Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Question of the Midweek! [1]

Question of the Midweek!
Hopefully each Wednesday I'll feature a random book-or-writing related question to answer!
It's a fun way to share thoughts and see what other people think about certain topics.

I was actually all set to do another question on here, but then another one came at me from out of the blue. This week's topic is Young Adult Love Stories. Ohh la la!
So the question for today is:

When you're reading either a book or series, and that book/series has a love story, do you like to have/need to have the love story element be really complicated and dramatic? And if love stories are a little on the simple side, do you count off on your rating or does it make you enjoy the story any less?
A lot of "mini" questions, actually, but basically what I'd like to know is if really really complicated love stories are *always* a win for you?


Darklight (Wondrous Strange #2) - Lesley Livingston
Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
# of pages: 312 (hb)
Publisher: HarperTeen

Where to even begin with this book. I'll try hard not to just re-write what I said about Wondrous Strange, but what I'd really like for you all to know is this: Lesley Livingston's series is, so far, the best faerie fiction that I've ever read (with the exception of Artemis Fowl). It by far surpasses all the other faerie books out there (in my opinion), and if you enjoy faerie books, this series needs to be in your TBR.
Darklight picks up about five months after the events of the first novel. The characters here are just as lovable and well-rounded as in book one, and the new characters added to the ensemble are just as interesting, detailed and useful. No character-dropping here - everybody has a place and contributes to the overall story. And the storyworld of the series is so unique, detailed, and original. Unlike Wondrous Strange (which took place exclusively in New York City), this novel features world-hopping between the mortal realm and the Otherworld, the land of the four courts of Faerie. For the amount of time spent there by the characters, I thought the author did a fine job of bringing that world to life: just enough description and also, just enough mystery left for book three.
What made Wondrous Strange really stand out to me was the author's sheer cleverness: cleverness in the faerie world and its history, cleverness in the unique cast of characters, and (ESPECIALLY) cleverness in the witty dialogue that truly does ring reminiscent of the bard himself. Thankfully all those components are still present in Darklight, though this installment was a tad darker in its tone. Like most Second Novels, Darklight raises the stakes, story-wise, and the actions that drove the plot seemed more accelerated than in the first. This made for an extremely engrossing read. I have no doubts that this series will suck you in and completely absorb you, for however long it takes you to read it.
I've already mentioned how unique and lovable the characters of the series are, and I am pleased to say that I loved Kelley and Sonny as much in Darklight as I did in the first novel (sidenote: have you ever seen characters just sort of fizzle out as a series plugs along? Isn't that a bummer?), *but* I will say that there were a few times when I didn't really understand why Kelley (the MC) would do something or why she would say certain things. There were a few dialogue segments between Kelley and Sonny that sounded almost out of character, as well as a few times where I couldn't help but blurt out, "Say what?" But she was still likable, and that was good.
Now...the ENDING. Hmm. Not really what I was expecting and still not really sure what to think about it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I didn't like it, but...I guess I don't really get why Kelley thought "it" (the situation) was her only option. It's kind of like she created a situation where she felt like there was no other way out and so she had to do this certain thing, but... I'm sittin there thinking, "Well, why didn't you do [whatever]?" So what I mean is... while the overall story is great, and I still think the series is brilliant, the ending just didn't work for me. And so I'm going into Tempestuous a little more cautious than I was going into Darklight . . .
How are Kelley and Company going to get themselves out of this quagmire that (I say) they created? HMMM?! And that, my lovelies, is where I will leave the WS trilogy until next time!
Final Grade:Right up there with Wondrous Strange all the way!! except the ending :)
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