Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 188 (Kindle)
Part of a series?: No
Buy it HERE from Amazon.com
Hey, how are you? I wanted to wish you all a Happy 2017 full of books and other stuff you like. 😀
Today’s book is The Extent of Logic by author Bailey Rothermel, and is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. As an English literature major, I know the book very well, and I was curious to see how the story was adapted to fit in our present day. I was excited because the main female protagonist is Asian and I rarely find books with Asian characters (is she Chinese or Korean? Considering the surnames exist in both cultures).
We have our Romeo, Rylan Marlowe, who sells drugs to make a living despite he is the son of a couple who owns hotels in Hawaii. Then we have our Juliet, Jia Choi, who is a model, and her parents were born on the island and don’t like the Marlowes because of their business and the fact that it is destroying the culture of the island.
This was a good Shakespeare retelling, but it had some glitches. While this could have worked as a play, there had to be done more work on the text, characters and plot. Writing-wise, the author is good. I didn’t find any problem with the grammar and spelling, although some words like “wad of cash” – to say one that I kept in mind – were repeated too many times from my taste. In that matter, I love when an author shows that she crafted the text so that it doesn’t have the same words every other page; it makes the journey towards the end more enjoyable.
Speaking of the characters, I felt as if they were stereotypical. Jia is a naive girl who is highly influenced by her mother and only in the last few pages she stands up for herself! I hate when this happens, because it doesn’t show any growth, it makes a character detestable in my book. This is why I said it would’ve worked as a play, the time spent “watching” the action is less but a reader wants to see progress, not a girl who gets treated like a child by her mother who throws every bitchy comment at her, and she cries and doesn’t try to do something about it. I can understand it in the first chapters, but until the end? Rylan had more personality, but even he looked like a girl sometimes – always crying, always thinking the world was easy, and naive as well. Yes, the original Romeo and Juliet were like this as well – two young people who fell in love at first sight and quick to submit to whoever asked them to do this or that. But like I said, that is a play. In a book, I crave for character development.
On the plot, I liked some way things were told, but I didn’t some others. Third person narrator can be OK to change perspective, but not when it’s done without a logic. We had a scene where for example we saw Jia’s perspective switch from, I don’t know, a secondary character like her mom and her POV. I’m not saying this won’t work, but perhaps if you put a space in between the paragraphs, it would be more organized, so to speak. I think the author fixed this in the middle of the book, though. Besides this, I couldn’t grasp how some things happened. For example: [SPOILER]
[Tai is found dead and Rylan is accused of his murder. They do a trial in Jia’s residence and he gets in with chains around his wrists??? WTF??? Jun is the judge and proclaims Rylan guilty just because a pouch was found that had the same writing as Rylan’s, all of this without gathering SERIOUS evidence nor taking his time to think and makes the reader expectant for the verdict. Then, after this, Rylan’s parents disown him and decide that to be forgiven by Jia’s family they will shut their hotel chain down… Seriously, you close a business that is going perfectly fine for this excuse? I know someone’s died, but the reason is too shallow. Not only this. His ex backstabbing friends then go to the Marlowes and ask if they could go away with them and they say – OH YEP GUYS BECAUSE WE JUST BARELY KNOW YOU AND BELIEVE YOU ARE INNOCENT WHILE OUR SON IS TRASH!!|1!!!11! – I almost lost it when this happened.] [END OF THE SPOILER]
I am sorry to give such a rating, and I think that this is not a book everyone could love because of the reasons I pointed out above, or there could be somebody who would like what I criticized. But I also believe in improvement. Of course it is up to the author, I am just stating my honest opinion about the book. I thank the author for giving me a copy of her book that, however, I was glad to have read as a Shakespeare enthusiast who wanted a different ending to his play.
RATING: 3/5 stars