Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard



SUMMARY (via Amazon):
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

VERY HONEST THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY:
Okay, here's the deal. I've mentioned this before, I think. I'm not the world's biggest fan of paranormal, and in general I don't read too much of it. But I am forever open minded, especially when a cover looks that pretty. (Yes, I judge my books by their covers. I admit this openly.) And also, I love Laura. A lot. But will endeavor to remain as unbiased as possible for the review.
Shall we do a re-enactment of what happened when I got The Forgotten Ones?
Yes. Yes we shall.
Laura: Here, KK. Have an eARC.
Me: *shrieks with happiness* *then realizes I have a boatload of homework and no time to read* Nooooooo!!!! *shakes fists heavenward*
Laura: Why are you screaming?
Me: Because I want to read it NOW!!! And I can't!
Laura: Pfft. You should read it now.
(Yes, Laura is the world's biggest book enabler. She is the reason I have no money, and it is all spent on books.)
Me: *sobs*
 
Then.
I'm on the way home from college, and the train is delayed in the station.
*flips open iPad and promptly begins to read*
*does not stop till the very, very, very last page* (this is around the time I get off the subway. It's not that the train takes that long, I read REALLY quickly)
 
What did I think of The Forgotten Ones?
I really, truly, enjoyed it.
The main character, Allison, is really not in the world's greatest of positions. She's watched her mom suffer from schizophrenia for years, and is determined to be able to take care of her after the years they've spent with her grandparents. She's had to deal with a lot more than someone else her age, which you can see when she talks to her cousin. And if it wasn't for Laura's writing, and the way that you really understood her need to do that, I would have wanted to smack Allison for not actually going out with Ethan.
....okay, I'm still a little frustrated. ARGH. There wasn't so much backstory of the little Allison-Ethan romance situation, and hopefully it will be in the second one. But Ethan seems like a really nice dude, and seems to have a lot of patience for Allison and the whole mom situation (Psych grad student in me is very pleased by this. Although psych grad student in me would also be happier with more effective communication on Allison's part. And yes. This does happen with every romantic relationship I read about. I also talk back to books sometimes when I'm reading them. This proves to be entertaining for innocent bystanders).
When Allison starts seeing things and her dad all of a sudden shows up, looking pretty similar to the way he did in pictures from twenty-odd years ago... her fears of going crazy and her fierce protectiveness over her mom leap off the page, and have you glaring suspiciously at her dad, too.
The characters were well rounded and great, and the secondary characters were fabulous. The plot moved nice and smoothly- especially once the story moves into Tir Na n'Og, magical Irish fairyland (calling it this may make me sound like a philistine. I apologize if my plebian, not well versed in Irish mythology behavior offends you). The story kind of feels like it should be some Wizard of Oz movie type- black and white at the beginning, and then BAM! color once the fun fairy people show up. And the fun fairy people are indeed fun- but please God, don't ask me to try to pronounce their names, because the chances of me butchering such fabulous Irish (*sigh of happiness*) names is quite high. Some serious emotional backstory going on with all of the Tuatha de Danaan, too, which I sincerely hope continues in book two.
The book was a great combination of adventure, fantasy and romance- all the romance :)
(Although not enough of Allison and Ethan. *longsuffering sigh*)
I got sucked in to The Forgotten Ones- so much so that I was on the NYC subway during rush hour and could not be distracted at all. That I forgot I was on the subway until I had to get off the train, and then I was all sad about not being in Tir Na n'Og, watching Allison kick butt from my lovely spot on the grass.
I should get better grass to sit on.
And perhaps a few fairies, too.

Confession:
When I started reading The Forgotten Ones, I didn't realize it was the first of a trilogy. Which probably makes me a bad friend, and a bit of a ditz. Although on the copy I got, it didn't say Book One. So I'm going to pretend that that's an excuse.
But not really.
So what happens? I get to the last page, and think that a certain someone who shall remain nameless has sent me a bad copy.
Like, with pages missing.
Because (SPOILER HERE!!) hello. That cliffhanger nearly made me cry.
IT JUST ENDED! AND NOW I DON'T KNOW WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!
I'm really, really bad at waiting for things, guys.
Like sequels.
*glares at Laura and taps foot impatiently*

SO!
Should you read The Forgotten Ones?
Why, yes. I think that would be a super fabulous idea. Because then we can discuss the fact that we all want to be friends with fun fairy people (not the evil fairy people, someone else can be friends with them), and we can all clear our throats impatiently around Laura to wait for book two to come out.
*Starts playing Jeopardy music now*

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