Tuesday 3 October 2017

Book Review: The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake

Title: The Uncrossing
Author: Melissa Eastlake
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: 2 October 2017
Pages: 292
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA Fantasy/MM
Source: ACR via NetGalley

Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can't break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn't be falling for. Jeremy's been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something's missing. Jeremy's family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it's tied to Jeremy. This might be the one curse Luke can't uncross. If true love's kiss fails, what's left for him and Jeremy? (Goodreads Synopsis)

I wanted to like The Uncrossing  more than I did. The synopsis had such promise, and I did enjoy the world Eastlake created, with the idea of warring magical families. However, the book had some problems. Although I liked Jeremy and Luke separately, I didn't love them as a couple. All they did was bicker, and it became repetitive, slowing down the main action. Eastlake avoided info dumping, and the world building was generally good, but the prose felt overworked at times, and contained a large number of em dashes. I was surprised when I received an email from the publisher this morning that described the book as a Rapunzel retelling. Looking back now, yes, I can see that; however, I didn't immediately think of Rapunzel when reading, only Romeo and Juliet. So if a Rapunzel retelling was the aim, it didn't really come across. In terms of the ending, I was a little disappointed. It was very open-ended, and while a lack of distinct HEA doesn't usually worry me, in this case I felt that the tale warranted a more certain finale, so not getting one was frustrating. I am giving this book 3.5 stars. There were things I enjoyed about it, particularly the premise, but there were problems with the delivery that let it down. Removal of some of the em-dashes, along with some editorial trimming to tighten the pacing, would really help. If you love teen MM with a Romeo and Juliet-style romance, this is worth a look, but you need to allow for the flaws.

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