Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Gravity by Melissa West

Gravity (The Taking, #1)Book: Gravity
Author: Melissa West
Series: The Taking
Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 3.5 Stars

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
This was a book I was really looking forward to reading. I kept stalking its page on Goodreads for new reviews that would praise it. I enlarged the cover and mooned over it thousands of times because that blue is absolutely lovely. Also, I kept forgetting the publication date, so I kept hoping that it was earlier than I thought it was (it wasn't.).

In conclusion, I had very high hopes for this book. Very. High. Which will probably mean my review isn't too trustworthy and that this book is much better than I say it is. Because Gravity isn't a bad book. Not by a long shot. It's actually quite interesting, what with its synthetic foods and the existence of another planet that's basically paradise apart from earth. And in the middle of it all, we have Ari, who's the Commander's daughter and a future leader herself. In addition, she knows how to shoot a gun and disarm an enemy in ten seconds. Instead of crying at every turn, she holds back a scream. Which is an improvement, but not much of one.

My biggest issue with the book is the lack of world-building. I didn't know the origin of half of the things that were mentioned, from how Earth was split up the way it was, to why people didn't want to go to Loge when it seemed like such a great place. Also, I didn't understand why Ari trusted Jackson so easily. Their love never seemed real. Rather, it felt contrived. I just didn't know why Ari threw away her connection to her father and her years of training because of a boy she's only seen from a distance telling her that her own side wasn't to be trusted. It made her seem way too malleable and manipulable, which contrasted with the whole strong, untouchable persona she's supposed to be portraying.

I liked the idea and Ari's parents, especially her mother. But as with the other components of the world that she lives in, the other people in her life are too one-dimensional. Her parents, Gretchen, Lawrence. We only get tiny glimpses that they're people other than the roles they're supposed to lead in the book, but it's not enough to convince us that they're worth rooting for. Maybe if I hadn't been expecting this book to exceed my expectations so much, I wouldn't have been so disappointed. It's an original idea, but the execution wasn't all that special. I was especially disappointed by the flop of a love story and how there was no reference to peeking except in the tagline of the cover. The entire book has made me despairing for a good love story, so if anyone has recommendations, I'll gladly take them!
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