Saturday, February 22, 2014

Firstborn

18552617Author: Lorie Ann Grover
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher:  Blink
Genre(s): YA Christian Fantasy
Pages:  304
*Standalone*
~SPOILER FREE~

Summary (Goodreads): 
In Lorie Ann Grover’s new YA novel, Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.

Review:
*Thank you so much to Zondervan for sending me a copy through BookSneeze!*

To be honest, I didn’t really like this book.  The story just didn’t click with me, and I felt the writing and the character relationships were a bit awkward.  I fully read a little over half the book and then skimmed the second half, so I may not be able to recall all the specific details, just my general feelings about it.

But let’s start with the good bits.  :)

The world building was awesome.  I believe this was a standalone (based on what I saw on Goodreads), but it had potential to be expanded into a series with just that world building alone.  (With the plot- that’s a different matter.)  Even if I wasn’t immersed into the story, I was completely immersed into the world.  It was a terrible, terrible place, and being the first born girl in my family as well, I can’t imagine having to endure what Tiadone endured for so long.  The author did a great job conveying the cruelty of this world.

…and that was all I could really think of at the moment.  

The not-so good bits:

I didn’t really hate or like Tiadone; she was a very luke-warm character for me.   There was the “THE ONE” aspect in this book, and she was a kick-butt kinda girl, but overall she was meh.  

Like this book, I didn’t really click with her, despite her actually being a pretty interesting character. She was complex, and her inner struggle (between being a female physically/mentally and having to "be" a male) was really interesting; those parts were really well done.  It actually added to the world building itself.  

I think the reason for my luke-warm feelings toward an otherwise interesting character was because of the writing and the plot.   The writing was awkward, and the way they all spoke sounded stilted to me.  The lack luster plot (which I’ll get to later on) also really pulled me out of the story instead of in.  It took me quite  a while to finish this book, and like I said, I skimmed the second half of it.  I wasn't immersed into this book, and so, I didn't really get to know to her.  The only real problem I had with her character was her relationship with Ratho.  I didn’t like how she was so attached to him, even when he coldly rejected her (I don't even fully understand why?  That part was confusing).    

Romance? What romance?  For most of the book, until the last maybe third or so, it was (CONSTANT) one-sided pining from Tia, which got annoying after a while.  Then there was a sorta insta-love at the end? (On Ratho's part)

The relationships between her and all the other characters were pretty awkward. It seemed like the majority of them were either good buddies or worst enemies (no in-between), and the banter and their interactions were awkward. Again, this was mainly due to the writing.  (Are you tired of the word "awkward" yet? xD)

The plot, like I said before, was straightforward and a bit boring.  It was generally just about Tia trying to adjust to her life while in the army (I think it was their version of the army?  Like every male has to serve in the army as part of their initiation, or something like that).  Maybe something happened here or there, but for the most part the middle was a little boring.  The ending was when things started to get more interesting, but by then, I was so withdrawn from the book and story itself, that I didn't really care for it.  I felt that ending would have impacted me a lot more (as well as a couple of other scenes) if I had been into the story more.

Verdict:  Beautiful (I mean well-done, not as in physically beautiful lol) world building, interesting main character, but awkward writing and lackluster plot makes for a looooooooooong read.   

Thanks for reading!

Rating: 2 out of 5

2 comments:

Karolina Zamanakou said...

Good to know that's a book to stay away from!
I really like your reviews so I am nominating you for the Liebster Blog Award! Have fun with it!

http://karolinasbookshelf.blogspot.de/2014/02/the-liebster-blog-award.html

Kyendwarrior said...

Thank you so much! This is so sweet!:)