Saturday, February 1, 2014

{Review Blast} Final Life: Rose Garcia

Rating: 6 out of 10. 3 stars
Series: The Transhuman Chronicles #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
{latest}Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Publisher: FML books
Page Count: 240
Format: Kindle Book

Goodreads Synopsis: Nothing sucks more than being forced to move cross country during senior year. And Dominique Wells doesn't think things can get any worse until she's invited to a quirky neighbor's party. When pressured into playing a magical card game, Dominique's world goes from sucky to terrifying. She begins having visions of a red desert and an evil presence--a presence who hints at past lives and promises to kill her.

Plagued by fear and suspicion, and unaware of a family secret kept hidden from her, Dominique is determined to live. Together with a mysterious and gorgeous guy who's moved in while his parents are away, and a hot, popular guy from school, Dominique must seek clues to her past if she's to survive. That, and keep her emotions in check for the two guys she suddenly can't stop thinking about because if she doesn't, she'll be dead. For real.

*I was given this book for a review blast which does not in the slightest affect my honest review of this book*

"Everyone has a destiny to fulfill. I call it the path. Sometimes the path is unknown to us-sometimes the path changes. Still, other times, we must forge our path. Either way, nothing happens until we are ready."
My Background: I knew NOTHING about this book besides what I had read in the Goodreads Synopsis. What I would like to say was that when I finished Final Life, I rated it 4 stars, but since then I have revised that rating because of one thing, it wasn't memorable. I admit that I read the book a few weeks ago, and I am only now reviewing it (I'm a procrastinator). I was avoiding reviewing Final Life in the first place because I couldn't come up with what to say because it was a fun book that kept my interest while I was reading it, but the plot was cliche and there wasn't much that I could specifically point to and say, "That is what I like. That is what keeps my interest." Something that is very important to me when reading a book, is what will stay with me. I'm not saying every book has to be a masterpiece/classic, up to par with Les Miserables, all I'm saying is that I love it when I can really praise the authors writing style, an unusual plot, or a standout character. I'm not trying to be negative, but I think that in two months, I probably won't remember the main characters name.

Plot 6/10: 
Yes, I do admit these are Disney Channel Original Movies, I watched them when I was little, I have no shame.
While reviewing my notes of Final Life, this is what I wrote down, "Cliche main character finds out she's special and has to save the world, that is shown in Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior and Avalon High
No matter how weird that sounds, it is a very close description of the book.
  • We have all read the book, or watched the movie where the main character (usually a girl) finds out she has this magical, superpower of some sort that her family has been keeping a secret about for the past few years of her life. Then after being angry, she takes her life in her own hands, defeats the evil force, saves the world, and lives happily ever after. 
That identical scenario happened in Final Life, with a few plot twists.
  • In Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior, stuck-up, popular, full-of-herself Wendy Wu's only goal in life is to become homecoming queen, but then a monk named Shen from China comes and tells her she is the Yin Warrior that has to defeat this evil guy, and the plot just follows its cliche Disney trail. In the end, Wendy and Shen obliterate the villain once and for all, then drive off into the sunset holding caramel frappuccinos
The part resembling Final Life is that the Yin Warrior, and her protector have been reincarnated multiple times to keep defeating the evil force (and of course they fall in love). The same thing happens in the book. Farrel, Domonique's protector and her have led multiple lives, and  this is her 'Final Life'  and final chance to defeat Tavion.
  • In Avalon High, the cliche Disney plot carries itself out, but we find out that every thousands of years when the sun and moon are in perfect alignment, the reincarnation of King Arthur will appear to set the universe back in balance. I seriously question the scriptwriters of Disney Channel Movies, because it seems like they copied and pasted.
Basically this is the same as Wendu Wu, they get reincarnated and have to defeat evil one last time... but that's the point. Disney Channel movies have a fill-in-the-blank format and so do some books. What I would like to point out is that even books with cliche-sounding plot lines need some selling point, or unique setup. Final Life had the perfect unique selling point. Dominique is on her final life (you never guessed that) and she has one last chance to defeat Tavion after failing and dying EIGHT times before. Will she be able to do it? The world will never know...but there is a sequel :)

Characters 5/10: The characters that stayed with me were the three people that helped Dominique, and Farrell; Trent's Abuela, Abigail, and Jan Kelly. Trent's grandmother and Jan were those kind of grandmother-esque characters (although Abuela was an actual grandma so my point isn't exactly valid) that are sometimes stern, and you think they have no idea what's going on, but then they end up giving you some mind-blowing advice, or the final piece to the puzzle and then you feel so stupid because your grandmother came up with it. That makes absolutely no sense, but the point is that I loved both of those characters because of the subtle way they impacted the story without in any way stealing the show. The other character that helped Farrell and Dominique was Abigail. She was one word, creepy...but in a good way. Abigail was sort of this spirit that Dominique kept seeing and she helped Dominique by giving cryptic clues. My descriptions of my three favorite characters are, let's face it, weird. The reason is because they were unusual as characters, and not cookie-cutter ones which is a breath of fresh air.

Overall the three main characters, Dominique, Farrell, and Trent were not bad, they just weren't very special. Of course Trent and Farrell were both swoon-worthy, and sweet, and everything a good main love interest should be. I don't have much to say about them.

Romance 4/10: I was annoyed. There was a love triangle *fireworks of surprise go off into the night sky* and I personally thought it was not well designed. The foundation the triangle was built on wasn't very good, and left the main character guilty that she liked one guy when she felt obligated to love another. Then in the end she messes it up with that guy and is suddenly best girlfriend of the year to other one.  

Title 10/10: There could not have been a better title for Final Life because of what the book was about, and the sense of urgency you feel when you see the words "final life"

Cover 8.5/10: You may or may not know that Final Life got a new cover, and it was definitely a vast improvement that captured the feel of the book almost perfectly. The old cover had the words "Final Life" with a girls eyes in between and a while feather. The new cover has so much more symbolism for the story. The only part that is creepy is the girl who looks like she's from the Exorcism, which makes sense for the story, but is still a bit creepy.

Writing Style 7.9/10: Aside from Dominique's voice, which I wasn't the biggest fan of, I did like the writing style, and some of what Rose Garcia had to say was really interesting. The main core of the plot-cliche part aside-the part that made the book stand on its own, was the idea of being reincarnated a certain number of times. Not living the same life over again, but living again. A new slate. A new chance. A new opportunity. The thing that all humans wish for one time in their life or the other.  

Ending 6.5/10: I really liked the ending, and it was a perfect conclusion to the first book, although I don't like how the romance ended, but it provided just enough closure, while still leaving you wanting a second book.

Quotes 6.5/10: As I said before, Final Life is no Les Miserables, but there were some quotes I did enjoy.
"You know that feeling you get when someone is secretly looking at you? And you don't want to glance their way because you don't want them to know you can tell?" 12% Don't ask me why I like this quote, but I just do, it was quirky, and even though it was a springboard for what Dominique was describing, and used as a comparison, I really liked it.
"Energy, once created, can never be destroyed. It can only be relocated or transformed." This is a basic scientific principle, but the description afterwards is what I truly like about Rose Garcia's narration and it points out her talent as a writer. 
Continuation: 40% Maybe if I'm in the mood for something light after a heart stopping contemporary, or maybe just something to get over a reading slump is how I would read the sequel to Final Life, Final Stand.

Conclusion: The plot, although slightly cliche at some times, moved quickly, and the parts about only having a certain number of lives to live was really interesting. Overall I suggest this Final Life as a light, quick read that you're sure to have fun reading.

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