Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Howl by Annalise Grey

Howl by Annalise Grey
My rating: 1 of 5 genies
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters
Published: January 4, 2012
Pages: 217
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Requested Review
Format: eRead
Purchase At:

**A copy of this book was provided to me through Godreads's 'Authors Requesting Reviews Program' and by the author in exchange for an honest opinion/review. Thank-you!**
Goodreads Summary

Nineteen year old Sophie Matthews is a line-walker between two worlds - human and werewolf. She lives around humans but is never truly part of their world. That is, until she is spotted by a hiker.

What should have been a passing glance becomes so much more as Sophie falls for the one thing she is forbidden from ever having: a human mate.

Adding to her stress is newcomer Daniel, the arrogant wolf on Sophie's tail.

Then several humans are killed by a mysterious and dangerous beast within the pack's hunting grounds. The humans begin whispering of wolf-men roaming the forest and the threat of discovery looms heavy around the pack.

Everything is falling apart and Sophie realizes just how little control she has over her future.

Will she risk everything - her heart, her family, and her safety - for a chance to control her own fate?

Gosh, this book hurt. I think I'll start with the positives - I will try because, unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the good. But first, we need to understand something: This book definitely did not do anything for me, but that doesn't mean I'm saying the same will be true for you.


Go ahead and read the book for yourself if you disagree with my thoughts on the matter. In no way do I delude myself into believing that people take my reviews as the final word in the regards to whether they choose to read a book or not. People will undoubtedly make their opinions up themselves. But firstly, a book is not expected to work for everyone, period. Please, do not take on the defensive just because you happened to think Howl blew magical glitter everywhere and could possibly save the world, curing cancer on the side. NO. Let's just not, okay? No trolling. Capiche?


My Thoughts

Bah!! I think I'm frustrated. In this case I really don' know what to do other than maybe find a rock, sit atop it, and scratch my head awhile until something in regards to this book finally makes sense. I guess I just don't see why any of it was worth it. Granted, this is a DNF (Did-Not-Finish) review and everything I say should be taken with this in consideration, the book didn't make sense. It's characters made even less sense, and the writing made the story very hard to progress let alone enjoy.

But the blurb promises something original. From the summary above, it can be gathered that Sophie is a shape-shifter. Truthfully, nothing really strikes me as new with the premise, and I have read a fair amount of shape-shifter novels in my day. Usually I can tell if a book will be some serious awesomeness by the blurb, in this case, I was wrong. Sophie isn't the kind of protagonist I was expecting at all, and she exists within a book absent of any real story. Not only was there a problem with continuity, but, Sophie didn't really strike me as a girl with anything new to offer. Some aspects of her life were really odd at best:

- Like how her family insists on cleaning so much. I don't get it, not one bit, and why are all the wolves limited in terms of appearance? I've read of shapeshifters with multiple eye colouring, and to limit them to just one shade - grey - takes a lot more from the genre than should be allowed. It adds nothing.

- Her distaste for humans in general really struck me as condescending, and when you consider that she eventually falls in love lust with one, it really doesn't make sense. I kept reading and asking myself, why?! Why is this girl willing to risk so much, the family she is apparently so close to, for a human she considers beneath her at best? I recoiled at the author's attempts to jazz it up with lines like, 'he was comfortable to be around' when their conversations suffered from massive info-dumps and stilted grammar.

- Her relationship with Jaime is laughable because it consists of the typical instalove and the literally 'electrifying' chemistry pandemic currently sweeping the YA genre. Even if I wasn't reading this to review, it would still be clear how little sense their relationship makes, how lacking it is in substance. The reader is treated to witnessing one short date between the couple, as well as a summary of some supposed others that happened somewhere along the line, but basically these take place all before a really weird consummation. Quite frankly, this scene creeped me the fuq out. When this happened, I had to pull back a little and be like, dafuq?!.

Just recapping, but she meets him - and naturally he's attractive as a Greek god - and because of his dashing looks, this girl concludes that he might be worth throwing everything away for. Her sister just gave birth And she looked better than a Botticelli painting doing it. I'm not going to get into that. but who cares really? God forbid Jaime decides to tattle her family out to the authorities, those young'uns are gonna learn fast how to run on their little wolfie paws away from impending SWAT teams! Kidding. Wait, no, I'm serious! This could eventually be one really big problem. And I think that something is terribly wrong when I am the one considering things which never cross the protagonist's mind.


You know what? Looking back I still do not get it; Sophie alienated me with her great attitude of superiority, confusing me when she chose spontaneously to risk the existence of everyone she cared about on a whim. I can stomach instant attraction, heck I get it, but at least let there be a valid reason! There were too many contradictions going on for my liking; Sophie loves her family but doesn't really think too hard on betraying them, and Jamie states a couple times at the beginning that he respects her brother. And yet, he sneaks behind the man he respects back with his little sister. Jamie has no problem keeping their relationship quiet, not really, he's fine with meeting clandestine even at her brother's workplace. Some respect! I didn't buy it.

They were just two people thrown together, nothing more. Could something else have happened? Possibly. But you have to understand, a lot of things occurred before I decided to let this book go, and yet all of them were pretty inconsequential in the end because I still couldn't finish. Sadly, Howl is the kind of YA novel which could go 200+ pages without anything really going on. Sure, I only got 30-31% far, but there is a reason for that, the story never progressed significantly enough for me to care. And eventually I just gave up. I'd had it, with the plot that didn't cut it and the characters and writing that begged no indulgence. I was done, the end.


So, like I said, this review is a DNF and you should take it lightly at best, but those are my thoughts and you're free to consider them. I couldn't read anymore of this. Just, no...
genie: it wasn't that great, obviously, and I would 
NOT recommend the read. 

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