Monday, October 3, 2011

The Girl In The Steel Corset

I was poking around Big W the other day at the books. I love romances, so I was checking out the Harlequin section, which has quite a diverse range of books these days! I was quite confused for the amount of choices I had!

So of course, I picked one by cover! I got The Girl In The Steel Corset, by Kady Cross, which has a fabulous steampunk cover. Gorgeous image on the cover, with beautiful rich colours and a striking image. I was amazed to realise the book was a Harlequin Teen novel, and was officially YOUNG ADULT. I read the first two pages, and was even more amazed that it was a teenage romance novel. Except it wasn't.

The opening pages were interesting and did draw me in, hence buying the novel, but beyond that it didn't seem to deepen or mature in the topics it raised. The opening stuff was then basilly forgotten while every one ended up on this strange adventure where Queen Victoria was thrown in for good measure, and some of the characterisations didn't work for me. I wanted the lead heroine to explore herself more, to have more at stake with the story being told; I wanted her to learn and grow. And to be honest, I didn't realise she was sixteen. I thought she was mid twenties to late twenties! 

The other points of view felt quite similar to Finley's, and I found all of them to feel a little detached. It may just be the writing style is different from what I am used to, but I felt I was being told the character's emotional responses rather than feeling them, and the end scenes felt really forced. Also, Kady describes one of the girl's hair as 'ropey' about ten times. By the last quarter of the book I felt like shouting "I get it already! They look like dreads! Okay!" and I there was a LOT of discussion about what people were wearing that I thought was unnecessary. I would have preferred more time spent inside their bodies, and less outside.

Finley didn't really grow or develop as a character, and things seemed to happen where she then never really felt or did much about them after wards. After some shocking relevations about her parentage, she seems to just forget it, or have very little resonance with the big issue. I didn't feel for Fin much, and I didn't care if she did anything, and I didn't like her friends much either.

Things that didn't work for me - my favourite phrase which was TOTALLY out of place involved expecting some feathery wings to grow out of someone's arse. I was just so broken out of the book it took me a while to even try to read it again.

Despite all the negatives listed above, it was a very easy read. I can feel it draining from my head already, and expect to have forgotten the entire book within the week.

Sarah P

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