Verity Commentary: The Life and Times of Dawn Talbot (Part I)

VERITY
(CURSED #1)

PART ONE

Well, we’re back to ye old safe territory of paranormal romance, and beneath the generic face of a generic girl who’s about to pick her nose, there’s a wolf on this cover, so I’ve loaded up my silver bullets and I’m ready to rumble! Goodreads review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/537625970

This is another one I haven’t heard of before, it was a suggested read when I was looking at some of the sparkle project’s entries, and I’m hoping for a good read—and by good, I mean hilariously bad!

Prologue

We start in my home country of Limey-land, in the uncivilised wastelands of Devon and in the POV of some guy called Nathan. Because mystery is for losers, he just flat out says that he and his entire family are werewolves in the first sentence. How refreshing.

So Nathan is having trouble performing tonight because his mind’s on a girl who’s destined to become his mate. Huh, usually it’s the other way round, but this makes for—

And suddenly we’re in Poland, with a guy called Vin. Or a place called Vin, the subtitle’s a little vague. A wolf pack gets a visit from… some guy, telling them they’ve tracked… someone. An ‘abomination’?

Ah, that must be our main character, Perdita.

Chapter One

One month later, in the mystical land of Ireland, our main character introduces herself by reluctantly consenting to wear a jumper. Her father and grandmother are arguing over which is a worse look on Perdita—that of a ‘tart’ or that of a ‘boy’. As it’s February in the novel, I personally would avoid the scantily clad ‘tart’ look and wear the jumper.

Perdita pulls a ‘screw you guys, I’m going to best-friend-character’s house’ and buggers off to see ‘Tammie’, whining about her overprotective father and rebellious grandmother and their arguments on the way. Then she whines about it to Tammie too. Yep, this is going to be a good one!

Oh, and she goes home immediately afterwards and her dad apologises. But never mind about that, it’s time for Perdy to recount her Mysterious Recurring Dreams of being in a forest with a Love Interest. What an original twist!

Chapter Two

Perdita’s father and grandmother decide to give Perdita a bit more freedom, making me wonder if these chapters were actually part of a ’90s after school special series. Perdita and Tammie take the bus to school, where we’re told the popular girls hate them… for some reason.

Oh, this is going to be a good one!

They sit by a heater, so Tammie can ‘defrost’ her legs (when did Mr. Freeze show up?!) and talk. Apparently there’s a rumour that a family moved into ‘one of those houses near the woods,’ so maybe there’ll be someone new at school!

Wait, woods? This does take place in Dublin, doesn’t it? And Dublin isn’t exactly a small town in the middle of the woods where everyone goes to the same school—it’s the capital city of Ireland!

Nah, just kidding. As an Englishwoman, I know full well that Ireland is made up entirely of one town,  a few farms, and one mystic stone circle guarded by leprechauns. (Population: 1181.)

Anyway, Perdita and Tammie have a third friend, Perdita’s cousin Joey, who Tammie has a crush on. Perdita describes him as a nerd, Tammie as a weird outsider, and herself as having no personality whatsoever. Well, I like how the book just came out and said it without tricking the reader into thinking the character has traits they’ll never actually display!

Perdita also wonders what Tammie sees in Joey, a boy who’s… not hot! Dun dun dun!

But never mind, the mean girl is being introduced, yay! Her name is Dawn Talbot. (Wait, Talbot? Ooh, I get it! I get it!) She’s your stereotypical evil cheerleader without actually being a cheerleader because this book takes place in the village of Ireland. But here she doesn’t do much more than giggle, so Perdita describes the eyes she’s drawn on her books instead. Vandalism!

So the kids all sit around, ignoring their teacher while Dawn’s clones brush her hair. Wait, she has clones? I want the story to be about her!

But, no, it’s about Perdita and the Love Interest, who conveniently just walked in through the door. It’s Nathan the werewolf, from the prologue! Dawn immediately deduces that Perdita has a crush on him from the fact that she was staring at him and the whole class laughs at her.

Then Nathan decides to show off his uber-cool werewolf superspeed by teleporting… right outside the door! For no reason! In return Perdita gives him a massive page of description.

Then its lunchtime, so Perdita can whine to Joey about her dad and grandmother again, and apparently even though he’s her cousin he seems confused about her family problems. Also apparently he agrees with her dad’s rules about not wearing revealing clothing and staying away from boys, but Tammie is ‘a feminist’ and she’s upset about having a crush on a person who’d agree with such things.

Perdita only now realises that when she threatened to leave 4 evah, her dad and grandmother assumed she meant she was going to go live with her estranged mother. Well where else were you going to go, Perdy?

(by the way, if the re-cap of this chapter seems long, that’s because we’re already 10% of our way through the book. Yeah, this is a short one).

Then Tammie and Joey go off to buy a snickers, and Perdita sees Dawn and her clones go to hassle some random new girl for wearing a ‘gypsy style skirt’. They blatantly push her over in the middle of the lunch hall for no reason. Ah, the motiveless, uninspired, popular bullies—surely the best kind!

Perdita steps in to defend new-girl, making the entire hall laugh with her weak comebacks. Then she bores them with her stirring speeches about the evils of bullying. The canteen applauds and Dawn is left speechless, leaving so Perdita can make friends with new-girl, whose name is Amelia.

Later, Perdita runs into Nathan again, and Tammie’s dog barks at him. Gasp!—wot cood dis meen?!?!?

Chapter Three

Wow, that was a long chapter. Anyway, on with the show!

On the school bus the next day, Dawn Talbot calls Nathan over to sit with her and her clones, but Nathan knows her ancestor, Claude Raines, killed werewolves by hitting them over the head with a silver-tipped cane, so he says no and sits with Perdita. Also Amelia’s his sister and Dawn was mean to her. Or something. Introductions ensue!

Later on, however, Nathan does go to sit with Dawn for lunch. Why? Well, he seems to be working some sort of werewolf voodoo on the school to become their leader. He also finds Perdita’s bracelet and gives it to her, in a really exciting subplot.

No, not really. In the tradition of all YA paranormal romance, nothing exciting has happened so far. Maybe we’ll get some action before the halfway mark, but I doubt it.

Perdita goes home to have a boring conversation with her grandmother, and then has a dream that something bad might happen to her One True Love that she’s known for a day!

Chapter Four

Joey meets Amelia and begins crushing, upsetting Tammie, and Amelia shows off her werewolf-charm bracelet. Tammie insta-hates her though, and taunts her over her dead parents—what a reasonable reaction!

And Amelia immediately starts crying; what a wimp. But it creates an opportunity for Perdita and Nathan to have a boring conversation, so it all works out!

Then something even better happens—Dawn drops by to call Perdita a freak for… no reason! I mean, Perdita herself has said she has no personality, so I don’t know what Dawn finds so freakish about her. Maybe she’s in league with the Polish werewolves from the prologue?

Dawn gets another superpower in the ability to have a laugh like razor blades and Perdita says it’s time she changed Dawn getting between her and Nathan, which is ‘the story of my life’. Really? Does Dawn always come in between you and you boyfriends, Perdy? But Tammie said earlier you’d never been interested in a guy before, so that can’t be right?

What are you even talking about?

Ah, who cares? Nothing matters when I have Dawn to keep me entertained!

But then something actually happens (well, as near as it’s got so far in the book anyway), Perdita has a cat-fight with Tammie then turns on Joey, Dawn pops by to laugh at them and Perdita’s use of the f-word is censored in the nick of time by Nathan, which is funny because I’ve started imagining him as Nathan from Misfits, who swears like a sailor. A sailor who sails trucks.

Perdita is furious over this betrayal of a guy she’s known two days stopping her from attacking Dawn, so she and Tammie go out for milkshakes so they can whine some more about how horrible Dawn is. For some reason she fears Nathan and Dawn will now get married, and she’ll have to become a bridesmaid and will then turn into cat-lady-Miss-Havisham. An interesting delusion…

Oh, and Perdita sees a mysterious yellow-eyed man in town. Oh noes, it’s Azazel! Get the Colt!

Chapter Five

Perdita is ‘almost in tears’ over her grandmother agreeing not to do anything about her ditching school in exchange for Perdita wearing her hair down for a week. Wearing your hair down is just so horrible! *sniff, sniff*

Flirting with Nathan ensues. Then the other students at Ireland High tug on Perdita’s hair all day, because they’ve apparently never seen a person wear their hair down before, except Dawn, who taunts Perdita by calling her a ginger.

Lol, this is Ireland. Everyone’s a ginger! I know this because of my learnings.

More boring conversations follow. Nathan gives Perdita a hair-tie, reducing her to near tears again, and we learn than he was captain of the football team of… of Devon High, before being expelled. Then Perdita goes home to have a dumb argument with her dad about his dumb rules.

Chapter Six

Weeks pass, more dreams happen, and then there’s art class. A large section is devoted to Perdita getting a static electricity shock when brushing hands against Nathan which is ooooh, important!

Then Tammie tells her to stay away from Nathan and Amelia, ’cause they’re totally weird… somehow, and Perdita muses on how Amelia is actually soooo much better than Tammie. Ah, best friends 4 evah!

Perdita invites Amelia over to her house, but for some reason she’s mad at Nathan… seriously, I don’t know why, it’s weird.

And then a mysterious woman joins the mysterious man! Ooooh, mysterious!

Chapter Seven

Amelia comes over to Perdita’s house so she can badger her about her brother (Nathan/Perdita is totes Amelia’s OTP!) and Perdita can whine about how she doesn’t understand what Nathan wants from her. And I completely see where she’s coming from, I mean, one moment Nathan’s being nice to her, the next he’s stopping her from committing assault, and the next he seems weirded out by her weird dreams. What on earth can it meeeeeen!?

Amelia says it’s dessstineee! But Nathan dared talk to another girl—that means he doesn’t care about Perdita! And then Amelia asks a really weird question about whether Perdita likes Nathan in ‘a normal way’ or in an unnaturally obsessive passion way. Perdita says the former, but Amelia knows she’s lying, and is really happy that Perdita has a stalkerish obsession with her brother that up ’til now has never been mentioned—as am I, of course.

Then the awesome foursome go to the cinema, where there are only two films playing (things is rough in Ireland-land) and because our heroes are hardcore, they go to see the action flick. But omg, Nathan and Dawn and a boring jock type called Aaron who’s so unimportant I had no reason to mention him until now are there!

(I pretty much still have no reason to mention him, really.)

Who-will-sit-next-to-who drama ensues, the most thrilling of all drama, followed by calling Nathan a jerk for doing… uh… something, I guess. And Perdita calls Nathan ‘complicated’, as if anything in this story fell under that category.

But oh, snap! Perdita’s dad shows up with a date! And Nathan talks to him, which impresses Perdita because apparently her dad is supposed to be intimidating. But Nathan uses mind control (not outright stated to be so, but kind of obvious) and it’s Super-Effective!

So they all go home, and Perdita has a mini-panic attack while walking alone in the dark, which leads to her getting attacked by—oh, wait, no. It leads to nothing. Come on, Verity, I think you’ve got the random mean girl nailed, it’s time for a damsel in distress scene already! But, no, Perdita gets home safely and sees a werewolf from her bedroom window—no doubt Nathan ‘protecting’ her.

CONTINUED IN PART TWO

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