Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reader's Choice Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Release date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Yes, #1 in the Legion series
Source: ARC
Rating: 1 part Supernatural, 3 parts super boring, 2 parts super silly.
Recommended by: Blythe from Finding Bliss in Books


Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia.

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.

*plots Blythe's painful murder*

This book is what I like to think of as a "surface book". All these things are happening on the surface--action, romance, world-building--but nothing is happening below it. It doesn't tap into you on a deeper level. It doesn't create a believable, living world. The characters don't breathe, and the world-building doesn't entirely work, and the relationships are just words on the page. The story exists on the surface. Which makes it a pretty boring read, if I'm being honest.

At least it was quick?

 SPNG Tags: Castiel / Alcohol / Imbibe / learn a new word every day /
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

Unbreakable is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Kennedy. Sadly, her name, her photographic memory, and her artistic talent are the only interesting things about her, and you can bet your bottom those last two traits will very conveniently rescue a few plot lines later on. One day, her mother dies (not a spoiler, it's in the blurb), and then two identical twins (gorgeous, naturellement) show up in her bedroom and try to kill her cat. Okay, so they're trying to kill the ghost that's inside the cat. Which got there whilst Kennedy was wandering through a graveyard in the opening scene. WHICH IS NEVER EXPLAINED BECAUSE HONESTLY WHO DOES THAT

SPNG Tags: Dean / Funny face / shocked / I can’t believe / I haven’t posted this gif yet /
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

Anyway, the Wonder Twins, who are paranormal Ghostbuster type people, explain to her that they go around the country expelling spirits and the like, and that their names are Dean and Sam. Er, no. I'm sorry, Jared and Jensen---GOSH, why can't I keep it straight? Jard and Lukas. Right. Of course. Jared and Lukas Lockhart are the names of the beautiful, tousle-haired, tortured demon hunters who learned the demon-hunting trade from their father and have a relationship fraught with tension, jealousy, and protectiveness. If they'd been driving an Impala, I would have put the damn book down.

So they explain to Kennedy that they're part of a Legion blah blah blahh silly silly blah. Was totally skimming all the world-building stuff. Why? Because I couldn't connect to the characters at all, so I didn't really care about what was happening around them. Kennedy is quite useless in nearly every scene. Her main emotional roadblock is "Blah blahhhh, everybody always leeeeaves meee, it's like I'm Peyton Sawyer or something", which is patently untrue. Yes, your father left you, and you're allowed to have some scars from that, but the complex you are carrying around is just not realistically executed. You also had a loving and attentive mother who didn't actually choose to leave you and a very close best friend who also didn't leave you. YOUR CAT DIDN'T EVEN LEAVE YOU. EVEN THOUGH THE LOCKCHESTER BROTHERS TRIED TO SHOOT IT. You had one shitty boyfriend mentioned, and that's it. Puh-leeze, girl. Get over thineself before you start painting emo artwork on your walls.

 SPNG Tags: Crowley / How freaking facinating / do go on / sarcasm /
A special thanks to exit-stage-crowley for submitting this!
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

Also, can we STOP having main characters who feel embarrassed or isolated because of their awesomeness? "I'm so afraid of telling people about my photographic memory... it puts up such a wall between us... they'll see me as different...Oh noes!" *eye roll* I just didn't buy a second of it. I didn't buy any of the characters at all. I didn't buy Jared's "blah blah I'm so damaged blaaaah". I know. You're shocked, right? That one of the love interests is damaged? That he's the guy who breaks things and destroys people, and his brother is the one who fixes and saves? Are you Salvatores? Are you Winchesters? Are you all of them? No. You are none of them.

Ugh, plot. So, things happen. There are two other teenagers in this Legion of five, Alara and Priest, who are the only characters I liked besides Kennedy's best friend, who's barely in the book. (And yes, five dumbass teenagers are in charge of saving the world from hell's demons, or something. Are you in good hands?) There's a tepid love triangle, some bland insta-love, and stereotypical angsting. I just... I've read this book before, so many times. I just can't get into a lukewarm reinterpretation of all those stock characters and plot lines that I've already encountered. It's like this book never happened to me. Surface book, all the way. Didn't make one impression on me.

Unlike this, which I will never un-see.

I'll admit, I didn't see the twist coming, and I liked that. *shakes pom-poms halfheartedly* There was another smaller twist I liked, too (but that I TOTALLY know the answer too, because I'm just clever like that). I thought the world-building was pretty weak sauce, but I did like the individual ghosts they encountered. So. Yay. Oh, right and Alara and Priest. There was some obligatory girl-on-girl rivalry/hate/whatever based solely on the fact that Alara is gorgeous, though thankfully that disappears pretty quickly. I liked Alara, even though her only defining personality traits are that she's mighty fine, prickly, and despises the color pink beyond all logical sanity. She and Priest, the unrealistic genius boy, do get the most funny lines and the most personality. And I find myself asking, for the millionth time in my life, why the main character can't be the one with the most personality. Why are the MCs so often the very blandest character in the book? Unbreakable is in first person, and being inside's Kennedy head is a boring, unemotional, and unfunny experience.

 Candy wasn't really my thing.


SPNG Tags: Sassy gay Sam / look at your life / look at your choices / bitch face
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

I give Garcia props for writing a swoony and emotional kiss scene (or at least, it would have been if I'd cared about the characters). But I just have no idea where their feelings for each other came from. At all. I give her props for coming up with some very nice creepy ghosts. But because the writing was mediocre and the characters were flat and the world-building was uninspired, I sadly can do no more than shrug. I won't remember this book by this time tomorrow. Except for this stupid quote, which I will wrinkle my nose at for eternity:

I fought the urge to put my arms around him and breathe in the smell of salt and copper that clung to Jared even when he was only bleeding on the inside.

SPNG Tags: Dean / first I lol’d / then I serious’d / funny /
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.
SPNG Tags: Dean / Gross / Yuck / wincing
A special thanks to coporolight for submitting this!
Looking for a particular Supernatural reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to spend hours hunting them down.

Know of a book you want me to read? Submit it in the reader's choice! Check my archives before you do, though, just to make sure I haven't already read and reviewed it!


  1. Hah! That was a.. uhm.. weird quote o.O I never wanted to read this book, and now I want to even less. Yeah, not reading this. But thank you for doing so, and letting me know how you felt about it :D Awesome review Gillian. <3

  2. Y'know, I was super excited for this one but it sounds so blah! And it does sound A LOT like Supernatural! She doesn't like candy? Who doesn't like candy?!
    I think this will be getting bumped down my TBR list, I'll get around to it one day.
    Great review Gillian!

  3. "why the main character can't be the one with the most personality. Why are the MCs so often the very blandest character in the book?" THIS

    Unbreakable seems like it has all the standard YA tropes covered. Probably not a book for me either.

  4. I really didn't like Beautiful Creatures, so I haven't been interested in reading this at all. I'd really rather not read a book that is a rehash of Supernatural, I had enough trouble with Anna Dressed in Blood x___x And the Peyton Sawyer thing... NOPE *runs away*

  5. I think this may be your best work ever. Clearly your case is helped by the copious amounts of Dean's face in this post.

  6. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh man . I just.. * laughs hysterically * That just made my morning. Nope I will not be picking this us. Because I love my boys.. and nothing will compare * checks over shoulder to make sure boyfriend ca't read this * Even if I hadn't read your review i'm pretty sure I would have been outraged at the similarities. Great job being honest. I appreciate that you mentioned the few high points as well - not that it will change my lack of enthusiasm for the book - hope your next rec. is better!




    But yeah, definitely sorry for this, except not really, because this review is awesome. I was going to read this because Mel kind of liked it and it seemed like it would be fun, but naaaah. I don't think so. I'll just watch some Supernatural episodes because let's be honest, watching Supernatural instead of reading this is pretty a win/win situation.

  8. I think it's a good thing I haven't watched Supernatural or like any of the shows you mentioned, because I'll be reading this at some point. This sounds like something I'll really love because sometimes I'm ok with stereotypical, or it'll be boring, like you said. I did enjoy your review though, and I'm glad Blythe made you read it haha

  9. Yes to all of the gifs! It's such a bummer that this one didn't work for you. I'm kinda apprehensive to read it now and I was really looking forward to it. Kinda sounds like it was a little too much like Supernatural, which I love to pieces, but still. It sounds like teen Sam and Deans and come on we already have the ones that are actually are age-ish...

  10. OH GOD...I can never unsee that gif!! I'm not sure whether to laugh or cower in the corner hahaha. I'm actually watching Supernatural as I read/write this

  11. Bahahaha, Blythe always puts the weirdest books in these.

    *coughs* "All this things" *coughs*

    Kennedy has a photographic memory and artistic talent. Of course she does. And gorgeous twins. THEY TRIED TO KILL HER CAT OMG NO DIE BOOK DIE.

    JARD. *hacks*

    The Peyton Sawyer references are hilaaaarious.

    Let me guess: She likes the broken one!

    This dancing gif. I can't. Why does this exist.


  12. Candy isn't really your thing?! What the actually f*ck! Well on behalf of candy lovers everywhere: SUCK IT!

  13. Why are none of my comments getting published? I didn't realize they were so offensive, I thought the were relatively innocuous

    1. Your comments are fine! To prevent s p a m, I automatically moderate comments on posts older than 90 days. So your comments just got trapped in my "awaiting moderation" folder. Sorry about that!


Note: comments on posts older than 90 days are automatically moderated, so they won't show up here immediately. Thanks for commenting! :)