I don’t normally post author blurbs when describing books I review, but for Deep Blue Secret I’m going to make an exception.
Sadie doesn’t know she’s special—or that she could die at any moment. Only one green-eyed boy knows the truth, and he would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means betraying everything he holds dear.
California teen Sadie James thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name. Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her, but as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day…why does Sadie need one? As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.
Do you see the problem?
The problem is that it’s really generic. Super generic. It’s like a mad libs/cards against humanity fill in the blank. Take out the character names and super secret boy eye color and you have something that could apply to literally 20 YA fantasy novels.
The blurb is the second hook authors need to set into the reader (the first is the cover). It needs to grab them. Tell them why they want to read this book. And show them that even if a book is troperrific that it’s still good.
This blurb didn’t do that.
I wanted to get into this, I really did. But each chapter was like pulling teeth. There was too much info dump, unnecessary description, and cookie cutter characters. The exposition was clunky and felt like I was listening to my mother try to tell a story complete with unnecessary background and random details that didn’t serve any purpose. It didn’t help that this book felt like it was a trope checklist.
Bland every girl main character with missing parent – check.
Obligatory supernatural love interest who can’t be with her – check.
Secondary love interest who is incredibly handsome but doesn’t do it for the heroine – check.
Villain with a connection to the good guys – check
Special mark indicating chosen one status – check
Missing parental unit being magical/special – check
Inciting incident where hero saves clumsy heroine – check
Seriously… I felt like I was reading a generic YA fantasy. I got about 40% and gave up. I skimmed some of the rest… Mostly to see if the trope checklist was in play and everything I predicted happened…. And yep…
The thing is, tropes aren’t bad. It’s all in how the story is told. Star Wars? Full of tropes. Princess Bride? Tropes upon tropes upon tropes. Battlestar Galactica? All the tropes. Tropes aren’t bad.
This isn’t horrible and would probably appeal more to less genre savvy readers. But for me it was a drag.
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