May 17, 2012

Review: The Candidates

By: Inara Scott
Published: August 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
Format: Hardback, 293 pages
First Reviewed: March 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

Dancia Lewis is far from popular.

And that's not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia's mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just...happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, belieiving this way she can supress her powers and keep them hidden.
But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia's days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats' kids and child geniuses--not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies. So why are they treating Dancia like she's special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.
And then there's her mysterious new friend Jack, who can't stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what. But Dancia isn't convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her "gift" than they're letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it...But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.

Rating: 1/5

Impulse buy a while ago. Sounded all right, like if done right it could have been a unique twist on something so overdone. Instead, I literally forced myself to finish this book. By the first page, I'd already wanted to put it down.

The setting was nothing special. A town with a poor side and rich side. If you're from the poor side, you're automatically labeled as dumb. Typical setting, nothing really described too well. Just, oh, that it rains, pours, and drizzles, all of which are different things. Yeah...okay...

I wanted to punch Dancia in the face from the moment I read the first sentence. She annoyed the crap out of me. The "oh, woe is me" character that is completely uninteresting. And no, I don't mean the purposeful dullness that everyone else is supposed to see. I mean, she was completely bland from start to finish, and one of those "Can he really like me?! No, I'm nobody, I'm boring, I'm not special" girls that just drives me nuts. As for the supporting cast, I really had to wonder if Scott was serious. The "friends" were immature little teeny boppers, who only cared about talking to a boy. Nothing interesting about them at all, even though Dancia often said they were funny (I never laughed, or even smiled). And the boy leads? Extremely cliche. The good-looking one that everyone likes, that has a secret agenda, and the one who looks like a trouble-maker, but really has a good heart. Come on, the only semi-decent character in this was Grandma, and she was only in it for a maybe fifty pages. Characterization just wasn't good for me.

*headdesk* I'm sure it's mainly my personal preference that made me dislike the writing so much. Or maybe not. If you read this, you can decide. But I didn't like the writing from the very beginning. It was that cheesy, immature narrative that was trying out for commercial, but just ended up creating an annoying voice for the main character. The dialogue was bland and somewhat unrealistic at times. It was flat, boring, and had me asking, "Is she serious?" many, many times. That sounds awful--ack, I don't like being awful--but it's true for me. I just didn't like it at all.

With the plot, again I say, "Is she serious?" I'm going to be straight, and maybe a bit spoilerific, but considering the description is more exciting than the book (more happens in those three paragraphs, then this entire book), this is all that happens: Oh, woe is me, I live and take care of my grandma, oh I have no friends, oh I'm not special, want me to go to the expensive private school on a full scholarship? Grandma, I don't want to, okay I'll go. Oh, I can't have friends, they set off my powers, but oh, we three are made to be friends. Oh, there's a boy, he looks like trouble, but he's nice and he likes me. Oh, but the hot junior is just so perfect, I'm in love with him. Oh, friends are so happy that I'm liking boys. Oh, I'm so happy my friends are liking boys. Oh, we go to school, it's hard. Oh, wait, fifty pages to the junior is watching me and I'm a candidate because I have powers? Oh, the trouble-maker with a good heart is too? Oh, don't hurt him, save him! Oh, you saved him, hot junior, I'm glad I chose Delcroix. That's it. That's it! Literally, 90% of the book was spent deciding whether or not Cam, hot junior, liked her, and on whether she liked trouble-maker with a good heart, and when it wasn't on that, it was on her friends and if one of them was cute enough to get with this one boy and "You chose to eat lunch with us instead of him?" If I wanted to read about teeny-bopper boy crushes, I would have gone to another section of the bookstore, or just went down to the nearest middle school and hung out with eleven- and twelve-year-olds. The power thing...almost non-existent until the very end. I'll stop now before I go overboard telling you how dull this book was.

Sigh. What in the world? I apologize for crapping on someone else's hard work, but it was just a cliche, boring book with one of the most annoying narratives and main characters. I didn't like it one bit.

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