Book Review: Shattered Blue by Lauren Bird Horowitz

by - 12:09:00 AM

 Title: Shattered Blue
Author: Lauren Bird Horowitz 
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: 15 September 2015

From Goodreads: "For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own. But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?"

I'm going to be honest before I begin this review- I did not enjoy this book. There, I said it. I know, I know, I've seen the rave reviews it's gotten but I just don't get it. I might have gone into it with my expectations set too high because I read the reviews, but it just fell so short of what I wanted in this book and I found myself constantly putting down the book and screaming at it in frustration. With that being said, if you choose to continue reading, thank you. If you don't, thank you for giving this a chance anyway. This review is likely going to be short but anger-filled so strap on in and prepare.

Plot:
If I could describe this book, it would be as follows: Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and a hint of Buffy were thrown in a blender and spit out on paper but instead of vampires, the magical creatures are fae. Yup, that's it. Noa (Bella/Elena) meets a mysterious new boy named Callum (Edward/Stefan) who turns out to be "dangerous" but he can't seem to stay away from her and also he needs Light (blood) to survive. Noa's best guy friend Miles (Jacob) doesn't like Callum one bit and also has feelings for Noa. Sound familiar? It gets even better. Then, a new boy comes to town named Judah (Damon) and now Noa is confused about her feelings for Callum. There's also a bit of a Buffy element (all I will say is that it relates to Dawn) that's thrown in there as well. I found myself so irritated with every single page I read because I couldn't stop seeing the Twilight-with-faeries retelling that was in front of me. There was a magic system based on colors and a fae hirearchy (Volturi, anyone?) with a leader that would essentially collect the different fae colors (...kind of like Aro, right?) and use them. I just...couldn't. I really tried, I promise, but I couldn't. The similarities were screaming in my face the entire time and I honestly could not find anything I liked about this book. This book not only had a serious case of Twilight syndrome, but also suffered from a plot that unfolded painfully slow to the point where I wanted to just skip to the end to find out what happened. The only character that I found myself liking was given an unnecessary and so incredibly frustrating twist at the end that I shortened my list of likable characters from one to zero in the blink of an eye. It was actually unfortunate because I did like the character, but that plot twist was just so not needed. In fact, there were a lot of things about the book that I felt were unnecessary plot twists or things that were just thrown in there without thinking to see how it would change the story. If the idea of a Twilight retelling with fae is something that sounds up your alley, then Shattered Blue is the book you're looking for. Unfortunately for me, this just did not hit the mark for me. Clearly. But I can see where others may like this book!

Characters:
Let's keep this short and probably not-so-sweet. Bella is the special girl that can "see" through Edward's not-so-clever attempts at keeping his mysterious (and inevitably dangerous) secret from the other humans that he lives arou- wait, this isn't Twilight, sorry. Noa is frustratingly angsty and annoying and yes, she can tell that there's something "special" about Callum. Because why not. Callum is the brooding, dark, mysterious new boy that inevitably falls for Noa but tries so very hard to push her away because he's too "dangerous." Yup, you see where it's going. Judah is the rebel brother that shows up and throws a wrench in things but tries to help fix things at the end and also falls in love with Noa. Miles is the jealous best friend who, sadly, is completely ordinary and does not turn into a giant wolf. Olivia is the "best friend" who only really seems to be a plot progression character and doesn't feel significant in any way except maybe once? Sasha (I actually forgot her name and had to reference my notes because I dropped her like a hat- oops) was probably the only good character in the book, but gosh golly if that wasn't ripped away unnecessarily. There were no characters in this book that I enjoyed, sadly. But, again, I can see the appeal of an angsty teenager (Noa is only 15, by the way) female main character if you're still stuck in your Twilight phase or just...really like books about angsty "dangerous" characters in general.

Writing:
I won't lie, the writing is flowery. It almost felt like the author was trying too hard to make this a beautiful and magical book with faeries and plot twists that get thrown in out of left field and leave the reader saying, "Wait what just happened." The different colors of faeries seemed like a cool concept, and one I was actually kind of liking. Until I realized that it's basically just different types of vampires with special powers (Alice can see the future, Edward can read minds, etc.) but with faeries. I feel like this book would be better suited for a younger audience (I'm 24 and just wanted to barf at the way that the characters acted) because the writing definitely felt very juvenile to me and I couldn't get into it. Also, I actually kept a count of how many times the phrase, "hair so black it was almost blue," was used in the book. Five. Frickin. Times. I get it, the author found a phrasing she liked and she stuck to it. But if I'm at the point where I'm keeping a tally in my notebook about how many times this phrase is used to describe a non-important character and her hair, it's a bit much. Again, maybe this book is just better suited to a younger audience and my old and critical mind can't seem to shrink down to a teenage level anymore to enjoy books like this. So if I were to recommend this book, I'd probably give it to a Freshman in high school or maybe an eighth grader.

This is probably one of my shorter reviews, but I just didn't want to go on about this book anymore. I didn't like it. I felt like it was almost offensive how many other books/series were basically mashed together to make this and it got to the point where I would put down my Kindle in frustration because I just could not continue. But I did, just to see if it got better. For me, it didn't, and that's okay. I won't always read books that I like which also means I won't always post happy positive glowing reviews. Sometimes my reviews are going to be harsh, like this one, and that's okay, too. If you're into Twilight retellings with faeries, take a chance on Shattered Blue. But personally, I'd suggest passing on this one for something more original and exciting.

Oh, I'm also reading the sequel, Renegade Red. So that should be fun. Keep a look out for my thoughts on that one and send a fellow reader some good vibes that the sequel is better. So far, I'm just confused.

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