Monday, July 15, 2013

Pretty Dark Nothing

The description of this book goes as follows:
It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
Reading this description left me rather hopeful about what the book would entail. I figured it would be a supernatural YA love story of sorts and was prepared for that. I don't always tut-tut the YA love stories, sometimes I even feel the need to read one, and this was one of those moments. I eagerly began to read the book and expected so much. Unfortunately, I was completely let down. 

The author has writing talent, I'll give her that, and the demons that are mentioned in the description are given a lot of character and detail. This author can write. But her creation of plot and the way she sets it off and running is lacking. 

So let's get to the basics:
  • We have Quinn, she is a High School smart girl/cheerleader who is slacking off because 1) she had a bad break up 2) her father left 3) she hasn't slept for days because she keeps seeing demons.
  • These demons are in her dreams and now they're in her reality and she basically thinks she's going crazy.
  • There is no explanation to the demons. None. Not until the end of the book. 
  • She feels drawn to this guy Aaron but she's still stuck on her ex. 
  • There is a lot of High School drama and cattiness; girl fights, teen pregnancy, losing virginity, dates, etc. 
  • There is also a lot of cheating. 
  • There is a lot of teenage emotional grief (that overpowering grief that teenagers are really good at having, I mean)
But take note, the demons are only a small part of this. The majority of this book is so centered by High School drama with a splash of seeing demons that I'm not very comfortable calling this a supernatural tale. Aaron is a mystery to himself and everyone else after having been in a car accident and waking not to remember anything of his past. He's attracted to Quinn and she is to him and while she is so back and forth about who she actually has feelings for it seems very sudden that she is with Aaron. That part bothered me -- they are magically attracted to each other which I get but going from just meeting to dating happened too quickly. They were demanding of each other and felt they belonged to each other after a few chats and I could only sit back, sigh, and think that the author could have handled that better.

Quinn is, to me, very selfish. I understand that she is going through a tough time but there aren't many redeeming qualities for her. Aaron I enjoyed but towards the end of the book when it's revealed why he can't remember his past (and what happens shortly after) I was left feeling like the big reveal had come from left field. 

All in all, I felt that this book went off track. The author wanted to write about Quinn being haunted by demons and then she got too distracted by petty High School drama until, towards the end, she realized she had forgotten to make her point so she rushed back to the original purpose of the story and rushed through it to finish it off. Poor planning led to poor plotting and that's that. I wish I hadn't spent so much time on this book, I have others I would have rather been reading.

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