Today’s review post is a little different. Instead of my usual thing, I decided to do a re-review. I don’t know if this is a thing or just something I made up but I thought it was a good idea either way. It will also probably be shorter than usual because it’s just me kind of just going over my old review with my new thoughts since my reread.
This started a year ago when I was reading through some of my old reviews and I read my review of Obscured by C.M Boers. My memory of reading the book was rather positive compared to what I had previously written so I decided to give it a reread to see if I had underrated it. I approached it like one of my university reads, and made extremely detailed notes the entire way through so this will be a lot of quoting my earlier thoughts etc.
Plot summary: I wrote last time that I had never read a better blurb and I stand by that. It doesn’t give away much about the plot but also gives enough to pull you in: (From Goodreads)
Abby Martin thought she was an ordinary girl about to start high school. But when her mom announces that they’re moving to Arizona, vivid nightmares start plaguing Abby’s nights. As she settles into her new school and a cute guy named Pete catches her eye, she hopes that life might somehow get back to normal. To Abby’s horror, “normal” becomes a thing of the past as she’s swept up into a world of immortal protectors wielding supernatural gifts. When Abby realizes she’s a pawn in a centuries-old feud, she must figure out who she can trust before she’s caught in the crossfire.
Prepare yourself for heart-pounding suspense in the world of Obscured, where nothing is as it seems and danger lurks in unexpected places.
Characterisation: I reread it and at first, I was super hopeful. The plot was just as amazing as before and the writing style wasn’t as childish as I had remembered. The characterisation of the main character was ultimately where I felt that this book fell down. All of Abby’s actions felt either super fake or just downright unbelievable. There also wasn’t much of her that was relatable that made you like her as a character which again let the book down. Here are some examples of times where Abby was unbelievable or just downright irritating, with my notes from the time:
- “Despite his bossy nature, I was growing to like him a lot.” (They literally met 3 pages ago) They have only spoken for a couple of minutes. This seems like a pretty big leap.
- “it was hard to make any snap judgments about them.” Although she has made snap judgements about Eli, saying she likes him already. That he is bossy. Etc. She already has a distrust for Pete because of what Eli has said, but she is also going on gut feelings. No snap decisions my ass.
- “He seemed like a great friend, and I didn’t want to lose him over that.” She goes on about not jumping to conclusions and assuming things about people, but here again, she is believing Eli to be a good friend – trustworthy. However not trustworthy enough to believe him and avoid Pete
- “There was no question about it—he was my best friend.” They have known each other for 6 days…
- “What a girl thing to do” I hate this line. It’s so sexist and makes me lose all interest in the character.
- “I had been so busy that I didn’t even have a chance to miss her. Thinking about it gave me pangs of sadness. Our once-close relationship seemed to be dissolving before our eyes. I knew that it was something that would eventually happen as I ventured out into my own life, but I hadn’t realized it would be so soon.” I don’t like this. The main character is what? Like 16? Atleast for me, I’m closer to my mum now at 20 than I was when I was younger. Just because you age doesn’t mean your mum stops caring about you. Also, I hate that she says she’s been so busy she hasn’t thought about her….like no wonder shes ignoring you?!?
- ““He let his assignment be killed,” he said slowly. “Oh my gosh!” I felt like I was going to be sick. I kissed that disgusting person.” Is it just me or is that an overreaction? Sure he isn’t the best person ever for having done that but you kissed him – you must have had feelings for him in some way. They dint just vanish in the blink of an eye cause your brain tells you you should.
- “Typical guy! Completely clueless, unless you smacked them on the forehead with a note saying ‘I like you.’” The stereotypes of this book are really starting to annoy me. Its almost like it was written by multiple people – one second she’s mocking the typical YA tropes and the next shes saying things like this. Very confused.
- “I couldn’t believe I had actually gone a whole 10 minutes without thinking about the big mess I called my life.” Self-centred much. Is it just me or is it normal to think of other things ever now and again?
- “What would he think if he knew I looked at his phone and invaded his privacy? I felt incredibly guilty.” Of course, you should! Like damn, she is annoying this chapter!
- “It wasn’t like he hadn’t been brutally honest with me thus far. I had no reason to be suspicious or untrusting.” This just infuriates me even more, now she’s trying to blame him for her sneaking a look at his phone.
- ““No, it’s my treat. You have been a rock through all this and I appreciate it. You could be making things really difficult for me right now and you aren’t. Thank you.” I didn’t know what to say, but I wasn’t going to fight him on paying for the bill. That never worked anyway.” This is such an odd chapter. I really liked her character up until this point, now everything shes doing here seems to be rude or uncaring and just uncalled for.
- “I felt a twinge of jealousy. Was Eli upset that his best friend was a girl; this girl? Maybe Ren would become his best friend too. Then I would have to share him. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of having to share him with anyone.” Do i even have to write my irritation at this point?
Believe me, there are many more little things but these made the most sense without context. She is the epitome of weak female leads who have no personality outside of the plot. Which sucks because Eli, Pete and all of the other characters were actually written really well. It really was like multiple people wrote this. The start was amazing, all the way up until 60% I would have given it 4.5 stars. But then, it all just goes off the rails. The main plot ends and it all really just becomes about the build-up to the sequel. Her writing style deteriorates and becomes a lot more childlike. The characters change and become a lot more exaggerated and fake. It was super difficult to finish after the sixty percent mark. It would have been amazing if the book had finished at that point because that is where it goes downhill.
Writing Style: In my original review, I said that the writing style that let it down, but upon rereading I realised that it wasn’t only the writing but the characterisation that lead to the writing seem more jovial, which was my issue with it.
Overall, my rating of this book didn’t change. It’s so rare to find a book that has so many amazing qualities that let it down in the second half because it changes so suddenly. It was very bizarre. Part of me is tempted to read the sequel to see how it continues and if it returns to the promising way it was originally done before it descended into the confusion of the later chapters. Wha do you think? Would you pick this book up?