You know how stereotypical teenage girls like to online window-shop for clothes? Well, when I’m bored, I like to online window-shop for books. One of my favorite sites is, of course, barnesandnoble.com. The other day I was browsing the “Must-Reads” in the Teen section and I got the crazy idea to read all the books on the list. What better way to celebrate my last year as a teenager, right? So, for the next few weeks (or, more likely, months), I’ll be reading these 39 books, and coming back to y’all with synopses and my humble opinion on whether or not they’re truly “must-reads.”
Caveats: If the list suggests a book that's part of a series I’ve never read, and it’s not the first in the series, I’ll read the first instead; if it’s a book I’ve read before I’ll only read it again if I liked it; if I’m halfway through a terrible book that just doesn’t seem to be getting any better I reserve the right to give up on it; and finally, I’m only blogging the Must-Read list as it appears at this exact moment in time.
Now, to begin:
Footnote: This is apparently a House of Night novella, the second in what seems to be a series. Before this I had never read anything remotely related to House of Night, so forgive me if some of my critiques can be undercut by the rest of the series.
Synopsis: Lenobia Whitehall, illegitimate daughter of a lecherous and indifferent baron, has unfortunately caught the eye of a lascivious and psychotic bishop. She seems to get the opportunity of a lifetime when her almost-identical half-sister dies and she takes her place, going to New Orleans to marry “New French” nobility. Eventually everything gets crazy and Lenobia’s life will never be the same.
Is this a “must read”?: Mmmm….
Why?: I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t make me go “Oh my gosh!! I must force everyone in my life to read this book!” either. On a scale from Breaking Dawn to Harry Potter (my scale of YA awesomeness) it’s somewhere in between. If we say that Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes is the middle, it’s a little above that, mostly because of suspense (if there's one thing that P.C. Cast is good at, it's building suspense). I suspect a lot of the ending was a big inside joke for House of Night fans, but I was just all “huh?”
The story itself is decent, and the characters at least have some depth; Lenobia seems to change and grow, but we don’t really get to know her old self well enough to be sure. The love interest, is, well, exactly what a love interest should be: handsome, unattainable, brave, strong, completely devoted to the protag, etc.. So…I’d say go ahead and check it out. It’s a quick read and a decent way to kill an hour or two, but don’t expect it to change your life or cause you to fall madly in nerd-love (a la Whale Talk). Oh, and there's no mention of vampires or vampyres until the end, so there’s that.
Specific quibbles (This is where I get into spoiler territory): It kinda bugged me that Lenobia didn’t spend more time mourning the death of Sister Marie Madeleine. I mean, she only tried to save you from getting raped. And of course there’s my usual pet peeve with romance novels: the protag is willing to give up everything for a guy she’s only known for a few weeks. Really? Is this how romantic love works? I mean, a few weeks is a heck of a lot better than some other fictional romances but still… Oh, and at the end Lenobia becomes a vampyre (that is so how she spells it, Microsoft Word!) and her power seems to be that she can read horses’ emotions, which seems pretty useless to me. Then again, I’m reading the first House of Night book later, so we’ll see!
Next time: The Fault in Our Stars. That’s right, I’m finally going to find out if John Greene is all he’s cracked up to be!
Post by dac213!
Have you read Lenobia's Vow? What'd you think? We can't wait to find out if dac loves TFIOS (it's only the best book EVER)!