Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Cassquette Girls


Book Title: The Cassquette Girls
Author: Alys Arden
Date Started: October 16th 2015
Date Completed: October 18th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Contemporary
Quality Rating: Two Stars
Enjoyment Rating: One Star
Final Rating: Two stars

◆ Thanks to NetGalley for this eBook copy for review ◆

There are very few books that I give up on, but The Cassquette Girls has become one of them. I put it down at several points and just had to take a step away because it irritated me so much, and then even after deciding to try it again, every single time within three sentences I was seething. Slow pace; irritating writing style; dislikable, paper characters; cheesy horror conventions; I enjoyed it so little that it wasn't worth my continuing.

One of my biggest problems with books set in the modern world is the desire to constantly paint teenagers as materialistic and with difficulty to speak without slang. Yes, there are people out there who are incredibly materialistic, and there are people out there that constantly use slang. But not everyone. You would expect after a traumatic experience for someone to use a word other than 'ugh' to communicate their distress. You would also think that maybe adults would speak differently - even more so if they've been living in a different country to the other person for a while. This wasn't my only issue with Arden's writing style, but even that was enough to distract me from enjoying what I was reading.

I think writing about the storyline of The Cassquette Girls would be a little unfair since I didn't make it that far through, however from what I did read I can honestly say it irritated me. Most horror genre stereotypes (especially film ones) were shoved into just the first 15% of the story - and still barely anything happened! There's such a slow pace filled only with the most predictable conventions imaginable that there was nothing at all engaging or anything that I wanted to read more about.

Quite frankly I didn't get past proper introductions to anyone but Adele and her dad. Having said that, I think there were about six or seven other characters we met that were clearly going to have a part in the rest of the book - most of which Adele already knew apparently. Another thing I noticed from reading the part of this book was the Arden continually provides 'convenient' pieces of information whenever it suits her - its not even a subtle use of deus ex machina and created a huge information dump.
I really disliked Adele, though to be honest she wasn't realistic enough for a character to her hate personally. She didn't seem to react to anything around her: upon returning to her hurricane-ravaged city, she perkily speaks to her dad about sleeping on the top floor of their house (which is apparently stable enough for that despite having been hit by so big a storm "it wasn't even given a name." Even beyond that, she conformed to the snobby but lonely stereotype, yet everyone seemed to be in love with her.

Like I said I didn't get very far through this book, but nothing happened in what I did read apart from a few 'eerie' happenings. I felt like screaming 'get to the point' about eight times: it's all very well and good trying to build up an atmosphere but if everyone's laughing in something that's supposed to resemble a dystopian city for the first hundred pages of the book, you're not going to build up a tense atmosphere.

If you don't get quite so irritated by stereotypical contemporary teenage writing, you might be able to enjoy this a lot more than I did. Looking at the other reviews it seems to be that a lot of people do like this story, so maybe if you want a supernatural fun read then have a look at some of those. But this was absolutely not for me whatsoever, and quite frankly it madam very frustrated.

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