Okay, so I stepped away from writing my review of VA for a week, so I could be sure of my opinion. And now, I think I might be.
When I started reading VA, I WANTED to fall in love with it from the off. Wanted to fully understand the lure of these characters. Wanted to grasp the obsession of this Dimitri fellow who seems to have the hearts of readers and fights great battles during #YACushTourney. In short, loads of folk I know have already fallen in love with this entire series, and I wanted to be a part of that.
So, did it live up to my expectations?
Okay, maybe I’m still not totally sure of my opinion.
Because there were a good few things about this title that made its pedestal a little lower than the one I imagined it sitting on.
First up, there was Rose. I didn’t think she was as strong a lead as she could have been. I don’t mean she could have been a more kick-butt character, but more that she just didn’t completely add up for me. One second she was sure of herself and confident and considered herself a bad-a$$ with a rep, and the next she was being b****-slapped by someone else’s words and feeling sorry for herself in a very subtle way that it almost went unnoticeable. Not to mention her over-confidence in her own prowess and sexual appeal to the opposite sex, yet she seemed unconvinced that Dimitri could like her for a fair bit of the book despite her self-assurances that her boobs are better than anyone else’s there, and he’d surely notice those … And those boobs probably could’ve had a role of their own—they were like a whole separate character they got mentioned so much.
On the topic of Dimitri? I, um … just didn’t get it. *ducks for cover* Now don’t hate on me. I’m not saying he didn’t seem like an attractive and decent fellow. I’m just saying that I don’t get the infatuation that Rose has for him. Obviously, she thinks he’s hot, but she believes her ‘feelings’ run a lot deeper than that, and the reader is certainly led to believe that what they feel for each other is deeper than physical attraction. However, with everything else that is happening in this book, and the fact that the Dimitri-Rose relationship doesn’t appear to be the main plot point/driving force of this book … well, to me, they just didn’t get enough alone time—or heck, even enough ANY time together—for me to be happy with where their thoughts/feelings ended up—in short: there wasn’t enough relationship development between them to add the validity ‘they’ needed. And I *think* that issue also bled over into my view of Dimitri, seeing as we only get to spend the time with him that Rose does. I mean, I felt as though I had a better handle on Christian than Dimitri—and I liked him a lot better, too. Lissa and his relationship certainly felt more real, in my opinion.
And now, seeing as I’ve brought Lissa up, I have to say, THIS relationship—the bond between her and Rose—DID work. It was strong. It was believable. The connection—and the mind-sharing—was well written and easy to follow and understand. This, along with the main plot of the book was good. I spent the entire novel trying to figure out the who, what & and why, and whilst I didn’t have to last out right until the reveal to figure out the ‘evil baddie’, the ‘other one’ involved in it all DID come as a surprise. And I do love my surprises and twists and turns that I don’t see coming.
Okay, so pretty much everything in that final paragraph above, I believe, is what kept me turning the pages. I might not have liked Rose—or ‘believed’ her—very much, and I might not have been particularly enthralled by Dimitri or understood his appeal, but for some reason, I still WANTED to continue reading. Even despite all the erros/typos I was somewhat surprised to find in a trad-published title like this, I am, for some reason, intrigued enough that I shall likely pick up the next book in the series when I have a break in my tbr (and once I own a copy) to see where this heads next—especially as I’m reassured that it gets better the further in your read. So, as VA obviously DOES have ‘something’ about it, I’ve rated it 3 stars.