|Existence by Abbi Glines|
161 pages of ridiculousness
Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.
Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.
Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.
He is Death and he's about to break all the rules. (via Goodreads)
I guess I have only myself to blame for wasting my money on Existence. My creative writing in seventh grade was better than this. I don't know much about the author, but if she's older than twelve, then I'm disappointed. I saw the cover and I thought, Oh! This fellow on the cover looks quite attractive. I might as well take a gander. "This fellow" is also the cover model for Obsidian (link for review at the bottom), so immediately I figured that this book couldn't possibly do any wrong. Clearly, I was mistaken.
The plot sound amazing, like something to put on your Favorite Books Shelf, but actually, it was just Twilight written worse. Going through a few scenes of Existence I kept drawing parallels between the two, finding that they were so similar, it seemed almost... uncanny... or copied. How I was able to get through this whole thing, I'm not sure. It was so anticlimactic. I wanted BOOM! POW! WHAM! Instead, I got shhh and zzzzz. Nothing happened except the protagonist's sadness. What little action did occur was so weak, that I refuse to acknowledge it further. Anyway, the idea for the book was great. The execution, however, not so much.
Pagan was, to put it mildly, relentlessly unpleasant. Never before have I encountered such a disastrously annoying character. I think she had a misguided instinct to distrust attractive people. As soon as she saw an attractive person, she threw up her steel reinforced mental wall and shot at them with her mind lasers. When Pagan decided she was in love, she became desperate, dependent and even more annoying. Granted, her main love interest, Dank, was sending her some seriously mixed signals and might have caused this behavior, but still. Anyway, she did little but wallow, judge, and complain all day. If I knew someone like this, I'd be so annoyed that I'd probably
dank: (adj.) unpleasantly moist or wet
I don't discriminate against weird names. I'm all for those strange monikers, but of everything Abbi Glines could have chosen, she had to pick Dank. He had redeeming qualities, however, and so I mostly forgot about the bad name choice. For instance, he was protective of Pagan and no matter where she was or the danger she faced, he was always around to shield her from harm. He played guitar and sang Pagan to sleep at night, so there's another brownie point for him. My only issue with Dank is that he was really hot and cold about his feelings for her. He'd tell Pagan that he wants only her and then flirt with another girl not long after. Other than that, I'm quite pleased with him. I could definitely swoon over Death.
Regardless of how much I liked Dank, the romance that was going on between him and Pagan was a little weak. There wasn't any emotional build-up leading to their love, which made it hard to fall for them as a couple. One day, they just decided that they loved each other and that was that. After that point, everything they said or did for one another sounded fake because I was never given the opportunity to see their feelings grow.
There were too many issues with the writing style and characters for me to want to recommend this book. I really want to like it, but I can't bring myself to.
P.S. If you ever read a scene where Pagan eats food, it's pretty much guaranteed that she'll drop it or choke on it. I was only page twenty and on three separate occasions something like that happened.
Link to Obsidian: http://mybookshelfisneverfull.blogspot.com/2013/05/obsidian-by-jennifer-l-armentrout.html#more