Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review: Impossible

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Pages: 288, paperback

ISBN: 9780141330303

Publisher: Puffin Books

Date Released: March 4th, 2010 (first published September 18th, 2008)

Genre: YA / romance / fantasy / mythology

Source: library

When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both. (Taken from Goodreads)
Buy it now from The Book Depository

First things first: LOOK AT THAT COVER! It's beautiful, isn't it? Now, onto the meat of the book:

As I read the first few sentences, I notices that there are a lot of pointless sentences. Things that don't even contribute to the story, in desperate need of editing. The writing style sounds contrived, sloppy and unimpressive. From the start, it left me stumbling through the book, struggling to finish. It felt even more awkward with the various "uh"s and "oh"s and whatnot. In third person, this just sounds completely amateurish, unless in dialogue. Even in first person, if done right. And you all know from my review of Fallen how much I hate that sort of stuff in third person narratives. THEY DO NOT BELONG. *angry face*

Lucy seems so boring in the way she talked, acted and described. She just ended up being this two-dimensional character that I barely cared for. Her character changes every few pages, from athletic to girly to tomboyish. The inconsistency in character was confusing and hard to keep track of. Honestly, there were times where I wondered if there would be a massive twist near the end where she turns out to have multiple personality disorder.

The chapters were short, about 3 pages each, which was really annoying, I thought. They were so short that I just couldn't get into the story quickly enough until the next break. They just weren't long enough for me to keep an interest in.

The point of view, whilst in third person, focuses on various people and the constant change gets distracting and frustrating. At the time I was reading this, I was editing my first story, and it was suffering from the same POV inconsistencies as Impossible. Now that this problem has come to my attention, I find multiple POVs to be the most annoying thing ever, and amateurish.

I loved the basic idea of the story, being a retelling of a poem called The Scarborough Fair. The fantasy elements were subtle, yet strong, which made for a nice, original fairy story. It shows the elf in a negative way, which I found delightful, as I'm sick of everyone and their grandmother romanticising every paranormal and fantasy creature they come across. It features a human/human romance, which I was relieved about.

This book deals with rape, and the outcomes of it. I thought it was poorly demonstrated. That Lucy's rapist was unaware of his actions seemed to be this really weird message that it's not the rapist's fault, that they can't control themselves. Now, I'm sure that wasn't Werlin's intentions at all, but it still felt like that.
Also, after Lucy was raped, it sort of seemed like it was no big deal to her, that she was passive about the whole incident and not really shaken up about it. I would have loved to see a rape survivor actually surviving instead of forgetting it ever actually happened.

There was something odd that bothered me, a really massive contradiction that I picked up. On page 104 of my copy, it says:
"If her friend Sarah Herbert were pregnant and came to Lucy for advice, Lucy would certainly think of abortion. Perhaps, she'd even urge it."
Then some 40 pages later, Lucy is telling her friend, Zach, that she could never ever abort her child:
"We can't just 'deal' with this. I can't have an abortion. Miranda [her mother] didn't abort me, did she? I have to have the baby. I just--I can't explain; it's just how I feel. I have to go ahead. And it's my decision. That's what you've always said--it's a woman's decision and her right to choose."
And yet, Lucy would have urged her best friend to abort it if she were ever pregnant. So much for the right of choosing and deciding. I don't know, it's that sort of stuff that makes me uneasy, because this is a very delicate topic in books, and the way I see it, it wasn't done properly here.

I was glad that Lucy's parents were heavily involved for the most part, unlike most YAs these days. And that they were so supportive of their daughter and her decisions was sweet. It's unusual for a parent to be so close to the main character in a YA, so this was a sort of breath of fresh air, and made for an interesting story.

This book focused on a romance that I thought was tacky and bland and had no real depth to it. Chapter 32 was one and a half pages on how Zach had confessed his undying love for Lucy, how he would kill for her, die for her, yadda yadda yadda. That's great and all, but he never mentions what it is about her that he loves. And when he tries, he contradicts himself horribly, making his love seem forced. I was left very unimpressed with that. And then when Lucy confesses her love for him, I was thinking 'where did that come from?' Just a few chapters ago, she was thinking about how hot he is, but not how she actually liked him in any way other than his OMG supah hawt body!!~. Ugh, so shallow. It annoyed me.

And one last thing: after they get married, they stop trying to break the curse and instead have hot wild sex? Wow, what a way to end the book.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 1
Writing: 1
Level of Interest: 1

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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