Entangled; a horrendous start to a seriesEntangled, by Nikki Jefford, is the start of a series titled 'Spellbound', according to my research on Goodreads. It's also won an award for Best Indie Book of 2012' and a few other awards too, as listed on, once again, Goodreads. However, this book did not leave me 'spellbound' at all. In fact, it brought me to a point when I almost felt like throwing my Kindle at the wall. This introduction that I read intrigued me a little:
Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene's body.
Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she's stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn't half as bad as hanging out with Charlene's snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.
The "normals" of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.
Now Gray has to solve the mystery behind her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene's body before she disappears for good.
This book seemed interesting to me from this introduction. After all, dying and coming back to life, in your sister's body, how weird would it be? I was all in for a paranormal story with Gray coming out of Charlene's body and finding peace in the end, but I ended up with a book with so much teenage angst and emotion, it was ridiculous. I guess I skipped the part in the introduction saying 'snotty friends and gropey boyfriend', because if I'd seen it, I'd never have picked up this book. I dislike stereotypical characters, and this introduction screamed 'stereotypical!' in that phrase.
This book was mostly about how Gray was coping with her new situation in Charlene's body, after being dead for 2 months. Since she is Charlene's twin, she wakes up, thinking she is still herself, Graylee Perez. She has no idea that she has been dead for two months. And before she knows it, she's skipped a whole day, a whole day that Charlene has used to take over her body again.The concept of the two sisters having to share a body was cool, especially the concept that Charlene doesn't know what's happening when Graylee takes control of her body, and vice versa.
Entangled seems to have been written as a spur-of-the-moment decision. The words, banter and characters are very unrealistic and sometimes offensive. For example, at the start of the novel, Charlene is on top of the school building, and the only reaction Gray has is 'I'm skipping out on Yeats for this?' Gray even goes as far to say 'Couldn't she have scheduled her dramatic death scene in the warmth of their home over a bottle of pills?', when complaining inwardly about Charlene's suicide threat. Considering that Gray's only sister is about to jump off a building, you'd think she'd be a little more concerned. Yes, Gray may make a point that jumping off that building wouldn't kill Charlene since she's a witch and can levitate herself, but shouldn't Gray be worried at the mere fact that Charlene is even contemplating death? This example makes suicide seem like a very light matter, which it is not.
The characters in this book were childish as well, especially Charlene. Since the characters are supposed to be 17, you'd think they'd be a bit more mature in the way they speak. In Chapter 2, when Gray returns back from school, she finds her mum trying to wrench a knife from Charlene, who screams out that Stacey Morehouse moved in on 'her man'. 'Her man'? I'm pretty sure people aren't possessions that other people own. This could be expected of Charlene, since she's stereotyped to be the selfish, whiny girl who wants everything she can get. However, the degenerate speech in this novel got to me, as I stated in the above paragraph. Gray, when threatening Raj, says, "If you ever use a spell on me again I'll bury you alive." This really does not sound threatening, and sounds overused instead.
The teenage emotion and drama in this book really irritated me as well as the lack of common sense Gray has. One moment Gray hates Raj, the next moment she decides that he's the perfect guy for her. The same goes for Raj. How do you like a girl that hates you and ties a shoelace around your neck in an attempt to threaten you? Then there was all that trouble with Charlene's 'snotty friends and gropey boyfriend'. Why couldn't Gray have just stopped following her sister's constricting life and just do what she wanted to do, like hang out with Thea, or another one of her friends, instead of sneaking around like a raccoon?
In conclusion, I'd rate Entangled 1.5 out of 5 stars. This book really did not cut it out for me. The text was too childish and sometimes unoriginal, the characters too stereotypical or unrealistic and as a whole, it was too dramatic. I'll definitely be reading the sequel soon, which is already out, but only to see if Jefford's writing has improved.
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(I got this book from Netgalley for an honest review)