PURCHASE:Amazon | Book Depository
Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.
What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.
Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a bad book. In fact, it’s far from that – the writing was good, the flow was okay, and the plot, although a bit scattered to me, was at least interesting. Unfortunately, I just didn’t like it enough to care for it. I felt the characters were a bit too shallow for me to invest in, and because of that, there was little to no attachment at all. An example would be grandmother Hilda – we are told she’s extremely beautiful, and that even with old age, she still looks young with invisible wrinkles or something. But we don’t really get to know enough about her, and that was extremely disappointing. We don’t even know why she did what she did, or her reasons for having chosen the decisions she made (sorry, that’s pretty vague, but I’m trying to make this as spoiler-free as possible). We were just told it was like that, and no explanations of any kind after.
Elsa, on the other hand… sigh. I think she could have been developed more, but I have this tendency to absolutely dislike heroines who act before they think. I’ve read enough of girls like her that I’ve grown sick of it. She’s depicted as brave, strong, and clever, but from what I’ve read, she fell short and only became stupid and impulsive to me. Second, I really don’t understand the concept of keeping vital information from others/lying about what’s truly going on… they tend to think doing so “protects” the people they love, but that’s totally bullshit. Awareness IS protection. If you know what you’re up against, you’re better equipped to face it, so Elsa’s tendency to keep stuff from her brother or Tuck was just weird to me. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes multiple times throughout the book every time she narrates that it was for her brother’s good to avoid telling him the reality regarding what was happening in town, and especially when she was so surprised and hurt when Tucker kept something from her, too. It would have been fine, except that in real life I’ve had important information kept from me and it would make me a bit uneasy whenever I read about it again in a book or elsewhere.
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