“What are you?” he whispered into her strawberry-scented curls. Damn. He breathed in deeply. He could inhale that smell all night. His body reacted to it like cats to catnip.
E...E...Edward?! Is that you?!
Ladies and some gentlemen, I'm sorry to tell you that your boyfriend, husband, significant other, is mediocre.
No matter who they are, no matter what they do, they will never, ever live up to the perfect paragon of that is Dillan Sloan. Or as we call him in this book:
Let me ask you, is your man model material?
“It seems young Dillan has also been part of several, and I mean several, ad campaigns for designers like Calvin Klein and Armani, to name two."
Is he so good that---fuck auditions---Hollywood begs for him?
"He was once approached to star in a movie."
Has your man ever dated starlets?
"He’s even rumored to have dated every young Hollywood starlet and emerging singer you can name."
Has your man ever been dated Taylor Swift or been the inspiration for her songs?
"You know that Taylor Swift song—”
“The one about the guy who dumped her?” Kyle asked.
Are your man's parents famous archeologists who discovered Atlantis?
“Dillan’s also the son of the legendary duo of archeologists: Dr. Jarvis Sloan and Dr. Lillian Sloan.”
“You mean the two who proved Atlantis is really in South America and not in Spain?"
Has your man ever discovered a lost civilization?
“As I was saying,” she continued. “Rumor has it Dillan was responsible for unearthing a lost civilization in the Amazon.”
Does your man sit in a beam of sunlight while reciting Frost's poetry...
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” He sighed like he tasted the meaning behind the words.
...to a cat?
The cat on his lap purred. “You like Frost, huh?” He glanced at the contented feline. “I know. The man can rhyme.”
Let's not lie. Your man probably never notices that you got a haircut, right? Not Dillan. Dillan would never miss anything about your appearance. Why, it's like he's practically a girl in his obscenely detailed observational skills!
...her nose scrunched up and the tops of her cheeks tinted pink. She clutched the handle of the feather duster so hard its feathers quivered. Her lips contorted.
If you had colored eyes, your man would probably say your eyes are simply...blue. Not Dillan. Never Dillan. Eyes are not simply blue. They're aquamarine. Aqua eyes that look into his soul.
Those unique aquamarine eyes he could stare into all day. They reflected her heart and soul. And her blushes that stopped his heart every time.
Ye gods, I've never met a man so poetic. You could almost say that Dillan is a woman at heart.
No worries, he may be perfect, but Dillan is a huge fucking twat who belittles the girl he loves every chance he gets. It's ok, though. It's just his way of dealing with a harsh life.
He shifted moods from zero to sixty in less than three seconds. I was beginning to see that he said mean and snarky things as a defense mechanism.
Yes, "It's just my defense mechanism," the magic phrase of every fucking douchebag who ever lived. And hey, it works. Thank god for dumb YA heroines.
The Summary: There are three sets of missing/dead parents within this book.
Dillan is a mysterious Arbiter in a secret organization known as the Illumenari. We don't know who the fuck the Illumenari is for half of the book. We don't know what the fuck they do. We don't know how the fuck their powers work.
I really wanted some info-dumping in this book.
Dillan has done Something Mysteriously Wrong; as punishment, he was demoted from his role as Arbiter (again, what the fuck is an Arbiter?), and sent off to Nowhere, Wyoming to live with his Legacy (what the fuck is a Legacy?) uncle, handsome high school teacher Rainer Sloan.
The faux-hawk-sporting Dillan catches the eyes of all the girls in school.
An entire succubus population in one school? They made him feel like fresh meat ready for the taking.
Every single girl--and cougar---wants to bang him.
“I’d like a piece of him,” he heard the woman say. He tried not to cringe. Or run. Cougars were known to give chase.
Every girl loves him, that is---everyone but Selena Fallon. From the moment they meet, sparks fly. Literally.
The second we touched, a spark zinged up my arm.
“Ye-aw!” I jumped out of my seat. All eyes in the room immediately focused on me.
And they keep flying. The sparks never stop. Electric currents rush through the air. Despite the electricity between them, and despite their overwhelming internal attraction to one another, Dillan and Serena fight like cats and dogs.
The first half of the book is composed of nothing but teenaged drama, troublesome ex-boyfriends, and Dillan and Serena going at each other.
He smirked. “What happened to compromise? You know the meaning of that word, don’t you? Or should I get a dictionary?”
I let out a keening growl and threw the tub of glue at him without thinking twice about it. The jerk had it coming.
And then for some fucking reason, within 30 minutes of that happening, they just kind of fell into each other's arms.
His arms tightened around me. I sighed at his body heat against mine. It felt like a blanket on a rainy day—comforting and safe. Nothing like the arrogant Dillan I knew.
“No.” A hint of pleading crept into his tone. “Not yet. Don’t move yet.”
Well, that escalated quickly.
I have to give this book credit: it's pretty imaginative on getting a girl to suck out a guy without making it purely sexual by nature.
“I need to suck out the poison.”
Ignoring his continued protests, she bent over him and sucked at the wound she’d created.
Nothing happens in this book but a few half-hearted moments of frights and a fight or two. There is no plot. The plot is the romance.
The utter menace in Garret’s expression made him look like a man who knew people who specialized in making annoyances disappear, no questions asked.
Well, alrighty then.
The writing is not as atrocious as some books I've read, but it's plenty fucking bad. The book is littered with errors, "you're" instead of "your," "the its," there are a few misspellings.
The writing itself is...baffling. We have weird similes: "my anger, confusion, and anxiety clung like a cotton shirt on a muggy day," "it grated on my nerves like squeaky sneakers," "...staring at me like I was a crystal swan about to shatter."
And very odd sentences: " His face said shocked while his eyes mocked." "Her voice was so loud birds flew out of their perches."
The Setting: This book sells itself as a paranormal with undeads and a girl with visions.
It's not. It's a fucking mess. For the first 50% of the book, random shit terms are thrown at us. Illumenari. Legacy. Arbiter. Maestro. It means jack shit because nobody bothered to explain to us anything about what the actual FUCK those terms mean. There's just random-ass shit dog-killings and a hellhound and for some fucking reason---zombies!
And when we finally get an explanation?
“Il-lu-me-na-ri. My family...we protect people. Simply, we are what stand between you and chaos. Humans aren’t the only race in this world. Many of those we protect you from still consider you as food. In the Illumenari we call them Supernaturals. Basically everything that goes bump in the night.
...and that's it. THAT'S IT? Generic much?! Basically we have a secret society protecting us from the things that go bump in the night. There is nothing beyond that. There is absolutely no world building. Oh, let's just throw a fucking lion-headed Manticore in this book because WHY THE FUCK NOT?
Serena is supposed to have visions. She barely has any. Her abilities are vague as fuck. She doesn't have visions. She has nightmares. That's all. We don't know how they come true, except that she says they do. It is all telling, no showing. The paranormal elements of this book are fucking weak.
Serena the Loved: Mary Sue to the extreme. Everyone loves her. From her doting grandparents (because naturally her parents are dead), to her adoring best friend, to her OTHER adoring best gay guy friend, Kyle. Don't worry about Kyle. Kyle is just gay because the book needed a gay character. There's nothing to him beyond that. He adores Serena like everyone else.
Kyle's guardians adore her. They call her "sweet," both the handsome husband and the beautiful wife. Her ex-boyfriend, the handsome golden jock that all the girls want, still loves her and wants her back.
He was a love sick puppy with nothing but you on his mind. It was sickening to hear him talk about you all the time. Just ask any of his teammates.
Dillan can't stop thinking about her. He only acts like an asshole because he likes her.
She baffled the hell out of him. Selena Fallon. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. About the electricity their contact created.
And make no mistake.
Serena the Beautiful: Serena, naturally, thinks she is ugly.
I was gangly and awkward—coppery curls that broke brushes, a complexion like I’d never heard of the sun, and long limbs meant for banging into things.
While everyone else knows she is beautiful.
She wrinkled her nose. “The freckles are still there.”
“No, no, no, no! They’re a feature that brings out the sea in your eyes! You’re beautiful.”
Serena the Stupid: So many times, Serena finds herself in a dangerous situation in which her instincts tell her to just fucking RUN AWAY. She doesn't listen.
This would be the point where the audience would scream at me to run back to the house. But, like in horror movies, the heroine—i.e. me...moved to investigate.
She seriously is fucking dumb. Do you know what happens to cowards who run away? They live. Serena? No, better to fight off a mob of zombies on her own. With a stick.
What could be going on in that brain of hers to challenge a group of undead with a stick?
Fucking dumb-ass piece of shit.
Dillan: He's not just a paragon, he's a douchebag. Which makes him as fucking clichéd as all hell. He is childish. He looks down on everyone and everything. He loses his temper every 5 seconds. Dillan is 17, he thinks he is too cool for school. He whines and grumbles his way through class and class projects. He belittles his very powerful uncle, and constantly calls him derogatory names and pushes his buttons even if his uncle can--and does--hurt him.
“Rainer!” He moved further into the house, not having the patience for his uncle’s mind games. “You dick, I know you’re home.”
He thinks school is an insult to his intelligence, to which I respond: what intelligence? Dillon spends his days at school playing cat-and-mouse with Serena, stalking her, calling her names. The girl doesn't do anything, and all of a sudden he appears and taunts her.
“You’re trouble, and I don’t do trouble.” He opened the book again and continued reading like I’d been dismissed. Well, his highness had another thing coming.
Their love/hate relationship makes up half the book, only to be replaced by lovesick mooning and embraces in the second half.
Dillan is not a boy. He is a pretend boy as a 16-year old girl would like him to be. He is so completely effeminate in his thoughts. What kind of fucking boy would daydream and wax poetric about copper curls for the entire fucking book?
“What?” Her words didn’t sink in fast enough. He was too distracted by the way the setting sun brought out golden highlights in her copper curls.
The Romance: It's pretty much the entire fucking book, in case I haven't made myself clear. And if that's not enough, there's hypocrisy. Apparently, when another girl falls for Dillan, it's a trap.
I whispered my disappointment at how Constance let herself fall into Dillan’s trap.
But it's just totally fucking fine for Serena to fall in love with him. Fucking wonderful.