I received Valentine by Jodi McAlister in my February Mark The Page book box. Well, I finally got around to reading it and I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. So far I have loved 3 books and DNF’ed 1 book from the Mark The Page boxes, but I did not want this the be another on the DNF list. It’s not, but it is also not a loved book in any way shape or form.
Author: Jodi McAlister
Genre: Fantasy – Mystery
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Teen Australia
Release: January 30, 2017
There seemed to be many positive things being said about this book, but there were also a few questionable comments being made too. This worried me and it seemed my worry was justified.
Let’s start with our main characters, Pearl and Finn.
Pearl is our main girl and she annoyed me. Pearl is a weird girl (but still beautiful and popular?) with a weird family (that is dysfunctional but amazing?) in a weird town and she is dealing with a weird situation. Kind of like every other YA fantasy novel, I know. She should trust her instincts more and stop mentioning how cliche things are or saying some variation ‘if this were a story’, because, err, it is? I get it, McAlister did not want her book to be just another predictable story but did she have to make her main character so bloody annoying just to prove that?
Then there is the other main(ish) character Finn. How to describe Finn? Well, if you follow Brooding YA Hero on Twitter (which you totally should be!) that is sort of what you get with Finn. He is that typical totally hot, moody, unpredictable bad boy that Pearl absolutely hates (but has some questionable dreams about) though he is also caring and willing to sacrifice himself for Pearl. WHAT? Seriously McAlister, you have Pearl annoying me with all the ‘not like in the books’ stuff and then go and make you male lead so bloody cliche it is not even funny. WHY?
Now, I can’t even tell you if the story line is weird or not. I struggled to keep up with all the randomness that was thrown at this story. It was like a poorly executed crime/YA/fantasy mash-up that just should not have happened the way it did. Yes, there was some sort of order, and yes, if you look at it from afar it kind of makes sense. BUT the way this book is written gives me a headache. It is more all-over-the-place than my primary school creative writing exercises. At least they followed enough of a basic structure that no one was left confused about what the heck just happened.
I also do not like where it ended. It may be McAlister’s way to make us all come back, but I truly hope not. Pearl may have annoyed me, but no one deserves to be treated the way she is at the end of the book. To me, it felt like bullying and I do not understand why it was treated this way. I get that some writers let their characters guide the story or whatever but they are the ones typing it, not the characters.
I still have a list longer than my arm of questions that I do not feel were satisfactorily answered in this book. Yes, yes, I know there is another book coming out next year, but I would not be reading it if I was not a book addict. To be perfectly honest, I am not overly joyed that there is a second book. In my opinion, book one of any series length needs to captivate the audience enough that they want to come back for more. Sure my curiosity as to what Pearl is will be what prompts me to read book 2 (though she could just be an annoying human – I would not be surprised), but I will not be rushing out to buy this book. I may even just borrow it from the library and I am not fond of reading library books.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆
Goodreads shows a 3-out-of-5 star rating from me, though it was more a 2.5 in my opinion. I like the potential this story had and I honestly hope that book 2 makes this all better, but I will not hold my breath.
Okay loves, I feel I may have been a little harsh but it is how I feel.
Tell me, what did you think of this book?
Do you agree or disagree with anything I have said? What and why?
Let me know by commenting below or contacting me via other media platforms.
Until next time bibliophiles!