Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Kane Richards Must Die by Shanice Williams

Title: Kane Richards Must Die
Author: Shanice Williams
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing, LLC                         
Pages: 288
Release date: May 9th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
After an unexpected transfer to the States for her senior year, Suranne's new friends give her just one instruction: stay away from Kane Richards. According to everyone, he's a heartless playboy concerned only for himself. With one glance, it's easy to see why he gets away with it. But things aren't always what they seem- especially when he sets his sights on her and whispers that she's different.
Despite all the red flags, Suranne considers whether or not his intentions are genuine or if she's simply another name on his list. In the process, she may just uncover the real Kane Richards. But, when it comes down to it, the real Kane Richards may not want to be found.

First sentence:
As I drew up to the secluded school building the butterflies started.

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

I really hate writing bad reviews, but this book annoyed me to no end, and I just can't give it anything more than 1 star. Of course I wasn't expecting Kane Richards Must Die to be the most meaningful, literary book ever, but it took the whole fun/thoughtless-romance-thing way too far. Everything about this annoyed and frustrated me, so much that I didn't want to finish it (I only finished it because I didn't have enough other books with me on vacation).

What annoyed me is how melodramatic the whole book is. From the beginning on, it's like the relationship between Kane and Suranne is the only thing that exists in the world. Suranne is new at school and everyone knows about it - everyone's talking about how there's going to be a new girl, everyone knows her name and where she's from. Maybe it's like that at a really small school, but Suranne says the school is so big it's confusing, so that makes no sense. Kane also immediately comes up to her, which I didn't get - what does he need Suranne for, if so many girls want to get with him? How would anyone even know about her? The whole book is way too focused on that storyline - no other storylines are really explored. Highlight to see spoiler: Even when Suranne finds out she has to go back to Europe because her mom is sick, she's not sad about her mom being sick at all, just about the fact that she needs to leave Kane.

The characters annoyed me. Suranne has absolutely no personality - we know nothing about her outside of her relationship with Kane. We know she plays the piano, because that's what connects her to Kane, but other than that, she has no interests of her own. There are no hobbies, no friends in London she misses, no scenes with friends in the US, no scenes with her aunt, with whom she's living in the US, except for when they're talking about Kane. Suranne has no personality; we know almost nothing about her, and she's our main character! And one little thing: Suranne's last name is Williams, just like the author's. Shanice Williams wrote a book about Suranne Williams. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that's weird?

Kane is just as bad. While he has a personality, somewhat, I really, really disliked him. The way he treats girls is terrible! He doesn't even remember the name of the girl he slept with last night! The stuff he says to them is incredible (I should have gotten a quote, but I'm not reading through it again to find one). He treats girls, including Suranne, at least at the beginning, like objects, and I really, really hated him. Yes, later on we find out about his life, and I guess that explains it, but that didn't make me like him. He's still conceited, talking about how good-looking he is and how he could have any girl he wants, and he's still only interested in sex. It seemed like the author wanted the reader to like Kane, once we found out his secret, but that didn't work for me at all - he just pissed me off. Kane's issues are under-developed and do not seem realistic, and they're solved way too easily.

Another thing that annoyed me about Kane is the swearing. Not that he swears, because that's normal, but the way he swears. He uses swear words in the weirdest ways - I can't even explain it, but it's just not how normal people talk. It seemed like those were used to make him seem like a real teenaged guy, but it didn't work - basically, it's that 'shit' is added at random times in random sentences, and it just sounds off.

The plot is, well, kind of crazy. I thought the plot would be predictable, but that's not the case. There are crazy plot twists, which is a good thing, normally. The problem, though, is that they make no sense. It seemed like the author just made stuff up along the way, like "Oh, now that could happen to the characters", and didn't go back to make sure it worked with what she'd previously written. Of course I know that can't actually be the case - she must have edited, like every author does - but it seemed that way to me. Kane's secret, for example, isn't mentioned at all before he tells Suranne about it. I don't mean that the reader should know about it before Suranne - that would take the suspense away - but... Okay, how do I explain this without spoiling it for anyone? For example, Kane plays the piano at night and says something about waking his family. His secret is a family issue (that's not too big of a spoiler, right?), and because of that what he said makes no sense. The plot-twist with Kate is like that too. There were absolutely no signs for what happened - and I don't mean that in the good, I-never-would-have-seen-that-coming way, I mean that the plot-twists make no sense.

One storyline I would have enjoyed reading more about is Suranne's friendship with Kate, but that's underdeveloped; barely even addressed. Kate tells Suranne to watch out for Kane that first day, and just like that, they're friends. We don't really have any scenes between the two of them; we're just told that they're friends, and they sit together at lunch. I would have liked to read more about how Kane affected their friendship, but that's never even addressed. I was frustrated by how Suranne chooses Kane over Kate without a second thought - what kind of message does that send? The same goes for Suranne's relationship with Lawrence, the one character I could have liked, if there'd been more scenes with him.

Despite these problems, I guess this could have still been an enjoyable read, if the romance were well-done - it is, after all, a romance novel. But I didn't like the romance either. Honestly, I didn't feel like Kane and Suranne had much of a relationship - it's almost all physical, which is strange, as Suranne supposed to be different from all the meaningless sex Kane has with other girls. There's nothing about what Kane and Suranna like about each other - they just talk about how hot they think the other one is. The attraction is all physical. Really, the only reason Kane goes to Suranne in the first place is because he can't get it up anymore when he's with other girls. They even say that they only spend time in the bedroom. It's not that I mind a few scenes like that, but that alone does not make a good romance.

The whole topic of sex is kind of strange in Kane Richards Must Die. It's not that I mind that the characters have sex - that's normal. But Kane is seventeen and says he's with a different girl every night - and it's been that way since he was fourteen. That's just, well, crazy. Where does he find so many girls willing to sleep with him, at that age? Even if he's as good-looking as the melodramatic descriptions say he is, not that many teenaged girls sleep with guys if they're not getting a relationship out of it - that's just not realistic that there are hundreds of girls throwing themselves at him, willing to sleep with him even though they know it's just for one night. Suranne doesn't address the topic, either - she sleeps with Kane after going out with him once or twice, and she doesn't even think about it. I don't mind that they have sex, but I mind that it's dealt with as if it weren't a big deal at all.

Wow, my review is long. If you've beared with me this long, thank you! Obviously, I did not enjoy Kane Richards Must Die, not a single aspect. It's not a fun romance; to me, it was melodramatic, superficial, annoying and kind of ridiculous.


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