The following is a review for the book Scorched. Please note that this contains spoilers.
The heroine is weak. She’s just as annoying as Katniss from The Hunger Games, but the difference is that Katniss, while she’s annoying, has a reason to be annoying. All reactions fit what kind of person she is and what circumstances she was thrown in. I don’t like Katniss Everdeen, but she’s a very good 3-D character, whereas here, Trinity is nothing more than an typical teenager thinking that she’s atypical. In other words, she’s terribly cliche. Her reactions are extremely weak and there are plenty of places where I cringe as I read her reactions. You’re holding a dragon egg that about to end the world, there’s a kid in front of you who’s from the future and his mission might very well to be to kill you and all you can think of is your Fields of Fantasy expansion pack sitting at beneath your Christmas tree, probably going to be put to waste? Wow. There’s a random stranger boy who was invading your mind a moment ago and all you can think of is how cute he is? Please shoot me now.
What really really annoyed me, was the fact that Trin’s Grandpa consistently used “kiddo”. There’s nothing wrong with a jolly old grandpa who seems really chill, but he acts nothing like an old man who’s lived 60 years on earth. In fact, he’s so fleetly you could have taken him for a rather goofy 30 some year old. There’s nothing of the aura of knowledge that a museum owner would have. He’s silly, he’s a flat character and he makes no sense. If not given the title grandpa he could easily pass off much younger. If you’ve read Gamer Girl, by Mari Mancusi as well, you’ll see that Grandpa in here is almost an exact replica of Maddy’s Dad. Maybe I’m thinking too much, but is this how Mancusi views men, particularly men who watch their kids? Goofy, erratic, irresponsible and never ever growing up. There’s an issue here.
Following the same lines, and going back to Fields of Fantasy, this same game appears in both books as well. Nothing wrong with that, but really it makes everything feel really weird, because all of a sudden, these two totally unrelated books (one about a girl surviving a new school and bullies and one about a girl saving the world from fire breathing dragons) are somehow connected when the only thing they have in common is being written by the same author and both taking place on Earth. (If you really had to, I guess you could say they both contain humans.) But the similarities end there. Why couldn’t you have just come up with a new name for this game?
I feel like adding the game into the book did nothing more than make me wrinkle my nose. The world’s about to end and dragons are going to burn up the world and you’re worried about some RPG game that you play? Not only was it random, it felt quite out of character and also petty. Yes, it did play into part of the plot later on, but it was such a minuscule addition that the very same effect could have been achieved with another thing just as well. It was a small detail about the Trinity that we really didn’t need to know. Just like how no one would ever just randomly state what a character’s favorite color or favorite type of pasta is unless it was really important to the plot.
(On a side note, in both books, the friend’s name is Caitlyn and both times she doesn’t do much more than act as a side character. Coming up with new names really needs to be worked on.)
The twins were somewhat better character wise. They were goofy, and they really made me laugh. The contrast between them wasn’t as big as I would have like though Caleb certainly is more cocky than Connor on many different levels. But not all boys wear “slouchy jeans”. The fact that these boys seem so comfortable in current clothing even though they came from the future doesn’t make much sense to me. Do they wear “slouchy jeans” where they live as well? Also why “slouchy jeans”? Why not just “jeans”? Did I miss something and just not realized that they’ve been there before or for a while or something and are adapted to these “slouchy jeans”? And if so, maybe that should have been made more clear.
A points, there really was a nice build up of suspense. I was fooled, along with Trinity when Grandpa “died”, (though, I have to say, I felt like I knew there was a plot twist coming up, and he death was gleaned over just a little bit too fast). The horrible mutated dragons truly boiled up some emotion, and I really like Essie.
I felt though that the book was rather predictable as to where it was going. The moment Caleb was introduced, I knew that a love triangle was going to happen (and to be honest, I’m not loving this triangle right now). Something was going to go wrong the moment Trinity found out that there was to be no internet and that everyone was an orphan of some sort.
The orphan kids were really creepy though. It was like they were in a brainwashed cult. I didn’t like the feel of it. It’s funny though, as horrible as I thought the book was, Mancusi really has an enticing style of writing that makes you want to read and re-read the book over and over again.
I was really looking forward to this book, because I really loved Gamer Girl, but this was a disappointment… I think I’ll keep reading the series though. Essie is interesting and I think she has lots of potential.
The following review was written following the rules for One Book One Review. Kind of, almost.