Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review: Passion

Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Pages: 432
Read it in: 3 days

Summary: Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way...

Luce is certain that something-- or someone-- in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime... going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel... and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames... forever.


Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

LC's Take: 

Sigh... OK, ready for this? So, as you may know, the Fallen series is definitely not one of my favorites-- but I am inexplicably drawn to them like a moth to a flame and I keep reading, in the vain hope that someday, somehow I will finally understand what was going through LK's head when she wrote these books... so, here we go:

~Brief Synopsis~

At the end of the last book, Luce had had enough of absolutely no one telling her what the heck was going on with the curse between her and Daniel (OK, we were ALL fed up with not knowing what was going on) so at the last moment she peaced-out by stepping into an Announcer and back into her past lives to figure things out on her own. Passion follows Luce's "Quest" to find out why she and Daniel are cursed, so that she can break it. Along the way, she meets her new little Disney-sidekick Bill, who helps her while adding comic relief throughout. Luce and Bill travel from Moscow during WWII to England in the mid-1800's, to Versailles, to the Globe Theater during Shakespeare's time, to the Mayan civilization, all the way back to ancient Egypt. Meanwhile, Daniel goes back in time to try and find Luce and make sure she doesn't alter things permanently...

~Thoughts~

When I started getting into Passion, I was thinking, hey! So far, this isn't so bad! Not nearly as painful and cringe-inducing as Torment! The plot was moving along, there was a fun, new secondary character, we finally got to see Daniel's point of view and he wasn't such a tremendous butt-face, and even 2-D, cardboard Luce seemed to take on some life... and THEN there was the ending.

Oh good lord, the ending.

But before I get all down on the Fallen books again, let me say what I did like about Passion. And also, let me just state for the record, that this is definitely the best book in the series so far. Alrighty, let's do this in good old-fashioned bullet points, shall we?
  • First, the prologue was mysterious and downright creepy. We realize that the Elders still exist (even though they fell out of the plot in the second book and then disappear again for the rest of this book) and they are now teaming up with the Outcasts to get their hands on Luce.
  • Second, LK has FINALLY picked up the pace. The story line, while not heart-stoppingly amazing, was at least not as painfully slllllooooowww as the first two books.
  • Third, we finally get to see things from Daniel's point of view. Up to this point he's been a self-centered, irritating, nasty, chauvinistic jerk-wad who you want to give a nice, swift kick in the crotch. Here we get to see another side of him-- awesome! Now he has two sides XD
  • I personally liked snarky, fun, quirky, potentially gay, admittedly cheesy Bill-- um, that is, until the end. Don't worry-- that's not really a spoiler-- if you have half a teaspoon of brains, you have a pretty good idea from the get-go who "Bill" actually is... unless you're Luce Price. Let's just say she's definitely not the brightest crayon in the box...
But let's not get TOO carried away: there were definitely things about this book that left me with an unpleasant eye-twitch and something reminiscent of a bad hangover-- such as:
  • We are still no closer to understanding WHY Luce and Daniel "love" each other, or WHY they ever even fell in love in the first place. Classic case here of telling and not showing-- we're told a bazillion times that Luce loves Daniel and Daniel loves Luce, but gosh darn it, we sure haven't seen anything yet beyond a bunch of goo-goo eyed stares and passionate lip-locking. Sorry, but if you want Me the Reader to believe in this magical, eternal bond of love between the two main characters, you need to give me something more to base it on than teenage sighs and making out. FAIL #1.
  • To elaborate on my last point, when a "CERTAIN SOMEONE" asks Luce exactly why she loves Daniel so much, here is the response we get: "A million reasons. I just do." (p. 388) I just do?? REALLY?? So... you're telling me that after 1200+ PAGES this is the best explanation we get for why Luce loves Daniel?? She just does? So basically... they love each other-- because they love each other. **slaps forehead in TOTAL frustration** I am reeling from the inconceivable shallowness of this statement.  FAIL #2.
  • As if this series wasn't confusing enough, now we have TIME TRAVEL thrown into the mix. And multiple versions of the main characters. AND other major characters and plot elements that have just completely disappeared altogether with no explanation for why they're no longer there. But the time travel was the worst-- it was just one big, inconsistent mess that leaves you staring blankly into the space-time continuum. Now, I'm no Stephen Hawking, but I'm pretty darned sure this isn't how time travel goes down. Seriously, by the last few chapters I was so freaking confused I had to pop a couple Tylenol PM just so that I wasn't up all night racking my brains over what the hell had just happened. And considering that this series already has more plot holes than I can count on fingers and toes, time travel just didn't seem like a really smart move to me. FAIL #3.
  • Let's talk about Luce for a minute. Will poor Luce EVER learn that she has zero instinct or ability to read people? How many times now has her gullible butt been duped because she blindly skips after the bad guy like he's the freaking Pied Piper? She can pass quantum physics but she thinks following a creepy gargoyle who won't let anyone but her see him is a GOOD idea?? EARTH TO LUCE!! Stay away from the strangers trying to lure you to your death! They're bad-news bears, K?? Really, if she's going to be THIS stupid over and over again, do I really even care at this point what happens to her? Not to mention that, up to this point, Luce's sole existence is based on being head-over-heels in love with Daniel. That's it. End of story. The girl has no other purpose. Luce Price= FAIL #4.
  • The writing style, while somewhat better, is still pretty sloppy, confusing, and all over the place. (I SWEAR I'm trying to not be a total jerk here! It IS better than the first two! There IS improvement!!) But still, the transitions between each chapter and each new time period visited are about as graceful as falling down a flight of stairs. Also, maybe an OUTLINE would have helped before just taking the write-as-you-go approach and then conveniently taking the easy way out with pretty much EVERY aspect of the plot. I'm not expecting this to be Shakespeare, but I would appreciate at least being able to follow some remotely logical series of events... FAIL #5.
  • Speaking of which! Did you know that Luce knew SHAKESPEARE in another lifetime and SHE'S the reason why the Globe Theater burned down?? Hey! Neither did I!! Oh Lord, the history re-writing in this book just cracks me up... FAIL #6.
  • Back to that "CERTAIN SOMEONE," all I can say is-- Wow. Congrats LK, on managing to take the evilest being of all time and turn him into a cliche villain about as scary and intimidating as one of those 1920's silent-film guys-- you know, the one with the monocle and top hat? He's all, MUAHAHAHA!!! Then cue a lot of eeveell pacing back and forth as he explains his eeveell plans... (which, by the by, ALSO make NO SENSE.) Are you kidding me? FAIL #7.  
  • At the end of this book-- guess what? We STILL have NO IDEA what the EFF is going on. No joke! NOTHING is ever explained, and the ending contained about 297 plot holes. NO ONE has a motive in this series, NOTHING is ever given a logical explanation, and everything is all chalked up to DESTINY. Isn't this what we call a cop-out? Why yes, yes it is! The worst of it is, the book was set up to make it sound like we would FINALLY get some answers to major questions, and then the last few chapters just made no sense at all. Is this some kind of joke Ms. Kate?? Because after a thousand plus pages it just isn't funny anymore. What exactly was the POINT of Luce's "Quest"? What was she trying to find? So far, the whole plot is completely meaningless to the reader. I went back and tried to re-read whole sections thinking I must have missed something, and I'm STILL totally lost. I honestly want to believe that there is more to this plot and these characters than meets the eye-- but at this point, I'm not holding my breath. FAIL #8.
  • This was literally my favorite line in the whole book: "Finally, things were beginning to make sense." (p. 400) Really? They ARE?? Could've fooled me! I'm seriously going to have an aneurism if I spend one more minute trying to make sense of this story. This is honest-to-goodness THE most convoluted mess of a plot I have ever read! Does the author even know what's going on here?? But I LOVED that line. It made me chuckle.  FAIL #9.
  • Random question: Does the kiss you've been dreaming about your whole life include knocking your teeth into somebody else's? No? Huh, me neither. Just wondering. FAIL #10.
  • We honestly can't get though a Fallen book without someone "waggling" or "wagging" their eyebrows-- seriously LK, why? What does it mean to "waggle" your eyebrows? Is this even physically possible? Are people going to look at me all crazy if I attempt this? I am so confused. FAIL #11.
*****
Please know that I'm not trying to offend anyone with my silly rants, and I totally respect people who love these books. And even though I like to poke fun, keep in mind that if these books really were beyond sucky, I WOULDN'T EVEN BOTHER READING THEM. But they are good enough and entertaining enough that I continue on! Don't take this review too seriously, I am not trying to discourage people from reading the Fallen series, I'm just stating my personal opinion. 

I read books for all kinds of reasons-- to inform me and make me smarter, because the writing is phenomenal, because they are classics, and because I just want some cheap, easy entertainment. Consider this series to be in the latter category of the previous statement :) So with that being said...

LC's Rating: 
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Altogether, another utterly confusing masterpiece! Maybe it's just me, but there is precious little that makes sense in this series. If you have read these books and have figured out what the heck is going on, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise, I'm still entertained. AND this book was, despite everything, still better than the first two. Unfortunately, Passion is "unforgettably epic" for all the wrong reasons. That's all I've got.

9 comments:

  1. Well this isn't very encouraging... I haven't read the first two yet though!
    The Bookish Brunette

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  2. Great review, I've been going back and forth on buying this book since it came out because at £10 it's pretty expensive. I think I'm just going to buy it cheap instead. I know it's going to frustrate me.

    I really did giggle at your review though.

    Char @ From The Shadows I Review

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  3. Hey I found your blog through Parajunkee's Follow Friday, and I'm your newest follower. I love your blog!

    Be sure to stop by Teen Fiction Centre for the latest news, reviews, and author interviews!

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  4. I enjoyed this. Fallen is one of the few books I haven't read the sequels to. I liked all the references to good and evil in the first book, but the plot didn't take off for me, and I couldn't connect to Daniel.

    Anyhow, these were great thoughts. Awesome post. I found you on follow friday and am following ;)
    bethfred.com

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  5. Ashley~ Sorry! Haha, I know I TOTALLY making you want to run to the store and buy these now, right?? They are fun to read because they are entertaining AND hilarious. Also slightly frustrating haha, but you can always vent like I do in my reviews ;)

    Charmaine~ I get all my books from the library. If I fall in love with something, then I'll go out and buy it. Definitely try to get Passion as cheap as you can :)

    Beth~ Glad you enjoyed my excessive ranting lol. I couldn't connect with Daniel either, mainly because he's a total jerk. Trust me, the plot hasn't "taken off" yet either!

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  6. This was a fun read! And a very good review!

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  7. I agree with your review on Passion; although better than the other two books, it was still a disappointment. Although I didn't particularly enjoy the first book I still ended up reading the second one, because I figured, 'it has a pretty good storyline. It'll get better. Right?' Well, it didn't. After I heard the plot for Passion I fell into the trap again and got really excited about it. Then I read it, and it fell short of all my expectations. I don't know what it is about this series. In theory, it sounds good, but somehow the writing falls flat for me. Although I've read Lauren Kate's other book, the Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove and found it pretty good, so I honestly have no idea why I can never emotionally connect with her Fallen series!

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  8. I love this review. I completely agree with everything you have said. I feel a though something was supposed to have been explained in this book, but if there was, I have totally missed it. It is so disappointing that (minus Passion) these books have such gorgeous covers and their stories just don't live up to them :(

    I also agree with you rahcchan2006, it all sounded really interesting, but it just wasn't. I also really enjoyed The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove.

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  9. I'm really considering reading this other book of hers, because I definitely think LK has the potential to be an awesome writer and I've heard much better things about this one!

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