Okay, so I’ll be honest and say League of Strays left me a little surprised.
1) Because I did my usual trick of not reading the blurb, which meant I:
a) Thought the dude on the front was a vampire or something, which means:
b) I had no idea of the genre, because my head had already decided it was ya pnr O_o
2) Despite it being waaaaaaaay off from what I expected it to be, I actually quite enjoyed it.
So, we have this tale of a group of misfits, all loners, and all hand-selected by this guy (Kade) for his own personal agenda.
To be honest, I did kind of see a lot of it coming. I had Kade’s ticket from early on. But then I pretty much didn’t like him at all from the opening scene onwards, and was just counting down the seconds until poor ‘Charlie’ saw past those rose tints in her eyes. However, I did think he was quite well portrayed—which was probably why I cottoned to him so early on.
I didn’t always have a handle on Nora’s character, however, but then I’m not sure the reader’s supposed to. Maybe she’s as unbalanced as Kade is.
And as for the other characters? Well, if I’m truthful, I didn’t really like any of the characters in the book from the start. They almost reminded me of one of those dark teen films where a bunch of kids are full of angst and acting like brats because they feel their life is lacking in some way, and you spend most of the viewing minutes hoping they all get their comeuppance. But then Charlotte started to grow a backbone, and her conscience began speaking to her, and she slowly began to redeem herself and make me like her.
But I did have one issue with the story that was a pretty big one. Despite the fact I didn’t see Kade as attractive (possibly because I spotted his ugly soul), he is constantly described in a way that the reader is given the impression he’s eye catching and alluring—or Charlotte and Nora certainly seem to think so, anyway. Yet, if he’s such a physical/aesthetic ‘catch’, why are no other girls paying him any interest? I mean, he went to great lengths to keep up his ‘act’, right? His façade of showing folk only what he wanted them to see was kept firmly in place, yes? So I’m not quite understanding why he had to go looking for ‘girls’ to manipulate when he surely should have had some ready offers. Though, as my biggest gripe, I guess this is fairly minor.
Sure, there were a couple of lulls in the pace where I found myself hoping something else interesting was going to happen soon, and we wouldn’t be treated to circle after circle of the same kind of occurrences.
And, yeah, I’d have preferred the pinnacle moment to have been a lot more dramatic than it actually was, because I felt that was slightly downplayed and a tad rushed.
But all in all, it was a decent enough read. I didn’t want to stop at any point. I didn’t regret the hours I’d spent with the peeps within. And the writing was of a good enough quality I’d consider reading more from this author. So, yup, I’d recommend it—depending on your mood.