Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Before I get started on my review, I want to thank St. Martin's Griffin and Sarah Goldstein for sending me a copy of GLOW to review. I was so thrilled when I opened my mailbox and found it waiting for me. So, thank you!
Now, I'm about to do something I hate doing...something I never, ever do, especially when it comes to books I'm reading.
I'm sorry, but I have to. I only made it to page 117 in this 307 page book, but I have to stop.
Ahh... Already, I feel lighter and freer.
I've been struggling with reading this book for nearly two months. I put all my library books aside to read this, figuring I'd have it done lickety-split-quick since it's so short. I’ve had to renew my library books so many times they won’t let me renew them anymore.
I seriously planned on having the book done in two days or less when I first started it...and I was sooo excited to start it too! This was one of only two ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) I've ever received. With that honor came the understanding that I would review the book before it's scheduled release date...tomorrow! GLOW sounded like a story I would love and I couldn't wait to read it, give it glowing (hehe) reviews, and have St. Martin's Griffin love me and send me more.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
I'm hard pressed to find anything really nice to say about this book at all. Oh, I know! I liked the cover. Simple but intriguing. I’m guessing the girl in the porthole is supposed to be Waverly. Anyway, so that’s my nice thing, decent cover.
Now on to the book’s insides.
The writing style was un-enjoyable for me. The narration is very much telling rather than showing, something that’s okay occasionally but becomes drab and boring page after page after page. Also, I understand wanting to help me, the reader, get what's going on, but I'm a smart girl. You don't have to spell everything out or tell me three times. I can figure things out.
Then there's the ridiculous dialogue. Holy, head-slapping, pile of ouch. If any of you have ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon series - not M. Night Shyamalan's crappy movie version), there's this episode when Sokka is lost in a cave with a group of hippy people. By the time they make it out, Sokka has a bright red mark on his forehead. Aang asks him what happened when, at the same time, the leader of the group comes over and says something entirely stupid. Sokka hits his forehead with his palm making the cause of the mark known. I tell you this because I found myself constantly doing the same thing while reading this book: "Really?!", "Duh!", "Okay...", and head slaps.
And the love triangle? I feel silly for even calling it that. There are no real emotions between the girl and her two love interests. The romantic struggle is so far-fetched and under-developed that I found myself wishing some new guy would come into the picture - even if it is some old, crippled man from the enemy ship.
I will say that the story idea has promise. I love sci-fi. What could be better than a long journey through space to begin life on a new world? GLOW #1 takes place aboard two sister ships. I was okay with the whole used-to-be-teammates-now-we're-enemies idea between these two ships carrying humankind's last hope for survival. I'm not crazy about the hinted-at reason for leaving Earth, but that's my personal belief and I know other people will find the theory completely plausible. I also get that people's ideals and moral codes are rarely black and white, right or wrong; however, I found the anti-religion undercurrents forced and overdone.
If I was to continue reading this book or this series, it would be in the hopes of finding out more about New Earth; whether it was already inhabited, how well the ships' crews were able to cohabitate and make New Earth their home, and how some relationships (both romantic and not) would develop. Maybe that's to come in the future books in this series. I don't and won't ever know.
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