I really wanted to enjoy this book as the synopsis sounded quite good, but unfortunately it just didn't live up to my expectations.
Zooey Donovan is a 17 year old Irish Catholic girl attending a school run by nuns, when she finds out she is pregnant following a rape 4 1/2 months ago. No-one seemed to be particularly interested or bothered by the fact that she had been raped and no-one offered to help her, offered counselling or anything - bad point #1! She was just frowned upon for being pregnant and even all her friends deserted her - great friends they turned out to be.
Her grandparents turn up one day, ones she has never met before and whilst there her father comes home drunk and punches her mother in the face. No-one does anything except for Zooey screaming she hates him and they all walk out of the door, her older brother included, and drive off. No-one calls the police on her father, no-one goes to check on her mother - bad point #2. (Can you see where this is going?!) It was as if it was completely acceptable to use your wife as a punching bag and this wasn't the first time it had happened either. And when you find out that her mother's parents are the King and Queen of the Winter Court, you would have thought they would have used some sort of faerie power at least to stop her father from beating his wife up once again, but nope!
Zooey then develops a love-hate relationship with Tristan, who is an exiled faerie from the Summer Court and whom she is supposed to marry on her 18th birthday. I was so confused by this relationship - it was constantly on again-off again and half the time I couldn't work out what was going on between them as it chopped and changed that abruptly at times - bad point #3. I need a bit of consistency and at least be able to tell what the characters are feeling from one minute to the next. And then she suddenly decided that she quite liked Luke, the bartender in the local bar and a werewolf, so slept with him, but then decided that she couldn't be with him. OK I don't mind love triangles so much, but Zooey was so bi-polar in her feelings that I personally think the pregnancy must have been playing havoc with her emotions - bad point #4!
After a while and lots of back and forth Zooey decides to go and kill her faerie grandmother because she somehow, but we're not really told how, killed Zooey's father, not to pay him back for the abuse on Zooey's mother, but so Zooey's mother would go back to Arcadia (faerieworld to you and me!) and that battle lasted all of about 5 minutes I think. And later on there's another faerie battle that Zooey gets involved in, again lasted for about 5 minutes - bad point #5! Come on if there's going to be some action, make a last!
And bad point #6 just has to be to poor standard of writing (although really it should be #1!). There were lots of typos (at least I hope they were typos and not grammatical errors) and far too many changes in the narrator's point of view. At one point I had to read 2 pages before I worked out who was supposed to be narrating that part. If you're going to swap the main narrators that much, you need to let the readers know pretty early on who is "talking". There were also people who just randomly appeared in conversations that made no sense whatsoever, you didn't even realise they were there in the scene, but again it wasn't always revealed who was talking, so you weren't quite sure what was going on. This author desperately needs an editor/proofreader, or a better one if she has one already as this was just awful. My 7-8 year old class could write better short stories than some of these chapters!
I have to say I was so glad when I finished this book and I know I will never read anything by this author again even if it was a freebie!