Friday, April 19, 2013

My Ex From Hell. When Cute Turns to Ugh.

My Ex From Hell
Author Tellulah Darling
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Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following: a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame. Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world. Literally. This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed. Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her. Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe … and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.
Review: My Ex From Hell is more like the fan fiction-esque book from hell. This won't push the YA boundaries, but leans towards the tween/teen category. Honestly, all you have to do is read the synopsis and you'll get a good understanding of what's to come. The sarcasm, geek teen talk and over-the-top humorist approach is splattered all over the back cover. If you think, "Hey, this totally relates to my inner high-schooler," and can't wait to read more of the same for the next 272 pages, then snag this one and do the Harlem Shuffle all the way to the checkout. 

It's no little secret that I'm a big fan of sarcasm. I think it has a place, time and most importantly, a delivery.  It can't be used on every page and in every situation, unless you're a cynical bore. I believe when using clever comic relief it needs to be carefully timed for optimal punch. In this story, there is comic vomit, so much so, that nothing can be taken seriously, which greatly reduces character credibility and the potential for an actual meaningful story. comes the easy, cookie cutter plot. Take the basic Harry Potter set up, change the gender of the characters and insert a different magical, mythological world and PRESTO! you've got another boarding school magical adventure, year one. Instead of teachers, it's guidance counselors turning into bad guy creatures. Missing students need to be saved and conveniently, the teen heroes live at an isolated boarding school that is protected from harm (sort of). 

Due to the writing style, absurd amount of comic saturation and teen ridiculousness, I felt this book was more fan fiction than novel.  In the current form, it'd work better as a running blog story. If you like fan fiction, you might enjoy this book. However, I was less than impressed.  
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