The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, #1) by Laura Howard

16288155Published April 28th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services

It’s a sad day when you start reading a new book and after the first two or three chapters you start to realize that you already read it a year or so ago and it left absolutely no lasting impression on you.

The Forgotten Ones is not bad but there were several things that kept me from really liking it – or remembering it.

I read a lot of Young Adult and New Adult books. Why? Basically because of three facts: First there is this nostalgic touch to it, the memory of your first time: Your first kiss, your first falling in love, your first sexual relationship, the first real friendships and your first important decisions to make, the first big arguments with your parents. Second because I like to think “would I have done the same”, to compare and measure. Third because at its heart YA and NA both offer almost always a safe ending with Happily Ever Afters.

But The Forgotten Ones offers nothing of the above. As you will see Allie has no friends, she is bitchy to just everybody her own age, she’d rather read “Gone with the Wind” for the 10th time than talking to her so called friends while on the beach. She is nothing like me, I would never have done the things she does and I don’t like her, at all. Because of Allison O’Malley’s age (she is 21) I would have expected her being more mature. But as soon as she leaves her schizophrenic mother behind and is confronted with her cousin and ”her friends” and especially Ethan she resorts to very immature behavior:

“Hi,” I muttered before shoving a glob of half-melted ice cream in my mouth to avoid conversation.
(…)
Ethan’s teeth gleamed against his deep tan as he laughed. I stared back down at my feet again, wishing I were home doing laundry.

Excuse me? What’s the problem with that girl? As much as I admire her for wanting to take care of her mother and to unburden her grandparents for the life of me I cannot think of one justified reason why she shouldn’t have a little time left for friends and why she so adamantly wants to resist falling in love. Her single mindedness and nasty attitude drove me nuts: Nicole and her friends always have to convince her to join them and always she is the “good girl”, the reasonable one. She is a fucking Mary Sue!

”I hear you kids are heading to the beach today,” Pop (her grandfather) said (…)
“That’s right. Can’t wait.” I dropped down on the couch with my coffee.
Pop folded down the corner of his paper again, peering at me over his reading glasses. “It’s okay to have some fun once in a while, Al.”
I snorted in response. Going to the beach with Nicole and her friends didn’t really count as fun in my book. Other than Nicole, I didn’t really feel comfortable around anyone my own age. I’d never fit in, I’d rather just be alone or sit in the backyard with a book while Gram worked in her garden.

That’s the crux: all her behavior shouts clear: Leave me the fuck alone!

“There you are! I’ve been texting you all morning.”
I sighed, knowing what was going to happen before she was even in front of me. Once again, I had no believable excuses.
“I’m going to a cookout at Jeff’s parents’ house. Wanna come?” No matter how many times I’d turned down her invitations in the past, she never lost hope that I would one day be happy to tag along with her and her friends. (…)
“Are you sure I’m even invited?” I knew I was just putting off the inevitable. But I had to put up a little bit of a fight. I couldn’t let Nicole get complacent. She glanced at me and frowned. “I just invited you.” I breathed deeply. “If I come, will you leave me alone for the rest of the week?”

It’s always ‘Nicole and her friends’, never ‘my friends’. It’s always such an ordeal to submit to “mindless conversation”. That girl drove me nuts! What is wrong with wanting to care for your parents AND having a little bit of fun in your life?
For a New Adult novel I felt the level of romance was underdeveloped as were the characters. It left me totally unimpressed and rather disappointed. Al is one of the most boring heroines I have ever encountered in New Adult books. Sorry to say, but even Bella Swan has more appeal. She’s got a crush on Ethan but doesn’t flirt back because she thinks a romance would get in her way and also because she thinks Ethan is something of a player. I did not think I would ever say this but I was wishing for a sparkling vegetarian vampire like Edward to come and light up the romance because Ethan and Allie left me cold as ice. There is also something of a love triangle that I feel will play a major role in the next book. I couldn’t care less.

As to the plot: The first half reads like a plain vanilla romance and as I already mentioned I was not convinced or taken by that romance and especially not by Allie as MC. The beginning was well paced even a little bit slow and then the second part of the book where all the fantasy elements were focused everything happened extremely quickly and felt rushed. I don’t think those two parts merged well together. Because I was so annoyed by the first half of the book I couldn’t be bothered by the second part even though there’s (finally) more action and magic involved. The cliffhanger ending is a total bummer. The Forgotten Ones is a half told story (in my opinion) that could have been so much more but instead leaves much to be desired.

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