Rummanah Aasi
 I struck out with both Dark Metropolis and Dream Boy. Though they both had the potential to be great reads, they felt unfinished to me. Please note that these reviews are based on the advanced reader's copy I received from the book's publishers via Netgalley.

Description: Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.
  Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Review: Dark Metropolis is marketed as a magical thriller, however, it never succeeds to do both. The author has created an unique world of a pseudo magical Jazz Age that doesn't really come together. The books seems unorganized as we are shuffled between three teens who are trying to survive in this world without any smooth transitions between them. With her father missing and presumed dead and her mother becoming increasingly mentally unstable,  Thea Holder must find work that will support the two of them. The waitressing job she finds at the Telephone Club introduces her to a mysterious boy, Freddy, and the sinister underworld with which he seems to be involved. When her best friend and co-worker, Nan, vanishes, the situation becomes increasingly dire as Thea and Freddy discover that the city workers are literally dead men walking, kept alive through arcane magic. It was hard to follow this story along because I wasn't really sure where the story was going and really which character story line to follow. I didn't feel any emotional investment in these characters and as a result, I mostly skimmed this book to the end in hopes that it would redeem itself but it didn't. If you're looking for a dark urban fantasy for young adults, this isn't it.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language and a few brief scenes of torture. Recommended for strong Grade 7 readers and up.

If you like this book try: The Diviners by Libba Bray, Tithe by Holly Black

Description: Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.
  One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.

Review: Dream Boy has a really interesting premise for a paranormal romance, however due to the lack of world building and poor character development the story falls flat. After a bad breakup with a popular boy who never really got her and a rough divorce between her parents, Annabelle dreams as a means to escape. Reality and dream blur together, though, when Martin, the literal boy of her dreams shows up, live and in person, in her chemistry class. It appears as though she has conjured him from her subconscious, and he is drawn to her, reading her mind and seeking her out. At first, she is excited, because he is completely perfect and everything she would ever want in a boyfriend, but the story twists when she realizes she is not the only one who can dream up people and things. The relationship between Annabelle and her dream boy are instantaneous and occupy the first, slow half of the book. Things pick up in the second half of the book as Martin slowly opens up to talk about his world and how it functions; unfortunately, this story line doesn't get developed at all leaving us with lots of questions and plot twists that are suppose to surprise and shock us fall flat. With shelves full of paranormal romances available for young adults, Dream Boy doesn't stand out. 

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and few disturbing scenes. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Too bad! Two disappointing reads in a row is always frustrating! Hope the next books you pick up work out better.

    Thanks for the honest reviews!

  2. I absolutely agree with you about Dark Metropolis. The worldbuilding was intentionally vague, which I didn't appreciate in the least, and the plot seemed scattered and poorly thought through. In addition, the tree POV characters didn't really grow on me and the entire thing was quite unmemorable to boot.

  3. Aylee Says:

    Enh. Well, that's too bad that neither of these reads really did it for you. Pretty sure I would feel the same way as you did about them too. Dark Metropolis definitely reminded me of The Diviners when I first saw it and, seeing it on your list of similar reads makes me think I should try that one instead because I know it got pretty good reviews.

  4. Yeah, I didn't really like Dark Metropolis either because the plot felt unfinished and it was hard to connect with.

    I wasn't really interested in Dream Boy to begin with, Rummanah, but I'll be passing on it now. Hope your next read is better!

  5. Small Review Says:

    ah too bad about Dark Metropolis. I didn't love her first book either, but I was hoping she'd grow more as it did have promise. Oh well, maybe the next book will be better.

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