Review: Here by Ella James

13490992Milo Mitchell’s life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life…until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick’s face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick beings to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo–who is sure she’s never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn’t know and is doing things he shouldn’t do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run–toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.

PUBLISHER: Barkley’s Books

PAGES: 210

~*~*~*~*~

First of all, I’d like to thank Mark My Words for the copy of this book! Y’all know that what follows is going to be an honest review and that free books do not influence my final opinion on a novel. Capisci?

You better believe that I did a whole lot of reconnaissance on this novel before I requested it. Why? Because Ella James primarily pens erotica novels. You see, not really my cup of tea. Here is Ella’s take YA Fiction. It was actually surprisingly clean! I’m not usually one to encourage someone to continue to write erotica, but, in this case, I sincerely feel like Ella James should stick to her erotica.

MORAL RATING:

PG/PG-13: Some cussing (F-words, S-words), tame sexual references, a kiss

THE GOOD:

The book blurb sounds so intriguing and so brilliant! It’s dream material! A girl shoots a deer and it turns out to be a man? It’s like the plot of the next Disney movie. There was so much potential for this book. I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby references at the beginning of this book! The writing wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad either. I don’t usually use gifs in reviews, but, man, I need to vent really badly right now. Also, there’s spoilers down below… so…

THE BAD:

I’ll start with all of my confusion.

1) There are some questions that were never answered. In the book, Milo shoots a fawn and, quite suddenly, it turns out to be a man! In a sexy tux! You better believe that’s the way I like my YA Sci Fi Fiction…oh hey there winky SPSo, I’m just cruising along, right? It’s not every day someone shoots a deer and it turns out to be a man! While Milo puzzles over where Nick came from, she never really seriously considers his origin. In the end of the book, the reader briefly finds out that he had taken a neighboring boy’s body on that fateful day and gone to find Milo (because they have some deep, truly mystifying connection). Wait, so where did Nick come from? The book blurb led me to believe that Nick was somehow a fawn (but fawn=female?). But the end of the book said that he was in full human form the whole time. I don’t even know anymore. There’s also some huge freak storm when Milo first spots Nick, but we never know if it was caused by Nick. There are no answers.

There are government agents that act like n00bs. The author describes them as “college interns” of some sort. Man, if I were covering up a race of aliens, I’d have Chuck Norris and Liam Neeson watching that precious cargo in a skinny second. Not even those two would be enough! I’d have a huge army outside the compound to make sure that the aliens didn’t pull any crazy alien mojo to escape. But, no. There are stupid college interns keeping Nick from escaping. I don’t even know if these kids could tie their shoelaces; James makes them sound unbearably daft. Just a bit unbelievable.

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There’s apparently a sequel to this novel so maybe James is waiting until the second book to unpack all of the crazy that this book encompassed.

2) The romance. Okay, y’all. Nothing gets me riled up like a bad YA romance. At the beginning, I felt the chemistry. I felt the tension. I felt the romance. Milo and Nick were actually quite cute together. He had absolutely no idea who he was, but felt this insane connection to her. I can deal with unrealistic instant romantic connections, but I can’t deal with romances like Nick and Milo’s. First of all, Nick and Milo never really develop any kind of non-physical attraction. Milo talks about her dad’s death and I guess they bond over that a bit. Mostly, though, the reader has to sludge through a bunch of “Oh. My. Gosh. He’s so hot. Look how hot he looks in his tux. I feel the butterflies. I feel the butterflies” over and over and over and… you get the point. At one point in the story, Nick explains why he doesn’t want to leave Milo’s house.

…I kept thinking about the reasons I didn’t want to leave, like Milo in her Leia outfit, the way the turtle neck had hugged her chest. And the way she looked asleep, with her dark hair spilled around her face, her long eyelashes black against the paleness of her face. I thought about what she’d told me about her dad. I remembered how she’d felt under my hands, when I’d wrapped my arms around her on the motorcycle.

amanda-bynes-gifSure, the physical attraction is important, but did they ever really get to know each other on a deeper level? Yes, Ella James is an author of erotica and I feel like the physical is probably more emphasized in that genre. But, come on, this romance is more than paper-thin and fake. It’s almost laughable. I liked Nick’s protective tendencies towards Milo, but I never really knew why he was in love with her. If I was a guy, I would not love Milo. If I was a flippin’ alien and could do anything I wanted, I would probably make like the road runner and get the heck out of dodge. Or I’d use my super special alien powers to create a pool filled with cookie-dough ice cream. Both sound like more viable/fantastic options than falling in love with a girl named Milo.

3. The characters. I felt no bond with these characters. I admit, I rooted for them! Let’s be honest, Milo’s therapy bills are going to be expensive one day. The book switches back and forth between the Milo and Nick’s narration which tends to be a bit confusing. Milo didn’t really have any reason to put herself in harm’s way with Nick, but she kept trying to “save him” throughout the novel. Bleh. Maybe her summer was boring her, but involving yourself with an extra terrestrial isn’t exactly how I’d solve my boredom. Then again, that’s my personal opinion.

SOUNDTRACK:

I didn’t know what to list as the soundtrack for this novel. But, hey, I need closure from this book. And Owl Eyes is a new favorite of mine! 🙂

MY VERDICT:

I really expected and wanted to love this book, but this was not the book for me. 1.5/5 hearts. The writing was mehhh, the characters all-too-forgettable, and the plot had way too many loopholes. No question about it, but the only alien books I’ll be reading from now on are books penned by Ms. Armentrout.

small-violinIf you need me, I’ll just be right here. Playing my little violin and sobbing about how much potential this book had and how much it fell short for me.

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