Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (Honestly? Somewhere between 2 and 3.5)
Publisher: Sterling Publishing (Splinter)
Spoilers: Some (That are kind of vague)
The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.
This book was good and bad. A bit worse than I'd thought (hoped) it would be, but not as terrible as it could have been.
So, first: Kelsey. I... did not like her. There wasn't anything special about her, in the first place. And not in a way that she was an ordinary person, but in that she wasn't anything new for me to like. She didn't have anything new to offer. She wasn't particularly strong, but I wouldn't really call her weak. She handled most of the things that happened to her (the physical stuff) pretty well. She did have some common sense. She was very insecure with herself (even though there were times when she would dress up because she knew that Ren would like it). The main thing that bothered me, was that she decided to push Ren away. That part just didn't seem completely honest to me, and it came a little out of nowhere (like they would be talking, and suddenly her mind would go somewhere else, and she would snap at him). It was obvious that she liked him, had admitted it, but she was sure that he would go out and find someone better once he started looking (and near the end, she mixed up what she was saying to that he needed to grow some more, find himself, before deciding how he really felt about her, which is not what she originally said). She kept linking her feelings to the fact that her parents died, and that hurt her and she didn't want to feel that again. But that seemed like a dumb excuse. I just didn't really believe it, or like it. She could have been so much more, especially when considering the fact that I liked other parts of her, like when she's joking around and talking to Ren while he's a tiger.
Now, Ren. Ren is so sweet. He's nice and he listens and remembers thing, and is pretty open about wanting to be with her. He's a nice boy, while still getting upset and a bit angry and protective. Yea, he does need to grow up a bit more, find himself, what with having been only a tiger for hundreds of years. But he's loyal despite that. (Which, realistically, I wouldn't believe. He doesn't know what's out there. But this is a fictional, ya book, so it's obvious that he's going to stay with her, even if he deserves better.) He's a good guy, a bit clueless, and he doesn't know what to think about being pushed away besides that she doesn't like him. He's hurt by it, and it's sad.
Then there's Ren's brother, Kishan. I'm sensing some trouble is going to be caused by him later, with a love triangle or something. Which I don't want to happen. Still, I liked him fairly well. He was fun, even if not as good as Ren. (But maybe better for Kelsey? He might be able to handle her better.) (Although, I guess, she only gets that feeling around Ren.)
The plot seemed interesting, at first. They're supposed to break the tiger curse set on Ren and Kishan, and Kelsey is apparently the chosen one for it. And as they get clues, they set out on journeys with a ton of challenges to overcome, much like Indiana Jones or something (I don't watch nearly enough of these types of things, or read them, to give much of an example). This was alright for some of it, and at some point it was actually pretty exciting, but they did it a couple different times that made me wonder when something new would come. That can only be entertaining for so long.
But I liked that Ren was a tiger (and I liked Ren, in general). His whole story, how he got cursed and his life before it, was interesting. All the Indian culture was neat, as was the mythical and historical things that they were learning about and interacting with.
One thing that bothered me throughout all of this, was that none of them had been in love, or even really had much of a romantic relationship, before. Ren hadn't, Kishan maybe had, and Kelsey hadn't. That didn't help much for the fact that it seemed like they were jumping to being in love so soon.
They were cute together, though. I liked them around each other, and things were going well, and then Kelsey started pushing Ren away for no good reason. And I even found their bickering, in one particular scene, entertaining.
The writing was alright. It's in first person, and I'm not sure if that's the reason, but something about it bothered me. It didn't completely ensnare me at any point in the novel. It started a little slow, but alright. And then it got kind of interesting, to really interesting in the middle. And then it got to alright again near the end. About the first hundred and last hundred pages of the book made it hard for me to read; made me want to pause it. But the middle I really liked. (I would give the really interesting parts about a 3.5, and the other parts a 2.) Which isn't very good, honestly.
And the ending I didn't particularly like. Mostly because I don't like what Kelsey is doing, what she decides. It's dumb, for many reasons. And I'm not really liking her, either. So it's making me hesitate to get the next one, but I might do it just for Ren and Kishan, because I do like them.