The author can't seem to decide whether she wants to write a young adult novel or an adult novel. And it shows on every page.
I'll try to keep this short. I just need to vent out my frustration a bit.
Things wrong with this book:
1. Almost no action / movement / happenings
First half of the book is solely based on INNER REFLECTIONS and FEELINGS SHARING. Sydney Melbourne is locked in a re-education facility and most of her time she spends reflecting on what could happen to her and what happened to others who visited this place before her. That's it. Adrian Ivashkov, on the other hand, can't deal with the fact that in three months since Sydney was taken there hasn't been any clues on where she might be located so he keeps on drinking and wasting his life away as he did before Sydney and then he spends 50 pages moping how Sydney would be disappointed in him if she was here. For fu*** sake....
2. Young Adult SELF-HELP Book
This book is written in a similar way like those Self-Help Books I hate with every fiber of my being. What I mean is that Sydney keeps sending us messages like: you should never give up, trust in yourself, love will always prevail, good will prevail, keep your faith blah blah blah... while Adrian shows us the opposite - what not to do. Don't drink, don't smoke, don't waste your life, don't miss you exams, don't mess with other girls if you aren't serious. And how do I know that what he's doing is wrong? Because he tells us. After every stupidity he goes on and on in detail how you shouldn't do this things which he only now realizes after another enlightenment.
3. Adult Utopia Book
If you look at this book from the adult point of view, you will notice how everything bad that's been happening will always for certain end in a happy ending. Because that's how life works, right? There are some pretty adult situations the main characters find themselves in, but you know it from the first sentence it will all work out. And that is what I meant by how the author can't decide where she belongs. She puts very gruesome scenes in, where Sydney is being kept against her will, tortured, kept in the dark, never allowed to fully sleep, deprived of nutrition etc. but then she tries to tell it in a way that wouldn't hurt teenager's minds. An awful combination.
4. The Book consists of three stages
First, brooding, inner-reflection, no action first HALF of the book.
Second, braking Sydney out which was done in a flash, all that torturous mindfucking build-up led to a few pages of escape. *Facepalm*. And running as far away from the Alchemist's facility.
Third, realization they aren't capable of outrunning them so they need to do something drastic which I won't spoil for you if you really are going to suffer through reading this.
5. Sydney being a hypocrite
For all that is holy, WHY being so insistent on mentioning the stupid protection in every other sentence. WERE YOU PAID to propagate to teenagers about safe sex?(show spoiler)
In what universe do you live in, Richelle Mead? Total and utter disappointment.
7. STUPID SYDNEY
After all that talk about Sydney freaking Melbourne being a genius and smartest person alive, when push comes to shove, she appeared to be the biggest IDIOT I've read about in a while. Let me put it in a prospective.(show spoiler)
How full of yourself do you have to be? I really don't care anymore...
8. ALL IN ALL
I was a fan of the series and the world Richelle Mead so beautifully described in her "Vampire Academy" series. Now I really don't know if I will read the sequel. This book lobotomised me. I feel like a part of my brain is missing.
Adrian who claims to love and adore Sydney over and over again, gives up on her after only three months. He drinks his days away, drops exams and homeworks, goes back to Court only to live a life of a selfish wanton with Nina by his side whom he actually kisses. How lame do you have to be? That isn't love... You are disgusting.
Sydney, so smart when locked in that facility, sneaking around, gathering everyone around, helping this and that and when she gets out becomes the stupidest person on the planet whom suddenly has double standards. It's wrong for Adrian to GLAMOUR someone but it's okay for him to CHEAT at cards and then pay someone off for the thing he could've glamoured him for. Wasting time and reason. Really...
When they see each other after all that time of separation and desperation, they act like an old married couple.
My advice, if you aren't a big fan - DON'T TORTURE YOURSELF WITH READING THIS BOOK (unless you are a masochist, then I understand).
If you are a fan, try to read it so you can judge by yourself and hell, perhaps you find something good in it that I overlooked. Good luck with that!