This book made me irritated. Like a skin irritation. Like a rash. Like something I just want to scrub off my skin. I'm actually annoyed with myself that I didn't DNF (it was that darn engaging narrator, more on him later).
Here's a list of things I didn't like:
- The main character. He's SO weak. He comes across like a dull, dim child. So much so that I have a hard time even guessing at his age. He also doesn't ever actually DO anything except get pushed around and influenced by the other characters. Jeremy makes Bella Swan (even New Moon pining for Edward Bella Swan) seem like a vibrant, dynamic, go-getter in comparison. He doesn't grow AT ALL throughout the book. He just shifts from following one person to following a different person.
- Ginger, the stereotypical "feisty girl" who is supposed to be the sparkling character who pulls Jeremy out of his shell and breathes life into his dormant existence. I just wanted her to shut up and leave the book. She isn't nearly as enchanting or original as I think she's supposed to be. I would have loved for someone to have stuck a giant wad of bubble gum in her hair.
- The wandering plot. So much pointless stuff happens. Each time a new plot development would be introduced I'd hope that finally the plot would actually move somewhere. But no. I got the feeling all those little vignettes were supposed to be somehow poignant but I couldn't help but think, "Why am I wasting my time reading about this??"
- The "It's just like a Grimm fairy tale!" tie ins. I don't think the obvious stick could have hit any harder. Sometimes it was effective and I did like it, but overall I wasn't loving the DID YOU GET THAT CLEVER ALLUSION, DIMWIT??? vibe when, duh, how could you not get it?
- The LITERATURE vibe. I hate it when my books spend more time telling me they're high brow than in telling me a story.
- The genre mash. Is this a contemporary romance? A mystery? A fairy tale? A true-crime thriller? A middle grade book? A YA book? An adult book? Fantasy? Realistic? Set in the present day? Set in the past? I never felt grounded and the mix of different elements didn't sit right with me. It felt convoluted and contrived.
- The obvious EVERYTHING. I was wrong about only one tiny thing, and I liked what I thought was happening better than what was actually happening. SPOILER! I was hoping the victims were used to make the prince cakes.
Things I did like:
- LOVED Jacob Grimm, the ghost narrator. He spoke so beautifully, totally sucking me into the story despite the fact that I didn't actually care about the characters or events. His feelings for Jeremy were incredibly touching and actually made me shed a tear for Jeremy. Jacob serves as a ghostly guardian/best friend/father figure for Jeremy and he is fiercely protective. I loved the glimpses into Jacob's life, his journey through the afterlife, and his quest to find peace. HE did grow and change, though I loved him every step of the way.
- The food descriptions. My gosh they were downright enthralling. Mouthwatering. Fantastic. It wouldn't matter if that food was poisoned, people, or intended to fatten me up for a witch's dinner, I'd eat it.
Bottom line: Despite a few things I absolutely LOVED, I'm so turned off that I'd be hard pressed to pick up another book by this author.