Tuesday, March 15, 2016

[Review] Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon




Title: Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon

Author: Rena Rocford

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Published: November 21, 2015

Source: Copy provided by NetGalley

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads



SUMMARY --

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.

The Review.

When I found this on NetGalley, I immediately fell in love with the title, the cover, and the synopsis of the story. I remember reading somewhere that books with long titles are usually a huge "if" when it comes to readers choosing their next book, but, this title proves that's only so if it's not as compelling as Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon. I was really excited to start reading this book because it had a character you would see in everyday life; she wasn't some insanely gorgeous person, she was a normal teenager battling acne and asthma, which could help with readers relating to the main character. I don't read enough books with characters like that.

I know I should stop expecting things of books I take on to read, but I never learn my lesson. With the promise of realism in the story, I expected amazing things, but unfortunately, there were more flaws than anything.

When first starting the book, you expect the first few chapters to help you get to know the characters of the story as well as the very beginning of a building plot (the reveal, as I like to call it). However, the book started off quickly, throwing you all this information without so much of a break. In fact, that's basically how the whole book went, causing me to have to take a few breaks to let all the information settle enough so that I can breathe and put together the pieces. It wasn't fun at all, but I wanted to see what the author would do.

Everything just felt so rushed that there was no time to breathe or take in emotions, build connections, etc. I felt nothing toward any character because there was no time to establish one, so in the end, I really didn't give a rat's ass about any of them, I just mainly wanted to see where the story was going.

The "romance" was absolutely horrendous. Again, no build up, no connection, and it seemed forced, as if the author was like "shit, I need to throw in some romance to spice things up" after she had finished writing the first draft. Sorry, but it didn't work out, and it was a waste of words in my opinion.

As for the plot, it was good and very promising. In fact, it would have been amazing if the author took advantage of that promise and executed it properly. Unfortunately, because of the rushed story and poorly executed plot/climax, the story was lackluster.

Overall, the story was just okay and nothing more. If the book wasn't so rushed and lacking the time to settle down and cool things off, if the author took the time to establish connections and sneak in emotions for us readers to feel, it would have been a lot better. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun read. I don't think this is a book that I'd return to read, but I would most certainly recommend it to someone who is looking for a fast-paced read with mythical creatures or something to just pass the time. With the ending, it seems as though there may be another book to follow this one. I guess we'll just see where the author takes us from there.

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