In the first review I wrote for this, it got really spoilery. More spoilery than any other review I’ve done, I think. Since a lot of people don’t like spoilers, I wanted to write a second review where I don’t specifically discuss major plot points, so this is it. If you’re interested in my more spoilery discussion of this book, I will be posting it later.
Even though this doesn’t have the same major spoilers that the other one has, I do say how some characters die. I never mention names, but, if even that much detail is enough to bother you, I would recommend not reading this.
So that happened. I have a lot of weird feelings about this book, but I can’t find a name for any of them. I kind of feel similar to how I felt after reading Rooms by Lauren Oliver. But there was no gore in that one, and there was in this one, so there might be a little more general discomfort after reading this.
I’ve had this book ever since it came out. Every couple months for the past two years I’ve looked at it sitting on my shelf, sad and unread, and I’ll say that I’ll read it soon. And I did try to pick it up a few times. Probably every six months or so, I would try to read it again, but it never really grabbed me. Every time I’ve tried to read it, I haven’t gotten more than fifty pages into it. Sometimes not even that. The last time I tried to read it I got four pages in before I stopped. I’m not even exaggerating. The bookmark was still there. This year I’ve been trying to read more, so I thought that maybe this would be the year I finally read it. It’s been two years. The time has come to actually finish it. So I did.
This book has none of the qualities of a page turner. Whenever I would put it down, I wouldn’t really feel any need to pick it up again. Generally, I don’t like when there are cliffhangers at the end of chapters that are there just to make you keep reading, but honestly maybe that would have been a good thing in this book. The last line of each chapter seemed almost final, which didn’t help the fact that I already didn’t feel much motivation to finish this. I was curious, but I could have easily put the book down for a long period of time and not really missed it. Obviously not every book is going to be a page turner that you want to read in one sitting, but I want whatever I read to make me want to read more. This didn’t do that.
I had some suspicions about a plot twist in the beginning, but I dismissed them thinking that that kind of plot twist would be to predictable. It turned out that I was right about it. I had more suspicions about a plot twist later in the book, but again I dismissed them because obviously that won’t happen. It happened.
Some of it was just a misunderstanding where I thought they meant some words figuratively instead of literally. I’m not going to go into it much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but, if you’re going to read this, they mean things very literally. You should know that. Even though the first plot twist did irritate me, and I think that kind of plot twist is kind of overdone, I see why it was there, and I honestly don’t see any other way that they could have gotten to the ending without having this there, so I can’t complain.
There are some books in which trying to figure out what happened and who did what before it’s said in the book is part of what makes the book enjoyable. I don’t think this is one of those books. Maybe it was supposed to be and I entirely missed it? Or maybe the author went a little overboard on the foreshadowing? I don’t know. Plot twists are great and all, but they are best handled by masters who can lead you down a merry path and then completely blindside you with an unexpected plot twist.
I didn’t feel particularly connected to any of the main characters. There were some sad bits that made me a little bit emotional, but I don’t know if it was actually me being attached to the character, or me just not wanting that specific thing to happen to that character. Some books are written in such a way that even if you don’t relate to the characters you can still kind of connect with them or almost relate to them, but this isn’t one of those books.
This book was very sad. I guess I should have expected it from the beginning, but I didn’t. I was surprised by how sad it ended up being. The part at the end was pretty vague then everything got real, and I just can’t. Like I said before, I wasn’t incredibly attached to any of the characters, but the way it was written was disturbing. One of the girls fell off her chair and hit her head. It describes exactly how her skull is cracked open and how she’s bleeding. When another character dies, it describes the gash on the back of her head as “soft” and “gooey” which, in my opinion, just seems like too much.
I think I said before in a review that I’m indifferent to gore. Normally, if it’s just small amounts of gore, and there’s no violence towards animals, I can handle it, no problem. But this book was different. The descriptions in this book weren’t too terribly graphic, but I was still uncomfortable. This book was disturbing. The way the gore was written made my skin crawl. There was more gore than just what I mentioned, and it was just as horrible as the rest, but I’ve tried to forget that.
This book also made me feel anxious. I read about a hundred pages of it in a sitting, and then I had to put it down. It’s possible that this was something else, but, since I felt really stressed right after reading it, I think at least part of it was the book. I do want my books to make me feel things, but not these things. If you have anxiety, I would not recommend this book.
It’s possible that I would have liked this book more if I didn’t read it right after reading Paper Valentine. I loved Paper Valentine, and this just can’t compare to it. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get into a reading slump, which I do sometimes after reading something I really loved, so I picked this book up the same night I finished Paper Valentine. That might have been a mistake. I, at least, should have waited a day before picking this up. I just really didn’t want to get into a reading slump because, the last time I did, I barely read for six months.
There are a few things I did like about the book.
In the chapters from Amber’s perspective, the title of the chapter would be the first couple words in the chapter. In Violet’s chapters, the title of the chapter would be the last couple words from the chapter. I don’t know why, but I thought that was cool.
I also really like the cover. I know I shouldn’t judge it by the cover, but come on-just look at it, it’s beautiful. If you haven’t seen it, look it up. Do it.
My final rating is two and a half out of five stars. I wanted to like it, but I just found it lacking. However, if you liked Rooms, you’ll probably like this.