Stray by Rachel Vincent
So I finally read this book. I put it off for a while because I had heard so many mixed reviews about the series, most often that the main character, Faythe, is annoying. While I can see why some would say that, I in no way found her to be as obnoxious as some others have. She is a flawed character who grows even just in this first book. Even though she is supposed to be twenty-three, I see her as a little bit younger because her behavior and lack of want for responsibility makes her seem that way. If you try to think of her like that, she's not bad at all. Faythe is slightly reminiscent of Mac at the beginning of the Fever series for me, meaning that I found her a bit young and silly at first but by the end of the book I loved her.
"You mostly.” Her hands went still again as her eyes stared off into the past with a look so wistful it made me ache for her. “The boys tended to take care of each other but you were too much for anyone else to handle.” I poked at the ball of yarn avoiding her eyes. “I wasn’t that bad.” She smiled. “You broke Ethan’s arm.” “It was self-defense. He wouldn’t let go of my foot.” “He was helping you tie your shoe."
I won't bother going into a summary of the book, since so many others have. I will simply talk about what I liked and didn't like. First of all, let's get the dislikes out of the way. I felt like Faythe's relationship with her dad was part of the reason she seemed so young to me. Faythe never knew when to quit asking to leave the Pride, even in the midst of a serious tragedy she was still trying to make her case! After a particularly tramatic part of the book where Faythe seemed to grow up a little bit, she deferred right back to her old ways as soon as she got on the phone with her father.
I also was not fond of Jace in this book. I've heard so much about the two love interests in this series, Marc and Jace, that I expected more from the Jace character. Yet I found him to be immature and, frankly, inappropriate (sorry Jace lovers!). When Faythe comes back to the Pride at the beginning of the book, Jace greets her by pinning her up against a wall and practically licking her! And later he tries to make a bet with Faythe that would involve Faythe sleeping with him if she loses. Um...weird! Especially since they had nothing more than a flirty friendship prior to Faythe leaving to go to college. Obviously there is more to the Faythe/Jace relationship in later books or he would not even be considered a love interest, but at this moment I can't even forsee what that might be.
My final gripe is about the writing style. I really liked the smooth style of Rachel Vincent, but at times I felt like she was over describing things. I don't really know how to explain what I mean by that, except to say that its a flaw one would typically see in a YA novel.
Okay, enough of the bad - let's get on with the good! With everything said about Faythe, I expected her to be much worse than she was. I was prepared for someone whiny and immature who complained a lot and drove me crazy most of the book. To my delight she was not like this at all! In fact, she kicked some serious ass (literally). Faythe definitely has her flaws, but you can see her growing and changing as the story progresses and that's a good thing. I could also understand why she fled the Pride five years ago - that IS a lot of responsibility to commit yourself to and I could completely understand why she made a run for it!
"Apparently the complete works of Shakespeare packed quite a wallop. To think, my mother said I'd never find use for an English degree. Ha! I'd like to see her knock someone silly with an apron and a cookie press."
What I could NOT understand, however, was how she left Marc! Yummy, sexy, Marc! I didn't really see the appeal in him until I was about a third into the book...that scene where she was ogling him (or rather, trying not to ogle him...) in his towel put me right at the front of the Team Marc train!
I also thoroughly enjoyed the actual plot of the book and couldn't wait for the "bad guy" to get what was coming to him. Everything that happened once Faythe became more "involved" with aforementioned "bad guy" had me turning the page sos fast I almost ripped a few.
Okay, so all in all I ended up really enjoying the first book in the series and am excited to read the next one! :)
"Kicking ass is surprisingly therapeutic"