Tags: YA, paranormal, romance, evil
Rating: 2 out of 5
Aden Stone has four souls living within him. One time travels, one predicts the future, one raises the dead, and one can possess other bodies. These four voices clamor nonstop in Aden’s head, giving him no peace…until one day, when he stumbles across an unassuming girl, and the souls are suddenly, startlingly, and wonderfully silent.
Mary Ann Gray has no idea that she is about to become entangled in a world filled with mythical creatures. When Aden enrolls at her high school, she feels an insistent platonic attraction to him, despite his scary reputation and gorgeous looks. Meanwhile, Mary Ann befriends a werewolf with dark intentions, and Aden cannot resist the attraction of a vampire princess who comes into his life.
In this world of darkness, however, love and friendship comes at a price…
It’s unfortunate that the premise is so appealing, because, for me, INTERTWINED was an overwritten, confusing, and crowded paranormal mess. Too much was implied and told directly to readers, the characters were unappealing, and the whole thing was just way too long to hold my attention.
Showalter has the unfortunate penchant of telling, not showing, and making her characters take agonizingly slow paragraphs to undergo a simple thinking process. Any story that relies heavily on the main characters’ romantic appeal must work on showing us readers the attraction and potential, instead of telling us over and over again, “X couldn’t resist Y. Z was scared to show her feelings” etc.
As a staunch fan of Showalter’s adult Harlequin romances, I was disappointed that she seemed to feel the need to “dumb down” her writing for the young adult crowd. Please. It’s the R-rated sexual thoughts and scenes that need to go, not intelligent character development. Teenagers can tell the difference between an author who knows the teen voice and an author who typically writes for adults and is just trying to make his or her way into the YA genre.
It goes without saying, then, that I couldn’t make myself care for the characters. They were self-absorbed, overbearingly introverted when it came to pondering, and didn’t do anything really worth mentioning. So Aden attacks a werewolf, gets bullied, and wants to lavish the vampire princess. So Mary Ann has a few conversations with her friend and boyfriend, and continues to hang out with the werewolf even though his monstrous presence supposedly frightens her because she never knows what’s going on.
By this point, a discerning reader will simply ask the important question: so what? Where are all of these disconnected and emotionally distant events leading up to? In the end it didn’t matter, because I was already tired of being narrated to like I have an IQ of 50 by a bunch of unlikable characters. I put the book down.
I have to give Gena and Harlequin TEEN this, though: they certainly have the right idea of what story elements will appeal to today’s Twilight audience. Readers looking for equally emotionally tortured paranormal romances will no doubt find their way to this new line. I have not read Showalter’s other YA books, but unfortunately I just cannot tolerate stories that insult my intelligence—and nor should I have to. Next time, Gena. Next time, Harlequin TEEN.
P. C. Cast
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5