Sunday, September 12, 2010
Blog Tour Review: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Avery Hood remembers almost nothing about the night her parents were murdered and she was found sitting by their bodies, covered in their blood. As she adjusts to her new life with her grandmother and being avoided by her classmates, she meets—and is instantly attracted to—Ben, a new boy at school. She can hardly believe the flashes of silver she sees in her eyes, silver that reminds her of the mysterious something she saw the night of her parents’ death. Avery finds herself unable to stay away from Ben, despite the fact that he may be keeping a secret that is related to the thing that killed her parents…
I should’ve known better. I’ve grown more and more wary (no, not quite weary) of paranormal romances, because so many of them use the exact same formulae, with the same underwhelming results. LOW RED MOON may be an interesting enough read for the eternally paranormal romance-happy, but the number of conventions it uses unfortunately did not win me over.
Is it really even necessary to talk about the many paranormal romance conventions that appear in this book? I will just start listing them in question form: How is Ben attractive aside from his beauty and the inexplicable allure that Avery feels towards him? Why does Avery seem like she would not exist outside the mystery behind her parents’ death and her attraction to Ben, i.e. why does she not have interests, passions, hobbies, and worries outside of the usual “I wish things could go back to how they used to be”?
Also, why do people believe that as long as they don’t mention what, exactly, the type of supernatural creature in the story is, that this makes the story all the more credible? Here, let me explain it to you, in a way that Avery, for some reason, refuses to: IT’S A WEREWOLF ROMANCE. Does thinking that she might be dealing with a werewolf make Avery less credible, when within the first few pages of meeting Ben, she already tells him that she knows there is something unusual about him?
LOW RED MOON’s writing is reminiscent of any number of those paranormal romance visual franchises (Twilight, The Vampire Diaries) that make so much money nowadays. The dialogue is always being spoken at either a fearful, hissy whisper or in the literary equivalent of Kristen Stewart’s expressionless monotone. Ben behaves only like he is always on the verge of breaking down over his concern (or, I suppose, luuuv) for Avery, telling her in panicky voices to leave him alone, go away, save herself, stay away from him. And of course Avery has a one-track mind and cannot. Stay. Away. Of course.
The prose is what I think I’ll call “melodramatic teen prose” from now on: there are a lot of repetitions, repetitions that one seems to think will make the story seem cool, cool or otherworldly, otherworldly in a highbrow manner, and oh—how I love the dashes that appear everywhere—to indicate the dropping off of thought—interruptions because—gasp!—IT CONTRIBUTES TO THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE MELODRAMA, DAMNIT.
Reading this is kind of like how I imagine reading a screenplay of The Vampire Diaries would look like, which was one of the biggest reasons why I stopped reading L. J. Smith.
A sadly great number of recent paranormal romances out there make Twilight look good in comparison, and I’m sorry to say that LOW RED MOON was no exception. If the promise of a low-key supernatural murder mystery intrigues you and you are supremely devoted to paranormal romances so that conventions don’t bother you, then you could give this a try. Otherwise, I would honestly say that you should stay away, or else you’ll end up like me, writing this sort of review in order to expression the frustration that this book manages to eloquently wrap up all that is cliché about YA paranormal romances.
L. J. Smith
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5
Cover discussion: 2 out of 5 - Apparently it looks pretty neat in person, with foil and embossing and all that, and the inside is two-toned, but, while I like the redness (it's a color that hasn't been used much for paranormal romance covers yet), it didn't tell me much except to expect a werewolf love story.
Bloomsbury / Sept. 14, 2010 / Hardcover / 256pp. / $16.99
ARC sent by publisher for blog tour. Sorry.