Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (June 18th, 2013)
Format: Paper ARC
Reviewed by: Judith
Okay two things: 1. The review is long because I really felt strongly about this book. You may not agree but that’s ok! What I love, you can hate and vice versa. But I do want to tell you to give it a chance either way. 2. Giveaway at the end! Scroll down to win an ARC of Triangles! Woohoo!
[From the Publisher to avoid spoilers]
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?
In the Bermuda Triangle–a lot.
Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life–her father’s death years ago, her mother’s medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her–seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she’s gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they’re a happy couple… a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying “Happy Anniversary”… and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship’s doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she’s warned that these “alternate realities” could become permanent.
She just has to ask herself one question–how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?
Review: I’m not going to candy coat it especially since this book is really being hyped up all over the YA book reading world: I did not enjoy this book. That’s not to say that it won’t find a true fan base because the premise as described in the synopsis is really unique and captivating. But for my part, I just did not like it. At all. I found the heroine extremely unlikable, the scenario (as it is written) far fetched and hokey, and the writing ho-hum at best. I’m sorry to say this cause I had really high hopes for Triangles but the book itself just didn’t live up to them for me.
Caution: POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW THOUGH I’M TRYING TO KEEP IT CLEAN!
The heroine, Autumn, is a boring, self-absorbed girl hung up on her own guilt about her mom being in the hospital. She seems to love wallowing in self-pity and anguish and harps on about her tormented feelings and crappy circumstances ad nauseum throughout the book. Everything seems to be about Autumn and how awful her life is. Even the fact that she gets to go on a Caribbean cruise causes lots of anguish and eye-rolling. The problem is, Autumn never tells anyone how she feels, choosing to sulk and mope like an 8 year old without any ice cream. So nothing is ever resolved. Ever. She never explains why she’s a royal B to her sister all the time and why she never gives that hot mechanic from her work (who is admittedly a bit stalkerish) a chance. She’s an extremely unlikable character whose Bermuda Triangle induced revelations are so ridiculous and out of left field that I kept wondering if the author had wanted to write the ending she did or a different one.
The writing itself flows along pretty well but the subject matter and the way it is presented is extremely juvenile. At no less than 5 points in the story, a fist fight breaks out or is threatening to break out over Autumn. What? Let me just ask this again: WHAT? Two guys are fighting over this self-obsessed twit who treats them both like garbage? I cry foul! Especially since one she ignores for 99% of the book and the other she meets the DAY THE CRUISE SETS SAIL. Uhh, the cruise only seems to be about 5 days long yet somehow Autumn convinces this dude that even with all her moping and bitchy attitude that she’s worth fighting for. It reads like some teenage girl’s idea of what a healthy relationship beginning is – a fist fight for the honor of a neurotic girl who hates everyone but ends up falling for the man who defends her honor.
One of my pet peeves in current YA/NA is girls needing guys to give them a sense of self worth or to save them. I don’t need to tell you that it’s unnecessary and irritating. Autumn makes a point throughout the entire book to prove to the world how strong and unencumbered with men she is. While I disliked her as a character, I deeply admired that conviction. Too often we find girls wanting their boyfriends or potential boyfriends to fight for them to prove their love or to prove that the girl is worth something. And I was so happy not to see that here. But then it rears its head and I am left annoyed thinking, “Fight your own battle! Gah!”
The author relies heavily on action and shock to cause drama. She’s also a big fan of the falling asleep/hitting your head and blacking out tool in writing. I’m not going to go into it too much but let’s just say that every time Autumn has an a-ha moment and is about to come to a meaningful conclusion, bam! She falls asleep/hits her head and then the reader is once again left in the dark. There’s nothing wrong with using this once or twice in a novel but 5+ times? It just seems sloppy. There’s also the fact that a lot of passages just don’t make sense. Is it bad writing or the fact that the heroine is just so bat crazy? I can’t tell! At times things would cross her mind and I had to stop reading and reread the preceding paragraph cause I was so confused about why she was treating a certain character differently than she had been 1 minute earlier. Again, it felt sloppy and like the whole thing would have greatly benefited from a firmer editor.
The one thing that really got me about this book is that the synopsis made this out to be something very unusual and unique. And ultimately it should have been – a book about the intersection of different realities in the Bermuda Triangle? A literal love triangle unfolding around us? It sounds fabulous! But that’s not this book. This relies heavily on trite plot devices. There’s a lot of heavy handed paragraphs that spell out the character flaws instead of letting us discover them over time.
So in the end, I’m going to say this: I really didn’t like it and my reasons are many. That however does not mean you will not enjoy this book. The writing has a good flow and you’ll find yourself zipping through it to see if Autumn can ever redeem herself. In the end I’m going to give it a solid middle of the road 5/10 for effort.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 5. I’m giving Autumn a solid 5 because she is female and I respect her in her abject self-absorption. It seems difficult to be so inward driven all the time. She does manage to turn herself around at the end and earns a few points but the fact that she was so unlikable for the rest of the book really puts a damper on her total.
How much did I like the love interest: Joey or Marcus? Ok, you got two pretty similar guys and the question you have to pose is: which is the lesser of the two evils? I’m going toward Joey cause even though he doesn’t seem to understand no means no, it’s never in a sleazy way and he genuinely seems to care about Autumn.
How believable is the plot: 8. Been obsessed with the paranormal since I was a kid so a book about mysterious circumstances in the Bermude Triangle is right up my alley!
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 6. There was too much action for me and the dialogue left a lot to be desired. Also the juvenile aspect of the writing was a bit of a turn off.
How much did I want to keep reading: 6. I wanted to find out how Autumn was going to get on with all the alternate realities so as soon as she was cruise bound it was a page turner for sure.
Final Score: 5/10. It wasn’t for me but you might like it so give this one a chance if the idea of finding yourself in the Bermuda Triangle is appealing. A little mystery, a little romance, and a helping of self-reflection – the best you can find in YA!
****Disclaimer: I got this book for free from the author/publisher. I swear I didn’t bribe either in any way, or get paid for my review. And we might not be legit enough to need this disclaimer but after working at a law firm for many years it’s better safe than sorry!****
Now the fun!
The Prize: Paperback ARC of Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Who can Win it: Anyone living in the 48 Continental United States who is 18+ years of age
Rules and Enter below: