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Books and Whimsy

I blog about books that change me at Books and Whimsy. I also write discussion posts, and host original features. I'm quite silly sometimes, serious others, and always champion great books. (booksandwhimsy.com) You can find my author blog at onceuponaprologue.net

Review: Blackout by Robison Wells



I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


 Blackout by Robison Wells

 Pub date: 10/01/2013

 Publisher: HarperTeen

 Source: Galley from Publisher

 Rating: Shrug-worthy / 2 stars


 Laura and Alec are trained terrorists.

Jack and Aubrey are high school students.

There was no reason for them to ever meet.

But now, a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible powers. And these four are about to find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all








You know that vast expanse between what you think a book is going to be, and what it actually is?  That feeling of somehow having been duped by an awesome synopsis?  I hate that, considering I go into every book hoping to love it.  And BLACKOUT has a particularly exciting synopsis that unfortunately never delivers on any of what’s promised, except the basic details.  Yes, these characters can do things.  Yes, things happen.  But there’s no genuine tension, no sweeping love story, no heart to these characters, and nothing for me to recommend. 


One of the biggest things I didn’t like was the writing style.  Wells favors “tell” over “show,” and this is a huge pet peeve of mine.  It’s lazy.  It’s HARDER to write “show” scenes and dialogue than it is to “tell”, but the payoff for authors is better.  When you “show,” readers connect to your characters.  So right away I knew I wasn’t going to connect with the characters; before long, I also knew I disliked the actual words, too. 


Finally, there’s no storytelling in BLACKOUT.  Real writers can spin a story around you until you’re ensnared before you realize it.  Real writers make you feel like you’re THERE, and I never once felt that with BLACKOUT.  There’s no passion behind the words.  I don’t even get the sense Wells really CARES about BLACKOUT.  It’s reminiscent of the sentiment behind doing a chore to get it over with.  “I’ll just throw this book together to get it out there.”  Writers should FEEL things about their book, and that should translate to the page.  Something got horribly disconnected in BLACKOUT, which makes me sad.


Full review at Books and Whimsy.

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