Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Summer Prince Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   This is The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson. The synopsis is provided by Goodreads:

The lush city of Palmares Três shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.
Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

   I believe I entered a giveaway contest for this book on Goodreads and they never got back to me. So I really hope I didn't win because then buying this would've just been a waste. 

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
   What first drew me to this book was honestly the cover, it's stunning. My favorite colors are blue and brown, but green is close second and with the shine effect (in the physical copy) it has when tilted in the light just draws me in. But then I read the synopsis and it had to do with this exotic yet futuristic Brazil and I knew I couldn't resist. Oh yeah, and it incorporates art. I don't think this book will be colorful at all... from the world or characters or language or anything...  (Haven't read this book I'm just guessing; and being sarcastic-- I need to stop doing that.) Also when you open the front cover, inside the first page is this ridgy, bumpy paper and it feels nice to rub your fingers over. 
  But that's where it stops being amazing. Clearly the cover design people were trying to make up for how bad the story inside is. I had such a difficult time with this book. I'm not a fan of the characters or the structure of this book. The world is a cool concept, but the author used words I was so unfamiliar and honestly didn't know was a real word like waka, spiderbot, fono, nanohook boots (what the hell?), kiri, mods, pod, vat, filha, orixa, and others I can't remember and don't even know what they mean. (Except for waka, which took 40 pages into the story to define...) I guess the author assumed her intended audience was going to understand it, but authors need to acknowledge that sometimes the people not-intended to reach can find this book, too. Especially if it's in the young adult section which is quite popular... The only thing I liked about this was the world and how it was unique. However I didn't understand the scenes because of the unfamiliar words and couldn't picture this world.
   At times, I felt the author randomly opened the book, then decided to put a random fact about June just to confuse the reader more. Also I didn't like the little "monologues" that are italicized that are in the point of view of Enki, not June. It took me three of those random monologues to get it wasn't June... They did nothing to the immediate present scenes and then
   The characters. I didn't like any of them. They're so inconsistent and irritating. They say one thing then several pages later contradict themselves. (For example June says she won't dare touch Enki, then literally the next page: "I touch his hand.") Grr I literally didn't appreciate or get to understand any of these characters. Another example, there's this girl name Bebel which the author painted as a *itch, but then 100 pages in the author makes her sound like a really cool girl. No! You don't go years thinking one way of someone then one day for no reason see them in a whole new light. She didn't even do anything. Nothing should have changed June's mind. Enki is basically just a tease and June is a girl who claims to love art and she's a strong character when that is the focus, but acts pathetic and needy when Enki comes into the picture and is then turned into a weak character. Seriously, consistency is a major problem in this book. I don't see why it got published...
   I hated how the "antiques" that some people had, like the "21st century fountain pen which  must be worth at least a million reals" June's principal had. In this world, they have changed a lot from their belligerent past, which now doesn't have any wars or major disasters. So why would these "priceless items" only be from this century. I would've been lenient if it was one thing, maybe another priceless item from the sixteenth century, or maybe the 23rd century. But no, it was just this one. Well now we know when the author wrote it.
   Honestly I don't even know what's going on for most of this book. And when big things happen like explosions or kiss scenes, they're described so subtly I didn't even know they were there.
   The ending is failed to deliver for me and was predictable at least 100 pages before the end. I heard the ending was great and I was waiting for it to make me change my mind about really disliking this book--but nope. Still don't like it. Honestly, most of this review I wrote about half way before finishing it and was tempted to stop. Most of the things I liked/disliked didn't change from that point on. (Wow, that's sad how that was the thing that didn't change... Which is not why we read books! We read to learn and understand if we cannot care about these characters.)
   Also the book title has no significance. Enki throughout the book is referred to as the Summer King, not the Summer Prince. Only once he's called the Summer Prince, and even then, it's not a big deal.
   All-in-all, this book had potential, but it went the wrong way with it.

I give this book 1/5 stars. I wouldn't recommend it and would definitely not read it again. 

Author's Quote:
(the only line I liked in this book)
"To love light, you have to love dark. I'm not trying to be profound, I know you'll understand. I don't mean that you have to hate to love, or that you have to die to live.
I mean that sometimes, you turn out the lights just to turn them back on."

-Alaya Dawn Johnson, The Summer Prince

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)

   No spoilers because I really didn't like this book, and I could go on and on about what didn't work, but I've already wasted enough time reading this book. 289 pages took me about I'm going to guesstimate 12 hours. I've read books twice as long in almost half that time. Grr.

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

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