Skill and Slavery || Gilded Cage Review

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Initial Thoughts:

Hot damn, but this was a very good book. It was DARK by the end, and now I’m bummed because I have to wait for the second book, but omg, that ending though. I can’t trust anyone in this book! And I definitely should have told myself not to get attached to people. TOO LATE DAMMIT.


GILDED CAGE

by Vic James
Del Rey, February 2017
YA fantasy, dystopia
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies
provided by NetGalley (thank you!)

gildedcageOur world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Down with the Monarchy, Down with Equality

This book took me a bit by surprise. Not so much because I’d expected it to be bad, but that I’d expected something as heady as slavery and politics to be a slow read and not at all the fast-paced narration I’d encountered in Gilded Cage. So when I started reading, there were many things that I had to soak in and think about, things that I didn’t really see coming, and characters that definitely made me go “OMG X IS REALLY Y HOW CAN I TRUST THIS LITTLE SHIT EVER AGAIN?” by the end of the book.

Luke’s little sis and her friends were careering round behind the house shrieking at the tops of their voices, while some unforgivably awful C-pop boy band blared through the living room window.

The time of the Equals. First off, I did want to point out that one of the most interesting things for me is that this particular England mirrors more of a modern England than any other time period. There are cars and magazines and TV and technology. Heck, the opening scene follows Luke and his family during his sister Daisy’s 10th birthday, and already from the first few paragraphs we are shown that the Hadleys seem to be a regular family living a routine, regular life. Luke is attempting to study for his exams, his older sister Abi is reading a smutty romance novel, and his sister Daisy is partying with her friends. Nothing out of the ordinary, right?

Until, of course, we are told a page or two later that this seemingly ordinary English life is fitted within a city drenched in a history of slavery. And it is still happening as of the beginning of Gilded Cage. Instead of open rebellion against such injustice, Luke takes it in stride and mostly for granted up until his parents sign the entire family up into ten years of enslavement. Then things begin to change for the Hadley family.

Let me tell you, those first few pages in Chapter 1 were already a doozy. Imagine an England where citizenship is not allowed to non-Equals unless they consign themselves into a decade-long servitude. Imagine these non-Equals taking it for what it is and not opposing the government, because what can the Skilless really do against the Skilled Equals, whose mysterious powers are beyond their understanding. It’s pretty heavy stuff, and right then and there I was already on the mindset that things were about to get pretty dark, pretty damn fast.

“Oh, shit” indeed, Varric.

The book largely tells the story of Luke and Abi, brother and sister whose parents decided to take their entire family into the slavedays, where they and their family enter into a period of slavery in order to fulfill their citizenship obligations. Abi, evidently the smartest of the three siblings, has managed to sign her entire family up into servitude at Kynestone, the household of one of the most powerful Equal families in England. It looked like a cushy 10-year position for everyone, except for one thing. By some stroke of misfortune, Luke is separated from his family and taken to Millmoor–a town where slaves are treated like animals. Working conditions are poor, difficult, and very long at Millmoor, and to Luke, it’s only the start of what looks like the most miserable ten years of his life.

Enter the various points of view that really helped with the pacing. I had initially thought the main POVs would be that of Luke and Abi (and quite possibly Daisy, because many reviews mention her a lot), but the book itself had many more characters that were given chapter POVs. It really added a more in-depth look of the inner workings of the Skill and the characters who wield them. It also gave a more in-depth look at some of the character motivations on both sides. After all, it isn’t just Luke and Abi roaming the pages, there’s also Silyen, Euterpe, Gavar, and Bouda. At first I thought this would become problematic, considering a lot of these secondary character POVs only showed up once or twice, but honestly, their chapters helped to form the bigger picture of the world of the Equals.

Beside him, her own exams long since completed, Abi was lost in one of her favorite trashy novels. Luke gave it the side-eye and cringed at the title: Her Master’s Slave. She was nearly finished, and had another pastel-covered horror lined up. The Heir’s Temptation. How someone as smart as his big sister could read such rubbish was beyond him.

And on a related note, I totally related to Abi. Completely and utterly.

“It’s an ability, origin unknown, manifesting in a very small fraction of the population and passed down through our bloodlines. Some talents are universal, such as restoration–that is, healing. Others, such as alteration, persuasion, perception, and infliction, manifest in different degrees from person to person.”

“Magic, you could say?” Silyen offered.

Then there’s the Skill itself. As of Gilded Cage, not much is known about how it manifests in a few people, and what the limits of the Skill are. Some Skilled people are clearly kill-able, yet the how is still a little vague. In some cases, the plot conveniently kills off Skilled people in a fire. Yet others are burned and mutilated, yet somehow within minutes and quite possibly seconds, they are right as rain. There was a bit of explanation about why some siblings had a great deal of Skill while others didn’t, but it was only briefly touched upon, and not altogether fully developed. It will be interesting to see how the Skill continues to be unraveled within the later books.

In the Philippines, Skilled priests regularly repelled dangerous weather systems that threatened their islands. What were Britain’s Equals capable of? Abi wasn’t sure.

The fact that the Skill manifested within the rest of the world makes this magical system even more interesting!

…word must have gone round the whole of Zone D.

And Luke had talked it into existence.

Thinking about that made his head spin. It was almost like Skill–conjuring up something out of nothing.

“There no magic more powerful than the human spirit,” Jackson had said at the third and final club meeting. Luke was beginning to dare to hope that was true.

I couldn’t say which place had been the most interesting part of the book. On the one hand, I thought Luke was getting more action within the story, having been mistakenly thrown into Millmoor as opposed as being stuck in the Jardine household. On the other hand, a lot of political bullshittery hit the fan within the Jardine household that I almost wished Abi had taken some sort of initiative and went out of her way to find out more about the household she served. I mean, there were parts where Abi did do something, but I thought she’d been sidelined as a character who pined for someone unattainable and slaved away as a secretary. She’s much more than that, and I really hope she gets a bit more into the plot in the next book (and from the look of things, it sounds like she will be!).

Be warned: This book ends in a cliffhanger ending. And you might want to cry just a bit if you get attached to certain characters. Because OMG HEARTBREAKING THINGS HAPPEN.

You tell ’em, Meredith!

4 out of 5 cookies! Did I think the pacing work for the book? Yes, I did! Did I enjoy the politics behind it? Surprisingly, I did! Honestly, I thought Bouda Matravers played a great game, though she wasn’t the only one with far-reaching ambitions. Do I want the next book now? Ugh. Don’t talk to me about another trilogy. Because of course I want the next book now.

This book counts as #5 of the Flights of Fantasy Challenge.


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Did you read this book? What did you think?

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Dragons, Gods, and Other Steamy Bits || A Promise of Fire Review

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Initial Thoughts:

I find myself terribly conflicted with this book. On the one hand, I found it a fast read, occasionally super riveting, and totally steamy (like whoah there, this is NOT YA WHAT WAS I THINKING). On the other hand, I couldn’t personally condone the relationship for most of the book, and even when things started getting full-blown bad romancey in the classic Alpha-male and feisty female trope, I’m still holding onto my reservations.

Would I read the next book though? Hell yes I would.

A PROMISE OF FIRE

by Amanda Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca, August 2016
Adult romance, fantasy
Rated: 3.5 / 5 cookies
e-ARC provided by NetGalley (thank you!)

promiseoffireKINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
“Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

A Promise of a lot of Hot Things

So when I requested this book on NetGalley, I was looking at the cover and story description and thinking: “Oh! Kind of like Uprooted but with more romancey bits. Mmk!” Honestly, I expected a YA romance, with all the angst and all the tension.

What I was not expecting was all the sex. And hell, the sex was detailed. Gods above, it was much too detailed.

And before the eye-rolling at my seeming naivete commences, please note that I do primarily read and review YA and children’s fantasy. Occasionally I will review adult books, but often they are not so much romance adult books. So while I am not altogether unfamiliar with the smut that people write these days, a couple of the passages in this particular book took me by surprise.

I can’t say I ultimately disapproved, mind. Those scenes were hella sexy (and oh yes, I sure as hell am talking about THAT scene 85 percent into the book…).

A Couple of Caveats

A Promise of Fire is a story about a young Magoi (magic user) woman hiding from her past and a Hoi Polloi (non-magic user) man trying his utmost to bring her out of hiding. The two embark in a constant clash of emotions and physicality, and amidst their conflict lies a budding level of attachment that, when finally acted on, may very well destroy or unify the three kingdoms.

So, yeah, it’s a romance fantasy in a nutshell. Do not expect it to be more. I mean, the opening scene spent a great deal of time describing the perfectly muscled tones of the mysterious “warlord” (who winds up being the main male lead) and Cat’s apparent attraction to said fine specimen. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kick Cat then or later, because honestly, the amount of fluttery butterflies and metaphorical wings and heat zinging through her nether regions every damn time the Beta Sinta came into play was getting tiring (Honestly, I don’t know how Cat manages to continually get turned on and not feel fatigued by it all in a physical sense!). I’m only surprised the words “rippling pectorals” weren’t used to describe any of the Hoi Polloi men, though Bouchet certainly gets damn close to using that description.

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All that description about the Beta Sinta pretty much just sent my head to the hotness that is Henry Cavill. I mean, normally I wouldn’t complain about this beautiful eye-candy, but there IS such a thing as getting too repetitive over those beautiful raven locks and that hard, muscle-toned body.

The progression of the romance itself was kind of cringe-worthy at the start. In truth, I felt uncomfortable about the development between Cat and Griffin in terms of how they interacted with each other. From day one, it’s clear both are physically attracted to each other, and both are the epitome of their character archetypes. Cat is the feisty, fiery, powerful woman with a chip on her shoulder. Griffin pretty much screams Alpha male (even though, funnily enough, his title is the Beta Sinta). Griffin lays claim to Cat the minute he interacts with her, going so far as kidnapping her, threatening her with the general safety of her circus friends, and then tying her up with magical rope to bind her to him. Rightly so, Cat is angry, rebellious, acts out against her captors, and YET she winds up having the hots for the man with the perfect package (and gods, you need to read the description of Griffin and the Beta Team, they are full of glorified male description).

If that doesn’t scream dubious consent, then I don’t know what does.

It’s not until the latter half of the book that this uncomfortable dubiousness lets up, and even so, the whole time I’m reading, I kept thinking: “This is really not the way to go about winning an independent woman’s heart.” Which prevented me from loving Griffin. I mean, the other characters? Yes. I love flirty Carver and loyal Flynn, and Kato is charming and adorable, even if he is written as a perfectly male specimen as well (and gods, I was so afraid they’d all be Gary Stu-ish in nature). But Griffin? I suppose he has his cheeky amusing moments, and on occasion he has made me laugh out loud. All the same, I could have done without some of the belligerence he uses to get what he wants. And goodness, there was one scene that killed me with laughter, because it was, quite literally, a “fuck or die” chapter that I’ve only ever seen in fanfiction so far. I just COULD NOT DEAL.

Anyway. Moving on.

A Richly Imagined World

That all said, I absolutely love the worldbuilding and the overarching plot that revolves around the book.

Bouchet’s Thalyria is divided into three kingdoms: magic-filled northern Fisa, politically unstable Tarva, and magic-less southern Sinta. The ruling families appear to follow a hierarchy made up of Alphas, Betas, etc., with a tradition of fratricide being the normal way of things. Hell, it doesn’t seem to faze Cat to talk about how the Alpha Fisa condones her children’s bloodthirsty battle for the throne, nor does it faze her to mention the naturalness of the Alpha Tarva’s power-hungry sister, who is effectively Beta Tarva. And as for the Alpha and Beta Sintas? Well, they’re pretty much magic-less Hoi Polloi who upended tradition by overruling the Magoi Sinta nobles and becoming rulers themselves.

And among all of this political turmoil lies in essence a magical world, filled with Greek gods and Oracles. Cat’s powers are interesting at worst, friggin’ awesome at best. The fact that Griffin–whose Hoi Polloi ancestry denotes no magical powers at all–does not get affected by magic is also an interesting note. There’s definitely a lot I could ask about the working of the world’s magical system, and if it’s solely based on what the gods give their Chosen. In which case, I wonder how many actually like Cat, since, you know, she’s kind of got some god-like ancestry in her own bloodline.

In any case, while the romance did take over the majority of the story, I do want to continue reading the series. While the reader knows exactly who Cat is by the end of the book, no one else in Sinta does, and certainly I’m looking forward to how her lineage will affect the way most people in Sinta think about her. Also, there’s a lot of buildup over how dangerous the Alpha Fisa is, and how each of the divided kingdoms are close to the brink of war. And there’s also the fact that Cat herself is the Kingmaker. Why is she called this and what is she going to do next? Ugh, the possibilities for the stories in the next books are endless. And I want to know.

3.5 out of 5 cookies! So yeah, for the overall story, I’d keep on reading. I could also do with less heated exchanges and more giant-walloping, dragon-slaying adventures, please. I mean, I know it’s a fantasy romance, but still…


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Mini-Reviews: Felicia Day, Neil Patrick Harris

I usually don’t read nonfiction outside of necessity, but having access to a ton of audiobooks via my library is a blessing, and I’ve increased my nonfiction book count this way. Which is why, when I saw memoirs of Felicia Day and Neil Patrick Harris, I totally went for them. Now, these audiobooks aren’t my favorites in the world, but I did come to respect the celebrities who penned these down more than I did before.

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Have you read either of these? What did you think?

Inner Mind Geekness || Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

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Initial Thoughts:

I will say this: I cannot WAIT for all the fan fiction that’s going to result in this book. And honestly, I’m pretty damn sure there already WAS fan fiction regarding a few characters ever since the epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Little Brown Books, July 2016
Children’s fantasy
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

My feelings when this book was announced as the “eighth Harry Potter book” was lukewarm at best. I mean, yes, I still added it to my TBR, and I was excited that there’d be more story in the HP world, but a play about Harry and his friends during their 30s? I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. But the anticipation started coming closer and closer, and by the time I finally got myself a copy (and attended a few of the launch parties littering the city–and I mean, egads, there are a LOT of HP fans out there who came to celebrate), I knew I was going to have to read the book ASAP. And discuss it with the numerous HP friends I’ve made over the years.

And boy, was it great to get back into the wizarding world. In fact, the whole book (which is in a screenplay format) made me want to re-read the first seven all over again, because The Cursed Child was just NOT ENOUGH OMG. I wanted more. MORE I TELL YOU. I wanted more Scorpius. I wanted more of the trio. I wanted more McGonagall and Albus and Hermione Badass Granger. Lawd, I just wanted more. Most of all, I really want to see this play live. Because omg it sounds amazing.

So this review isn’t going to be like my  normal reviews, only because I don’t want to dwell on super-spoilery things. It is, after all, a screenplay worth watching on stage. Below is pretty much just my inner mind commentary for when I was reading the book.

Inner Mind Geekness

  • We didn’t actually get confirmation at the epilogue about which house Albus Severus Potter gets into. I wonder which house he will get into…and I do hope it’s not Gryffindor… (that would make things boooooring).
  • OMG. THE FANFICTION THAT WILL BE WRITTEN. THE BROMANCING. #SNOWBAZFOREVER
  • “He dials 62442.” You’d think after all this time, with the whole “Magic is Might” Ministry breach thing during the Battle of Hogwarts, that they’d have changed the code to get inside. (Yes, it’s the same damn number. I’d know this because I’m a friggin’ nerd?)
  • Though I suppose a lot of things that get mentioned is due to an homage to the original seven books. And some of it is really taking me down Nostalgia Central.
  • I love Scorpius.
  • Holy shit. The grownup witches and wizards are even more intense now with their problems.
  • *sing-song “The Schuyler Sisters” melody from Hamilton* Hermione….Ron Weasley….and Draco. The…Potter friendsies?
  • Are they ever going to mention Teddy? Or…er…no?
  • Every time Bane’s name shows up I hear his dialogue in Tom Hardy’s voice. No, seriously, I hear him as The Dark Knight Rises Bane.
  • Harry, you can’t stop the rhythm of two hearts in love. (I’m totally not borrowing this from Hairspray…nope…)
  • OH GOD, YOU TWO. JUST SNOG AND HUG IT OUT. #SNOWBAZFOREVER
  • I frelling LOVE Scorpius.
  • Act Two, Scene 19: The many euphemisms in this scene just destroyed my brain.
  • FOR V AND VALOR. (Totally Pokemon-related as well.)
  • Okay, can we just talk about how badass Hermione was in the original series? Well, she’s even MORE BADASS in her 30s.
  • Did I mention how much I LOVE Scorpius?
  • Ugh. I just WATCHED characters die in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 the other day. Now my emotions are getting hurled all over the place again!
  • Er…things get all wibbly wobbly timey wimey nonsense on me. Not sure how I feel about that as the main premise.
  • I LOVE SCORPIUS SO MUCH.
  • And on another note, honestly, who the hell wants to sex Moldy Voldy anyway? (Don’t ask why THIS particular thought even came up…)
  • Ugh. What? Slight copout there, JKR. All that buildup and then….fwoosh. Something else happens. Sigh. #SNOWBAZFOREVER

So okay. It wasn’t my favorite story of the HP world, but honestly, it was still fabulous in its own way. Now excuse me while I scour the Internetz for some lovely slash fanfiction. Hem hem.

4 out of 5 cookies!


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Review: The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana

On the occasion, I find myself gravitating toward old movies. You know, the Golden Age Hollywood kind, where stars like A. Hepburn and K. Hepburn and Kelly and Grant and Gable sort of just frolicked in the silver screens. Yes, it’s phenomenally unvaried and certainly undiverse, but there’s still a charm to the pacing of a Hitchcock or Hawks film, and I do wax nostalgic for it.

The book I requested from NetGalley certainly tries to bring life to that Golden Age, and admittedly, sometimes it worked.


THE WOMAN IN THE MOVIE STAR DRESS

by Praveen Asthana
Doublewood Press, February 2015
Contemporary fantasy
Rated: cookieratingcookierating / 5 cookies
provided by NetGalley

moviestarWhat if the clothes you wore carried ghostly fragments of your soul, and somehow those fragments got transferred to one who wore those clothes next?

The Woman in the Movie Star Dress is the story of a young Native American woman who comes to Hollywood to escape her past. She finds work in a vintage store that sells clothes used in the movies. One day she discovers a way to transfer human character through these vintage clothes and uses this ability to search for identity and mooring. But the threads of her past intervene like trip wires and complicate her quest, forcing her to look within her soul to understand who she really is.

The novel weaves humor, magic, romance, and suspense into a fresh and entertaining tale. An added bonus is the romp through the classic movies and femme fatales of old Hollywood.

Gifly Thoughts

She would want to be like Grace Kelly was in High Society where she had displayed a combination of romantic charm and the toughness of Katherine Hepburn.

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I will say that there were a few good things that I took away from the story. The first was that sudden urge to start a marathon of old movies. How to Marry a Millionaire for Monroe and Bacall, The Philadelphia Story for Grant and K. Hepburn, and High Society for Grace Kelly (the latter of which I actually haven’t seen yet). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. I’ve probably seen the first two movies I’ve mentioned a gazillion times, and I’d watch them over again, along with several others I haven’t seen yet. The mention of half of these movies–with historical context–in the story gave me a sense that Asthana did do some research.

(Though I will note that Katharine Hepburn might roll in her grave after seeing her first name misspelled over ten times in the text. Or, at the most, come back to life just to correct the mistake.)

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The other thing I took from the story was that it had a charming way to divide chapters. For the most part, each chapter is named after a particular film star, with a quote from said star directly underneath it. Asthana then further incorporated the actor/actress into the chapter by remunerating certain tidbits of that actor’s/actress’ life. Often Genevieve–the main character–tries to emulate a particular actress within a chapter (Elizabeth Taylor in one instance, Ava Gardner in another). I thought this was cool in a way, because it gave me insight to a particular movie star’s life.

Unfortunately, those were the only things I really liked about the book. Which means I could have been fine picking up a random compendium of Golden Age Hollywood movie stars and been happier with that, because at least that doesn’t have the need to congeal together to form a story. The Woman in the Movie Star Dress would have been interesting–and it was interesting in the beginning–if not for the chapter disjoints and the hot mess that is the main character.

It was one of her bad habits–to compare any man she met with her screen heroes. She would ask herself: Does this guy have any of the polished handsomeness of Montgomery Clift, or the brutal beauty of Marlon Brando or the I-will-take-care-of-it presence of Humphrey Bogart, or the kind of delicious country sultriness Paul Newman showed in The Long Hot Summer? In short, does he look like a movie star?

At first I liked Genevieve. In fact, if I look at it as if she’s comparing guys to fictional characters in books, she’d probably be a version of me in some world or other. Genevieve also had some ambitions in the beginning, including wanting to become a sort of director. I mean, she and her family practically grew up around Paramount Studios, so it’s kind of a step in the right direction, right?

Apparently there was an Incident that completely tore her family–and life–apart, and the book pretty much goes through the motions of the After. After Genevieve’s family gets effed over. After Genevieve seemingly gives up her dream of becoming some director. After she gets a job at a local Hollywood celebrity clothing store. Soon after she sells a dress that may have been those of a legit femme fatale–one who actually went ahead and murdered her husband and lover in a jealous fit of rage.

Genevieve constantly talks about Elizabeth Taylor’s femme fatale-ness, which was kind of cool.

I mean, this shit would have been fabulous. But I don’t even know where the story went after the premise was set forth.

After the initial introduction with Genevieve, however, I  mostly just wanted to throw her off the Hollywood Hills. She constantly demeans herself and makes no effort to try. When one thing goes wrong, she tries to hightail it out of there and THEN blames the damn dress for making her do things she normally doesn’t do. The idea of dress transferrence was interesting at first, but at some point, even my initial suspension of disbelief got replaced with a question of “So if you shot your cheating husband, can you get away with saying that your dress made you do it?” or “So if  a date takes you out twice, but you repeatedly leave and occasionally have sex with another guy, did the personality who wore the dress make you do it?”

Uh-uh. No. I might as well start punching out reporters now and claiming my Renegade Commander Shepard sweater made me do it. How’s that for transferrence for ya?

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She walked up to Peter, gave him a kiss on each cheek, said “darling I have to go, I’m sorry. Do forgive me,” and then she turned around and walked to where Jeremy was waiting.

This is pretty much the second time Genevieve does this to the same guy. Not that I liked Peter any better, of course (I thought he was a class A-hole), but Genevieve chose to set herself with that kind of character. That doesn’t bode well for her general taste in men, to be honest. Actually, there were even several instances where she does stupid shit like get into a car with several shady guys because she felt rejected by a dude. I just…ugh, woman the eff up, Genevieve.

The fact that Genevieve was also pining over three completely unlikable guys added to my annoyance of both the character and the story. The fact that one of them happened to have had non-consensual sex with Genevieve’s mother is just disturbing on an entirely different level, and I did not like how the book tried to lessen the impact of this, especially on a girl who had walked in on the scene.

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So. Yeah. I cannot in all honesty get behind this book, even though it did have some interesting and charming points. I will give it credit for my wanting to watch old movies. I guess that’s as much as I can say.

2 out of 5 cookies!