Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Being the good girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ashton Gray has grown weary of playing the part to please her parents, and to be worthy of the town’s prince charming, Sawyer Vincent. Maybe That’s why she’s found herself spending time with Sawyer’s cousin, Beau, while he’s away for the summer camping with his family.

Beau is nothing like her perfect boyfriend. He’s the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, dangerous in ways she’s only day dreamed about, and the one guy she should stay away from.

Beau never envied Sawyer his loving parents, his big nice home, or his position as quarterback. He loves him like a brother. Which is why he's tried everything in his power to keep his distance from Sawyer’s girlfriend. Even if he has loved her since the age of five, Ashton is Sawyer’s girl, so therefore she’s off limits. But when Sawyer leaves for the summer, Ashton, the one girl Beau would move Heaven and Earth for, decides she wants to get into trouble. Stabbing the one person who’s always accepted him and stood by him in the back, is the cost of finally holding Ashton Gray in his arms. Is she worth losing his cousin over?.... Hell Yeah.

I've been mulling over this review for about a week now. I don't read a lot of contemporary YA, so this is relatively new ground for me, and I want to portray The Vincent Boys in the right light. Here goes!

The Good: Abbi has an absolutely incredible grasp of humanness. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Her insight into teens' emotions and thought processes, their reasoning and reactions, it's just awesome! Her characters, 98% of the time, are entirely relatable and believable. You understand their angst and why they make the choices they do. You really feel for Ashton as she struggles to make the right decisions regarding her feelings and actions. Abbi paints a beautiful character in Beau as well. Not only is he dreamy, he feels real...like someone you could see yourself loving, too. You get an intimate look at his life, leaving you hopeless not to cheer for him!

The story has a laid-back pace, and is a great "fun" read! I really enjoyed the dual character POV. I thought we got nice insight into the characters' personalities, being in both Ashton and Beau's heads. Abbi did a nice job of hopping back and forth without losing perspective or voice.

I also adored the way she wrote the fun, Southern colloquialisms. It reminds me of talking to my own family. Abbi did a beautiful job of including that distinct touch without it being confusing or pulling you out of the story.

The Mediocre: Story wise, I enjoyed 90% of it. At the point Ashton decides to tell Sawyer what happened, I feel like the characters went a little soft. By that, I mean this: Ashton refused to stand up for herself when everyone turned on her, which really bugged me. If she'd had a legit reason for letting everyone run over her, I could've gone with it. But she disappointed me as a character when she just rolled over. It didn't seem consistent with this spit-fire of a girl I'd grown to love.

The other guy, Sawyer. The "good" one. With Sawyer, I didn't feel as connected. In all reality, I didn't real care for him that much. He has a brief, shining moment near the end of the story where he finally mans up, but give me Beau all day long! He fights for what he wants! I understand who he is as a character, but still, Sawyer's kind of a douche-canoe.

Now then, the part I don't like to analyze: the writing. Abbi has a phenomenal talent for storytelling. The story is delightful and has a voice of its own, but an editor could spiff it up SO much more! There were numerous times I didn't know what was meant or who was talking because there weren't commas or the dialog ended where someone else's actions picked up. Commas, commas, commas. I missed them so much I nearly quit reading. There were other problems such as formatting or dialog tags. Once during the read, an entire paragraph slipped from past tense to present. It made it choppy and very frustrating. Thankfully, Abbi's mad skills in character development and voicing made up for it!

In conclusion: Abbi is a great storyteller! I would never not recommend her, but I would very much suggest a rockin' awesome line editor. I would've rated this even higher had it been a little neater. I'd hate for anyone not to enjoy her delicious stories over something like commas. Write on, Abbi. Write on!

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