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Reading Between Classes

A unique perspective on YA Literature from a junior high teacher. 

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Kami Garcia
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A Beautiful Evil

A Beautiful Evil - Kelly Keaton This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between ClassesCover Impressions: OOOOOOHHHHHH PRETTY! I love the colors and the transition from hair to snake reflecting Ari's pending transformation.The Gist: Having survived Athena's attack, Ari attempts to learn about her enemy and formulate a plan for rescuing her father and friend, Violet. (Really. That's it. Can you tell that I am less than enthusiastic?)Review: I love re-tellings of the Greek Myths. I am particularly fond of the Medusa myth and love the concept of following her lineage to modern day. However, this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her, fell flat for me. Ari was not the kick ass character that I longed for her to be. She is petrified of her own power and constantly fights her abilities (even though she knows that it is her best bet to defeat Athena) and, to make matters worse, she CONSTANTLY reminds the reader of how weak she is - RIGHT, can turn people to stone = weak as shit. Has she even READ the myths?? She bitched and complained fought valiantly for the right to get into the Novem School (I forget what it is called and am not looking it up) but then skips out on the very classes that are supposed to be helping her learn about her enemy. She enters the super secret library, stumbles upon important information, but instead of using it to formulate a plan, Ari just runs in blindly with a bunch of kids while the magical elite sit at home twiddling their thumbs. Right, this is a great plan when you are going up against THE GODDESS OF STRATEGY! I couldn't keep all of the characters and their powers straight and I didn't remember any of the hierarchy stuff from the last book. And can someone please tell me why there are like 6 different types of vampires in this book?? Most of the secondary characters were flat and/or completely undeveloped. Honestly, I would much rather read a book about Violet than about Ari. I found it difficult to read the motivations behind some of the characters actions and this made me care less about them. It seemed like I was reading action scene after action scene and I needed time to re-coup and get in touch with the characters. There were some scenes of torture that were pretty disturbing (as they tend to get when you are torturing an immortal) and I didn't feel they fit with the YA theme. Despite *almost finishing this book in the doctor's office (one of the most boring places on earth) I still couldn't concentrate on the plot and did not emotionally connect with the characters or their suffering. I don't think I will be sticking around for #3.Teaching/Parental Notes:Age: 16 and upGender: BothSex: NoneViolence: Swordplay, Knifeplay, Gunplay, Torture, VampirismInappropriate Language: Shit, Blow Me, Bitch, Jesus, Bastard, FuckingSubstance Use/Abuse: Drinking