RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Warped by Maurissa Guibord

B-

Title: Warped
Author: Maurissa Guibord
Publication Info: Delacorte Press/Random House 2011
ISBN: 978-0385738927
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance

Book Cover This review was written by Anna Lauder. This story was nominated in the Best First Book and the Best YA Romance category.

The summary:

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in.

When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.  

And here is Anna's review:

Because YA has become so popular in recent years, it takes a really fantastic YA novel to stand out among the hordes of books being marketed to teens right now.  The tropes are familiar.  The character archetypes are familiar.  The writing is… well, familiar.  Just like paranormal romance a few years ago, the market is so heavily saturated that even good books are easy to pass over, because they’re just not enough to stand out from eleventy billion other books with similar ideas.

So how does Warped manage?  Well… I really liked the premise, which is why I signed up to read it.  A magical tapestry is a different twist, and when you get the Fates involved, all sorts of wonderful things can happen.  Unsurprisingly, those were the best parts of the book, and drove everything forward.  A lot of the rest of it just felt like it fell back on the YA standards, though.  Heroine feels misunderstood and lonely?  Check.  Love interest who’s somehow “different” from the ordinary teenage boy, to whom she feels an inexplicable connection?  Check.  Conflict with parents?  Check.  Don’t get me wrong, these things are all standard because they hit a note of realism in anyone who’s ever experienced teenage years (which I’m going to assume is most of us…), but we’re talking about a book that’s been nominated for a RITA, so you’d think there’d be more about it that stands out.

Warped does have some interesting ideas, but relies too heavily on them to pick up a reader’s interest instead of developing a more fully realized heroine or world.  I was more intrigued by the villain than the heroine, which isn’t necessarily a problem, unless it’s a direct result of your heroine being bland.  Which, in this case, it is.  B-.

(And if anyone cares to read more details, there's a bigger, fuller review over this-a-way.)


 This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

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