Monday, June 3, 2013

This Is A Hopeless Case of Sickness

Expected Publication:  June 11th, 2013
Plague In The Mirror
By: Deborah Noyes
Candlewick Press
ISBN-13:  9780763659806

It was meant to be a diversion — a summer in Florence with her best friend, Liam, and his travel-writer mom, doing historical research between breaks for gelato. A chance to forget that back in Vermont, May’s parents, and all semblance of safety, were breaking up. But when May wakes one night sensing someone in her room, only to find her ghostly twin staring back at her, normalcy becomes a distant memory. And when later she follows the menacing Cristofana through a portale to fourteenth-century Florence, May never expects to find safety in the eyes of Marco, a soulful painter who awakens in her a burning desire and makes her feel truly seen. The wily Cristofana wants nothing less of May than to inhabit each other’s lives, but with the Black Death ravaging Old Florence, can May’s longing for Marco’s touch be anything but madness? Lush with atmosphere both passionate and eerie, this evocative tale follows a girl on the brink of womanhood as she dares to transcend the familiar — and discovers her sensual power.

     May is going to Italy this summer with her best friend Liam and his travel guide writing Mom, to be her research assistant.  It should be the adventure of a lifetime, but all May can focus on is the fact that back at home her parents are on the verge of a messy divorce.  So when a girl named Cristofana, who is identical to her, shows up in her room one night and starts a confusing game of cat and mouse, May finds herself being drawn in against her better judgment.  Drawn into fourteenth century, plague ridden Italy May becomes infatuated with soulful artist Marco and gets invested in living Cristofana's life instead of her own.  But in a time when deadly disease is raging through the city, can they even possibly have a happy ending?  And will May ever return to her own time and life? 
     I don't know how much I've mentioned this on this blog, but I am going to tell you a secret about myself: I am a complete and total SUCKER for anything involving time-travel, portal jumping, alternate dimensions and wibbly-wobbly, timey wimey stuff of any kind.  So I wanted so badly to like this book, which chose an interesting time period and was supposed to have a great romance in it as well.  I should have known better than to go in headfirst like I did.  The writing style of this book was atrocious.  It reminded me of an elementary/middle school aged kid's writing assignment.  It was full of prose and descriptive language, along with whiny emo inner-monologues from May who got on my nerves almost immediately.  I only made it about 100 pages into this one before I had to quit and save myself, which I try to do very rarely when reading review books out of courtesy to the publisher and author for being generous to me.  But the lack of dialogue or true character interaction really tanked what little interest I ended up having in this book.
     The characters are cardboard cut-outs and the Mary-Sue tendencies of May had me wanting to chuck her off the Empire State Building or something.  She goes along with Cristofana, who is obviously very crazy and up to no good, with little or no thought/fighting to do the right thing.  She instead decides that she's rather follow her nutcase doppelganger into a portal of which she has no clue as to the end point.  All because Mommy and Daddy won't be together anymore when she goes home again!  Oh yeah, and also because of that 'dreamy' guy she saw when Cristofana portal-napped her the first time!!!  WTF!!!  I'm sorry, but you want to take over someone else's life in a PLAGUE-INFESTED 14TH CENTURY ITALY FOR A BOY???!!!  Screw you, I don't truck with insane and brainless hos!  And on that note I will say to read at your own risk and against advisement.  But I guarantee that many people will love it, so it could just be that I'M crazy.  I guess find out at your own peril.
VERDICT:  0/5  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 11th, 2013.*


  1. OMG I felt the exact same way!!! I wanted to like this book sooo bad! And I was so excited to get it from the arc tour. *beats head against desk* WHY???? I feel like I wasted my time! I gave up at 90 pages and had enough!

    The idea of the story was fantastic! It was just poorly executed. And the writting was HORRIBLE!!! OMG!!! I honestly couldn't stand it! It was so confusing and she changed direction sooo quickly. One sentence prose and the next totally differnet, and ALL IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH! It drove me batty!!!

    I thought it was just me. So glad it wasn't!!!

    1. Oh, it wasn't just you! :) I didn't want to waste a pass on it either so I decided to just review what I had read and warn other people about it in the process. The overabundance of prose without any substantial dialogue to back it up DROVE ME UP A FRICKIN' WALL!!! Not to mention the boring, ridiculousness of the main character. I felt insulted by how badly it was written. HOW EDITORS, AND ALSO WHY YOU BLEED MY EYES LIKE THIS??? :o LOL


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