March 14, 2015

ARC Review: Hidden Deep (Hidden #1) by Amy Patrick

Release Date: March 23rd, 2015
Publisher: Oxford South Press
Rating: 2 / 5
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

He isn't supposed to even talk to a human, much less fall in love with one...

Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she'd be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She's a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he's not supposed to exist.

After her father's affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn't mind a first date that didn't suck, but she's determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann's just moved into her grandma's house in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.

She's still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He's still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she's with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann's strict policy-- never want someone more than he wants you.

Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don't get careless and Don't get caught. It's allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Lad's never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He's not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.

And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully ignorant and safe.

*I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review*

First Thoughts

I feel terrible for saying this, but I did not enjoy this book. The characters left a lot to be desired, there were odd additions to the book (fan pods?) that confused me, and the "plot twists" were too predictable.

I get that Hidden Deep is a YA novel and the characters are teenagers, but Ryann acted more like a 7 year old than a teen. I grew tired of reading the story through her eyes--childishly leading one boy on while pursuing another, crying for confusing reasons, and falling in "forever love" with a boy she hardly knew--I just couldn't stand it.

The book picked up a little during the last few chapters and, though I admit the epilogue piqued my interest, I still think it's safe to say I will not be continuing the series.

What I Enjoyed

The explanation for how Elves hide their immortality. In Hidden Deep, there are Dark Elves that use their glamour to become celebrities. Well, if Elves are immortal, won't the general public notice that their favorite celebrities hardly age and never die? Well, no. The simple explanation is that when it is time for a Dark Elf to take themselves out of the spotlight, they arrange a "death" by car accident, drug overdose, etc. So then I started wondering if celebrities were really Dark Elves and how maybe all the ones we thought had passed are actually partying it up on Earth somewhere.

What Could Have Been Better

The insta-love. I have been guilty of gushing over insta-romances before, but this was definitely not one of those romances. It went from odd boy watching Ryann swim in her underwear, to her immediately traipsing around the woods with him, to them falling in love with each other, to them almost having sex, to having them having the "forever love" conversation. It just wasn't believable.

The references to fan pods and odd paragraphs about sweet tea. Ok, so fan pods and sweet tea served a weird purpose toward the end, but while reading, I couldn't help but to wonder if Amy Patrick was digressing from her story in an unusual manner.

The abnormal dialogue. Every time Ryann referred to Lad as her "icing on the cake" I wanted to slap her silly. Please stop saying that. No one says that. Other odd dialogue in the book includes:
"Ryann, this is so good, but my hips and thighs are begging for mercy. I already have ten extra pounds of un-tanned cellulite. I don't need anymore."
Actually, it was the one thing that made me feel lucky to be built like a string bean. I never counted calories, and I never drank tea without sugar.
Let's be real. What teenager is thinking about calories? The teens I grew up with ate candy for breakfast and hot pockets for lunch. We didn't care about calories.

Recommended For

I'm sorry but I can't recommend this to anyone. I encourage others to try it if they are interested, but I won't actively recommend it.

2 asterisks

Happy Reading!

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