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The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani
Perchance to Dream - Lisa Mantchev Alright, I managed to sit through the first book only because despite the jumbled mess of weak transitions, poor dialogue, unclear environment and inconsistant motivation, I enjoyed the overall aesthetics and stuck with it to see where it was going and hoped that the author would have grown by the second book. Sadly, it's still just as much as a mess as the first. I sat through the first one to try to give her the benefit of the doubt given that it was her first piece, but this is her second book and she should really be improving, and I see no improvment in her writing skill whatsoever. It's really the editor's fault though. Mantchev has created a great concept and beautiful imagery, but she fails to weave it together in any form of coherence. This is something the editor needed to handle. Had the editor actually done their job and helped sculpt this work into any semblance of cohesion, we would probably have a very imagintive and well thought out piece. Instead we are given a clutter of thoughts and ideas that fail to string together in an effective way.

Bertie is still an unlikeable character with her motivations changing at the drop of a hat. Ariel has now lost all his mystique and is boiled down and reduced to nothing more than an obsessed supernatural love interest. While I understand and can, to a point, appreciate what Mantchev is doing with the mix and matched script type and regular dialogue, it doesn't work and comes off as more distracting than anything else.

To be honest though, I was unable to get past page 18. I sat through the first book based on the aesthetically value appealing to me, but that alone is not enough to keep me for another book. The writing has not improved in any way, shape, or form and Bertie is just as unlikeable as she was in the first book. I can't see any reason to keep reading. It's a shame because I like the idea and I truly wanted to love this book, but I can't. It's just too poorly written for me to enjoy.