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Hilary T. Smith
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Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux, #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout First, a caveat: I did not enjoy this book. The following is my honest opinion, however I mean no disrespect to those of my friends who liked it. Just to be clear, I approached Obsidian optimistically, looking for something fun and entertaining to read. Because hot alien spells fun, am I right? Particularly on the heels of a couple of quite emotionally taxing books. Well, apparently I should have checked myself before I wrecked myself, and paid heed to those little warning bells in the synopsis: “Arrogant.” “Stab-worthy.” Attaching these descriptors to the love interest should have tipped me off that at least part of this story really wasn’t going to gel with me. Overall though, I am more disappointed than anything, because I feel that there was a lot going for this premise. It makes me sad to see such potential and a fun idea be eclipsed by a banal romance that draws so heavily on YA paranormal tropes and clichés. There was promise in Katy. Despite her familiar casting as the new girl in town who has no idea that she’s pretty – Katy has personality, interests, a good relationship with her mother and is generally down to earth. She wasn’t a vapid, self-insert type of character, which was a positive sign. Sure, the “bookish” type heroine feels a little tired these days, but Katy seemed like a strong enough character to carry this story. Enter the hot alien mysterious boy next door. From this point on, while there were flashes of the book I thought this would be, it started to take a disappointingly familiar path. I felt my enjoyment steadily decline, to the point where I was frankly just angry and frustrated. Having the protagonist state upfront that the love interest is a “douche” does not give said love interest carte blanche to go around committing Random Acts of Assholery in the name of Broody Hotness. The fact that the protagonist acknowledges the bad behaviour does not suddenly make it acceptable. Beating readers to the punch of calling out the love interest as a jerk does not award him a “Be A Jerk For Free” card.Honestly, it makes me just plain cranky even after Katy recognises that Daemon is a douche, we are supposed to simply swallow this and understand her poor choices because he’s so allegedly “intriguing” and has a smokin’ bod. Demeaning, obnoxious behaviour is still demeaning and obnoxious any way you slice it. No matter how rock hard his abs, how finely chiselled his jaw, how piercing his eyes, I don’t find it hot. Acknowledgment and justification are not the same thing.In short, and to channel Cher Horowitz of Clueless: “So okay, I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get YA love interests today. I mean, come on, they just turn up to the door shirtless and throw around some insults and make suggestive comments - ew - and then ignore you completely and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so.”Unfortunately, I suspect that there is an Edward Cullen style “I’m horrible to you because I secretly love you and I can’t admit it” dynamic at play here. I can’t help but speculate that beneath Daemon’s outward displays of arrogance and kick-to-the-crotch-worthy insults, Armentrout is going to slowly reveal a tender heart that beats with genuine love for Katy. Please. While there are some scenes that are quite funny and/or tense, and the make-out moments are well-written, I have to say that I feel the whole thing is let down by a rather formulaic plot. A few sharply rendered, interesting characters are counter balanced with some that feel like caricatures. The pacing, particularly of the climax, is gripping and fast – yet the events themselves feel all too familiar. Given the fact that a book I wanted to find entertaining yet left me feeling wound up and annoyed, I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t for me. So if anyone can rec me a good alien book, please do. I’m all ears