Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Grey Eyes by B.Alston and Quinteria Ramey

Grey Eyes  
by B.Alston and Quinteria Ramey
Published: March 2011
Available: Amazon


15 year old Anastasia Adams has spent her entire life on run. She and her mother have never spent more than 18 months in any one location, often times leaving with just the clothes on their backs. Despite the havoc that this is wreaking on Ana's social and academic life, her mother offers no explanation as to why it is they're constantly moving, or even what it is they're running from. But that all changes one night in the woods of Pelion, SC--the night the terror catches up with them.

Fearing her mother dead, and having barely escaped with her own life, Ana is whisked away to world of privilege and tradition. It’s a fairytale come to life. The poor girl used to living out of a suitcase is now a resident of one of the most exclusive addresses in the world. The people there adore her and she catches the eye of a young guardian who sees her as a refreshing change to the girls he’s grown up with.

If only they could find her mother. If only she knew the consequences of being born a “conjurer.” If only she knew who that green eyed stranger was, the stranger who’ll tell her about a past too romantic, and too tragic to be real. In the end, she’ll have to choose between the boy who has captured her heart and the stranger she can feel down in her soul, assuring at least one of them an almost certain death.


I'm trying right now to focus on my review, but my eyes keep straying to the blurb. The extremely long blurb. There's a definite problem if you can't sum up your plot in two paragraphs. With Grey Eyes it wasn't so much that the plot was overly complex or even lacking an interesting concept. Witches at war with vampires seemed pretty interesting, especially considering who Ana turns out to be. It was just too much of, well, everything.

The story starts off with some great action and mystery. Then it shifts into a love triangle that just seems too forced. Ana discovers she's some kind of witch royalty, a princess of course and she immediately draws the attention of the hottest guy at school, all while having a secret relationship with a hot vampire. She's rich, has someone to turn her into a beautiful princess and even has a bunch of parties where she is the center of attention (even her mother's birthday party is all about Ana). It all became a bit too eye rolling worthy. 

Ana doesn't have a stand out personality. She's okay. Her love interests are typical. Tristan, the vampire, is mysterious, constantly running hot and cold, the only unique things about him is, well nothing. The love story between them is straight out of Fallen by Lauren Kate only with a vamp thrown in, and then mixed with Twilight and Edward's obsession with Bella's soul. Darren is the local hot guy all the girls lust after that instantly falls for Ana, because she's not like the other girls he's been with. Gee, the fact that she's a princess and rich and powerful doesn't hurt does it? The best part of the love triangle are the choices Ana makes. There's a few twists and I actually liked her final choice and reasoning.

Secondary characters were actually a bit better. London is the popular girl who everyone thinks is a b****h but is really nice and I wish she'd had a bigger role. Then there's Taylor, oh how I wish Texans could be portrayed with something other than stereotypes.After living in Texas for almost ten years, I only ever saw young girls wear their cowboy hats to the rodeo. And most of the Texans I know do not have thick southern accents. It's like assuming all people from California are blond surfers who talk in slang. 

Probably what I loved most was the origin stories behind witches and vampires. The explanation behind the vampires was especially interesting, and felt unique. The reasoning behind vampires not going into the sun actually made sense, something I think is pretty hard to do without making them sparkle.

The action really speeds up near the end, almost to the point that if I tried to skim a page, I'd be lost by the next. And it's at the end where it really feels like the authors went to far. Already the story had so many typical YA paranormal elements and then angels were added in and I became completely confused as to the point of the story. It was like the author's wanted to hit all of the YA trends at once, and POW! we're hit with it and are supposed to just go along with them. Which I feel is a real shame. I think if there had been more focus on the witch and vampire war things would have worked better.

This is the first in a series and even though there were things that bothered me about this book, I would be interested in continuing to read the series.     

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