Elemental Reality (Elemental #1) By Cesya Marae Cuono
Rating: 2.5 stars
The biggest emotion I felt from reading this book and after I had finished it was confusion.
"Don't start what you can't finish", even the author herself had used this sentence in her book. I really thought she should have taken her own advice. I was so confused at so many parts of the story! I think the author expected us to use too much inference or experience the situation as the characters did, but there was just simply not enough clues to figure things out! I felt that most situations like that should have been better explained, the descriptions could have prolonged a bit more. For the most parts, the author was in danger of describing too little instead of otherwise. Sometimes, I have to re-read parts of the book to see if I can glimpse any other little details I have left behind in order to understand the series of events. This confusion annoyed me and exhausted me during my time reading Elemental Reality.
It was quite a typical and very predictable Young Adult novel. When I said "typical" here, I didn't mean it in a good way. It can be said as original in the way the author manipulated the plot and character, but it wasn't a necessary innovation (not sure if you got what I meant...). Even though the circumstance is different because of different characters and background, the main idea of this story seemed to have been written numerous times. I really hoped for some variety and originality from this book.
The characters were a positive about the book. I quite liked many of the characters. The two characters I loved the most in the book were Ady and Emery. They were the main character Callie's best friends. They really were the best friends ever! They were like those true friends who could cheer you up no matter what and will always be by your side. When no one else believed Callie on some truths she found out in the story, Ady and Emery believed her and trusted her. They looked out for her too, and really cared for her. No matter what, Ady and Emery were a big reason why I finished the book and still liked it a fair bit. If I had friends like that I would be happy and miss them heaps when we are away from each other just like Callie, Ady and Emery. But I didn't like the big-headedness of Callie or Lola (the two sisters). Some of the situations were just too easy and expected. None of the characters developed over the course of the book. It was as if they were all the same from beginning to end.
Cayden was a confusing and contradicting character. The author wrote quite a few descriptions about him which I didn't know what to think of. One second he seemed good, the next apparently he was evil?! You really don't know which to believe. All of these perceptions were from the main character, who wasn't a very reliable narrator. So if she was confused, the readers were even more confused. What I really wanted to know was whether Cayden was all dark-side or what?!
The ending was also something that greatly puzzled me. I had no idea about some "realisations" at the end. It ended on a very strange note, and it made me so frustrated that I was pulling my hair out over that one trying to get some facts straight about certain characters. It didn't seem a like a good note to finish on and it was a huge cliffhanger. I guess it was a way to keep the readers on their feet and count down to when the next book comes out, but it just felt weird to end on that note for me.
The writing style was very simply, at times it even slightly childish. It felt like the author was just recording a day's events straight off the top of her head at some points. There wasn't enough description and the vocabulary was also quite restricted. The writing was not fluid, there was no fluidity in the joinning of sentences or sometimes paragraphs. It felt awkward to read sometimes and not enough pauses were added in dialogues. But I have to give her some credit on making up quite a pretty story world which made me manage to finish the whole book. I liked some of the ideas of the different types of Faeries and Conjurers, and the colours associated with their elemental abilities I could imagine while reading certain parts of the book. Some relationships were also valuable and worthy rooting for. But I didn't really find the "Soul mate" part overly believable. Maybe everyone had a soul mate, but they way and age which they "feel" their soul mate just seemed a bit weird. I guess you have to read to understand what I was talking about, as I don't want to ruin much of the story.
Overall, it was an OK read, a book which you can read and maybe will like when you've time to waste or when you are bored. It had a good idea forming but the way the writing was presented dimmed it a little. I liked it but it's not a book I will re-read or really wish to own. If you like Faeries and elemental abilities, feel free to give it a go, but don't have too high an expectation when you start. Who knows, you might love it! I'm still interested to see where the second book will lead to though. Fingers-crossed it will not be more forthcoming and well paced! :)
Synopsis from Goodreads
When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that's only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.