Title: All That Glows
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publication Date: February 11th 2014
Rating: 2 stars
All That Glows seemed exactly like the fun, amazing read that everybody needs from time to time. With a premise and cover like that, this could only be awesome, right? Unfortunately, Alll That Glows wasn't nearly as fantastic as I wanted it to be, but it was fun to read.
One of the biggest problems is the instant love. A lot of the plot and the characters' decisions hinge on the romance, and that element fell short. Emrys and Richard have had what? Three encounters? and then they start speaking of love. Oh, and don't forget that Richard doesn't even remember one of those encounters because Emrys wiped his memory. But oh no, they absolutely love each other - the kind of soulmate, undying love. Uh, how about no? That's just not how it works. These characters don't even know each other that well and all of a sudden it's love? Later on, Graudin tries to explain this by saying that they had some kind of soulmate-connection thing going on, but I couldn't believe in that. Even soulmates can have a well-developed relationship.
Strangely, I didn't even mind it all that much. While I definitely don't approve of it and while it lowered my rating, I found myself not caring too much that there was instant love. This book is really light and admittedly, fun. I had fun reading this and that definitely helped every flaw this book had. Unfortunately, I thought there were quite a few flaws, aside from the insta-love.
The characters, for example, felt underdeveloped and bland to me. Especially the side characters were in dire need of a personality. While it wasn't so bad that they all felt the same to me - they did have different personalities - the (secondary) characters felt really bland to me, making it hard for me to connect with them. The characters also don't seem to grow throughout the book, with the exception of Richard. But that's only because I consider stopping with drinking and partying growth: personality-wise, not much changed.
What I also found unbelievable - although this isn't a major issue - was that Emrys always wore skirts. She's supposed to be Richard's guardian and has to be able to fight off creatures both with her magic and through a physical fight. I don't think a skirt would be a great choice for that, seeing as most skirts confine your movements. Pants would be a lot better and safer. Seeing as the Fae take their job seriously, I found it a bit unbelievable that Emrys would trot around in a skirt.
I have to say, though, that this book did surprise me. Although I probably should have, I didn't figure out who the evil mastermind was until it was revealed to us. I was totally led on the wrong path, and since I'm usually able to figure out who the culprit is pretty well, this definitely is a compliment for Graudin. In retrospect, I really should have known who it was, but I didn't figure it out while reading.
In all, this book has some serious flaws - like the instant love and the bland characters - but it was also a lot of fun to read. All That Glows did definitely surprise me. If you don't mind the aforementioned flaws or are just looking for a fun read no matter how good it is, I would definitely recommend All That Glows to you.
**Review copy provided by HarperTeen (thank you!). No money or favors were exchanged to alter this review.**