Author: Talia Vance
Genre: YA, PNR
Publication Date: September 8, 2012 (Flux – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC/NetGalley Review Copy
Summary: “As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away.”
Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can’t resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna’s charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she’s been hiding even from herself.
Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.
But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.
Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.
☆: 1/5 stars – HUGE disappointment.
Review: I can safely say that this was one of my biggest disappointments this year. I was really looking forward to the mythology that was advertised in this blurb, but really found that aside from a few mentions in the first half of the book (really, a handful of mentions), that was it. It was kind of all-romance from there on out. And usually, I might be okay with that if it weren’t for the false advertising promising an awesome, rarely-looked at piece of mythology in YA. If you’re looking for YA contemporary romance, this is more the book for you. If you’re looking for the mythology promised, I advise you go elsewhere.
What was awesome: the whole premise of two people who were totally not supposed to fall in love do fall in love, the rarely-used Celtic mythology you almost never see in YA, Brianna’s “invisibility” charm bracelet. All of which are only mentioned a few times within the first half of the book.
What wasn’t awesome: Pretty much everything else. Brianna is the scapegoat and doormat for her circle of friends – the popular kids, the kids who step on others in order to be loved by everyone else. Once Brianna’s bracelet breaks and everyone can see her as her true self – a gorgeous daughter of Danu, she’s blamed for stealing boyfriends that she didn’t really steal, and so forth. Nearly every part of Brianna’s social life is unhealthy – from her friends who use her to her eventual relationship with Blake (which is not only insta-love but codependency at its finest), who is not just a serial girl user, but a guy who’s been born to HUNT her.
There’s also a bit of slut-shaming, too. It seems like in YA, no matter what the genre (but it seems to be showing up more and more in the PNR subgenre), no contemporary setting is complete without slut-shaming. Yes, Brianna kind of messes up and loses her virginity while under a spell to Blake (the magic isn’t even really explained – I couldn’t figure it out and I overread EVERYTHING), but even after her bracelet is fixed, she’s blamed for stealing boyfriends and the like. It’s utterly frustrating that this has to happen now in order to create tension in YA books, and it honestly makes me want to cry.
I’ll admit, I DNF’d this halfway through because I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt horrible for Brianna. I wanted more mythology and only got more unhealthy YA relationships instead. I was frustrated with the amount of showing versus telling (telling was winning), and the “spell” that makes Brianna and Blake get it on is confused with love. But lust often has that problem, especially in the YA genre.
I’m just really disappointed in this book because it had so much promise. I can see why Vance arranged the friendships the way she did, but saw no reason to insta-love things (and I’m told that there’s a very forced love trangle in place later in the book – awkward) the way she did. I wanted so much more than I got, and part of that is my fault for having high expectations. I guess at this point in the game, I just expect MORE from YA, and from some of the really spectacular debuts that have come out this year, I was disappointed.
So, I have to give this one a failing grade and move on. But this is just how I feel about it. “Silver” will be out September 8, 2012 from Flux in North America, so be sure to check it out and see what you think and how you feel about how things go down in this story.