Book Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

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TOXIC is an agency within the government that utilizes each child’s unique ability in the most advantageous way. 

I’m sorry. I thought I was supposed to be reading a book about a kickass assassin out for revenge against the man responsible for the death of her parents – not a soap opera. There was just so many things wrong with this novel and that’s with ignoring the blinding grammatical errors (on a side note, the book really needs a professional editor).

Telepathy was not uncommon but advanced Mind Manipulation, as I was capable of, was extremely rare.

I had felt different my whole life, mostly because I am different.

“..Your powers are so much stronger than any Talent I’ve ever met,” he sounded almost reverent when he said the last part.

Hmm… unless I’m completely crazy, I’m pretty sure everyone is different, so um… what exactly does that even mean? I’m so tired of young adult novels where the main character is just so friggin special. Worse yet, when they just know that they’re so speshul and different. Talia is your typical mary sue. She’s just so special. I mean, she can move objects with her mind, read other people’s minds, project her feelings to other people. Oh and she can also manipulate people into doing what she wants… with her mind. This particular talent is extremely rare, and she’s just so special because of it. I can’t stress this enough, guys. She’s just so special. Don’t question it. Just roll with it.

When had I become the kind of girl who played boys against each other? Let boys fight over her?

Despite being utterly boring, Talia manages to make two hot guys fall instantly in love with her. When are these cheesy instalove love triangles ever going to stop? They just keep coming. I don’t even understand why these guys like Talia so much. She’s just so whiny and annoying, but I guess it makes sense ‘cause she’s a very speshul snowflake, and there’s just “something about her.” She’s fascinating, and these two boys just can’t get enough of her. Cue sexual tension.

The last thing I should be devoting energy to was boys.

Proceed thinking about said boys further. Talia is an assassin. Supposedly, she’s in training to become one of the deadliest assassins. Riiiiight. I don’t even know what to say. Talia is constantly thinking about her love problems when clearly, she should really focus on, you know, not getting killed. I would think  that takes top priority, but Talia obviously thinks otherwise. She has long curly hair that, ugh, just wouldn’t look good short. Nevermind that it is impractical in missions, flying all over her face and whatnot. A girl’s gotta look good, amirite? What’s really important here is that she looks damn good doing it.

The whole thing was just drama after drama. This book was supposed to be about assassins. No. It is a poorly disguised romance novel with some extra elements thrown in there. He loves me, he loves me not. OMG I shouldn’t be thinking about Erik this way. I have Donovan, but I feel different around Erik. It’s intoxicating, but Donovan loves me. Do I love him? It just goes on and on. I just want some action. Is that too much to ask for in a book that is supposed to be centering on an assassin?

The first was a shiny, metal thermos that he warmed in the fire. The next contained bright red raspberries. The last plastic contained held thick slices of a white, spicy cracked-pepper cheese. Finally, Donovan pulled out a loaf of bread with a crusty brown exterior and a soft white center… I held it under my nose, inhaling the rich aroma, as the steam pouring off the top warmed my face. He handed me half the loaf of bread.

I shortened it for the sake of saving brain cells and eye sights but translation: Talia likes her food.

Okay, since I’ve pointed out what I disliked about this book, I will point out what I did like about this book because overall, it wasn’t that bad. I really like the team dynamic with Talia, Henri, and Erik. I just wished we could have seen more of that. I wanted more missions, so we could see them work together and grow, but unfortunately, the plot took a backseat to the romance in this book which is a shame because this book had potential. I don’t see myself recommending this, but I might go and read the next book in the series. Things started to pick up towards the end of this book, so I am curious to see where this will go.

 

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Book Review: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

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Scintillate is a book about a young girl named Cora who can see auras. She goes on a quest to find out the truth about her mother and the truth about what she is. She finds herself drawn to the new Irish exchange student. When he goes back to Ireland, she follows him because that’s where her mother was researching. She then finds herself in grave danger from those who want to use her power.

Being from Ireland, I was beyond ecstatic when I received a copy of this book. I mean, a book having to do with my childhood land, auras and whatnot? Count me in. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The major problem I had with this book is that, for the most part, it was entirely and disappointingly boring. I had to force myself to finish it because it was just so clichéd and banal. It fell into so many annoying young adult tropes.

1.The Mary-Sue/Special Snowflake

“You’re different from them.”

“It’s not just the color of your eyes – though, damn, that emerald green against your black hair slays me. It’s what’s in them. I feel like I know everything… and nothing, when I look your eyes.”

Cora is just so special. She really is. The readers are told she is plain, but how can we believe that when two amazingly gorgeous guys fall instantly in love with her? She has a hot Irish exchange student from Ireland and a gorgeous Italian boy pining after her. To top it off, she has an extremely rare power and is being hunted because of it.

Cora also makes stupid decisions. After being told how dangerous her gift is and not to trust anyone with the secret, she immediately tells her two friends. She researches in a PUBLIC library. She goes against all of her instincts to be with a guy she barely knows. Even her cousin is okay with letting him drive her home after having fainted. This is how horror movies happen, my friends.

2. The Love Triangle

It has the love triangle. It makes no sense to me because they instantly feel protective of her. They instantly need her. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how Cora is so special. I detest love triangles, but I like them when they are done well. This is not the case which brings me to my next point.

3. Instalove

I think this category is pretty self-explanatory. This may work for tweens, but authors should know better than this. Seriously. I want development. I want the feelings to sneak up on me. I don’t want love at first sight.

4. The Cheesy Dialogue

I can’t count the number of times I rolled my eyes during this book.

Little mini-hearts floated into my bloodstream. “Love?”

We did that thing again, where we looked in each other’s eyes a fraction longer than was considered comfortable in polite society.

“Since I met you, nothing else exists. No one has ever touched me the way you do. You’re like a fookin’ hypnotist.”

 “It’s the sun on my back after days in the rain.”

“…to the wider world you are enchanting.”

5. The Twilight Plot

There’s the immediate attraction. There’s the “I’m not good for you, so I’m going to go leave you now.” There’s the love triangle. There’s the perfect character who everyone loves. She doesn’t know how special she is though.

6. OMG- I’m what?

Yup. It’s the “I don’t know what I am. I’m going to go on a quest to find out.” I mean, there’s nothing wrong with this. It can be a great tool for a fantastic plot. I just hated the way it was done here.

Overall, this was so disappointing. I gave it two stars because the latter part of the book, towards the end, is a lot more interesting than the beginning. For this reason, I can see myself picking up the next book and giving it a chance, but I don’t see myself recommending it.