Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

Just Another Dragon Romance

Forever Young Adult presents: a book review of Vanish, a Firelight novel by Sophie Jordan

Just Another Dragon Romance

BOOK REPORT for Vanish (Firelight Book 2) by Sophie Jordan

Cover Story: Brown Bag It
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Funtastic
Bonus Factor: Dragons
Anti-Bonus Fator: The Patty Chase Awful Mom Award
Relationship Status: My BFF's Kid Brother

Cover Story: Brown Bag It

Egad! My eyes! My eyes! This is the perfect example of what NOT to put on the cover of a book: partial head? Check. Scales around the -- vertical-slit pupils, natch -- eyes? Check.

The Deal:

Since Jacinda was a whining whiner who whined and only thought about herself in the first Firelight book, she's gotten her whole family in a mess of trouble. Now the pride has caught them all, and they're being forced to go back to the misty mountains to live with the rest of the draki. Of course, since Jacinda is the first fire breather in who knows how long, she's still supposed to Bond (as in, get married to) Cassian, the prince of the pride. But Jacinda loves Will, the boy raised in a family of dragon hunters! How can she find a way to be with him, while making sure she doesn't make her family suffer any more?

BFF Charm: Meh

In the first book, Jacinda was just waaaay too convincing a teenager for me to want her as a best friend (see above, re: a whining whiner who whines). But she's grown up a LOT since then, so I didn't find myself anywhere near as annoyed with her as I was in the first book. I even found myself cheering her on through much of the story. Still, girlfriend is just surrounded by dramz, so while I'd totally smile at her in the hallway, I'm not sure I'd try to sit with her at lunch.

Then there's her twin sister Tamra, who we get a little bit more of in this one. Sick and tired of everything being about Jacinda, Jacinda, Jacinda, Tamra finally manifests, and oooh, look who's not the only special one now? Tamra, victim to living in her sibling's shadow for many years, could be a lot more annoying than she is, so I try to cut her some slack. I'm interested to see what happens with her in the next one...

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Harper Teen packaged the first book as this 'smoldering, sizzling dragon romance', which earns a giggle every time I think it. Thing is, it IS sizzling -- in the sense that Jacinda is a fire-breather, which made me think that the marketing department at Harper was standing beside me while I read, nudging me with its elbow, saying 'get it? get it?'.

So I was relieved when this second installment offered a little bit more swoon, both with dear sweet Will and with Cassian, with whom Jacinda has to remind her lady parts she wants nothing to do.

Talky Talk: Funtastic

This is a series about teenaged dragon people. With romance! And adventure! Come ON! It's hard to talk about the premise with a straight face, but you guys, it's FUN. It's certainly not for everyone, and I think it's important for people to know what they're getting into before they start, but that's true of most books in the fantasy genre. Jordan writes well-paced action with descriptives that allowed me to really see her world, even while giggling over the premise.

Bonus Factor: Dragons

I mean, they're DRAGONS.

Anti-Bonus Factor: The Patty Chase Awful Mom Award

Jacinda and Tamra's mom tried to do what was best for them in the first book, but didn't respect either of them enough to be honest with them, which already put her on my shyster list, but to follow that up by pulling a Mrs. Everdeen? Bish, pleeeze!

Casting Call:

I already cast Jacinda and Will in my review of the first book.

Britt Robertson as Tamra

Britt is such a cutie, and I'd really like to see if she has any facial expression apart from the slightly-parted lips look of surprise and vulnerability.

Alden Ehrenreich as Cassian

Look at me, expanding my dark-haired, chiseled-jaw repertoire!

Relationship Status: My BFF's Kid Brother

My BFF and I bid a teary goodbye when we went to colleges across the country from each other. I missed her SO MUCH that when her younger sibling, Firelight, came to town in my freshman year and asked if I wanted to hang out, I jumped at the chance. It would be like hanging out with my BFF -- once removed. But then Firelight was putting off vibes that had me telling it, 'dude, don't stand so close to me'. I mean, it was still in high school!

That was last year, so I was skeptical when I got the invite to hang out again this year. But Vanish, a Firelight novel, surprised me. It had grown up and finished high school, and now our age difference didn't seem so drastic. We had a fun time together sharing anecdotes and experiences, and it had this world-weary, devil-may-care attitude that I enjoyed hanging out with. I mean, nothing happened between us, or anything, because my BFF would SO totally kill me, but I can say with confidence that the Firelight series and I are friends now.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my review copy from Harper Collins. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Vanish is available now.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
K