in the face.
Reading Experience: 3/5
For as many problems McGee’s debut had, it was fun in a guilty pleasure sort of way and I’m absolutely going to read the sequel.
But seriously. Nothing is resolved and it left me irritated and cold.
Eris dying and getting no closure with either one of her dead-beat dads broke my heart. She deserved better as a character, and as a reader, I felt I deserved to see the plot line through.
Check it out from the library. It’s not worth buying.