Sunday, December 27, 2009

Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer + Challenge Completed

First published in 2008.

Sounds like a coffee-loving, seclusion-seeking goth girl's dream job. Philippa isn't fazed by the fog-enshrouded mansion on a cliff, the weirdest twins on the planet, or even the rumors about ghosts, 'cause when she meets the estate's hot gardener, Philippa's pretty sure she's found her dream boy, too. Too bad Geoff's already taken . . . by a girl whose wardrobe is head-to-toe pink. Still, Philippa can't get Geoff out of her head. What will it take to lure him to the dark side? (book back blurb)

Meh. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Meh.

First, I wasn't totally convinced this chick was actually goth as goth takes more than dressing in black and liking black rainbows. She seemed like kind of a superficial goth; someone that dresses in black and pouts all the time at other people's happiness but put a set of abs you can bounce a quarter off of in front of her and she goes gaga. Totally not goth.

And what's with the twins?

Seriously, was red rum involved? I haven't even seen The Shining and I couldn't stop thinking about these guys while reading this book. I mean, what does a set of ten-year-olds have to be morose about? Yeah, their mother fell off a cliff (is it bad that I'm trying not to laugh at that? I mean, who accidentally falls off a cliff?) but they were lacking sunshine even before then. Apparently mummy was a The Cure listener before she took a dive. So what's their deal?

I just felt it was all rather contrived. The goth part anyway. And I was fully disappointed about the ghost part. How lacking that was. Don't go into this book thinking you'll be getting anything on the supernatural side because it's so finite that if you blink, you'll miss it. Why even mention ghosts at all? It holds absolutely no bearing on the plot.

Mostly it's about Philippa trying to get the twins' father to stop being a workaholic and start paying more attention to them all the while trying to figure out how involved the gardener and the pink chick really were. It's pretty lacking on anything exciting and, really, it's overall pretty mundane. The part with Geoff was interesting enough but definitely not enough to hold the entire story together.

The ending was pretty rushed as well. One turn of the page and everything's all dandy. The girls have their daddy back and the Geoff issue is settled and everyone lives a happily summer after. That's it? Boo.

So yeah, Philippa's really not as goth as she likes to think she is, the twins need to be exorcised, Daddy and Lady BV need a laxative and Geoff should just put his shirt back on. Overall, this book's pretty forgettable. It's something different against everything else that's out there with the premise but in terms of plot, it leaves something to be desired. I'd recommend reading this only if you have nothing else to do.

And with this review, my 2009 YA Challenge is officially completed. Yay! I was afraid I was going to miss it by a book and I would have been really pissed. Now time to set up 2010's.

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