Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Review: Until Beth (Life and Beth #1)

Release Date: September 29, 2015
Author: Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Length: 260 pages
Source: eARC from NetGalley

She doesn’t just play, she kills it.

Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.

Then she's accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they're also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who's so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who's trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?

And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?



Protagonist: Beth Collins is a very gifted guitar player, and because of this she's been scouted by a world class academy to help her perfect her talent... or so she thinks. Once she arrives strange things begin to happen and she soon find out there's more to this school than meets the eye. On the whole I really like Beth, we get a really good feel for the strong person she is. She's an enjoyable narrator, even if there are a few moments where she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. As for her character development, well, it took me some time to realize and see how she develops over the course of this book, but it's there all the same.

Romance: I really don't know what to think of the romance in this book. First off we have Sam, who never actually makes an appearance in the book, who Beth still holds on to after his mysterious disappearance, then we have Xavier, an outcast boy who Beth forms an almost instant connection with but it's hard to tell if there was supposed to be romantic subtext there or if I was misreading the situation, and finally we have Vincent, the boy who is labeled by many characters as Saint Vincent for his constant support, attention, and perfection, he seems to have an odd effect on Beth and is honestly the only obvious love interest in this book. Luckily even though this romance is very confusing and had me wondering where my loyalties lied, there wasn't that much romance in this book.

World-Building: The world building in this book is fantastic, though because of it's fast pace it feels as though things are happening and the info is being dumped a bit too fast. I love the idea of the Talents though I wrongly assumed that the Talents would be something directly related to music. It was fun and interesting getting to know the talents of various characters and seeing Beth's reaction to the fact that there's this whole supernatural world that she's unknowingly a part of. There is quite a bit of set-up in this book and I have a feeling that the things we learned in this book are just the tip of the iceberg for this series.

Predictability:On the whole this book was fairly unpredictable, there were a few times that I thought I knew what was going to happen, or that I thought I knew a huge twist, that I was completely wrong about, ironically if I had read this book in one sitting rather than nursing it for the past week I would have figured some things out a lot easier. The things that I was able to predict were rather more vague feelings that came to fruition over the course of the book.

Length: The ending of this book felt like it had a lot of moving parts, there were so many high octane moments so close together that led to more questions than answers. The very end of the book had quite a few answers but still left me confused as to what the future of this series holds. There's actually a cliffhanger at the end of this book, even though the ending plateaued quite a bit before hand. I felt the urge for the next book in the series, there's still so much left to learn.


So I'll be honest, I had a few problems with this book, from some awkward writing here and there, to some confusions over plot, however, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next one!


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