Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
First Published: 2011
Mature Young Adult, fantasy
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
Let's go back to the year 2012. It was a simpler time, (did you ever think you'd refer to high school as "simple"?) with simpler reading tastes. Hey, it's true. Looking back at Obsidian, I am reminded of that.

Once upon a time, I've labeled Obsidian a five star favorite of mine. Now, Obsidian is not a bad book by a long shot, as evident by the very respectable 4-star status. There is a reason it took over Goodreads by storm, popping out around every group and every comment. But at the same time, with my new experience in reading, I wouldn't classify it as a 5 star any longer. And definitely not a "favorite", which is a very coveted label I don't give just any book.

I mean, it's been five years and I haven't finished the series yet. I am still stuck on book one. Maybe this will be the year I take it off my currently reading list.

Anyways, I would classify Obsidian as a quick and fun read with a good amount of action and character development, despite the familiar premise. I mean, girl moves into a new town where she meets beautiful yet odd people. Now, where have we heard that before?

Still, there is something charming about this story.

It starts with our main character, Katy. I kind of had to like her, since we share a last name (different spelling). That being said, Armentrout made her easy to love and relate to. She's a normal girl like you and me (albeit one with a sad background); she loves reading and has a book blog, loves gardening, and doesn't let her shy nature to deter her from being courageous. And she ain't gonna bow down to no jerk.
''I checked out your blog."
Oh. Dear. Baby. Jesus. How did he find it? Wait. More importantly was the fact he HAD found it. Was my blog now googleable? That was awesomesauce with an extra heaping of sauce."
That's why I was a bit annoyed by the fact Armentrout kind of had to dumb her down in order to stretch the tension. I mean, how many weird things and how many secret conversations you have to overhear before you figure out the truth? It's STARING you in the eye!

Those secret conversations have to do with her neighbors, Dee and Daemon. Dee quickly becomes Katy's best friend, with her infection nature (described as Tinker Bell on Crack). But Daemon... Daemon is a whole other story. The guy is gorgeous, and he knows it. In a totally obnoxious kind of way.

I kind of expected to hate the guy, based on the many odes to his jerkiness on GR, but for once getting let down by all the hype was a good thing. I ended up actually liking him. Sure, he's a jerk, but in a kind of charming way. I know, I know, how weird and twisted of me. I just couldn't help it! And I think even the most unconvinced of readers would fall for him once you read his POV in the bonus scenes.

The romance between these two is definitely a selling point for this whole novel, as Armentrout does something not all YA managed to do for me. Which is; convince me her two leads belong together. No one would fit Daemon as well as Katy does, because no one stands up to him or challenges him the way she does.  
"Oh, yeah." Carissa nodded. "They were googley-eyes in class on Friday. It was pretty steamy, the whole 'I'm screwing you with my eyes' thing they had going on."
Katy and Daemon have a love-to-hate and hate-to-love type of relationship, where they banter and fight constantly, but it's always in a way that makes you wonder if they're actually flirting. My favorite part about it is that... well, attraction might not be enough. Katy knows what she wants... and that isn't a guy like Daemon, who acts like the biggest asshat she's ever met most of the time. The small moments she thinks she might be seeing the real Daemon aren't enough to make her want a relationship with him. And I loved that. I love the fact that Daemon is going to need to work and sweat for Katy's love and respect. As he should

Aside for these core people, there is a colorful cast of side characters that added spice and hilarity to the novel, like Carissa and Lesa, Katy's two friends from school, who double as the angel and demon on Katy's shoulder. 
"I don't know. I mean we haven't talked about it. He literally left afterwards, and all he's done since then is poke me with his pen."
"Probably because he wants to poke you with something else." Lesa said dryly.
The triplets, too, were an interesting addition, although we didn't get to see much of them or Matthew in this installment.

One of my major criticism of this novel back when I read it was that some of the conversations felt off. Like once in a while, one sentences that had nothing to do with anything that came before would pop out and I was left blinking in confusion and wondering what prompted it.

So, yeah, I don't consider Obsidian a 5 star read, but it's a great one nonetheless!
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