Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.6 stars. Yes, it is actually 3.6. Not as low as a 3.5, but not really a 4 either.
This book was like fine wine--it got better with time (or so I've heard, since I've always thought wine tasted like liquid Sharpie). The beginning was borderline 2 star. I honestly didn't get what was going on. First of all, we were dropped right in the middle of action. If you hadn't been informed about the black mist in the story summary, you would've been blindsided to what exactly was happening. The first half of the story was really just a mess of awkward scenes stitched together to make a really disjointed time line. If Woodland had gotten a better editor, maybe the beginning could've been just as good as the second half which is definitely more 4 stars material.
There are two things that really stood out in this book: the romance and the plot/mystery. Let's start off with the romance. I'd like to congratulate the author on creating such a fun romance. Seriously, in a lot of YA romance novels, the couple ends up getting together pretty quickly and it's all downhill from there. For Brent and Yara, their relationship was definitely an uphill battle. I loved how whenever Brent was an ass (with infuriating misogynistic principles sometimes), Yara called him out for it. She actually chucked her textbook at him when he pissed her off -- thank you! Brent totally deserved that. And I especially liked how they really didn't establish a concrete relationship until the very end of the book, when they'd had more time to build a semi-platonic connection. I'll admit, it got a little frustrating about 3/4 in because it was obvious both Yara and Brent liked each other but were too proud to admit it...but I felt like the payoff at the end was definitely worth it.
The plot was pretty good. I enjoyed reading how the mystery of the school's curse played out. It actually surprised me that what I perceived to be the climactic twist actually happened about half way into the book, but the plot didn't slow down a single bit. I guess it's all because I had to reread the first half of the book to try to piece together the clues Woodland subtly hinted at.
Anyway, I wish we could've seen a little more of Vovó and the actual school. Like most boarding school stories, Intrinsical lacked a good balance between class time and extracurricular ghost hunting.
In general, I don't know if I would recommend it or not. I think I would recommend it but with a clear warning label that this book will frustrate the most patient of readers at times.
P.S. OH! And I forgot to mention something. I LOVE THE COVER! It's gorgeous. And the title (for this book and Indelible, the sequel) actually is a vocabulary word. Woodland just can't keep things simple, can she? :P
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