Monday, 14 November 2011

Lauren Kate - Torment

Here’s one I’ve been looking forward to for the wrong reasons. After thinking Fallen was a bag of teenage drivel, my OCD led to buying Torment as I couldn’t possibly carry on not knowing the outcome of Luce and Daniel’s special, if not slightly ridiculous, love story.

The first thing I will say is that I’m bored (already) of reading about how these utterly moronic women get into teenage relationships with these guys who’ve lived for hundreds of years and the following two things always happening:

1. The guy not realising how mind-numbingly immature and pathetic they’re love interests are. Just for once I would like both parties to be equally as captivating so that the audience can actually buy into why the guys likes the girl, or have a complete idiot for a guy and girl who is a bit of a legend instead.

2. The feeble attempt at trying to grasp reality in a situation where someone is a vampire, angel or immortal being. Again, it takes away for the believability of the story. The only books to have done this effectively are Charlene Harris’ Southern Vampire series, in which the general public had to be aware of the vampires for it work.

The book gets progressively worse as it goes on, which is a shame because the opening chapter was actually pretty good. Mainly because it involved two of the angelic characters being completely isolated from the humans.

The first question mark came at page 20 where Luce describes a Black Alfa Romeo at her ‘absolute favourite car,’ which was also ‘a sweet sixteen present from her folks a couple of lifetimes ago.’ Now, firstly, Luce has not, before this point, shown a great deal of interest in cars, so this first statement was surprising. Also, as it was from a couple of lifetimes ago, that makes the make and model of the car at least 48 years old. Of all the cars in the world, a 1960s Italian car chosen by an American seems unlikely at best.

The moronisms continue on page 26 when Luce starts throwing a teenage wobbly about Daniel having to go stop some Demons from killing her or something. After being nearly killed, you would think she would at least be slightly grateful to him.

Page 48 almost made me internally combust with rage, when Luce, the girl in love with the angel, thinks she needs to be around ‘real people, who knew what life was like.’ This from a girl who is constantly followed by shadows, in love with an angel, and before that, went to a private school and wanted for nothing. You have got to be fucking with me. I can understand having a flawed lead but having one that a bare minimum of people would sympathise with is just plain stupid. Almost as stupid as Luce.

I didn’t make notes on the remainder of the 452 pages, apart from to highlight a terrible choice of words on page 276 (saying a building ablaze because the lights are on in the dark is not a good use of imagery) but basically it’s just a load of Luce getting off with Daniel and complaining about it.

However, towards the end of the book I starting thinking; what if I’m completely wrong about the idea behind the book? What if Lauren Kate is actually a complete genius and decided to take the piss out of Twilight? The sickening love scenes would lean me towards that idea and that’s one I can certainly get on board with. Luce may be a total moron but at least she is interesting compared to Bella who could be replaced in the movies by a stick woman with a frown. And that would make the fact that despite Daniel going on about how in love with Luce he is and yet acts like he doesn’t care, actually really funny. This theory would also be backed up by the Sun taking it seriously.

Torment by Lauren Kate was published by Doubleday in 2010. RRP £9.99 (Paperback)