So some friends of mine have been jabbering up a storm about the recently released Avow by Chelsea Fine, which is the last book in Fine’s Archer of Avalon series. I took a gander at the synopsis of the first book, Anew, and figured that looks pretty unique and decided to give it a go! A few clicks later on Amazon and voila! There it was!
Scarlet Jacobs woke up alone in a forest, unable to remember anything past her name. Fortunately enough for her, there was someone nearby to take her in. Fast forward two years later and Scarlet has carved out her own comfortable little niche in the small town of Avalon. She goes to high school, sorely lacks fashion sense according to her B-F-F (we’re gonna have to chit chat about that text speak…Meg does not do text speak) and has a pretty wealthy, inattentive guardian named Laura who buys her pretty things and then disappears for weeks at a time to travel the country on business. Okay, so far, we’re obviously deep within the world of MarySue (aka, boring heroine who is like fifty billion other heroines of current popular literature) YA novels. Okay, I can deal with that. Mary Sues aren’t always that bad. So, continue on!
Well, then we’re introduced to the Kissing Festival. First off, ew. Secondly, EWWW! Apparently, in Avalon they hold an annual weekend long festival where everyone just runs around making out with everyone else. First concern, hasn’t anyone here heard of mono? Secondly, there are STD’s of the mouth. HELLO PEOPLE! Thirdly, the day my parents are okay with me (let it be noted that I’m in my late 20′s, this is just an example on if I was still a teenager. I’m not) running around at a “festival” in high school and making out with strange boys would be the day they die, because that’s what they would tell me. “You can go to that festival over my cold dead body.” Apparently, in Avalon, parents are a-ok with kids running around and making out with each other on the streets. Apparently, the parents join in and do the same. EWWW EWWW EWWWWW!
Okay, enough of that. Anyway, back on track here. So Scarlet goes to the Kissing Festival with her B-F-F Heather, who seriously needs to learn to spice up her vocabulary with real words instead of saying everything in text speak. I spent the duration of the book wishing I could punch her in the face. Well, then there’s a strange boy in the woods watching her and Scarlet starts to feel like she might remember something. Cue curiosity kills the cat music. She creeps closer, and closer, and there’s a tingling in her brain…she may just start to remember, there’s a memory RIGHT THERE! Oh, but then super hot boy steps in and shadow boy by the woods disappears and Scarlet becomes a bumbling body of hormones who can’t see past a pretty face.
Cue the entrance of Gabriel (the super hot boy who intervened in her trip to shadow boy by the woods) and his identical twin brother Tristan (shadow boy). Okay, now this is where I have to step up and say my interest was piqued. Turns out Gabriel and Tristan are immortal, but not by any crazy angel or demon or vampire or witch methods. Nope, their mama drank some water from the Fountain of Youth when she was pregnant with them. Well, apparently the Fountain of Youth does not make one immortal, however if you are pregnant, your baby will be immortal. They’ll grow until they “die” only, they wont’ die, and they’ll be frozen at that age pretty much forever. However, as the plot unfolds, Scarlet is only semi immortal, because Tristan took an arrow for her 500 years prior, which penetrated his body and pierced hers, which polluted her body with his immortal blood. She can die, but she comes back. Or some such strangeness. And the result is drama. Crazy drama. I like crazy drama. Crap, I just re-read that and now the plot doesn’t seem nearly as good……it seems kinda silly….
Now, this is where it gets really tricky for me. I’ll be honest, I could red pen the hell out of this book. I bought it straight off of Amazon for my Kindle. I didn’t get it from the publisher or the author or anything, which sometimes books that are sent directly from the publisher/author may not be the final copy and may have errors. But to purchase a book straight from Amazon and it be riddled with errors? Not a good thing at all. Then, tie in the fact that there’s very little character development or plot development, and I find myself even more disappointed. The characters and the plot never really moved past the beginning. We just learn the basics, and then, well…it’s all googly eyes between Scarlet and Gabriel and “I hate you” between Tristan and Scarlet, and then “OMGOMGOMGOMGWTFLMFAOLOLOLLOLLOL” from Heather for the rest of the book.
However, despite the fact that I want to punch the characters in their pretty little faces, and that I hope and pray the author or the publishing company fires their editor, I do have to say this is a pretty awesome little plot. Poorly executed so far, but it has the basis for being a really intriguing and original idea compared to a great deal of whats out there now. I like the idea of playing with the Fountain of Youth legends, but I just wish the author had really done a better job in execution.
and only because the plot intrigues me so far.