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Khanh the Killjoy

Darker Days (The Darker Agency, #1)

Darker Days (The Darker Agency, #1) - Jus Accardo “Holy house of hogs getting blasted by the blue birdie brigade...”What the actual fuck?This was just a terrible book. The background and information given regarding a crucial part of the plot was very poorly explained, and ended up confusing me more than anything. The plot was straightforward enough, but my enjoyment of it was bogged down by poorly written characters, of every imaginable trope in the book. It was peppered with insta-love, slut-shaming, and girl-hating...which is even more atrocious, given that the main character and the main narrator is female. The writing is fine, but in order to endure the dialogue, you would need to take a couple of Vicodins...it was that painful to read.The plot is...recycled. Jessie and her Klaire Kardashian Darker are private detectives, but special ones: they investigate the dark side. Ghosts, zombies, fairies, demons, that sort of thing. One day, Lukas Scott dramatically bursts into their office, demanding their help to bring the Seven Sins back into their respective boxes. And they've got five days to do it. Simple enough, let's see where this went wrong:Jessie Dark: I love my snarky, smart-assed heroines. I love Georgina Kincaid, I love Charley Davidson. I have a feeling that the author of this book was trying to manufacture a character of a similar sort here, a loveable, wisecracking teenaged version of the two.It didn't work.Jessie Darker is but a shadow of the type of characters that I adore. She tries to sound witty, it doesn't work; it translates as a teenager just trying too hard to be a smarty-pants, know-it-all, bitchy, rebellious teenager who ends up being more annoying than amusing overall. The book tries too hard to make her into a likeable, humorous character, it failed completely. There is a fine, fine, fine line between making a character strong, amusing, but annoying: Jessie leans towards the latter. I could not stand her. She is a thoroughly dislikeable character: she is bitchy, she contradictory, she is judgmental, she slut-shames, she falls into insta-love. She is the embodiment of every character flaw I hate within the YA genre.Jessie fucks up---a lot. During her cases, she more often than not causes more trouble than she solves. She breaks her mother's rules, and flaunts the fact. In her eyes, she never does anything wrong; Jessie can always find a justification for her actions, no matter how wrong she is. Yet she is judgmental of others, like her sainted mother, for doing the same. Her mother is a complete idiot, too, some of Klaire's decisions, like having her volatile daughter babysit Wrath---had me seriously questioning her intelligence. It looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.The dialogue: The writing is adequate, but the characters' speech was excruciatingly awkward. The teenagers' speech, for example, is far from natural. It is so stilted. It is a 75 year old retiree's version of how teenagers speak. For example:“Looks like you’re not the only new kid in town. Did you get a load of the new chick?” Garrett let out a sharp whistle. “Hawt! Girl’s got a pair that would drive a priest crazy.”Who the fuck says "Hawt?"“Ya know, like sucking face and having gropefests?”He scowled. “Why is it so hard for you to speak English?”“That is English. Not my fault you can’t understand it.”I don't blame you, Lukas. I can't understand it either.The insta-love: Inexplicable. Jessie falls for Lukas' dark, mysterious good looks the instant she sets eyes on him (see introductory quote). Naturally, Lukas fits every trope in the book. He is of an unknown age...yet naturally remains a fresh-looking 18. For someone who's been alive that long, and for someone who is a fucking Deadly Sin (Wrath), Lukas is really, really stupid and naive.I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Lukas, but the world’s changed since your time. People suck. They steal, they lie, and they kill each other in horrible ways for no good reason. Some are just bad. Badder than the demons.”He frowned. “I can’t believe that.”OH MY GOD. YOU ARE A DEADLY SIN. ACT LIKE IT. Why the fuck is Lukas so surprised that people are bad. HE IS BAD. Could I emphasize it again? HE IS A DEADLY SIN.Lukas has been alive for a long time, he's had women fall all over him before, naturally, both past and present: it's not surprising, according to him, because he's good-looking, and he was from a wealthy family. But naturally, all other women are bland, and in all his years of living, only Jessie (whom he has known for all of three days, who has finally caught his heart. “I want to stay because of you. I’ve never come across someone like you. Your strength and determination is astounding. It’s odd because you’re so incredibly infuriating---My entire life, all I wanted was to find something different. Special. I never would have guessed I’d have to sleep for so long to find it.”Three. Days.Slut-shaming: Not just slut-shaming, every other female character within the book is portrayed in a bad manner, even her best friend, in order to highlight Jessie's personality. I fucking hate this shit. Why do women have to hate each other so much? Why does the author feel the need to make the main character look good at the expense of slut-shaming the other women around her? That is fucking bullshit, man, and it doesn't even make me like Jessie any more. It just makes me respect her---and the author, far, far less. It makes me so, so angry.Jessie repeatedly calls other girls "bimbos," "bitches," Lukas' ex-fiancee is a "big fat ho." The girls at her school are all blond, evil, queen bees who dress like sluts. Every girl is a vamp, a seductress, compared to the oh-so-normal, oh-so-pure, never-been-kissed Jessie.The Sins: Unoriginal and bland. They're either inexplicably stupid, like Lukas ("The guy was rare. Deadly and tainted by Wrath, but at his core, innocent and good." Extra Speshul, Lukas is), or horribly steoretypical, like Sloth, a New Joisey-swaggering, slow Italian type. Or just offensively unimaginative, like Lust.The girl’s too-tight black sweater dipped to a dangerous V, showing off cleavage that would make a porn star proud, and ended just above her belly button. The skirt—if you could even call it that—hung at least seven inches above regulation and bordered on sheer.Vida's presence was offensive to me, not in that she encourages sexuality, but it is that Lust is used as a tool in which to incite emotions that seems to be shaming sexuality in general. Lust is portrayed as bad, as evil, as shameful, through Jessie's eyes. I don't like that one bit.Unoriginal, and at times, confusing plot, peppered with slut-shaming and all the high school tropes in the book: not recommended.