Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Double Review: Rematch and Double Fault

*I received copies of both of these books from the author in exchange for honest reviews.

I've read a lot of time-travelling books in the last year, like the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series by Rachel Harris and Timebound by Rysa Walker. So, I was really excited to start this book by Janine Caldwell. However, I was quite unimpressed with this beginning and not exactly sure how I'll like the rest of the series.

Rating: 2 stars!
The beginning started off great! Trent is on a mission that will set up how the rest of the book plays out. It's a mission that changes lives. 

The question is: would Trent go back and change it if he could?

Trent Astor is a time-traveller who gets sent back in time to save people. It's admirable, and the only thing he does with this supernatural power. And it's the only thing he knows about it. Trent knows as much as we do about his time-travelling abilities, which leaves much to be desired. Most of the book centers around Cassie and Trent's "budding" relationship. The time-travel rarely shows up, and rarely plays a role until Trent gets hurt in the 1930s. 

I really liked Trent, and I enjoyed his POV the most. But I wanted more of the supernatural; I wanted to see him go back in time more often. Instead, his three trips take very little time, and the rest is all about Trent and Cassie, their "love," and how guilty he feels for how her life turned out. He has this hero complex that makes him question everything; what his abilities mean, why he meets his last mission in the present. He feels guilty about what happened, and so he tries to right the wrong. But he should have known not to mess with the past.

I was indifferent about Cassie. She doesn't have any personality. And I noticed that she constantly brings herself down so other people will feel bad about her insecurities and appease her by giving her compliments. She doesn't do it on purpose, but she has no confidence in herself. I didn't like her, but I didn't hate her. I think her constant self-deprecation just put me off. She didn't feel very genuine to me as a character. And there wasn't any character development with her. Plus, she drops everything, drops her friends and her family, for this guy she's only known a few weeks because she's just so in love with him! He's obviously much more important than everything else. 

Their relationship jumped from A to Z in the space of two weeks. I wouldn't have minded so much, if there was any sort of relationship development. Their "love" is unbelievable and unauthentic. It wasn't real or genuine, because it happened so quickly. Instead, I get: Our love can survive anything and She's the only girl I'll ever want. Nope, don't believe it with these two. 

The other relationships didn't have any development either, and when Cassie and Trent started dating, it was all about them. But I did love the relationship between Trent and his sister, Lorelei. I actually felt the sibling love between them, and I wish there'd been more with them. :)

The plot was very boring, and I was just waiting for something exciting to happen. The only exciting thing that happened was when Trent got hurt in 1932 and met someone who changed his life. Trent did talk to Cassie about why he and his sister moved around all the time, but that never made sense to me. You want me to believe that there's this crazy and mad scientist who wants you as a lab rat? WHERE'S THE SUSPENSE? WHERE'S THE FREAKING DANGER? No. There was no sense of a lurking creeper, nor was there any sense that Trent actually cares about where his supernatural powers came from. Not much was explained, and most of the time I was confused about why he had this power. And the time-travel didn't matter once Trent and Cassie met. Except when Trent decided to try and change fate. But that didn't work out at all like he planned.

God forbid there was any sort of conflict in their relationship, any sort of angst or hurt. Sure, when he left, Cassie worried until she knew when he was safe and back home. And that's understandable, because I would do the same thing. But I didn't even feel that Trent's angst near the end was at all genuine. Why? Because I thought their relationship had progressed too quickly and was not authentic. If there had been any development, I might have actually felt the pain and anguish. But then everything worked out perfectly anyway, so that didn't even matter.

Rematch was more about the romance than the supernatural. It wasn't balanced evenly enough for me. I'm not invested in this story or these characters, but I'm going to read the second book. Who knows, I might just like it.

***

I hate to say it, but I didn't like Double Fault anymore than the first book. 

Rating: 2.5 stars!
I don't know what it is about this series, but I just can't get into it. It could be a case of It's not you, it's me. However, reading through my review for the first book, I know it's not just me. I really just don't like this series..

I just can't take much of what happens seriously. I still don't believe that Trent and Cassie have this forever kind of love, that they're soulmates. I think their relationship developed a little bit more in this one, but not by much. Everytime they talked about how much they love each other, I just laughed. It's still not the least bit authentic to me. 

The characters didn't really improve much for me, except Cassie. In this book, she's dealing with memories of two different parallel lifetimes. That also means having to deal with not-so-awesome circumstances regarding friends and family. But, she's trying her best. Her best is just not good enough for this life she's living now. Trent, on the other hand, lost some points for me. Most of the book, his jealousy just turned me off. He acted ridiculous when it to Jeff and Cassie, especially near the end when Cassie was hurt. He couldn't dial down his jealousy to help her and be there for her. I really, really disliked him for that. 

There was a little bit more with the secondary characters this time around, especially with Cassie's family and with The Grenades. I liked having those interactions with all of them, because the romance between the two main characters was not front and center. I hope there will be even more development with The Grenades in the third book especially, now that they know part of the truth surrounding Trent and Lorelei. 

But, I still hated how there was barely any supernatural elements. Also, the whole showdown with Fox was so anti-climatic. Not to mention, it was so dreadfully and painfully obvious that he was the NY recruiter. That wasn't suspenseful at all, and I was so disappointed with it because I thought for sure I'd find out more about time-travel from Fox. But we still know nothing about Trent's abilities! I thought this sequel should have explored that more, not pay attention to the high school antics between the characters. 

After reading Double Fault, I'm still uninterested in this storyline and these characters. I just don't care what happens to them. That ending didn't leave me wanting more, especially since I saw it coming miles away. There just wasn't enough in the first two books that left me invested to see what happens in the finale.