January 15, 2014

Book Review: THE LOST BOYS by Lilian Carmine

Book:   The Lost Boys
Author:  Lilian Carmine
Publisher:  Random House UK- North America
Categor:  Young Adult Fiction

“Tris… just look me in the eyes and say that again and mean it.  I know you can’t, I know that’s not what you want.”- Joe
“… Take a good look!  We can not be together! Can you see if I really mean it.”- Tristan
“So you never wanted to be with me?  Why did you make me believe that you cared?  Why did you let me love you”- Joe
 “I didn’t let you do anything.  You did it all on your own…. I just don’t feel the same about you.”-Tristan

Description via NetGalley:

An intensely addictive romance novel about girls, ghosts and forbidden love, ideal for fans of Stephenie Meyer. 

Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart?
Having moved to a strange town, sixteen-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home.

But Tristan Halloway is not what he seems. And there's a very good reason why he's always to be found roaming between the gravestones in the local cemetery.

My Summary:

Joe meets Tristan at the local cemetery where she gets lost after doing a good deed for a neighbor.  Though he seems unusual in manners as well as in clothing, Joe feels intense attraction and agrees to meet him again….and again…. many times over, at the cemetery.

Friendship and more blossom fast between the two.  One New Year’s eve, they agree to meet again at the cemetery where the impossible happens:  Joe finds out that Tristan is a ghost AND after a bit of accidental magic, he becomes human again.  A miracle indeed but with a catch, Joe and Tris cannot be separated for long periods as they will get violently sick.  Joe’s mother has no choice but to allow Tristan into their home. 
Both start going to a nearby boarding school where they meet a band made up of 4 boys who collectively call themselves The Lost Boys.  Tris and Joe who both have musical backgrounds join the band.  It helps that Tris and Joe end up sharing a room with Seth, the sort-of leader of the band.  Joe also befriends the richest and most beautiful girl in the entire school, Tiffany, who later ends up with Seth. 

Just when things are going well, Tristan pulls away from Joe without any explanation.  She finds out that there is a threat on Tristan’s life, a countdown of sorts, to when everything goes back to what it was: Tristan dead and gone.

My Review:

The premise of the book is what drew me to read it.  I thought it was something new and exciting, with lots of possibilities. 

But the first chapter immediately made me question this.  The writing was quite juvenile, with the author seemingly wanting to get ideas on paper so fast that she rushed through many moments that could have been better.

The Lost Boys Italian cover
And though I know that fiction calls for suspension of disbelief, it’s still too far fetched how all of a sudden Joe has witch blood in her family which helps bring Tristan to life, this without further explanation on the how and why, and left practically ignored after Tristan’s transformation.  It’s as if the author just wanted a fast excuse for making him a live human being and nothing more. 

The book is also long….really long….with many scenes and characters that need not be included.  I do like the band, and I like the boys that make up the group.  They are all sweet with good contributions to the whole story.  It’s just that it dragged after a while. Plus I didn’t know what the focus was:  was it the love storyHigh school animosityGhost angle? The boy band?.  There are just too many elements forced to mesh in one go and it’s disturbing.

That said, this book still had something going for it.  After all the hits and misses, I still wanted to finish the book.  The love between Tris and Joe felt real and oh so sweet.  They have great chemistry and I can’t help but root for them.  I even like the almost-but-not-quite third party Henry.  His is a character I would like to see more of in the future, same with Tiffany and Seth.

Overall, despite the length, lack of explanation, exaggeration and lack of focus, I would still recommend The Lost Boys to those who want a romantic, exciting and simple read.

Photos have been lifted from the author's site

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