Title: Shooting Scars
Author: Karina Halle
if you were here, sitting next to me, i’d induce you into crouching down, froggie style, with your arms between your thighs, and reveal to you gently that this is going to be one hell of a crappy review. but you aren’t. well, tough luck, kids!
let’s say you have fossilized poo- don’t question, just go with it- then what do you do? do you touch it? or do you not touch it? some will say that the poo is fossilized, so it’s not really gross and it’s sometimes pretty as well(look at dino poop), while others will undoubtedly argue that poo is poo, covered or not, and it’s the principle of things, not the grossness. think about it and then continue.
sufficiently sickened your mind? read on.
shooting stars, you see, is the complete opposite of fossilized poo and of course, i couldn’t really tell you all that until you’d observed the book’s anathema in its own domain. know your enemy and all that jazz. the cover of shooting stars is as dark and fantastic and all things that make your dreams, and the inside is just as, if not more, mind-blowing.
in this second installment, karina halle has done nasty, nasty things with shame and guilt. while sins & needles, the first book, played with shame and sex in much the same way as a chef with those cherry tomatoes with a caesarian salad order on the line. one reveled in that whereas in shooting stars, it’s depraved and fun. it’s way darker and ms halle tunes it to very fine points.
in fact, it’s completely different from its predecessor, on the whole. the hard and fast excitement of sins & needles is missing, albeit the pace is faster here. that may be one of the few reasons i still prefer the first book. another would be the lack of tracks and melodies that seemed to be playing through the whole of the first book; there were song references but my ears weren’t detecting anything and that’s a bit of a shame.
that reminds me, while i was reading the book, at some points i thought this one would be quite the song for it.
but now i’m not so sure. and other times, i thought this one was it:
i hope someone else finds the right song for me! i don’t seem to be up for the job. 😦
this book has alternate chapters from camden’s perspective and damn, karina, you nailed it.
see, the author has grasped camden’s disgrace into bad and worse just goddamn perfectly. i loved observing as he showed teeth behind his barks; all his commitment to ellie and talks of doing abso-fucking-lutely anything wasn’t just talk. he does it and he does it good. it was scary! even better was the transformation that comes over him when he and ellie are together(oh shut up, not a spoiler), and he isn’t the desperate, wanton bastard anymore. ellie was scarier still, with her sadness and falling back into habits of old. there were moments i felt like ripping out my head for her, but face it- most of the colorful characters make you feel so. i think this is where shooting stars stands out against sins & needles the shiniest. in the latter, the ellie was bad and camden dysfunctional, but now both are nasty and sinking lower.
javier and camden, the triangle we’ve been anticipating. and the twists and turns and perilous rides! this is why camden’s pov was a brilliant and genius move on the author’s part, imo. because as camden sinks lower still, javier, while still remaining the villain who did bad things, inches higher bit by bit and this is truly one of those not-a-minffuck-but-generally-fucks-with-mind. for perceptions are altered and everyone is just darker and darker shades of gray now. except maybe ellie, who is genuinely trying. sometimes. when she isn’t distracted, if you know what i mean.
but as i sing praises for camden, i have to include that it was a fucking slog to go through in the beginning and i was genuinely surprised when it got good. o me of little faith!
the most engrossing thing about these books is the layers and faces karina halle keeps on adding to her characters and yet ensuring they don’t cross over to the good side. how much can you paint in before it overflows? but i don’t think that will be a problem.
shooting stars was a bittersweet book, so very worth it and i’m glad it doesn’t suffer from the middlebook syndrome. i can’t wait for the next book what with the ending that’s sure to keep me on my toes, and has me tearing my hair out. i can’t wait to see what the oct, 2013(a few weeks after my exams end, yay!) brings for camden and ellie. and javier, maybe.
suck it, peter capaldi