26 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Tithe

Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)

Title: Tithe
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Modern Faerie Tales
Pages: 331
Published: 2002

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.

Review: I wish I could say that I expected to finish this book and give it a two star rating, but I hadn't. When I had first picked up Tithe, I purchased it in a trilogy box set as Borders declared that they were shutting their doors. I figured that getting three books for eight dollars wasn't a bad deal, especially since they were books that I had heard were talked about when I was back in high school. From what I had heard, Holly Black had made faerie tales fun, had brought a spark of life into them that hadn't been seen before.

If I were to sit back and think about the six months that it has taken me to actually start and finish this book, I might very generously round my rating up to two and a half stars, but I really can't be bothered taking time out of my day to sit and think about Tithe more than I am right now as I write this review.

When I started this book back in October, I figured that it would be a pretty good book, but I have to say that I wasn't expecting all the language and drama and all that stuff that happened at the beginning. On the one hand, I have to give props to Holly Black for actually making a young adult novel seem like how teenagers act these days, but on the other hand I wanted to say that the swearing was a bit much, especially since it really, really mellowed out farther on in the book.

The only thing that I liked about this book was Corny. I found Kaye to be annoying and Roiben was...I don't even know how to describe him. I wanted to punch him in the face. Also, all of this drama just happened in about a week's time, something that sounds feasible, but really didn't work in this book. I kept expecting that there would be some amount of time lapse in this novel, but no. I have read books that have had less pages and have managed to spread out over a year of a character's life and still ended up being better written than Tithe. It's just that too much happened in not enough pages and the drama was overwhelming. Also, there were too many things to keep track of, and I found myself having to put this book down over and over again just because my head was spinning from all of the nonsense that was in this novel.

Another thing that really bothered me was the writing style. Some of it was really wonderful prose. I found myself locked in a paragraph, rereading it twice or three times because I loved how it was worded, and then all of a sudden we went from that magical prose to this very frustrating writing style that made me want to rip out pages in this book and throw them across the room. I can't stand damaging books, but I really, really wanted to destroy this one, and I really want to stick it on a bookshelf with other novels that I will never go near again, like Twilight.

With the plot that Tithe had, it could have been such an interesting read, but it lacked because of the writing and the unnecessary additions and overbearing drama that was scattered all throughout the novel. I'm disappointed to say that I regret my purchase and don't know if I'll ever come close to reading the rest in the modern faerie tale series.

Rating: ★★ 2/5 Stars

2 responses:

Jess said...

I picked this really cheap at a used bookstore after reading Holly Black's new Curse Worker series which I thought was pretty good.

This books sounds interesting but I understand some of your reservations. I'll keep them in mind as I read. I also have a section of my bookshelf with Twilight-and-never-to-read-again books !

Rhee said...

I've heard that the Curse Worker series is better than the Modern Faerie Tales series. I can't say I know because I haven't read them, but White Cat is on my Kindle, waiting for me to pick it for my read.

I've found that with books that are popular, I either find myself in love with them or utterly hating them, and this is definitely on the utterly hate pile. I might have to start a 'Twilight-and-never-to-read-again' shelf! That seems like a smart idea. (:

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