Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ARC Review: Mortal Danger

Title: Mortal Danger
Series: Immortal Game
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: Goodreads First Reads
In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

My Review

It's probably best that I warn you now that I did not enjoy this book at all. I found it to be disgusting and I could not believe the female protagonist could be such a terrible role model for teen readers.

Edie is by far the worst YA female character I've come across in my reading since my sister begged me to start reading Twilight, which I threw at her head after reading three pages. Edie is so concerned about her looks for much of the introduction of the book that I almost put it down. She's so worried about how unattractive that she is and what she could do to change her looks. I literally sat there and thought about how many impressionable girls are going to feel worse about themselves because they feel insecure but can't just magically fix their face and body like Edie does. It's just not realistic, and just so inappropriate. When she is about to throw herself off a bridge to kill herself only to meet her savior, she makes a wish that she is as good looking as her peers who made fun of her. I couldn't take the book seriously after that. So many other wishes could have been made by Edie to better herself, but she chose looks. Ugh!

The plot of the book isn't any better than Edie's poor characterization. Mortal Danger follows Edie and Kian as she navigates her new looks and body while playing this game (the Immortal Game) in which she gets three favors from Kian, and after she receives all of them, she will have to repay them. Okay, seems simple enough, but then comes in another company who basically does the same work, and they try to hurt her. What I thought was going to be the tale of Edie making up her mind about her wishes turned into a political battle between these two companies. It just wasn't what the synopsis made it appear to be, and I hate when I feel like I'm being lied to. 

I do have some positive things to say about Aguirre and this book. Her writing is very advanced, and it will better the vocabulary and syntax of anyone who reads it. I will say that I admire her writing skills and use of intelligent vocabulary throughout the book because it will have kids learning without them even realizing it. If teens are reading this, they will hopefully acquire some great words that will help them with their state exams and the SATs.

Unfortunately, I would not buy this book for me or for a friend. I just felt like it put too much of an emphasis girls and how they perceive themselves. There was also the annoying cliche that if you're pretty, you can get the guy of your dreams. It's just not something I appreciate in YA literature.

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