Book Review: Betrothed by Wanda Wiltshire
When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black - a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Betrothed #1
Author: Wanda Wiltshire
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Pantera Press
Page Count: 315
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Parnormal
Cover Artist: —
My Rating: No Rating – DNF
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
DNFing at 35%
I was a bit hesitant going into this read. I saw that it has been compared to the Twilight series with touches of Harry Potter. While I didn’t come across anything similar to Harry Potter, there were definite resemblances to Twilight with the whole “everyone loves the main character” thing. If anything, this book is more similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses in the essence of the purpose and character functionality.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anything that pulled me into this plot. I disliked the main character Amy/Marla from the get-go. She constantly tries to feigned popularity and beauty, when she knows she has both. Not only that, but her subtle-no-so-subtle attraction to her best friend Jack is obvious to the reader, (and to Jack) and comes as no surprise that she beings to consider a romantic relationship with him.
Jack pulled me against him and gave me a hug. It felt nice to be all wrapped up in his arms.
In 35% of this book, Amy already had some sort of romantic attachment to three different guys. This isn’t over a long span of time either. So, what is the message being portrayed here? It’s okay to go from one guy to the next when a more attractive one comes along? Trying people on for size just to see if it’d work towards your benefit doesn’t count as being shallow? I think it does.
Amy begins to have dreams about a man named Leif, who naturally, turns out to be a prince to the Fae. In her dreams, Leif calls her “Marla” which she finds out later on is her real name. Leif tells Marla that they are betrothed, and destined to be married since before they were born.
This is where the similarities to A Court of Thorns and Roses come in.
#1 All of the prominent (or, basically all) characters are drop-dead gorgeous.
#2 Leif, next in line to the throne, is the most attractive man in the world, just like Tamlin, and Rhysand both were portrayed. Also, he’s always shirtless. (You know–it impedes the wings.)
“There is only one thing that can distract a female from her betrothed–make her question her commitment to him. Two things actually, one is the prince and the other is a king–particularly her own king. There is not a fae woman born, partnered or single, who, when in his presence, can resist the desires of her king.”
In other words…
Why, oh why, must each and every character in a position of power be the most attractive person ever? Or should I dare ask the real question here–why are these characters formulated as objects of lust rather than actual characters with feelings and normal character-y things?
#3 Another similarity is the emphasis on “possession” of the female in a relationship. Leif reveals the history of Marla’s parents, and how his father–the king–desired her mother for himself. When he discovered that she chose someone else over him, he loses his marbles.
“Your mother was no longer pure in my father’s eyes so when she offered to relinquish her husband and return to him, he refused her. And as punishment for choosing your father, he decided that if he couldn’t have Finelle, then Finelle couldn’t have her child.
Leif also showcases the same idea when Marla admits that she thinks he is a figment of her imagination. His possessiveness over her drives him to find her in the human world to prove that he is not fake and makes it clear that she is his, and his alone.
While I know this element seems to ensnare a lot of female YA readers, I just don’t see how this is a healthy example of a relationship? Possession of a human shouldn’t exist. Possession can literally be translated into domination. I don’t agree with this formatting for a relationship as it doesn’t call for mutual love and/or respect between both parties.
Overall, I don’t see this book sending a great message to its readers. Instead of having much depth, it felt like I stepped into an episode of The Bachelor Pad. If you are a fan of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, this may be more up your alley, but beware: from what I’ve seen so far, there isn’t much to take away from it.
Vulgarity: Minimal. 9 total up until the point I stopped reading.
Sexual Content: Some. There were not any explicit scenes as of yet.