RoseBlood

RoseBlood

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored t...

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Title:RoseBlood
Author:A.G. Howard
Rating:
ISBN:1419719092
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:432 pages

RoseBlood Reviews

  • Gillian
    Jan 06, 2017

    Look, I liked Splintered quite a lot when I read it. And it's clear I'm going to be the black sheep on this one, so obviously RoseBlood is going to float a lot of people's boats, and more power to them. If you like quotes like the ones above, I'm not here to stop you. Enjoy what you enjoy.

    But I think this book is completely ridiculous.

    Overwrought, overwritten, overblown, hilarious garbage. It's nonsense to the nth degree. It's paranormal romance on the wildest drugs dredged in comically emo, grandiose imagery and plodding pacing, including absolute mountains of internal monologue. Every action takes 15 pages of clunky prose to accomplish. There was a crack-y, hilaribad quality that kept me turning the pages in the beginning, but this really is a chore to get through. It's just so damn MUCH.

    The lily is not so much gilded as gilded, bedazzled, enameled, drizzled in chocolate, and scattered with diamond sprinkles. The lily, she is dead, the poor thing. Drowned in tragic backstory and tragically beautiful heroes and TERRIBLE Romani representation and absolutely hilarious

    So, Rune is our...heroine. type. thing. And she's being sent to RoseBlood academy, a music academy in the French countryside with an absolutely ridiculous name no French human being would ever choose. Rune is CURSED, by, as she routinely tells us, "her cursed g*psy blood".

    *small break to snarl like a cat*

    She has the voice of an angel, but singing leaves her feeling physically drained and ill. The voice controls her, and she can't control when it bursts out of her. Our heroine is, of course, the most beautiful of beautifuls:

    <

    Rune, unfortunately, not only really beautiful and really boring. I can't really tell you any personal qualities she has besides her voice and her total lack of stranger danger. Also she knits. Also she's an ivory-skinned green eyed girl with "cursed" "g*psy" blood and a mad "g*psy" grandmother who tried to kILL HER and ugh maybe grandma's got the right idea idk (though I'd way rather someone did away with creeptastic Thorn and bloODY ERIK O.G. not Original Ganster but that's a rant for later)

    Honestly, Rune's grief for her dad and one teeny moment with her mom were the only things in the whole book that made me feel a thing, except for Rune's human friends who really should have been what the book is about. But alas, it's not. It's about soul mates, and being beautiful, and tragic backstories, and IMAGERY. Every room, every garden, every rose, every garment, and every ceiling is described not so much lavishly as laboriously. Look, by page 250, I just don't care what the science teacher's room looks like, or just how gothic the chandelier is. I know it's gothic, because you've already told me 40 times that this place is a gothic opera house of gothicy gothicness.

    Then, of course, there's Thorn, our phantom. Ish. Thing. He lurks in the bowels of this ridiculous opera house school in the middle of nowhere. He has a tragic backstory FOR THE AGES and wears a half Phantom mask to cover his face...even though he is, naturellement, the most beautiful of beautifuls but he doesn't believe outer gifts are important.

    <

    He's also Rune's truest (creepiest) love 5eva. Why? They just ARE. IT'S IN THE COSMOS. YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND.

    Oh, my, isn't that convenient! Girls, if a dude who lurks in the vents of your school creeps out of the shadows and tells you you are destined to be lovers, kick him in his "twin souls".

    Every time someone said the name Rune I could only think of the character from Gilmore Girls, which sort of ruined the romantic effect a bit.

    You are my angel of music.

    I have so many questions that have nothing to do with the romance or the awful, too-complicated--to-explain mythology. Like, who would open an opera house in the middle of the country? Opera houses can only survive if they have people who go to them regularly, which is usually why they are in CITIES.

    Who would name a musical conservatory academy in France RoseBlood? Why is RoseBlood one word? Why would it only be for American teenagers? Why don't these American teenagers ever study music at this music academy?

    Why are the good characters all stunningly beautiful, while anyone deformed or "broken" is pathetic and tragic and dark and evil? Why would Erik, aka Opera Ghost, sign his initials O.G. when he is French and would therefore be Le Fantôme de l'Opéra

    WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY was the word "g*psy", which is a slur for people of Romani ancestry, of which our fair (literally, bien sur) heroine is, used OVER AND OVER AND OVER?? Why is Sunny, the only character I liked besides Jax, forced to talk like the absolute biggest Southern cliche, dropping "ain't" left and right?

    Then there was the writing, which sooooo did not work for me. I remember liking the writing and the imagery in Splintered, but RoseBlood (argh I hate typing that so much) went off the rails. Every sentence is needlessly convoluted. What should be a simple phrase is turned into a tortured lengthy sentence over and over and it's just exhausting. Nobody can simply have a feeling, or get out of a car, or say an accusation.

    how does an ACCUSATION have an AUDIBLE BEAK?? And then there's another point where Erik has a "hedonistic voice". That's just not...what does that mean??

    And then sometimes the writing is just patently ridiculous.

    And then some things were just...creepy

    "like pearls upon their flesh"? What in the name of soul mate heart chakra does that mean?

    I'm feeling kind of bad, so I'll list three things I did like: 1) Jax and Sunny. Rune's friends could have turned this whole book around, if only there'd been more focus on them and less on Rune wandering the gardens feeeeling thing, Thorn's HILARIOUSLY AWFUL pov chapters, or their magical sparkly bond to end all bonds. 2) Diable the cat. 3) That thing with the toe socks was cute. Way cute than "blah blah you're my mirror soul I shall bed thee on a sheet of roses my sweet songbird"

    Anyway, this is hideously long (just like this book, which despite all its madness is massively boring), and basically, I'd have to spoil the entire plot to fully impress on you how completely cracked out it is. THE NIGHTCLUB. The underwater greenhouse. How often Thorn and Rune just kneel on the floor and gape at each other while feeeeeling things. The appropriative-ness of the auras and heart chakras. Jepetto the mute puppet master handman

    ? The ridiculous soul mates. The feeble, convenient plot that goes FULL BOIL INSANITY as everything but the kitchen sink is chucked into it and then just kind of peters off.

    It's a mess of cliches, infodumping, logic fails, and melodrama. I'm sad, because like I said, I did love Splintered. But I'm honestly shocked that this book made it out of the gate. I don't know what happened.

    A shame, because a Phantom of the Opera retelling could be a really cool thing. But honestly, this isn't even a retelling. It's a whacked out sequel with an absurd premise, and to me, it didn't work on any level beside the cover, which is gorgeous.

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  • A.G. Howard
    Sep 21, 2015

    Update 1-22-16: FINISHED WRITING IT! I fell in love so hard with this world and these characters. <3 Can't wait to share it with everyone in January 2017!

    Update 6-21-16:

    ARCs are around the corner! For info on how to request one, follow this link:

    Here are a few quick RoseBlood FAQs:

    Much like Splintered was for Alice in Wonderland, this is a modern day spin-off / continuation of the original Phantom of the Opera, that follows a

    Update 1-22-16: FINISHED WRITING IT! I fell in love so hard with this world and these characters. <3 Can't wait to share it with everyone in January 2017!

    Update 6-21-16:

    ARCs are around the corner! For info on how to request one, follow this link:

    Here are a few quick RoseBlood FAQs:

    Much like Splintered was for Alice in Wonderland, this is a modern day spin-off / continuation of the original Phantom of the Opera, that follows a high school senior who is sent to RoseBlood Academy—a French boarding school for musical arts inside a renovated opera house rumored to have ties to the classic opera—only to discover a very real danger lurks within that has awaited her for over a century.

    Well, there is an elusive, masked, tortured hero/anti-hero with an agenda and a violin, who might just be the infamous disfigured Phantom. You'll have to read to find out.

    She kind of plays a role. And that's meant to be cryptic. ;) But RoseBlood's heroine is someone else entirely. Like Christine, she has the voice of an angel. But unlike Christine, every time my heroine sings, she's left physically drained and ill, as if the songs overpower her. Which is why she's sent to the academy, in hopes she can learn to master the music.

    There are several different kinds of love in the book: platonic, romantic, and familial. There's also the passionate love a composer has for his music. Taking each of them into consideration, it's safe to say there is a triangle. But you'll have to read the story to find out which kind of love it involves. One thing to note, though: The original story had a romantic love triangle, and I don't like to just rehash what's already been done. So you can safely assume there won't be a romantic one. ;)

    Yes, there are both fantasy and paranormal aspects to this retelling. There's also a touch of horror.

    The opera house has an old world Gothic atmosphere, so although the story is set in the modern era, there are dark Victorian elements woven throughout.

    It's a standalone. :)

    I haven't heard yet from my publisher if it *will* have colored text, but I'm hopeful! I'll let you know as soon as I do!

    In the product details, my Splintered books are listed as appropriate for ages 14+ by my publisher. RoseBlood will be listed for the same ages.

    But there is one major difference: where my Wonderland series is based on what has often been considered a children's story, RoseBlood is based on The Phantom of the Opera -- a romantic horror/ drama about the obsession to be accepted and loved, and unrequited passion turned to madness. So the mood is different.

    RoseBlood is very character-driven, as opposed to plot-driven, which makes it a slower, more complex unwinding of twists and turns than the Splintered books. There also aren't any *whimsical* underpinnings in this one. Instead, it's darkly romantic and Gothic with subtle elements of horror, and the relationships involve more tortured/sensual depths. For these reasons, it will appeal to teens who like richer character-driven stories, but also to an older more mature demographic, as well.

    As for how graphic the sensuality or language aspects are, those are still comparable to the Splintered Series.

    Other than the passing mention of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, both Sergei Prokofiev's Russian opera, "The Fiery Angel" and "Rusalka", a Czech opera by Antonín Dvořák, play roles in the story line.

    As far as outside of the story world, to inspire my writing stints, I created/listened to a playlist that consists -- as you might expect -- of violin and operatic pieces, but also ranges from gothic metal to rock, electronic indie pop to trip hop, and alternative metal to pop-noir .

    It's a very eclectic playlist, with myriad moods, emotions, lyrics and instrumental/vocalist stylings. I can't say for sure which songs will make it onto my official playlist once the book comes out, but I had lots of fun getting inspired as I wrote! :)

    I've read Gaston Leroux’s novel twice and made copious notes. I was determined to honor the atmosphere, setting, and Erik's backstory, but at the same time, bridge them to the modern world.

    I watched both the musical and movie; although they don't play hefty roles in the book, they are mentioned as part of everyday culture.

    I also researched the opera singer, Christina Nilsson, who was rumored to have "possibly" inspired Leroux's naive young ingenue, Christine Daaé. Even Leroux himself has merited research, because his serialization of Phantom in a French newspaper influenced part of my plot. And I've studied image after image of the Palais Garnier which Leroux drew upon when fashioning his " Opera Populaire," to refine the setting.

    And lastly, I read Susan Kay's "Phantom" twice, because in my opinion, her prequel to The Phantom of the Opera beefs-up Erik's early life with emotional depth, historical details, and insight, while still honoring Leroux's original vision.

    All that to say, although I twisted things here and there to fit my adaptation -- similar to how I did with Splintered and Alice in Wonderland -- I stayed very true to Erik's original characterization and history while expanding upon it.

    Yes. For info on how to request one, visit my blog:

    Good luck!

    For a look at my visual inspirations for the book, check out the RoseBlood pinterest board:

  • Tracy (Cornerfolds)
    Sep 21, 2015

    Me when I realize this book doesn't come out until 2017...

    Read more of my reviews at

    !

    Two things drew me to RoseBlood. First, it's written by A.G. Howard who has literally never disappointed me. I adored her Splintered series and am already in love with the Haunted Hearts Legacy. Second, I am HUGE Phantom fan. I've read the book and its unofficial sequel and I've seen the broadway show and its official sequel. When I saw that one of my favorite authors was writing a retelling of

    Me when I realize this book doesn't come out until 2017...

    Read more of my reviews at

    !

    Two things drew me to RoseBlood. First, it's written by A.G. Howard who has literally never disappointed me. I adored her Splintered series and am already in love with the Haunted Hearts Legacy. Second, I am HUGE Phantom fan. I've read the book and its unofficial sequel and I've seen the broadway show and its official sequel. When I saw that one of my favorite authors was writing a retelling of one of my favorite stories, I knew I would have to read it as soon as possible!

    The very first thing I realized about RoseBlood was that it wasn't actually a retelling, but more of a modern day continuation of the original story. Of course, the Phantom is still a key figure in this story. If you're asking yourself how that's possible in a modern-day continuation of his story from the 1800s, just trust me when I say it all works out. Apart from Erik, there are two main players - Rune, a gifted singer and RoseBlood's newest student, and Thorn, who regards the Phantom as his father.

    Both Rune and Thorn were fantastic characters and this really was their story. On their own, each of them are strong, talented characters with their own tragic pasts to contend with. I loved Rune and found her to be extremely easy to sympathize with, more so as the story went on. I liked that she was independent while still reacting believably to danger, unlike some of the "strong women" that often show up in fantasy. Thorn was an amazing love interest who made Rune's safety his priority while always acknowledging that she was fully capable of taking care of herself. Their romance was entirely swoon-worthy! The unusual, soul-deep connection they shared gave me all the feels and honestly I would love to have seen even more of them together! (Maybe we can get novellas like we did with the Splintered trilogy?)

    While the Phantom was a part of this story, he certainly wasn't the center of attention and I feel as if he was less developed than the other characters because of it. I think this was mostly okay though, since Erik is such a well-known character already. We already know his backstory and this just builds on it, often in very unexpected ways. I'll admit the additions to his story threw me off a bit, but I can definitely appreciate the originality. This Erik has a bit more to him than the one you already know.

    As always, A.G. Howard has crafted a totally unique and immersive world. I felt like I could perfectly picture the gorgeous, gothic surroundings she painted from the opera house to the Phantom's lair to the chapel and the graveyard. I loved trying to work out exactly what the secret passageways would look like and how they'd work. My absolute favorite was the aviary, which you definitely want to know more about (trust me).

    I did have a bit of a hard time getting going with RoseBlood. The story was extremely interesting, but it starts off very slow. A good chunk of the story is just Rune settling into her new school, meeting new friends, and facing off with the resident mean girls. Once things finally picked up after Rune and Thorn met, I couldn't put it down! I loved that I never quite knew what the big picture was and new things were constantly being revealed. While it ended up being much different than what I expected, I really did love it!

    My biggest gripe about RoseBlood is that it started so slow. The elements that surprised and confused me were also the bits that made this such a unique continuation of the Phantom's story. If you go into RoseBlood without too many preconceived ideas about what you're going to read, chances are you're going to love it! A.G. Howard has created a gorgeous world with amazing new characters to integrate with the old and the romance is to die for! If you're a fan of retellings or Phantom of the Opera, this is one you definitely shouldn't miss.

    4.5 stars

    //I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review//

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    Jan 02, 2017

    Which is just how I like my books, thank you, with a sidedish of psychotic Phantoms and perhaps some cake. #lovely And I'll have you know I was absolutely obsessed with the Phantom of the Opera in my wayward youth. (Erm, like, 5 years ago.) I watched the movie (with Gerard Butler) about 1000 MILLION TIMES and I had all the music to learn on the piano and I knew all the songs and I WAS BASICALLY GOING TO BE THE PHANTOM WHEN I GREW UP. Minus, possibly, the psycho mu

    Which is just how I like my books, thank you, with a sidedish of psychotic Phantoms and perhaps some cake. #lovely And I'll have you know I was absolutely obsessed with the Phantom of the Opera in my wayward youth. (Erm, like, 5 years ago.) I watched the movie (with Gerard Butler) about 1000 MILLION TIMES and I had all the music to learn on the piano and I knew all the songs and I WAS BASICALLY GOING TO BE THE PHANTOM WHEN I GREW UP. Minus, possibly, the psycho murdering part. Ahem.

    Also this author is like

    and her

    series is basically everything. <3

    It's set in the modern day AND IT'S IN PARIS (yas) and follows this girl named Rune who has an Obsessive Operatic Singing Disorder. Like she literally busts out in song and can't help it. Really powerful magical singing. And

    and if that's not the most aesthetically pleasing thing you ever heard, I don't know what is.

    Also please: might I have my wayward youth back so I can go to a boarding school in an opera house? #actualgoals

    We have Rune's view, but alsooooo we have THE SON OF THE PHANTOM. Well, adopted son of the Phantom. I mean, yes, he lives forever (#magicalPhantom) and yes he adopted a smol son and this is

    And excuse you Rune, but

    He was totally tragic and adorable and a manic violin wizard and he wore a mask and basically was THE SMOL APPRENTICE PHANTOM and be still my beating heart.

    I did still like Rune! But I didn't really connect to her??? I'm sure that's just a "CAIT IS WEIRD AND PREFERS THE PSYCHO PHANTOM'S SON" thing and you should just probably ignore me.

    As it should be. Bless it. I love how Thorn was an amazing violinist and Rune was an amazing operatic singer and TOGETHER THEY WERE AMAZING. Although Thorn kind of played music inside Rune's head???? Because why not, probably. All the cool kids are using dreams for communication. Out of the way iPhone 6. We gotcha creepy brain possession.

    NICELY CREEPY. There are plenty of bleeding roses and Phantoms staring at you behind mirrors and weird dreams and also WEIRD MAGICAL POWERS like accidentally sucking all the energy out of your BFF or having your music literally smash people to the ground because it's so gloriously. (OH DARN. WHY WAS MY MUSICAL SKILL NEVER LIKE THAT. I mean, I levelled buildings....because I was so bad.) I also liked

    and wasn't going around whining like if she followed the trail of bloodied roses nothing would go wrong. HA. She knew! She kept telling herself she was accidentally in a horr movie. Very meta. Very nice.

    So much monster love!! It reminded me a little bit of

    with the violinist monsters. Although I'm lowkey disappointed that the

    Although I confess I did think it was too much at times. Like the description was so vivd and gorgeous and sensory...but it often over took the actual plot?

    Which is fine! It's just not a fast-paced story. But I would've liked to see more HAPPENING than just having so much description + people

    their backstories. (I would've liked to BE IN the backstories not tell tell tell. That was often tedious.)

    Like is he a villain??? Is he a genius??? Is he out for evil or good??? ALL THE QUESTIONS. LOVE.

    And they play music together. What insufferable little ADORABLE GRAPES. I love it.

    Although I'm absolutely

    that it's a standalone?!?? I need more of #Tune??? I need more Phantom. I need more of the adorable romance??? I need more of the music??! And that

    You're not freaking out over what the phantom's psychotic tendencies will lead to when he realises he's musical protégé (Rune) has fallen in love with his adopted son he's keeping stashed under an opera house with himself (Thorn). BLESS.

    It lacked in the action department, but made up for it with the amazingness that is THE PHANTOM and his SMOL PHANTOM SON. Also that cover, amirite? Gorgeousness.

    And if you think I'm not typing this up while mentally belting out THE PHAAAAAAANTOM OF THE OPERA IS HEEEERE then you have another thing coming.

  • Stacee
    Sep 22, 2015

    I absolutely loved this book. I’ve always been a fan of Phantom {I’ve seen it several times in San Diego, LA, and Chicago} and never mind the fact that it was Anita’s words, I didn’t even know I wanted a Phantom retellling until I learned about RoseBlood.

    Rune is an interesting character. She’s got this amazing talent that has made her withdraw a bit. She’s still grieving for her father and as she learns things about herself, she is constantly second guessing things that happened in the past. At

    I absolutely loved this book. I’ve always been a fan of Phantom {I’ve seen it several times in San Diego, LA, and Chicago} and never mind the fact that it was Anita’s words, I didn’t even know I wanted a Phantom retellling until I learned about RoseBlood.

    Rune is an interesting character. She’s got this amazing talent that has made her withdraw a bit. She’s still grieving for her father and as she learns things about herself, she is constantly second guessing things that happened in the past. At times, Rune appears to be a fragile and meek kitten, but then she’ll surprise you.

    I’m not sure how much I want to share about Thorn. He’s a complex character and I loved getting his story in pieces. And with him being a creation of Anita’s, you know there will be swoons. There is also a heartbreaking backstory and perhaps some redemption.

    I definitely can’t leave The Phantom out of the list of main characters, but I’m also not going to tell you a thing about him. If you’ve read the book or seen the play, discard what you know about him. Anita’s Phantom takes those incarnations and makes something completely unique and hers. He’s dark and disturbing, but also sweet and charming.

    This is another slow burn and I’m starting to think that Anita thrives on torturing her readers. There are so many intricate details and layers and twists and each piece is sloooooowly revealed. We get Rune and Thorn POV and I loved being in both of their heads. It’s maddening and delicious and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Overall, between the atmospheric setting and the imaginative plot line, RoseBlood will satisfy any reader, even if they don’t know the chandelier’s lot number.

    **Huge thanks to Anita for providing the arc free of charge**

  • Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
    Nov 13, 2016

    *Reread December 2016*

    So I have now read this book twice and twice and twice now I have struggled to get through it. I wanted so badly to love it because I was

    looking forward to it but while there were things I enjoyed, overall I did not really care for it. I loved the writing, the descriptions are incredible. The atmosphere was awesome. But, I was so bored and that just ruins it for me. So unfortunately my rating remains to be 3 stars.

    *First read October 2016*

    3 stars for now, I really

    *Reread December 2016*

    So I have now read this book twice and twice and twice now I have struggled to get through it. I wanted so badly to love it because I was

    looking forward to it but while there were things I enjoyed, overall I did not really care for it. I loved the writing, the descriptions are incredible. The atmosphere was awesome. But, I was so bored and that just ruins it for me. So unfortunately my rating remains to be 3 stars.

    *First read October 2016*

    3 stars for now, I really think I just wasn't in the mood for it so I'm hoping to give it another shot at a later date.

  • Melissa Rose
    Jan 27, 2017

    My feelings while reading this book:

    GUYS THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!!!!

    OH MY GOD. I have never read a book like this in my life. Seriously guys this is like

    or

    of books. It was so poor in its execution so horribly bad and offensive at times that it was actually good. The book takes itself so seriously that it's just hilarious to laugh at. It's truly amazing how wrong it is.

    The characters were wrong. The plot was wrong. The setting was wrong. The romance was wrong.

    Every single detai

    My feelings while reading this book:

    GUYS THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!!!!

    OH MY GOD. I have never read a book like this in my life. Seriously guys this is like

    or

    of books. It was so poor in its execution so horribly bad and offensive at times that it was actually good. The book takes itself so seriously that it's just hilarious to laugh at. It's truly amazing how wrong it is.

    The characters were wrong. The plot was wrong. The setting was wrong. The romance was wrong.

    Every single detail was WRONG. The book failed on possibly every level and in a way I'm glad I read this book (although my dead brain cells are not thanking me) because it's literally a guide of how not to write a YA book.

    I usually don't write reviews this scathing but how the author treated the source material is just wrong. In fact some parts are insulting even. I never read a retelling this BAD.

    Okay deep breath....here we go. There is gonna be a lot of swearing so if you don't like it too bad.

    So we got our protagonist Rune-and holy shit here we go right out of the fucking gate we got a stupid ass name. She's going to school at the Roseblood academy for musical talent and boy do we get an info dump about Roseblood. The first two chapters are just one info dump about Rune's power and information about the school. A more talented author would slowly reveal information about Rune's power and the secrets about the school but nope right away we get a lecture about the history of the school.

    Oh and did I mention the school has no wi-fi and cell phone reception. A SCHOOL. A school has no computers. Wow. SO realistic. I can buy a phantom living in the fucking sewers but a school with no cell phones and computers is plain fantasy man.

    Another problem that really grinds my gears and YA authors do it a lot is when the protagonist is going to some super cool location and she doesn't wanna go!!!!!1!!!@@#!! Like she's going to a fucking boarding school in France to learn opera and gets to go to Paris on the weekends and this bitch has the audacity to complain to her mother that she doesn't wanna go!!!!! Like shut up with your first world problems already Christ. And I hate when YA mothers are like "you have to go sweetie!!!" Ugh parenting skills are non-existent in the YA world.

    We also find out in the first two chapters that Rune is the most special snowflake in the entire world. Her dad tragically died when she six years old and of course she's not over it. I barely have any memories when I was six but I guess YA protagonists have perfect memories. Anyway her grandma tried to drown her when she a little girl and set her classroom on fire (???? not really explained well) because she's a demon for bursting out in song. Seriously that's her power. She bursts out in songs uncontrollably. It's pretty lame if you ask me. But you know what she hit all the marks for the YA protagonist trope. But to be sure let's play the game:

    Let's evaluate our character Rune...

    -weird ass name

    -Has an ability she can't control

    -tragic backstory (bonus points if someone tried to kill her because of her power)

    -Has dreams about her love interest before she even meets him

    -At least one parent dead

    -Forced to go to some exotic/fantastical location that she doesn't want to go to

    -Beautiful (Ten extra points if she doesn't KNOW it)

    -Green eyes

    -white (twenty points if she has white people problems)

    -Nobody UNDERSTANDS her

    -Says she doesn't want to make friends but everyone wants to instantly be friends with her

    -Very talented but doesn't want the attention (fifteen points if she has no training for her power)

    -Has mean girls who hate her for no reason just to make her look better

    -Not like OTHER girls

    -Secret family history

    -Falls in love with love interest immediately

    -Life revolves around love interest (bonus points if she puts up with his shit)

    Ding Ding Ding!!!! We got a winner!!!! Congrats Rune you are a basic bitch!!!

    Okay so I'm skipping ahead because the book goes into excruciating detail about her new friends at Roseblood and her classes which I don't really give a shit about and let's get to what I've been waiting for-THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!

    So is he going to be her love interest??????

    Nope. His son is instead.

    You heard me right. The phantom adopted a son and he also wears a mask and is Rune's love interest. His name is Thorn (I'm fucking serious) he wears a mask even though he's beautiful and has no deformities. He stalks Rune and visits her in her dreams and stuff like the stalker he is. Erik (the phantom) and Thorn live in the sewers of the academy and haunt it.

    Wow fucking wow. You had one job and you screwed it up. Wouldn't it be so much more interesting if Thorn had a deformity? Instead he wears a mask like a douche (fucking Kylo Ren over here) and is charming in every way in spite of the fact he lives in the fucking sewers with no friends expect for his psycho father. Of course he's a handsome love interest. We can't have ugly love interests can we??? Physical beauty and beauty of the soul itself were core themes of the original book and by extension the musical. Like fuck off I'm tired of bland ass love interests who look absolutely perfect-this was such a missed opportunity.

    And like all creepy YA love interests he says stuff like:

    UGHHHHHHH

    So here's where the book gets fucking hilarious like so funny I burst out laughing while reading it. Okay are you ready??? Are you sitting down???? Okay okay here we go....

    The reason why the phantom is still alive is because he's a psychic vampire.

    PSYCHIC VAMPIRE

    Oh my fucking God i can't breathe I'm dead. I'm literally dead. And the best part is that Rune and Thorn are also psychic vampires (because why the fuck not) and their voice lures people to them. They don't drink blood but they suck the energy people from their song (how???? don't ask) and that's how they feed. Oh my God its so fucking stupid I'm dead. So you are probably wondering "Hmmm how do they feed from people?????"

    Well folks it only gets stupider from here. Okay are you sitting down again??? Not drinking anything??? Okay here we go again....

    The phantom owns a rave and he uses the people in there to feed off their energy.

    The phantom owns a rave.

    The phantom of the opera owns a rave.

    THE PHANTOM OF THE FUCKING OPERA OWNS A GODDAMN RAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    yES Folks its true the phantom owns a nightclub and theres a rave inside that people go to and he feeds off their fear by exposing his face (??????) and using giant tubes (??????????????) to suck up their energy. What the fuck. What the fucjkdkfkkdk. WHT THE FUKKKKKKK

    I can't. It can't possibly get any stupider. Please for the love of God please don't make it stupider.

    Oh but just you wait people it gets better. We find out that Rune and Thorn are "twin flames" which means that they have the same soul. So one soul separated into two parts into two different bodies. The author says in her author notes section that she wanted a better name than "soulmates" which sounds cheesy. Sorry you aren't fooling anyone. They are ~destined~ soulmates.

    Why I find this cliche terrible

    -They fall in love right away since they are meant to be. There is no tension no "will they?" or "won't they?" It's already decided

    -It's a dangerous concept to teach YA readers that there is only ~one~ person destined for you. That shit ain't true.

    -It's just so dang boring. There is no getting to know each other. It's just hey i just met you and this is crazy but we are destined to be soulmates so marry me maybe???

    -It's overdone and I seen it a million times in other books and actually in way better ways. See Claudia Grey's Firebird series.

    Oh but my friends it get better. Whose soul was split between Rune's and Thorns????? Okay make sure you aren't eating anything okay I mean it this time. Are you ready????? Kay

    It's Christine Daae's

    Or otherwise known as Christina Nilsson a real life opera singer. She was the phantom's twin flame and she died before they could have a bonding ritual (???? not really explained well) so her soul reincarnated into Thorn and Rune.

    WHAT

    THE

    FUCKKKKKKK

    My sanity is gone. I lost the will to live. This is so stupid I can't. I just can't. It makes no Goddamn sense. First of all why his Christine the phantom's twin flame??? The phantom is a tragic character because he's never been loved and tries to force Christine to love him and when she refuses he thinks its because of his deformity. But that's not the reason at all. It's because he's a psychopath, stalker, kidnapper and murderer. They were never soul mates. The book even has the audacity the very NERVE to say:

    "She [Christine] wasn't ready for the selfless, soul-deep level of love he required."

    "They had a passionate emotional affair, although sadly, she was young and immature."

    Are you for real? Really. We are really blaming Christine here. The victim. We are blaming the victim here. Oh but wait it gets better. You didn't think it would happen again but here we fucking go. The icing on the shit cake. Are you ready??? No are you truly ready for this stupidity???? This is the REAL history of the phantom and Christine:

    Christine returns to the phantom years later after the death of her husband and she falls in love with him because they are ~soulmates~ (twin flames are just so stupid to type out) and they have a child together. The baby girl dies and the phantom tries to resurrect her and Christine gets angry and leaves him forever. The phantom then spends the rest of his life to resurrect the baby by finding Thorn and Rune because they have Christine's soul. The whole plot of this book is the phantom trying to capture Rune so he can cut out her voice (how???? idk) and give it to his dead daughter to resurrect.

    OH

    MY

    GOD

    There are no words. There are no words to describe this. Am i Dead??? Did I land into some alternate reality where books like this are allowed to exist??? This can't be real. Someone wrote this. Wrote this into the world. People bought this book (thank God for the library but I placed a hold for it for 25 cents that 25 cents I will never get back). People paid money to read this. This is a twelve year old girl's fanfic. This can't be a published book. This can't.

    So you can guess the ending from here. Thorn saves the day by releasing a lever that floods the sewers (deus ex machina much??? not that i care i just wanted the book to end) and he lives of course and Rune and him live happily ever after. Oh and the phantom is alive too and goes to live with other psychic vampires in Canada (????) Why Canada???? I know Justin Trudeau is good looking but come on there's no explanation why he would go there!!! And the phantom doesn't take any revenge against them and is chill. Awesome. Straight in Character.

    Oh and they let a teacher take the blame for the phantom almost killing everyone in the academy. I forgot to mention the phantom got mad and locked everyone in the main hall and dropped chandeliers on them and shit (just like the book and musical!!!!!!! wow so accurate) and land mines around the academy (yes the phantom is arms dealer too just roll with it) and some teacher died and even though he was working with the phantom they let him take the fall. Great protagonist we have here folks.

    So the end. Everyone ends up happy, nobody dies all in the spirit of the original source material amiright??????

    My favorite character hands down was Kat. She was the bitchy mean girl who hated Rune and to be honest I really don't blame Kat at all. Rune has no opera training just is born with a magically good voice and steals the spotlight and opera role from Kat. Kat trained all her life for this and Rune just steals it but gives the staring role to her friend Aubrey because shes a NICE PERSON.

    Fuck you Rune. Kat deserved it. And Kat has a best friend Roxie who's in love with her. I'd rather hear about the adventures of two girls in love at an opera academy than a boring ass love story between two ~soulmates~. Ugh. Missed opportunity.

    Also there is so much disrespectful gypsy references in here.

    Here I quote: "I might be under a gypsy curse."

    "After our encounter, I realized why I was enchanted by the spider's feeding rituals, that there was something in my gypsy blood-something tainted and wrong...just as Grandma said."

    Wow. Did the author not know how INSULTING that is??? She put the words "gyspy blood" and "tainted" and "wrong" in the same sentence. They are called Romani-not gyspy. Gypsy is a slur. And they were literally persecuted in WWII for having what is called "tainted blood" and not pure Aryan blood. Saying that gypsy blood is tainted and wrong is so demeaning to the Romani people. And saying that they invent curses is bullshit. My jaw dropped when I read that. That alone deserves one star.

    What also bugged me is the pacing in the story is off and some parts were literally Rune describing every single detail. For example when she goes to garden she has to describe her process of doing it and I want to bash my head against the wall. 100 pages could have been trimmed from this book. There was no tension, no build up, barely a climax and the twists were pathetic.

    I would give this book zero stars if I could. The only redeeming thing is that it's so bad, so horrifying that sometimes its actually hilarious. I laughed at the parts where i wasn't supposed to laugh at and laughed at how seriously this book took itself when it's just another bland YA love story that we seen a million times. But this one really got under my skin because it used source material that I love and disrespected it just like that shitty Last Airbender movie did.

    0/5 stars. Only read it if you want a guide of what not to do in a YA book and if you want a good laugh. Excuse me while I go wash out my brain and regain my sanity.

  • Emily May
    Dec 27, 2016

    TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. I gave this book two and a half weeks. I literally do not remember the last time it took me this long to read a book. And I'm including 1000+ page classics in that.

    I wanted to like this book so much. I kept forcing myself to continue to the end, trying to find excuses to bump up the rating and justify buying a finished copy to look gorgeous on my bookshelf. I love

    . I

    to love this, but it was just

    .

    Maybe if you're comp

    TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. I gave this book two and a half weeks. I literally do not remember the last time it took me this long to read a book. And I'm including 1000+ page classics in that.

    I wanted to like this book so much. I kept forcing myself to continue to the end, trying to find excuses to bump up the rating and justify buying a finished copy to look gorgeous on my bookshelf. I love

    . I

    to love this, but it was just

    .

    Maybe if you're completely new to paranormal YA then you'll enjoy this more, but most readers will recognize all the familiar elements. Howard has done nothing new here. How many times have we read versions of this:

    1) Mary Sue protagonist (Rune) with special abilities moves to new school.

    2) Despite being bland as all hell, she is the

    that is key to everyone's plans.

    3) A mysterious HOT guy keeps appearing and disappearing. Rune thinks he seems familiar.

    4) Rune instantly becomes enemies with the resident beautiful, popular blonde girl and her friend (literally called the "diva duo" by Rune).

    5) Said beautiful girl is bitchy, evil for no reason, and

    as she attempts to seduce a hot male student (how dare she?!) In contrast, Rune refers to her own single lusty encounter as "degrading".

    6) Rune soon discovers that her eccentricities are linked to a

    - oh my, who saw that one coming?

    This whole set of tropes might be inserted into a

    retelling, but I felt just like I was reading the exact same story that I've read a thousand times before.

    .

    Also, it's really obvious what Rune's deal is, right? I won’t spoil it, but to give a similar example: if a character doesn’t go out after dark and needs to drink human blood to survive… ooh, what could they be? I'm pretty sure anyone at all versed in paranormal creatures will know what’s going on here. The clues have all the subtlety of flying bricks.

    So disappointing. If you haven't already, just read

    instead - a dark tale of obsession, beauty and ugliness.

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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    Sep 17, 2016

    I'm not supposed to post a review until closer to the end of the year, so I'll just say that I liked this a lot more than Splintered! I was not too huge on that book.

    This was an incredibly creative twist on the original Phantom of the Opera story, but it's also straight up odd. I was torn between thinking it was creepy/brilliant or just...

    . I'm going with the latter. So many times I was staring at the page like whaaaaaat on earth. Like I cannot wait to explain how strange this story gets.

    I'm not supposed to post a review until closer to the end of the year, so I'll just say that I liked this a lot more than Splintered! I was not too huge on that book.

    This was an incredibly creative twist on the original Phantom of the Opera story, but it's also straight up odd. I was torn between thinking it was creepy/brilliant or just...

    . I'm going with the latter. So many times I was staring at the page like whaaaaaat on earth. Like I cannot wait to explain how strange this story gets.

    But if you liked Splintered, you will LOVE this one!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    Jan 19, 2017

    This book

    This book was so bizarre and so good! I didn't understand all that was going on but I loved it. The reason is that it had a very creepy vibe, everything about it had creepsville all over it.

    Rune is sent to Roseblood in France because of issues she has with her beautiful singing. I won't go into all of that because some of it is confusing and it would be a spoiler.

    Roseblood is/was . . . the home of The Phantom of he Opera. The place seems creepy enough without all of that added to it.

    Rune makes some enemies <--the mean girls of course and she meets some good friends as well. She also meets a mysterious boy named Thorn. Who is he and why is he not in any classes? Is he even real? Why do the animals on the property have different voices. Who is it Rune sees behind the glass in the school, moving through the walls. Is she going crazy?

    There are so many things to this book and I loved it. I can't say enough how creepy and weird I thought it was and that's why I like it. There really are some things I wished I understood but maybe it will sink in or I can read it a few times until it does. lol

    There is a history with Rune's family, the phantom and other people and things. Read the book and find out, then tell me what you think so I know for sure. =)

    AND THE COVER IS AMAZING! I DON'T CARE, IT JUST ROCKS!

    I also felt this was a great stand alone book! But I want more books like this so go and write some more and make sure they have pretty covers! ♥ ♥

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