Saturday, November 08, 2014

REVIEW: Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston


Title: Frozen
Author(s): Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread #1
Publication Date: August 5th 2014 (first published Sep 17th 2013)
Publisher: Speak
Rating: 2/5 
Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called the Blue. They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

My Review

(Source: I received this copy for free on a read-to-review basis. Thank you to Speak and Putnam.)

Before I started this book, I thought the plot and the basic storyline of this book was really good, and considering all of the good reviews I've heard about it, I was pretty excited getting into this. However, I have to admit, this book was a disappointment.

The story started off alright, and the pacing was great. We get to see the world in third person perspective, but it was told from the two main characters, Nat and Wes. At the beginning, I kind of liked Nat. There wasn't enough character development yet for me to actually love her or to connect with her, but I did like the fact that she was head-strong and she knew what she was doing. But things started to go downhill the moment Nat and Wes meet.

Wes was an okay character. I liked him when he wasn't around Nat, and when he was around his crew. But when Nat and Wes were together, there was no chemistry, there was just insta-love that was told around the aspect of chemistry. For me, as the story went on, the characters became too unrealistic and they needed more character development.

Other than that, I actually really like the main plot of the story, how the world is now frozen into a ball of ice, and now people are starting to look for the Blue - a paradise that offers green grass, clean air, and a sea that is bluer than the sky. But that also went downhill from there.

Most of the terms in this book weren't very original. Just a mix of different terms that's already been made like Zombies, Nymphs, Drakons...It just wasn't very unique. Also, with the fact that this book was compared to the 'YA version of Game of Thrones', I expected more. If you were to compare a book to a major, epic high-fantasy series, then you have to spend at least 5 years writing a book to get it in the same level as GoT.

So overall, I thought this book wasn't very well written. I liked the plot, but that was it. The characters needed more development, the story needed to be less modern (like using less modern terms and using unique fantastical terms) and more on the fantasy side. 2 stars overall for me, sadly.

About The Author

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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