ARC Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel

ARC Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel
Vivian Divine is Dead
by Laura Sabel

Genres: Action, Adventure, Young Adult
Publication date: June 3rd, 2014
by Katherine Tegen

Format: eARC

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Filled with surprising twists and poignant moments, Lauren Sabel brings a fresh new voice to contemporary fiction with Vivian Divine Is Dead. Creepy, clever, funny, and romantic.

When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?

Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted-what could he be hiding?

Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set....

Lauren Sabel's Vivian Divine Is Dead is a creepy, witty, fast-paced adventure about family, fame, and having the courage to save yourself.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Vivian Divine is Dead is so bad that it’s almost comical. I was craughing after finishing it. No joke. With its clichés and “coincidences”, this book is like a big fat joke. This is something that would be a million times better on TV than on paper. When you write a book, it’s important you close all the loop holes or at least attempt to. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this book. What we have here instead are dramatic twists that are so predictable they just make you want to bang your head on a wall.

Vivian Divine came from a perfect family. Her mother was voted Hollywood’s most beautiful woman 3 times in a row. Her dad’s one of the best directors in Hollywood and she herself was the youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar. She had a perfect boyfriend and a beautiful best friend (throw in some self-image issues, too, when she compares herself to her bff) but then her mother died (6 months before the start of the novel) and her father tried to commit suicide. They are trapped in a bubble of grief and no one can seem to catch a break. Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend (there’s that trope), her life is in danger (ooh, another one) and now she must go on the run (YAY! Another one, too).

The one thing extremely off with the situation is how her bodyguard lets her go off on her own into the wild without any backup. NO ONE lets celebs go on the run on their own, never mind a celeb who’s not even an adult (she is like 16!). I cannot believe Vivian never questioned that. She must have lived a VERY sheltered life.

Which is kind of evident from the fact that Vivian doesn’t even understand the seriousness of the situation she is in. The police may or may not be trying to hunt her down and she is on her way to another country to take refuge, yet she still manages to be self-important and goes around expecting everything to be handed to her on a silver platter. Welcome to the real world, hon. But you know what? She is not ‘that’ bad; she realizes that the real world is completely different because like there are people who go to churches with enough gold to buy Beverly Hills but cannot afford to buy shoes. So, so sad. *sigh*

Vivian Divine also feels like people owe her. She commands people to help her, strangers that have no obligation to do so but should because she ‘wants’ them to.  *shakes head*. She is a flip flop of a character. I cannot actually decide what the author wants us to feel. Are we supposed to like her or are we supposed to be annoyed? Hell, what does Vivian even want herself? I GOT NO IDEA because she cannot make her bloody mind.

The author tries to create a contrast between the environment and where our main character comes from, but the author takes it to the extreme, like to the extreme-extreme. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Her family is surprisingly normal (like before everything went down the shitter) and I have no idea how I feel about that. On one hand it’s a positive portrayal of  families and doesn’t follow the ‘bad parents’ stereotype (except her dad is overworked and doesn’t give her enough time) but on the other hand, I feel like it just seems so weird that they are these famous Hollywood people and yet they appear extremely normal. This could be a result of my own bias but I definitely found the normalcy somewhat odd.

That wasn’t the only thing that struck me as odd, though – the romance was off-the-charts weird. It was horrible. For the first day there seems to be hope that you might see a somewhat developed romance, but then the next day the L words are thought and it’s just like a wtf moment. This book has a tendency to make you go:

Chloe would look pretty damn awesome as the cover of the book. That also happened to be my reaction to the plot. Plot? What plot? This is a soap opera with dramatic twists that can be seen coming from MILES away. It’s not so much unpredictable as it is question mark inducing.

Vivan seems to arrive at the right places and strangers always seem willing to help her. She even compares this to how ‘back home’ people won’t help an old lady cross the road and everyone seems to be nice here. Wait, wait, hold on a second; is this supposed to be the real world because where the fuck is the real world? COINCIDENCES LIKE THESE DON’T HAPPEN.

With all that said, the ending was actually pretty nice. I said that. Go ahead. Throw stuff at me (I have a tendency to do this). I was surprised by it but it did nothing to redeem the book. The book still sucked and I wished I could have my time back.

In all honesty, I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. It’s a waste of time and unless you’re really bored and cannot find any books to read, skip this and read something that’s been on your shelf since the dawn of time.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Overall: 0.9
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Gosh, you always get me after the first sentence!!! Honestly I think I’d ruin a wall or two in my house if I read this one so maybe I should stay away. Where to start? Well first predictability which is not something I want to see my in books. But actually so many things sound pointless here that I cannot even. Well I might read The Inferno (which I hated and never finished) before I pick this one. Great review, girl! :)
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wedensday (#92)My Profile

  2. says

    For some reason I feel like I’ve seen this one around a lot, like I thought it was already out in stores xD Strange. I have no reason for this thinking.

    Though this thinking seems arbitrary as I don’t think I’ll be reading this one, and your review solidified my choice. Vivian Divine is Dead seems chock full of cliches, predictable plot twists and “coincidences” to the point of absurdity. Vivian also sounds like she’d annoy me with her very narrow viewpoint of the world and honestly, she seems annoying. Ugh, a insta-love romance too?? This one definitely doesn’t sound like its for me. I commend you on being able to finish it!

    Lovely review (:
    Larissa recently posted…Midnight Madness Newsletter (48)My Profile

  3. says

    Suck. You know sometimes I think people just decide that they’re going to write a book, then they sit down, start writing whatever comes into their head, don’t edit for contradictions or character instability, and somehow still manage to get published. Looks like you found one of those, dollface :( But I’m glad to be spared the bother, b/c I actually did have this on my wishlist. NOT ANYMORE. Also–I HATE entitlement. It might be my least favorite personality trait . . .
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Generation V by M.L. BrennanMy Profile

  4. says

    Haha, this sounds SO bad. I already knew I wouldn’t read it when Mel DNF’ed this after 15%, but now I don’t think I’ll ever touch this with a ten foot pole. Except when I want a laugh, maybe, because this sure sounds comical! I almost get the sense this book was one big joke and we all got tricked into thinking it was serious, haha. I’m really sorry it turned out like this though, because I’ll always rather have a really good book than a crappy one.

    Great review, and I hope your next read will be a bit better :)
    Celine recently posted…Review: After the End by Amy PlumMy Profile

  5. says

    Red, as a color, looks horrible on me, which is why I avoid it as much as I do in stores. In bookstores too, apparently, as there aren’t very many red-colored books on my shelves, so this was out of the question for me to even pick up. Glad it was! It sounds like a horrifying reading experience and not the type of book for me AT ALL. Sorry you had to suffer through this, Rashika, but thanks for taking one for the team. I hope your next read is significantly better!
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: Royal Airs by Sharon ShinnMy Profile

  6. says

    Wow, 0.9? That’s the lowest rating I’ve seen in a long time (aside from DNFs). The blurb never really hooked me, so after reading your review, I know I’ll probably be staying FAR FAR away from this book. Vivian sounds like a brat, and I’d probably want to scream at her or something. Thanks for the brutally honest review Rashika, I definitely won’t be picking this one up.
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…ARC Review: Razorhurst by Justine LarbalestierMy Profile