Hey Weirdos. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this review written, and I have no excuse. I've been enjoying doing all of the nothing I've wanted to do during the school year. But I'm here now, so let's get to it :)
In my spare time, I've been working on honing my writing skills, including writing decent reviews for you guys. What I've realized is that, even with books I enjoy, I tend to only write what I didn't like, and very little about what I did like. I'm going to change that starting now. I hope this review makes you actually want to go buy the book!
*I may go back and edit some previous reviews.
What I Liked:
I admire Susan's courage to write a character with such a large flaw as only having one hand. Granted, Eleanor does get her hand back (several times), but it's still very hard as a writer to do that. You get connected to your characters, they become your best friends, and it pains you to hurt them in any way. The author did a fine job handling this. She didn't overly-coddle Eleanor, and she didn't play the flaw up to extremes. A perfect balance was hit, and I applaud her for it. Her creativity shined through in so many ways, and I couldn't be happier.
In book 1 the Virtue Sisters and Allison were a delicate issue for me. They were a little too stereotypical, yet I couldn't see the story being quite right without them. That said, in book 2, I was thoroughly pleased with the small snippet of time we spent with the Virtue Sisters, and even though Allison did a complete 180 personality-wise, I felt like it was fitting considering everything. They seemed more like real people to me.
In my review of book 1, I wrote about how i was unhappy about how the mother was portrayed, and I hoped that it would somehow tied into the next book. Well, my hopes were answered, and everything tied together wonderfully. I won't give out any spoilers (like I haven't given enough already), but here's a quote from my reading journal: "Oooh, loving the crazy, psycho mother!" Pretty much sums up my feelings.
I loved the scene under the city when Eleanor almost drowned. So touching. It was this scene that made Daniel win me over, and I don't think I'm shipping Claranor anymore, but I'm not sure what Daniel and Eleanor's relationship name would be. Danieleanor maybe?
Sooz used subtle hints to her advantage, and I think it worked out well. I had a feeling I knew who the antagonist was, but I was second guessing myself.
The conflict between Eleanor and Joseph was great for the story :) And Oliver is a very well developed character.
I loved how Eleanor was blind to the monster she was becoming, and how the title of the book tied in perfectly with it. Magnifique!
What I Disliked:
The Hell Hounds needed further exploration, especially in France when they stopped visiting Eleanor altogether. The man with the cane and the cane itself needed more exploration as well.
I wanted Eleanor to have another run-in with the woman whose ticket she stole. That would have been a really incredible conflict. I'm sure that Susan probably considered it, but decided that it wouldn't work well with the plot.
Jie wasn't as much of a central character as in book 1. Granted, she was kidnapped, but still.
Laure was a character that was just stuck into the story for reasons I can't see. Whether she was there or not, the story would have gone the same way and ended the same, but I guess I can understand how not everyone pushes a person's life forward, but it still leaves me wondering the point of it.
The kissing scene seemed as though it was just in the book for the sake of a kissing scene.
The sister Clara was very incomplete. Granted, she was dead, but there's loose ends there.
Conclusion: This book receives 5 stars out of five. There was an obvious improvement from her first book, not to say I didn't like the first one, but still! Wonderful!
Again, sorry it took so long to get this to you, I promise I'll try to do better with the next one!
As always: Stay Weird!