Hello fellow readers!
First off, allow me to give you a brief overview of Clear. Stella, the leading female, had a hard childhood (as typical for most romance stories). Her mother was verbally and emotionally abusive to the point of altering Stella’s grasp on reality. Stella began questioning her thoughts and actions as she was unsure of what was true or false. The only love Stella had known was from her father and sister, Amy, but that was short lived. On Stella’s 16th birthday, her father and sister were in a car accident, and though they were well and healthy, that night changed Stella’s life forever. After the accident, her father left the family without so much as a goodbye, and from that time, her sister grew to hate her. It wasn’t until years later when Stella gave up on her family in search for the only good she had left; the boy she met that night in the hospital. However and unfortunately, that little boy she met years earlier wasn’t the same; he was a brooding, sad, and angry man. But also a handsome man, that she truly loved and desperately wanted to help. However, what she didn’t know was that his problems were more than she could have ever imagined.
Sam, oh Sam! He had a happy childhood unlike his best friend Costa. Costa was neglected by his parents and was mostly raised by Sam’s parents, and at 16-years old, Costa was killed by a man (I will not expose the secret) and brought back from death, thus making him a death tripper. That event changed his life. He was addicted and alone, so he tripped Sam, and together they death tripped all the time. They were together and happy and they were addicted. Then after one dreadful morning, when they woke and found Costa’s young son missing, their lives and relationship change for the worse. The boy had died the night prior, while they were high, by drowning in an ice-cold lake. Sam and Costa tried to bring him back from death, as only death trippers can do that, but they were too late. The boy was dead… really dead. After that, Sam and Costa grew apart, and it wasn’t until years later, when Stella comes into the story, does Costa return home. He was seeking revenge. He wanted his son back, but was that possible? Thanks to Stella it was!
Welcome to death tripping!
I’m going to be frank, the plot and characters were average, but that’s my opinion, as many readers had enjoyed this book (just look at the 5-star rating at Amazon). To me, there was no aspect of the book that kept my interest. In fact, the tag line, “Welcome to death tripping,” was the only interesting line in the entire book. Yeah, that’s sad, but when I learned what death tripping was, I was sourly disappointed. The idea is indeed unique, but it was also silly and overly unrealistic.
First of all, let me explain what death tripping is. Death tripping is when a person, or death tripper, kill themselves and come back from death to get a high. Cool? Not to me. I found it gruesome when they shot, stabbed, or choked each other for fun, and to top it off, the death trippers felt no pain; in fact, the characters, while bleeding to death, felt a sublime, orgasmic-like sensation. Then, when they returned from death, they experienced an increase hunger for both food and sex (even for the opposite sex, which was unnecessary and confusing). For those reasons, the aspect of death tripping seemed childish and lacked certainty. I guess I was hoping for more pain, fear, or risk, and therefore, this part of the plot fell short.
What I also felt needed more elaboration and thought was what the characters experienced and saw while they were dead. To my understanding, they were in an earth-like realm that was thick and dark. The only way to move about was by swimming, through what, I don’t know. The realm seemed to be under water, and to come back to life or to earth they had to swim up and break through a barrier. I was disappointed with this; I was hoping for more: fear, monsters, demons, the afterlife, or more risks. It was boring and underdeveloped.
Finally, the characters of the story were hard to connect with. They didn’t develop well with the story line nor reflect a realistic personality that connected well with their back story. For instance, the leading female character, Stella, was emotionally abused by her mother bad enough to alter her reality (as already mentioned). The first two or three chapters showed Stella’s damaged personality, but after that, her issues were shadowed by the leading male character and his personal issues. Stella’s issues fizzled down to nearly disappearing altogether, which is unlikely due to the severity of her issues. There should have been a note of personal growth; such as, how did she change or accept her past abuse? Did she ever find closer with her mother or missing father?
In regards to Stella and Sam, the story gives a brief introduction of their meeting. Stella, wanting to escape her mother’s abusive antics, decided to climb the flight of stairs at the hospital, to the top floor until her feet bled, and at the top, is where she met Sam (who mysteriously appears?). He bandaged her feet and bought her socks. Their moment was brief; they kiss and depart. That’s it! I didn’t have a chance to reflect on the situation, as the pace of the story’s beginning was too quick. I didn’t developed a connection to their relationship, so when Stella claimed to love Sam, I found it unbelievable and hard to relate to. The characters’ relationship was developed too quickly and lacked conviction. The first chapter they met and departed; few chapters later, the reunite, and the following chapter they are in love—that killed it for me; I enjoy a good sexual chase.
With a positive note, the story had some good. I thought it had originality and crossed genres with ease, which was a wonderful change. I also appreciated the ending, which closed the story well and left me feeling satisfied, but above all, I appreciated Sam’s story more so than Stella’s. His didn’t lack conviction or character growth, and though the pace was still quick, especially with his and Stella’s relationship, I felt connected to his pain and noticed realistic growth from his faults and past troubles.
Please read with me Maybe Someday by Collen Hoover
Here is a brief overview adapted by the book’s synopsis:
The leading lady, Sydney is happy with her life. She is ing college, working, loves her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and lives with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her. Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar. She isn’t the only one captivated; Ridge also sees something about Sydney that can’t be ignored, and soon they find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
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