Peter Abrahams’ Bullet Point misses the mark

**Spoilers**

I liked Wyatt. He was a bit of an all-American kid. He loved baseball, loved his muscle car, hated his stepdad. All fairly typical for a teenage boy, except that his biological father is serving a life sentence for a robbery gone bad that resulted in the death of a young mother. Wyatt’s never been curious about his father, but when he’s forced to move to another school district to continue playing the game he loves, he meets a girl who changes everything. Greer is out of high school, living on her own, and has something in common with Wyatt. Her dad is in the same prison as Wyatt’s, a prison that just happens to be in Wyatt’s new town.

Not surprisingly, Wyatt soon ends up in the visitor’s room of the prison, meeting his dad, Sonny, for the first time. Sonny seems like a decent guy, too decent to spend life in prison. Before long, Wyatt is sleuthing his way through Sonny’s past, looking for anything that will help prove his innocence. The story picks up a lot of momentum here and two things become clear. Greer is not exactly stable, and Wyatt is definitely onto something that could set his father free.

And that’s when the curveball misses the catcher’s mitt. In a plot twist that comes out of left field with absolutely no warning, Sonny learns that he’s been betrayed by the person he went away for, breaks out of prison and goes on a killing spree that leaves three people dead with Wyatt almost becoming victim number four.

BPI have no problem with characters not meeting my initial expectations, but this kind of twist was just too ridiculous to swallow. Instead of giving a believable conclusion, I felt as if Abrahams ran out of time to write a well-developed ending, so he crammed a quick, violent mash-up of events together, which left Sonny dead and Wyatt betrayed. This is followed by the vaguest epilogue ever written, which lets us know that Wyatt moves back home, is liked a lot more by his stepdad, and takes up fishing. Maybe Abrahams was up against a deadline, maybe he thought that the ending was just fine. I am not sure, but it certainly has deterred me from reading other books by this author. I had a creative writing professor who would have ranted and railed against this kind of inexplicable plot twist, and I guess her teachings have stuck with me because I just can’t accept this kind of nonsensical, rushed wrap up.

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Struggling to get through Veronica Roth’s trilogy

I admit that I am seriously late to the Veronica Roth party. In fact, the party’s over, but I might as well add my two cents. I tried to read Divergent long before the movie came out, and I just couldn’t get into it. I think I gave up somewhere around Chapter Two, not my best effort. Then I saw the movie, which I liked, and still felt no pressure to read the book. Recently, I stumbled across an article about books and their movie counterparts, and somehow I missed the massive text at the top that said SPOILERS FOR ALL BOOKS & MOVIES DISCUSSED IN ARTICLE. Oops, my blind bad. So, naturally, the article gave away a massive spoiler for the Divergent series, and suddenly I just had to know how IT happens, so I picked up Divergent (I wasn’t going to trust the movie to tell me enough to start off on book 2, Insurgent) and started reading. This time I made it to the end. And it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good. It wasn’t much of anything really.

I thought the movie was better.div3

I can’t believe I just typed that

But it’s true.

Tris was so whiny in the books, like, ugh, this chick is a brat whiny. And when it comes to relationships and reacting to other people, she is so immature and awkward. I am not sure if that is done intentionally because she was Abnegation and has now switched to a faction with more verbal and physical interaction or if Roth just wrote her that weirdly, but it was seriously distracting, and naturally I was comparing Tris in the book to Tris in the movie (which is why I almost never watch a movie before reading the book). I have concluded that Movie Tris is so much better. Not as whiny, not as love-stupid, and braver. On the other hand, the book simulations are much scarier in the books than in the movies. On screen they came across as not that threatening, but when described through Tris’s POV they suddenly carried a lot more weight and were so much more challenging.

Speaking of challenging, I finished Divergent and started Insurgent and stalled…like a plane whose engines die at 22,000 feet. It is so boring I might just cure my insomnia with it. So far while reading Insurgent, I have found chipping off my fingernail polish more fascinating. I’ve been distracted by an errant moth, and I got through 15 minutes of an infomercial before remembering that I had an open book in my hands. And Tris has become even more annoying. How is that possible? She whines more than I have whined in this review. She behaves like a ridiculous child. I want to reach through the pages and slap her, and I am only 8 chapters in so far. I don’t think I can make it through two more books just so I can read about the HUGE SPOILER moment.

I think I’ll just wait for the movie to come out.

I can’t believe I just typed that.

But it’s true.

Black Dagger Brotherhood’s The Shadows. Why am I still reading this series?

shad**MAJOR SPOLIERS**

Well, I did something I swore I wouldn’t. I read another damned Black Dagger Brotherhood book. Why would I do such a thing you may be asking yourself (or you may be yawning and wondering why you follow this blog). Good question because after the suckfest that was The King, I planned to not read anything else from Ward, and I can honestly and completely blame my BFF for making me read The Shadows because she read it and then she dropped the mother of all spoiler bombs on me. Ward kills off a main character. The female lead dies, and not in a fake Jane-died-and-was-brought-back-as-a-ghost kind of death. Nope, she totally kills Selena. Well, isn’t that just a juicy tidbit? I was intrigued….and bored. Most importantly, I was bored, so I figured what the hell?

My thoughts:

It didn’t suck as much as The King. At least, I don’t think it did. I can’t be too sure because I skimmed 80% of it. For me, that is the only way to get through these bloated tomes. With The Shadows, Ward was juggling too many storylines (what else is new?), and she failed to fully address/wrap up a few of them. For example, Rhage’s meltdown. Our tougher than nails dragon-boy spends most of the book completely freaking out about Selena’s illness and Trey’s pending loss with hardly any introspection or discussion. Just when he is finally confessing his emotions about all of the death and injury and panic attacks, he gets interrupted and the conversation is never finished but it needed to be. No resolution. No continuation after the interruption. Nothing.  Nothing but my steaming annoyance at another forgotten thread in this tangled mess of a book.

And the Luchas/Qhuinn situation. Luchas has somehow jumped from rescued and recovering bro of Qhuinn to a guy with a serious deathwish. After attempting suicide by not feeding and praying for death-by-sepsis, his leg gets amputated (a Qhuinn decision), he disowns his brother (again), and then gets a serious smackdown from death-pending Selena. There needed to be a discussion between Luchas and Qhuinn after the whole “you took my leg instead of letting me die and then Selena put me in my place” ordeal. Maybe it will come in the next book, maybe not. Ward isn’t exactly known for her follow through. Now, this is a tangent, but bear with me. Why does it seem like Qhuinn and Blay always get shafted when it comes to their story? First, their book completely sucked. They spend 570 pages fighting and only become a couple in the last, what, 20 pages? And then every time they need some ink, every time it would make total sense for them to have a scene together, Blay and Qhuinn get nada and so do us readers. It is so irritating and one of the many reasons I swore I wouldn’t keep reading this series. Clearly, I have no willpower or I am a masochist. Tangent over. Back to Ward’s latest disappointment.

Did anyone else want to slap Layla? Could she have made dumber decisions? Probably, but what’s one more bad decision when you’re risking your baby’s health – Oh, I’m sorry that should be babies’ health (that twin thing came out of nowhere, WTH?) – to hook up with the guy who tried to kill your baby daddy. I do not see the connection with her and WhatsHisFace at all. And I hate that she is in this semi-love triangle with QB just so they can have a kid. Frankly, I hope she dies in child birth because she is such a pointless character. Other than being a baby factory what purpose does she serve? None, nada, zip. And what was with Qhuinn just offering Blay’s vein up to Layla? Is he Blay’s mate or his pimp? That really annoyed me.

And I guess my commentary so far in this review on the main couple speaks for my interest level in them. Nothing against the Shadows, but much like Rehv, I don’t see the need for them to have their own book. And as for Selena? She’s been a brotherhood blood bag and nothing else so far. Making her yet another Chosen who falls in love with a fighter is, YAWN, nothing new. Her only interesting feature was her pending death and even that got old after 80 something chapters.

I heard that Ward might start a new series or a spin-off that involves the original brothers and reopening the training center. I am slightly intrigued by that, but at the same time I lost all hope for BDB after The King, so why even bother? Maybe if I get bored again….