The Lair by Emily McKay
Series: The Farm #2
Genre: Vampires, Young Adult, Paranormal
Published by Berkley Trade on November 5, 2013
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In the battle against the vampiric Ticks, humanity was slowly but certainly headed for extinction. For months, twin sisters Lily and Mel had been "quarantined” with thousands of other young people being harvested for their blood—food for the Ticks. Finally escaping with a few friends, the twins are separated—and must continue the fight on their own . . .
After making it to a resistance base camp in Utah, Lily learned to survive at all costs. But when a Tick attack decimates the fighters, Lily and her pregnant friend, McKenna, decide to make the hard trek north to Canada—and safety.
Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the very vampire that turned her. Living without her sister is hard, but dealing with the fact that her autism was cured by the vampire bite is an even bigger challenge.
But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her, save her, and begin to unravel the empire of destruction that the Ticks have built.
Note: I shouldn't have to tell you this, but don't read this review if you haven't read The Farm yet, because this is book two in the series The Farm. Seriously. Just go and read book one. Despite my three stars, it's well worth it. Just...library this book, okay? I'm saving you the pain. Anyway, this review may or may not have spoilers. I don't keep track.
Recently, I've been writing down what I think about a book while reading it in a note thingy on my iPhone. Honestly, it's the best decision that I've ever made, because writing these reviews are so much easier. I'm a big sucker for good endings, so when I read a book that bores me in the beginning but goes out with a bang with the ending, I usually want to rate it higher than it should actually be rated. With my notes about how I felt throughout the book, it's much easier to rate a book and write a review that's levelheaded and not flooded with my emotions. So onto the review.
The Lair is the second book in the series The Farm, and I felt that it heavily suffered from Second Book Syndrome. The first book was great with action and suspense, but then once the second book rolls around, the beginning had literally the boringest (not a word, but today it will be a word just for this review) plot ever and it travels at the rate a snail does. A very, very fat snail. And then after you--the reader--gets past this snail-like part of the book, it goes out with a bang, and well, quite frankly, you're obligated to read the third and final book because you simply needs to know what happens to these characters that you've invested so much time in. So, yes. Now onto the specifics.
Throughout the entire book, the tenses and POVs (point of views) pissed me off so much. Mel and Carter were in first person, but Carter was in past tense and Mel was in present tense. Lily was in past tense and in third person. I just...couldn't. As a writer, I could never imagine doing this. If I ever want to do split POVs, I either collab with another writer with a different writing style or I write in third person. I don't understand how McKay can write three different POVs in two different tenses. That's what pissed me off. Two different tenses. Like, no. Pick one. Use it.
Also, the lack of Sebastian and Melanie romance really angered me a ticked me off. In The Farm I felt like they had some sort of connection. And I'm not going to deny that I'm big on 'forbidden romances,' so I was all for Sebanie to happen, but then...it didn't. I looked forward to Mel's chapters so much because she was such an intriguing character. As a former autistic girl, her new vampire self had some things to say about the world, and I loved that about her. I pretty much ended up wishing that Lily and Carter would just be killed off so the book would become Mel's stage.
Then there was Carter. Like I said before, I wish he was gone. I know that's harsh, but he's putting so many people in danger by taking care of Lily. I get that he loves her, and that's sweet, but I just don't particularly enjoy how he always neglected his duties when Lily was in trouble. I'm big for romance, but I feel that Carter and Lily's relationship is a bit reckless in a sense that them being together is more dangerous for them than not being together. Carter, despite how many times he says he doesn't want to be a leader, is a leader. And leaders lead. Honestly, Carter isn't that great of a leader. He just sort of slacks off when Lily comes into the picture, and I don't like that about him.
I have one thing to say to authors everywhere: WHY DO YOU TAKE MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS AND JUST AIUWEHFNIKJWEAHAWE. Interpret that in your own way. If you've read The Lair, you probably know what I'm talking about.
The last thing that really pissed me off was the way that the word 'friggin' was dropped everywhere. At first, I thought it was just Carter's monologue/dialogue that used that word, but then I heard the guy Carter was having a conversation with say it, and I was like yeah no. Every-freaking-body said friggin'. Now, I would understand if it was frickin' or freaking. Even fucking. Like if you're going to say friggin', you might as well just go all out and say fucking. I'm pretty sure that's acceptable in YA, right? John Green has done it, I know! The bottom line is that I've never heard anybody ever say friggin', and I hear a lot of words being said in a public school. Friggin' is not one of those words.
The ending though. That's really what did it for me, to be honest. I would've given this book one star, maybe two, if it hadn't been for the ending. It was good, in my opinion. It held the right amount of suspense, romance, action, and just everything. If only the entire book had been like that...
(I really liked Ely and Sebastian. Just saying. Roberto actually wasn't that bad.)
She pulled her bow out of the backseat. She didn't tell him she wasn't even sure she could notch an arrow with her arm like this. Why give him the satisfaction?
"Great. I'm bunking with Katniss Everdeen. I'll let you know if we need that."