Expectations may have been set a bit too high when I was 15 years old attending my first musical in London. I saw The Phantom of the Opera and thought all musicals were as amazing as that one, and wondered why my parents had waited so long to introduce me to such awesomeness. The music was absolutely amazing, and the theater was a little smaller and the best venue for it. After that show, I was disappointed with many shows for 5 years until I saw Les Miserables.
A.G. Howard and I have never been big fans of each other. Well, it's more of a one sided relationship since she has no clue who I am. Though, I like to think I know the authors of the books I read, and I am sure we'd probably go have lunch together if they lived close to me. I mean, that's totally normal to think that way right?
I've read Splintered, another popular series by Howard, and I just wasn't a fan. I realize I may be too old for some YA authors, or my expectations may be too high. However, my feelings for Howard's previous work didn't sway my excitement for RoseBlood.
RoseBlood is a modern continuation/retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. My 15 year old self has such blissful feelings for Phantom. Since, I hadn't read a spin-off, retelling, or continuation of Phantom before I was excited to crack this cover.
Would this book description sell you?
"This YA novel from New York Times bestselling author A. G. Howard marks the beginning of a new era for fans of the Splintered series. Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Splintered series will find themselves captivated by this pulse-pounding spin on a classic tale.
Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.
Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known.
A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood."
That's a long description, but what do you think? Are you sold?
I was sold just b/c of The Phantom of the Opera connection. However, I was definitely disappointed as I started reading the book.
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard gets 2 out of 5 stars in my book review. This book is slow; it was painfully slow at times. Some chapters are excessively detailed and drag along. Other chapters merely touch on an important detail, like Rune's grandma trying to kill her multiple times, but don't give more explanation to it. It seemed like Howard wrote too much on the unimportant aspects and didn't explain the character developing moments.
I also felt there were just too many ridiculous, cheesy, or predictable aspects of the story for me to consider this book a quality read. For example, it's ridiculous to think a boarding school in modern times would have no computers, cell phones, or technology of any kind. I thought the whole "twin flame" split soul thing was cheesy and odd. From the beginning, when you learn about Rune's gift, you know she is of course going to win the best singer role at the school and she is of course is going to be a cool girl even though she isn't nice to people.
Really, I feel the story ideas, like Splintered and RoseBlood, Howard has are great, but the execution just lacks for me. The lack of character development and the uneven pace/flow of the story is disappointing and a turn-off.
I will say there is a possibility that I am just getting too old for some YA/Teen Reads. However, I'd like to think that'll never be the case b/c I am so young at heart. ;)
What did you think of RoseBlood? If you are looking for an hilarious read, with some language and spoilers, check out this one on Goodreads.
I may have high expectations when it comes to musicals and literature, but I feel there's nothing wrong with always seeking out the best.
Happy paranormal Phantom of the Opera reading!