TITLE: Vivian Divine Is Dead
AUTHOR: Lauren Sabel
PUBLICATION DATE: June 3, 2014
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
PAGES: 388 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / ARC
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Freebie shelf at Malaprops
RATING: 2 bows
Vivian Divine is a teen acting star who has received a very serious death threat. Now, she’s on the run in Mexico with only her wits to keep her alive until she meets Nick, a guy who is the polar opposite of Hollywood boys. He’s kind and genuine and seems to be determined to help Vivian. But with the baddies closing in are these two enough to take on the big bad and live to tell the tale? Or will Vivian get murdered as predicted?
Vivian has been depressed since her mother was murdered six months ago. She is just going through the motions, acting and spending time with her Hollywood Hotshot boyfriend, until he cheats on her with her best friend. This pushes her deeper into depression and when the death threat surfaces, she doesn’t need much of push to run off to a Mexican safe house. Things don’t go according to plan, when her money gets stolen within the first bus ride and that stupid Mexican boy Nick mocking her. And soon she feels the bad guy hot on her trail and makes a break for it by running off into the woods with Nick. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her because you have to sympathize with what she’s lost, but she is so damn naive I wanted to slap her.
I had the same type of Love/hate thing going with Nick. On one hand, he’s sweet and charming, but it’s clear he’s hiding something. He’s not being 100% honest and it irked me through the entire book…until you get close to the end where it’s painfully obvious what his secret is. I can’t be the only one who predicted that. I also can’t be the only one who predicted the Mary thing. That was a big problem I had with this novel, it’s very predictable. I saw every twist coming, every single one.
The writing was great and fast paced and interesting, but the basic story line was muddled. And fully of instalove! Nick and Vivian spend just a few days together and though there is attraction, I didn’t feel like there was enough for them to claim “love” before the scant 280 pages were up. I can buy into falling in love in a few days if they are an intense few days. In The Taking by Kimberly Derting, the main two characters only have a few days to fall in love, but it was an intense few days and while Vivian’s time with Nick was meant to feel intense, it falls short. Every time she thinks something about loving him, I was rolling my eyes. I found her antics a bit over the top. But, assuming the author did want me to believe her love was real, then she is in for a nasty surprise. Things with Nick don’t end well. Things with Nick end rather badly. Don’t go into this with the expectation that they will ride off into the sunset because they won’t. And, as if you really need reminding at this point, I hate bad endings. So you can imagine my reaction…and if you can’t
All you really need to know is that I found this disappointing. I wanted to love it. I love the cover and it’s got a great premise, with a prissy actress having to rough it in Mexico, but it just fell flat. The story was funny and charming, but it didn’t have the heart to back it up, if that makes sense. It’s like a hot guy with no personality whatsoever. It builds up to an epically predictable climax and then it just ends. There is no falling action or time to recover from the climax, it’s just over. I feel like that’s happening a lot in the novels I’ve read recently. ACTION and then it’s over. Maybe you’ll see more here than I did, but I didn’t love it like I thought I would.
****Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****