My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received ENTANGLED by Nikki Jefford from Net Galley and went into reading it without expectations (I didn’t even peek at the summary). When I first began reading, I was rather irritated with the strain between Graylee and her twin sister Charlene because I had yet to unravel the dynamics of their entangled relationship (get it, entangled? haha). Everything in the beginning had the air of being asinine and petty, all the way down to the magical side of it (turned out this was a vital part of the story). For whatever reason, I kept reading because–and don’t laugh at me for this–the grammar and stellar punctuation.
Side note: Lately I’ve been forced to turn to audiobooks just to enjoy a story because of how atrocious editors (and authors too!) have become with proper grammar and punctuation. It’s sad.
Anyway, back on track . . . I was absolutely delighted to realize when I was a good 10% into this book that I’d yet to be wrenched from the story because of bizarre comma placement or perplexing and poorly written prose.
I’m pleased I didn’t stop reading ENTANGLED. The character buildup and the sudden and swift change in the storyline made me give a quick “thank you” to the book goddesses in the publishing world. Already I was thrilled ENTANGLED didn’t follow the tattered and worn plots that the YA genre continues to spit out with over-exuberant glee, as if the readers are too dim-witted to see all they did was change the characters’ names. Nikki Jefford broke through the copy/paste mold to create a world of magic and consequence.
Graylee’s character had passion, intrigue, and heart. She had SUBSTANCE! She didn’t just fall into a guy’s lap; she kept her head on straight and made decisions based on evidence as it was provided to her. That I had to appreciate, as it is another plot-device authors like to write way too often. Raj, Gray’s love interest and thought-to-be bad boy, was not who I expected him to be. Though I had a feeling he’d redeem himself, it turned out there really wasn’t anything he needed to be redeemed for. Which brings me to why this story received 4 stars instead of 5.
The end of the book was a disappointment. Not the plot or story, which, don’t misunderstand, I loved, but the way it was written could be compared to riding a jackhammer through an earthquake. I’m not sure if Jefford felt rushed or became bored with the book, but the last few chapters seemed like several important scenes were strung together without rhyme or reason. As soon as the story hit its plateau, I just knew I would be in for a wild ride down the Conclusion Slope. Instead, it was the bumpy road of “why am I being jarred out of the story because I’m afraid the ending chapters all coalesced into one big blob of Hurry Up and Finish?” Not cool. There was so much more that could have been added at the ending–so many things that should have been addressed so the reader wouldn’t feel so lost and disillusioned. If the author would add to the end, I’d absolutely read it again just to get the satisfied feeling I expected to have.
In conclusion, I would recommend this book to readers of YA Fantasy. It’s an enjoyable story with an unexpected plot. However, I give this recommendation with a warning about the end. It’s a bucket full of cold water. Prepare to have the illusion of being in the story shattered right about when Raj goes to his mother for help.