A review by bluejayreads
Did not finish book. Stopped at 3%.
Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn
I was expecting something way different out of this book. Some sort of urban fantasy with a campus club of magical people that the protagonist needs to join to find answers. What I got was punched in the face with the intense and violent grief of losing a parent before I even knew the narrator's name.
Right off the bat, that made it a struggle for me to relate. Not only is my mother still alive, but so is my mother-in-law, both grandmothers, and two of my great-grandmothers. The only deaths I've experienced are a great-uncle I saw once a year and a girl I wanted to be friends with but had only actually met once - no one I was particularly close to. I knew nothing about Bree or her mother that could make me feel anything beyond "gee, losing your mom must suck," so I couldn't relate or connect to the depths of her grief. And since Bree's grief was the one and only thing I knew about her, I started to feel less like I cared about her and more like one of the people she despised for their useless sympathy.
And getting the strong impression that you would be hated and despised by the protagonist really kills your enjoyment of the story.
That's not to say that this is necessarily a bad book, or even a bad thing. Someone who has had that experience of losing someone you were close to would likely be able to forge an immediate connection with Bree and be able to relate and empathize instead of observe and sympathize. For me, though, my life has been relatively untouched by death so far, and the depths of Bree's grief and her anger and people who don't understand made me feel like as a reader who didn't understand, I wasn't welcome in her story. This is not a bad book, it's just not a book that I can relate to.
Graphic: Death of parent and Grief