Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Review: Essence

Essence by Lisa Ann O'Kane
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

Essence is a story about a young girl named Autumn who is part of a community -- known as the San Francisco’s Centrist Movement -- that discourages any form of behavior that can "exhaust the essence." Simply put, no one is allowed to do much of anything exciting because emotions can drain a person's life force or essence.

Autumn's brother died in what she believed to be an accident until she found out that the community's leaders knowingly withheld any medical help when the child needed it desperately. Autumn is having a very difficult time dealing with her brother's loss and decides to run away.

She finds a group of people known as the Outsiders led by a guy named Ryder Stone. She joins the Outsiders in their compound within Yosemite National Park and discover that they are complete opposites to the Centrists -- the Outsiders are basically adrenaline-junkies.

To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed reading the first few pages of the book. But... when the story reached the part where Autumn Grace gets to Yosemite... I began to struggle to find the interest to keep reading. I almost abandoned reading the book but decided I ought to finish (took forever though).

I have a feeling that the writer wanted to write a story that is somewhat akin to Marie Lu's Legend or Veronica Roth's Divergent. However, though the story began pretty well, it quickly fizzles out. I do not understand why a 16-year old, seemingly intelligent young girl, would decide to join a group of obviously shallow adrenaline junkies. Anyone half her age can spot the "funny business" a mile away.

And for a such a smart girl to fall for a guy who so obviously thinks way too much of himself is just a little too unbelievable. I mean the guy is a grade A jerk!

And, I mean, seriously -- Autumn is coming from a cult that is so utterly boring yet with sleazy undertones and runs straight into a cult of adventure addicts?

Although there may be some people out there who may find this book to be a good read, I am not one of them.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
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