PJV Quickie: My first impression when reading the synopis of REAPER, was it would be a cute and quick paranormal young adult read. It was cute, mildly entertaining yet that is about it. The constant plot meanderings, information hoarding and silliness began to wear on me halfway through the book, until the etertainment factor went out the window. [frame align=”left”][/frame]
Author: L.S. Murphy
Type: Young Adult, Paranormal
Published: January 7th 2013 by J. Taylor Publshing
Source: AuthorGoodreads Purchase Author
Review: I will admit that I read this book mainly because of the publisher and not because of the synopis or cover. I was blown away with the two books that debuted from J. Taylor Publshing, so I figured third time is the charm, right? I’m sorry to say that this was a forced-to-finish. I almost didn’t make it. It also might be on account of my taste. The book is all around chick-lit with a hint of paranormal and the paranormal elements were not enough to out-weigh the chick stuff. I’m not a chick lit fan. Especially when the chick in question acts a little dumb and out of it. Which is basically Quincy Amarante in a nut-shell. Every now and again a person from her family tree is chosen to be a grim reaper and it looks like she is next in line. Yet, while she is learning the truth about her destiny, she also has to juggle her popularity status, the return of her best-friend – who now can’t stand her- and the other dramas of being a sophmore in high school. But, in reality, it is a high school drama, with this odd grim reaper side-story thrown in, instead of the reaper being the main part. The book had two stories and every now and again they would converge but rarely would they mix well.
To summarize the novel, shallow Quincy is sooo popular, until these weird invisible people tell her she is destined to be a Reaper. But, she can’t believe that she just saw invisible people and doesn’t really seem to care much, all she really cares about is that her buddy Ben is all tough now and makes cryptic and mean statements to her every now and again. Then she goes on with life. The reaper people pop in again. Quincy sort of ponders it for awhile, but then she goes back to her life. Nothing really changes. Umm…if some invisible guy claiming to be a great-great uncle popped in and told me I was going to be a Grim Reaper – I think my life would sort of change. Which it does, technically, but that is more because of Ben and not really the reaper part.
Then REAPER also employs the do-not-dish-out-information-for-no-good-reason technique. Heroine asks a few questions (not nearly enough in my mind), the Powers That Be do not answer them, just “because” (just because it keeps the mystery going). This writing technique drives me crazy, because it speaks of a lazy plot, or an insecure writer. The mystery is employed within the book to try and keep the reader wanting more, but there is no real logical reason that it should be employed. I think if things were explained to Quincy better and there was more REAPER interaction, I would have really enjoyed this book.
What did I like? That would be the characters, especially Ben. I liked how Quincy went from that slightly dumb, out of it heroine to a more likeable character. She didn’t progress enough to make her awesome but I did like her. Ben I really liked. He drove the story in my estimation. I like how he would play with Quincy but then his true intentions came out. It was a good transition and helped me along in the book.
I do think L.S. Murphy has fabulous potential as an author. In my opinion maybe she should write a contemporary romance and it would be awesome. Her strong point was the interaction of characters and high school drama interplay. It would have made an excellent story if the REAPER element would have been something more urbane then paranormal. On the other hand this might be a great transition novel for contemporary fans who want a little paranormal in their genre.
Recommendations: Recommended for Young Adult fans, the paranormal element is light so there is nothing overly fantastical. I would push this more to Chick Lit fans then die-hard paranormal fans. I think fans of the paranormal will be more disappointed then Chick Lit fans.
Cover Critique: Something I hardly ever do, but on close inspection of this cover a few things had me doing a double take. The artist deleted the girls right arm! Where did it go? Is it supposed to be behind her holding the syth? At least line up the arm with the tool — there is a white line seperating her so she looks like she lost her arm at the elbow. Can you even hold a stick like that comforably? Then she is just standing on her shoes. The girl is just stuck there on top of those shoes. The straps aren’t even on her feet. The cover, like the book had potential but the details didn’t ring true.
Similar Young Adult Paranormal Chick Lit, Chick Lit Novels & 2 Star Ratings:
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins