Friday, May 20, 2011

[Review] Small Blue Thing by S.C. Ransom

Title: Small Blue Thing
Author: S.C. Ransom
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/05/11
Publisher: Nosy Crow (A&U)
Source: Review from publisher
Age: 14+
Pages: 300
My Rating:

Alex doesn't know who to believe, Callum or Catherine.

One of them truly cares for her.
One of them wants to prey on her memories.
Both of them drowned.

After her school exams, Alex finds an extraordinary bracelet set with a mysterious blue stone buried in the Thames mud. She discoveres that she can use it to communicate with the river's dead. Condemned to a half-life of misery, they must steal the happiness of the living to exist. Callum - desperate, lonely and breathtakingly good-looking - is one of them. Alex falls deeply in love.

And Callum loves her.

Doesn't he?
My thoughts: 

Small Blue Thing follows the story of 17 year old Alex who finds a curious-looking bracelet along the Thames river mud. A bracelet that holds supernatural powers that changes her life in the blink of an eye. Her love life turned upside down, she finds herself falling for someone who others can't see. But this guy is just one of many, well, whatever he is. And then, she's not so sure if she can truly trust him, because something just doesn't add up . . .

Debut novelist Ransom has come up with a fresh unique concept, an unlikely new contender in the paranormal genre. I love that this book explored some sort of a paranormal new dimension, which interconnected the banal, normal human world, and a spiritually energised world where only those with, er, special circumstances, roam. Small Blue Thing is set in the UK (my geography is crap so I've already forgotten where exactly), as mentioning The Thames river would suggest.

The characters in this book felt, well, lacking. I didn't connect with any of the characters. In fact, many of them frustrated or annoyed me. Most of them felt juvenile. Considering their age range is 17-19, I don't know, they could have been 14 for the decisions they made. There is some insight into the older teen world, such as drinking, partying and driving (but then again, some young teens ...). Alex comes off quite mature at the beginning, but then she just kept on making these unforgivable mistakes, and her lines of thought all just seemed too naive for someone who should've had SOME experience. Such as with guys. And don't even get me started with Rob (the guy she'd had a crush on and finally hooked up with after school exams). I mean, yeah, Alex is no Bella. She has some inner-strength, but most of it was fuelled by her unrealistic love for C.

The relationship between Alex and her love interest (C) will satisfy fans of the Twilight series, or just people who believe or enjoy that insta-love thing. Because hell, after a WEEK, these two were already smitten and ready to jump off trains for each other (you know, if the guy could jump off trains). I personally didn't like the romance, which is why I gave this book the rating I gave it. However, I have to give props to Ransom for not including a love triangle. At least, not yet. I don't want to draw comparisons, but I believe Ransom is going to include something in the next installment, I can feel it. But for now, at least there isnt' one.

The writing. About 3/5 of the way through I felt that a lot of the passages were just empty words, repeating itself over and over. To the point that I started skimming. Especially when Alex kept saying that she loved C, and I felt like going on a slapspree. The dialogue got cheesy after a while (just emphasising what I said). Descriptions, as well, didn't seem as polished as they could have.

I'm still interested in continuing this series, really. It's just that a lot of the book seemed unpolished. I wish I could've connected with at least one of the characters, but I don't feel like I know any of them that well, as Ransom seemed to skimp on those details, and instead focused on setting descriptions and 'roundabout', nauseating conversations between Alex and Callum.

However, despite ALL OF THAT, I don't think I regret reading this book. I'm still not sure whether I'm going to take time out to continue the series. But definitely, I recommend this to fans of the paranormal YA genre. Those who love Twilight will find a lot to like, and people who have read Manifest will have an idea of what this book involves.


First Lines

"The swan was thrashing about at the edge of the water, its huge wings beating the gravel and scattering the other birds. We watched in horror as it twisted and turned, making loud, ominous hissing sounds."

Favourite Quotes

"You do look really lovely tonight,” he murmured. “You should fall in the river more often."

(pg. 12, Rob)


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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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