The Holy Terror

A possible retreat from goodreads ... though I'm tempted to yell "get off my lawn" at this site's tumblresque-ness. Yes, that's totally a word.

Firelight (Firelight Series)

Firelight (Firelight Series) - Incredibly disappointed. Those two words sum up my feelings for this book pretty succinctly. What could have been an awesome teen book with dragon shifters and the trials of wanting to fit in turned into a whine- and pine-fest the likes of which I’ve never seen before. (And no, I have not read Twilight.) There aren’t any glaring spoilers in this review, at least nothing that couldn’t be gleaned from the dust jacket, but I do discuss most of the book here, so you’re forewarned!Preemptive apology here – I realize this is a long review, but it’s #100 for me, and I felt the need to rant, so …Jacinda is a fire-breathing draki (dragon-like creature) who lives in a cultish commune with other draki. She’s sick of the rules, especially the ones designed to keep her safe, and so decides she just has to go flying during the day, when it’s quite possible that humans will see her. She goes out flying with her friend and of course they’re spotted by hunters. One hunter, a boy near Jacinda’s age, finds her trapped in a cave and decides to let her go and lead his hunter friends away. Although both girls make it back, Jacinda’s mother decides it no longer safe for Jacinda in the pride and takes off for the fictional desert town of Chaparral, 90 miles outside Las Vegas. From here is where the book takes off in a ridiculous direction.Jacinda’s pride lives somewhere in the Cascade Mountains. Her mother takes her to Nevada to enroll in high school, hoping to “kill” Jacinda’s draki in the dry desert heat. Now I bet you’re thinking, between the Cascades and Nevada there’s probably more than one high school, right? Well then, what are the odds that the hunter who found Jacinda in the mountains is enrolled at the high school in Nevada? Well, this is a teen book we’re reading here, so of course the “beautiful” boy, Will, who saves Jacinda is also in the same grade in the same school, a few states away. Totally makes sense.Ok, so maybe I can get over the coincidence that they’re attending the same school. But still, Will is a hunter! Hunters kill and maim her people, selling them as meat and skin to the highest bidder. And yet, she instantly falls head over heels in love with him. And also, when she realizes he’s in the same school as her and her twin sister, she doesn’t warn her family! She doesn’t say, “hey, you remember just a week ago when I was running for my life from hunters? Well, at least one of them is enrolled in the same high school as us.” Yeah, don’t protect your flesh and blood because you don’t want your mom to pull you out of school and make you redo the “wretched first day all over again, suffering the heat and climate somewhere else without a beautiful, exciting boy around.” Seriously, are you kidding me? You don’t want to keep yourself and your family safe because of some awkwardness and hormones? This is beyond selfish.I started to count the amount of times that Jacinda would notice Will before she saw him. It gets ridiculous and this is just another instance of the author filling up the pages with more whining and pining. (Seriously, that should have been the name of this book.) I get what she’s trying to establish; that Jacinda and Will’s relationship is something special that defies meaning, but the way she went about this was just cheesy and sappy. Here’s what I came across that stuck out for me:"I still feel him. Yearn for him. Know he's there even when I no longer see him." (51)"My flesh pulls and tightens with awareness, and I know it's him before he enters the room." (56)"And almost as if I've summoned him, I feel him arrive. My skin shivers, and the tiny hairs at my nape stand on end. Like in the hall today before I even saw him, but knew he was near." (73)"That feeling comes over me again, and immediately I know he's here." (87)"That much-missed vibration ignites in my chest, spreads to my core. My skin snaps alive. My head turns, eyes searching, honing in on Will as he walks into the room." (108)"His presence always does this to me. Breathe life back in. Chases away the phantom like fast-fading mist. My skin tightens, rushes with awareness. My chest vibrates. Swells with relief, gratitude, and something else." (177)It’s like every time Will enters a room he sets off some sort of motion sensor in Jacinda. Why do they love each other? The only thing they have in common is being good-looking and an association with draki – they don’t know anything about each other and the only thing drawing them together is this physical attraction that the author has forced into being “love.”A lot of Jacinda’s inner monologue makes absolutely no sense. She’s constantly telling herself to stay away from Will, that she should rely on herself and never forget that he’s a hunter. But then, she goes and does the exact opposite, and she starts the whole thing over again."The only thing I need to know about him is that his family hunts. I must not forget that. Ever. They kill my kind or sell us to the enkros. In their foul hands, we're either enslaved or butchered. My skin shrinks, and I remind myself he is part of that dark world. Even if he helped me escape, I should avoid him." (59)Ok, good. That makes sense. Good thinking.I want to sit with him, talk to him, see him, go out with him ... everything. As long as I'm here, anyway. And not just for the sake of my draki. I would have liked Will Rutledge no matter what I was." (98)No! What happened to the smarter girl 40 pages back?! You barely know him, he lives a double life killing your race, and the only reason you're attracted to him is probably because you're a draki and he's something ... else. Not in spite of it."It's the wake-up call I need. I'm a fool to think a hunter is going to save me. Protect me. Keep me alive. I'll find another way. My fist clenches around his note, crumpling it into a ball in my hand. I'll forget about Will. Sever whatever bond I feel with him. Only the decision doesn't make me feel any better. My chest hurts even more." (101)Ok, good. We’re back to Jacinda being sensible. Hopefully things will stay like this …"I don't know if Will's back, but I tell myself it shouldn't matter either way. I can't go out with him, can't let myself rely on him. I won't. Big words. I feel like such a fake. Because despite my vow to forget him, I haven't. I remember everything about him. I feel his absence. Like the loss of shaded skies mists, and pulsing earth. He cannot possibly be all that I remember, all that I crave to see again. Even as I know it's wrong. Even as I know that I must avoid him." (106) But, but … we were doing so well five pages back! Now she’s back to pining for the boy who is dangerous to both her and her family. Makes sense, doesn’t it?"Unable to speak, I shake my head, crack open my chemistry book, and stare blindly at the page, telling myself that I'm glad he ignored me. I needed this to remember the vow I made to myself to stay away from him." (110) Alright, good. She’s thinking clearly again."I'm aware of the promise I made to myself. The promise to avoid him." (123)Whew. Still going strong!"His words echo inside me. You should stay away from me. Something I already know, but sitting in the front seat of his car, I'm not quite succeeding at that. I wish I could. Wish I didn't feel this pull, this constant tug toward him." (128) Uh oh, she’s losing it again."Apparently, our kiss only convinced him that we needed to pursue this thing between us. Except, our kiss told me the opposite. Kissing him told me what I already knew, but had been denying. I can't risk being with him." (133)"At school, I won't talk to him, won't look at him ... and I certainly won't ever touch him again. If it kills me, I'll ignore him and forever keep my distance." (134)Alright, she had a momentary lapse, but she’s come back ‘round to the side of the sane again."For a moment, I'm there again, hunters in fast pursuit. Wet cold hugs my body. Agony lances my wing, tearing the membrane. It took days for that to heal, for the pain to fade. I drag that memory close, hold it tight, determined to remember. Xander is part of that memory. But then, so is Will. Maybe that's something I've let myself forget. I shouldn't have. I can't. Even with the taste of him still lingering sweetly on my lips, I vow never to forget again." (160)"I can forget him. Turn off everything I'm feeling. I can. I will. He's too dangerous for me to be around. I can do this." (161)That idea should be cemented now, right? Ah, but we know how this all ends, it is a teen love story after all."He looks beautiful standing there, and a familiar ache starts in my chest as I wonder how I can love and fear the sight of someone with the same intensity." (216)This whole book is FILLED with this type of back-and-forth shite. “I can’t be near him, I love him, I need to forget him, he’s the only one I can be real around, he hunts my kind and I must never forget, I LOVE HIM…” Ugh, it’s just so annoying. As for the rest of the characters, I didn’t like any of them at all, besides Cassian. Will does some decidedly stalker-ish things to Jacinda which made me like him even less. Both Jacinda’s sister Tamra and their mom are whiny and can’t understand most of what Jacinda is going through; not that it gives Jacinda the right to be just as whiny and even less understanding, but they didn’t make me sympathize with them at all.The mythology of the draki was the book’s strongest selling point, but unfortunately it’s something that feels tacked on rather than the core of the story. I found myself wanting to know more about the draki Jacinda left behind in the pride, as well as Cassian. I really thought she could have expanded on the draki more than focusing on the “love” story between Will and Jacinda. The next book continues Jacinda’s story so maybe I’ll get my wish.This book was such a mess; a sad, sad mess of poorly written teen angst and melodrama, and an obvious example of an author trying to cash in on the genre. Will I read the next one? Yes, because I’m stupid and masochistic, but also because I’m sure my library will get it in. But please, do NOT spend money on this book, it’s just not worth it.

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