Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Bermuda Triangle Is NOT a Vacation Spot!

Expected Publication:  June 18th, 2013
By: Kimberly Ann Miller
Spencer Hill Press
ISBN-13:  9781937053369

A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

     Autumn Taylor's life completely sucks.  She works at an auto-mechanic shop with a guy who is practically stalking her, her Mom is in a coma that she's pretty sure is her fault, her sister has decided that she's in charge of Autumn's every move and she's pretty sure she'll never save up enough money to leave New Jersey for good.  She's excited when her sister tells her that they're going on a cruise their Mom had planned before her accident.  Maybe Autumn can get away from Joey (stalker-boy), her crazy & depressing life and let herself relax for a change.  But when Joey and hot, local playboy Marcus are both on the ship with her things are bound to get crazy - especially when they're passing through the Bermuda Triangle!  Each day in the triangle has Autumn living an alternate reality and trying to figure out the meaning of her real life in comparison.  Can she get back to her own reality or will she be trapped in another version of her life?
     From the synopsis, I expected a little more mystery about the Bermuda Triangle and it's strange effects to be present.  If that's what you're looking for TURN BACK WHILE YOU STIILL CAN!!!  What I got instead was a book full of rom-com fluff (if you can call man-whore playboys and stalkers romantic), mixed with some moments trying to emotionally heavy and 'important' to character development.  The feel of this book is distinctly New Adult hormones/actions/language, mixed with middle-grade maturity levels.  In other words, at times it is a serious train wreck.  Autumn has had a lot of bad stuff happen in her life and I can understand how that might make her unreceptive to other peoples' attempts to connect with her.  But other than when she wants something from others, Autumn is a complete and total rude, unfeeling, manipulative, spoiled, selfish, little bitch to everyone.  Including her sister, who is doing her best to take care of an uncooperative teenager who refuses to act like a human being.  And yes Joey was pretty much the epitome of a creepy stalker, but Autumn uses him when she feels like it and treats him like dirt while she's doing it!  Then when she wants him to go away, Autumn completely ignores him!
     The alternate realities are an interesting idea and the fact that they take place in the Bermuda Triangle is a fresh concept for a YA book.  The first alternate universe had Autumn with playboy Marcus, in a 'committed' relationship and Joey doesn't even know who she is, plus her dead Dad is alive.  The next time Autumn is married to Joey, has an infant daughter and her sister is with Marcus.  The third time Autumn is sick with cancer and dying (Joey is her step-brother).  As she goes through the different realities, Autumn learns to appreciate the things she has in life, the people around her and everything else she's taken for granted.  That said, I feel like even being guided by the mysterious ship's Doctor (who is otherworldly in some way...) that Autumn still didn't understand the fact that the entire universe didn't center around herself by the time the end of the book rolls around.  I enjoyed this book overall, but in spite of the main character and not because of her like I would have preferred.  As a character driven reader, this book's extremely unlikeable characters were a letdown.  But the plot kept me going, even though the ending was a little too clichéd for my tastes.  I would have preferred more scientifically-supernatural material to be included based on the Bermuda Triangle connection.  The fantasy execution of that plot point is respectable but not anything new or extremely interesting.  Overall, not something I will read again and I might recommend it but only to very specific people. 

VERDICT:  2.25/5 Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is June 18th, 2013.*

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