Warning I didn’t like this book at all…
** spoiler alert ** Received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was hesitant to finish this book, I won’t lie. I started it… then I saw there were some issues with the trans rep in the book. As I am not part of the trans community, I can’t speak to specific parts. It was just brought to my attention so I was concerned.
Also… there’s finally a gender fluid character. Which should make me very happy since I also use they pronouns. But guess what. Loki is made into the villain. Like one of the only gender fluid characters I’ve read about… besides Alex from Magnus Chase… and it’s kind of ruined the experience. Loki was just made into an irredeemable character thus creating the idea gender fluid people are either liars or irredeemable. It sucks this could have been a great character but instead was made into a bad guy who happpens to be non binary. Could’ve left that part out…
Also. The couple in the book punch each other? Like… I don’t get it? The last thing young people need to see in YA is spouse abuse. Literally they punch each other and decide it was a bad idea… just don’t do it in the first place. If abuse is portrayed, it should be like hey leave the situation immediately. Not decide to punch back and then stop all abuse. It’s very unrealistic to show abuse can just stop like that… it’s a harmful rep where teens may stay with an abuser just because the person says oh I’ll stop… no. That doesn’t happen.
Plus… there’s tentacle porn?! It’s PG. But still. Why is there tentacle porn. I wasn’t even sure what I read the first time so I reread and I was like oh no baby what are you doing… so that happens as well.
The book is a quick read… I can say that. I didn’t get the Little Mermaid vibes immensely because I was noticing other issues. I know some people like this book more than I did… and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just have a different perspective than most. I wanted to love this book because it seemed like it was going to be right up my alley. But I didn’t get the mermaid under the sea vibes I was hoping for at all. I mean the book started out so adorable… and then there’s a super negative portrayal of a gender fluid character so all of my good thoughts kind of flew away. A lot. This book may work for other people, but it didn’t jive with me. (less)
So this book evokes a lot of emotions within me, both good and bad. It deals with a lot of complex emotions, and it’s not a book you can just expect to leave you unscathed. In short, this book packs an emotional punch you won’t see coming.
This book is horrible in the sense the popular teens at Atwood High are the worst human beings in the world. I’ve never met more nasty, cruel people and I wasn’t exactly the popular one in high school. These people are on a next level I can’t explain well enough. The males are just super misogynistic and just… they are the epitome of slimy and rape culture to me. The main popular girl is the worst human being in the world. She is deplorable, treats her friends horribly, and I don’t understand how she was allowed to be around people with her actions. Just…. they’re all a bunch of bad people.
So the main character Sadie has some trauma going on. But she got sucked into the popular club, and she just watches all of this bullying happen. She doesn’t want to be an outcast, but she isn’t nice to someone who used to be friend before she was part of the cool kids. She just stands by and watches her former friend be tortured and stays silent. Her silence is probably one of the major catalysts for the later events. I’m not saying she’s just a bad person… I just think she’s dealt with a lot of bad stuff she should want the cycle to cease. I didn’t hate her, but she isn’t my favorite during some of this book.
The only person I love in this book was Hayden. He’s the greatest. I don’t want to spoil anything about him so read the book and find out how awesome he is. It’s worth the read just for him alone.
The major event in the book is shocking. It is described in detail and can be very scary when reading. I couldn’t imagine being in a situation like that, but the author wrote it so well. The only story is woven together to show how it all leads up to the big event and just… the next book and the aftermath are going to be intense. I’m pretty sure I’ve found a new favorite author.
I was given this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
YA LGBT 🏳️🌈 Contemporary
I was really obsessed with the last book Robin Talley released in late 2016. I couldn’t get enough of As I Descended because I loved the dark and creepy. I couldn’t stop reading it, and I even got some amazing preorder swag. Talley is one of the few YA LGBTQIA authors I’ve come across, and I do enjoy her work. So I want to talk a little about what I loved about the book and then some things I didn’t.
I love the romance between Aki and Christa. It was very sweet. This book has great diversity was the main character being a WoC and the setting was Mexico so you saw little elements of the culture. The diversity is superb. It made me love the book even more. Aki is a great bisexual main character because she is still trying to find herself and understand who she is. I like the way they talk about global issues and how it’s important to bring awareness to understanding each topic. The church aspect wasn’t horrible, the religious aspect was there but it wasn’t overbearing. I didn’t feel like I was reading a book where religion was being shoved down my throat. Also the teenagers and all of the struggles and feelings they have are so realistic. I could remember having those types of feelings when I was a teenager. Also, I learned sexual education needs to be taught for everyone. Not just heterosexual teens. The LGBTQIA community needs to be included. I think sexual education needs to be taught equally so everyone is protected. I mean, I have no idea what a dental dam was until I read this book. So I learned something and I’m 25!
Things I didn’t like:
It seems like sometimes the teenagers were getting away with too much. I find it hard to believe a church group wouldn’t notice teen boys drinking or girls sneaking away together all of the time? I mean, it makes the adults seem stupid as hell.
I don’t understand why the girl/girl relationship was something to be so ashamed of. It seemed like it was a little bit much at times.
Sometimes it just seemed like the book was going on for too long. There were some things which could have been shorter.
Anyway, I really did enjoy this book. It was a sweet love story and brings more awareness to how much we need more LGBTQIA books in YA literature.