Ok- I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this book. First, a big thank you to the author for sending it my way for a Twitter giveaway.
I wanted to give this book three stars, but I gave it four and here are a few reasons why:
1) I am in a heavy book slump. The joy of reading has been a little absent for me as of late and it would be unfair of me to ignore that in this review.
2) I FINISHED this book and in less than a month. That is a big win for me with this terrible slump. I liked the Cruel Prince a lot and I still haven't finished the last 50 pages.
3) Christine is a talented writer, that is obvious.
Ultimately, I think what I am going to say about this book all falls on personal preference and I definitely recommend you reading it- especially if the comparison to The Raven Boys drew you in.
Here are the pros:
1) Christine is a strong writer. When people say "atmospheric" in relationship to this book, I wholeheartedly agree. Her descriptions are lush and unique. On top of that, they were consistent throughout the entire book.
2) The concept is interesting and fresh as far as I am concerned. Everything in the plot fit together nicely.
3) You will not be left wanting for LGBTQ rep in this book. It is here and it is queer. I also like that the relationships, while there, are not the center of this book. These teens have too many problems to be worried about getting the D or the V. Respect.
4) There was some scary sh** in this book. The horror was strong and well done. I am also a sucker for the "the monster isn't the only scary thing in this town" idea.
Cons (AGAIN, a lot of this is comes down to personal preference)
1) I did not like bouncing around between four (I think?) characters. I prefer to follow one or two at most. The way this story is told, with all of its mystery and secrecy, it may not have been possible to do it that way. I definitely preferred following certain characters and skimmed over others. Because of this, I felt that I didn't really get close to any of the characters.
No more cons actually. Just the one.
I didn't want to classify this as a con, so I won't. It is more of a "I'm sheltered and unfamiliar with this". So take this with a grain of salt. It seemed like all of the characters were bi? Maybe with the exception of Justin. I will caveat here, I live in a very conservative (HELP ME) place where there is not a large (or I just haven't connected with them) LGBTQ community. I don't know how realistic it is that so many of them are bi-I may have expected more of a mixture of sexual preferences. This could also be a product of a lack of LGBTQ rep in previous reading experiences as well.
I want to be clear. I liked the dynamics this diversity created. I read someone else's review where they said it "opened up a ton of relationship possibilities" and I wholeheartedly agreed with that. My mind just got kind of tripped up. This probably says more about me than it does the book.
Ultimately, read the book. There is a good chance you will really like it.
Thanks again to Christine for the chance to read it early. I am wishing her huge success with this debut.