Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Series: N/A
Pages: 256
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: January 11, 2011
How Received: Arc Tour

Summary: Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah’s older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida’s mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.

My Thoughts:
I didn’t like this book. Plain and simple. I normally enjoyed Amelia’s previous works, but this novel was a huge step down to other books she’s written.

First off, she assaulted us with tons of names that a new reader isn’t likely to remember. It’s been a while since I’ve read her Den of Shadows series; I’m not likely to remember five different families and the sub-divisions of those families. She also threw terms at us that a new reader might not have known (like bloodbond, etc). Nowhere on the book is it mentioned that this is a sort of... “sequel” or companion book to Shattered Mirror, so how is someone who has never read Amelia’s work before supposed to know everything upon first read? There are a lot of terms and ideas that are just implied and not explicitly stated.

I have no idea why the content in the book was compiled into only 24 hours. If it was originally meant that way, then there were a lot of inconsistencies. I’m almost convinced that Amelia wrote the book to cover a couple of weeks and at the end, changed it to 24 hours (and did a messy job of it). The times below the chapter titles were inconsistent and I just didn’t believe such intense scenes (involving driving across a city) occurred in 14 minutes. The 24 hour time limit was just so not believable. Some of the events in the book could have easily lasted days, like battle recovery. I don’t believe someone can attain numerous life-threatening wounds and recover in an hour, even for witches or vampires. And lastly, the pacing seemed way too slow for a twenty four hour novel. When I think 24 hours, I think fast paced. The pacing felt like it was covering weeks and not one day.

Several back stories were given in fragments and weren’t even explained fully. Even with a sequel, you want to include information so that your reader doesn’t feel at a loss. I still don’t know half of the back stories to half of the characters, and that left several holes in the plot. Even the plot twists weren’t explained fully – it was just so messy that I couldn’t even be all too shocked at the plot twists. And I never knew there was such a thing as too many plot twists until I read this book. I swear, every single page had a plot twist (okay, so that’s a little exaggeration, but close enough to the truth). There came a point where I wasn’t even shocked at some new revelation that made no sense anyway. The last four or five twists didn’t even faze me.

The alternating POVs made no sense to me. Sure, I understand the two main characters, Aida and Sarah, having their own POVs. But characters we rarely see? I saw absolutely no point whatsoever to Zachary’s two or three POVs. Dominique had ONE POV section, and it was at the end. Honestly, was that necessary? We could have easily had that scene from either of her daughters and I’m sure some other character would have described why she was acting so strange anyway. The character development wasn’t that great, either. There were way too many characters to get connected or see how one grows. It was pretty much, “Oh, I feel this way at the start of the book, but now I feel this way at the end of the book because I spent time during 24 hours reevaluating my opinions that were drilled into me since I was a baby, which also obviously happened off-screen because it’s mentioned nowhere in the book.” The relationships were also very weak. I’m not sure I’d even call them relationships – it seemed to me like everyone in the story was a stranger with each other, even the twins and Sarah.

The one thing I did like, however, was the reiteration that being perfect isn’t everything and that it’s okay to have faults. But the way it was executed was distasteful. To be honest, I slogged through this book. I previously loved a few of Amelia’s work, as her writing is lovely, but this book was just not up to par with anything she’s ever written before.

Cover Musings: I don’t like it so much. Crows, great for symbolism. The sword between them. But it just doesn’t pop out at me. I guess it sets a somber mood, though... so that’s a plus, right?

Memorable Quotes:
She didn’t know what might have happened between them if she hadn’t been a Vida, and if his brother hadn’t reacted violently to what he saw as a threat to Kristopher. As it was, they had never even managed a successful first date before their romance had gone the way of Romeo and Juliet’s—except that Romeo and Juliet didn’t wake up the next day, leave the crypt and say, “Now what?” (pg. 34-5)
Unfortunately, once she and Dominique were gone, he was alone with the Marinitch telepath, the human, and the tied up bloodbond.
“Anyone up for a round of go fish?” Jay asked after looking around the room. (pg. 52)
There was no law against a Vida having a relationship. It had in fact been hinted to him, strongly and frequently, that he was twenty-six years old and should get around to choosing a partner so he could pass on the Vida genes, like some kind of prize bull. (pg. 139)
Jay collapsed dramatically to the couch. “I knew your line was weird, but I never even imagined how profoundly messed up you all are. It’s no wonder Sarah had a fling with a serial killer, or that Zachary unwinds with the undead. You’re all so obsessed with being perfect, you end up hating yourselves.” (pg. 187)

Overall Thoughts/Final CommentsIf you’ve never read Amelia Atwater Rhodes before, do me a favor and don’t start with All Just Glass. I really wanted to like this book – in fact, I signed up for the arc tour because I thought it’d be great. It fell short on all levels – plot twists, character development, relationships, consistency, pacing, plot, and wasn’t addicting at all. I had to force myself to finish for the tour. It’s a shame, because I loved some of Amelia’s other novels.

Rating: 1/5

**I received this ARC from Good Golly Miss Holly’s ARC tours! (Thank you Holly and Looksie!) 


Danna (Bananas For Books) said...

Sorry you didn't like it:( I haven't read any of Amelia's work yet, and they sound like books I wouldn't read. Great review!

Jenny said...

Too bad this one wasn't for you, I like the sound of the premise, but it's frustrating when all sorts of terms and fragments of history are thrown at you with no explanation. A glossary of terms or something is always helpful. Thanks for your honesty though, I think I'll pass on this one!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Oh dear not a good read for you then - this seems to be one of those books bloggers love or hate.

Anna said...

Can I just say how refreshing it is to read an honest review? You weren't harsh, you explained yourself and you didn't just skip the review altogether. I love it. And, listen, I am with you about the names. My number one complaint in books is when there are too many characters with names that are just impossible to keep track of! <3

LupLun said...

Too bad, but everyone puts out a bad book once in a while. From what you're describing, it sounds like a botched editing job.

Sara Curran said...

This is a great and thorough review. I've only read Demon In My View and I enjoyed that one. Won't bother with this book.


Emi said...

j3j I think you need a hug. *hugs*
Reading bad books is never fun, especially when you have high hopes for a book like this one. Even I was like, "Woah, that looks pretty cool," at first but, when I read your review (which was superb, btw) I was like, "D:". Needless to say, I don't think I'll be picking up this book any time soon. Sounds like somebody's editor needs to go back to school.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

@Danna: I’m not sure whether to advocate for Amelia’s work or not. If they’re not the types of books you read, I doubt you’d get into them. But then again, I can’t let one bad fish in the bunch ruin them all. You might like it – it may have just been me. –shrug-

@Jenny: I was drawn in by the premise, also. I was sooo curious if we’d get a follow up story to Sarah’s “death” in the 3rd book of her Den of Shadow series, so I had to read this. But yeah – no glossary of terms, no explanations. I kept having to go back to check who was everyone’s daughter or cousin or whatever.

@Tracy: Yeah, definitely not for me. I think I’ll still pick up Amelia’s other works. Just highly disappointed with this one.

@Anna: Why, thank you! I debated about reviewing this one for a while. I actually almost skipped the review. This is my first “bad” review, so I was a bit nervous with it, especially since I’ve loved and tried to get other people to love her other books. And haha, oh gosh... The names were horrible. I gave up halfway trying to remember who was related to each other or what grievances one character had against another. It was a mess. :/ I totally didn’t see the point of some characters – would have spared me trying to learn their names.

@LupLun: I suppose. I could blame it on it being an advanced reader’s copy, but I really don’t think it was just that. The entire thing was a total mess.

@Sara: Her other novels were lovely! I have to admit I haven’t read more of her recent work/series, so I’m not sure if it went downhill before this book.

@Emi: Aw! *hugs* Thanks <3
I’m sure you remember how super excited I was to read this. Then I got to actually reading it. :( I’m not even sure if I want to recommend her other titles to you. This book has me wondering about all the other books I’ve read of hers. Was I too “easy” with those books, letting my emotions be swayed and not thinking of the content? But then again, this might be the only bad fish. Who is to say? =x

Penelope Sanchez said...

This book is the sequel to Shattered Glass, I love her books and it is definitely worth the price!

click here

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