Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Happy 4th of July!

Today, I’ll be reviewing The Splendor Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
 Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

Now, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of paranormal books. But this book looked interesting and I thought it’d be good. Ghosts, a haunted family past, an ex-ballerina, it all sounded very interesting.

Unfortunately, I was left with a rather boring book.

At 513 pages, this book is pretty long, especially for a YA book. The book dragged on and on. There wasn’t enough of a story to warrant five hundred pages. There was major filler in this book. At least 150 pages could have been trimmed out of this book and the story could still be retained. Too much focus was spent on pedestrian things that did nothing to move the story along. I swear, if I read about Sylvie’s dog, Gigi, taking a “whizz” one more time, I was going to throw the book against the wall.

Much of the paranormal aspect of the story was lost to the excessive filler. It could have been interesting, but I feel like it was overpowered by the padding. Something important would be revealed…oh Sylvie is talking to Rhys about something with no relevance to the plot and Gigi is peeing again. ‘Kay, great. Can we get back to the actual story now, please? I’ve been good! I just want to know about the mysteries surrounding Sylvie’s family! There was definitely an interesting idea showing, but it was buried under all that darn filler!

I didn’t really care about any of the characters. Sylvie was perhaps one of the most obnoxious, ungrateful protagonists I’ve ever read about. I understand that she’d broken her leg and had to drop out of the ballet company and that her dad was dead and her mom had gotten remarried. Yes, it was a reason to complain. But she took it to an extreme. She whined about everything. She was flat-out rude to her family that she was staying with. I wanted to get into the book and slap her.

Rhys was a cliché hot guy and I never really got much of a feel for his character. He felt flat. Shawn didn’t really play as big of a role as the back cover summary played him out to be, so I didn’t really get much of a feel for his character, either. Gigi the dog became a more interesting character that Shawn and Rhys!

Overall, The Splendor Falls was a novel that had an interesting idea going for it, but suffered from too much filler and unnecessary details and flat, boring characters.


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