Book Review: Hidden (Avena #1) by Marianne Curley

Hidden - Marianne Curley

A copy of this novel was provided Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review.


I was really, really excited about Hidden. Which is why it pains me to write this review. Because, for all that excitement, I was disappointed.


Aside from the absolutely gorgeous cover that I kind of want to enshrine somewhere and show off to everyone, there wasn’t really anything about Hidden that I loved.


As I was reading, I was constantly reminded of a young adult novel that was written in the nineties – before young adult novels had the depth and diversity that they do nowadays. There were exclamation points everywhere. Everywhere! Where they really didn’t need to be! Like here! I just wanted to erase them. I really do not think that exclamation points are necessary in the majority of situations. The scene should speak for itself. We, as readers, should be given the reasons for why whatever the character is feeling is extreme without the need for an exclamation point.


The dialogue was also very old. I was still a teenager last year, and neither myself or any of my friends spoke the way the characters in Hidden did. There were several ‘dudes’ on the one page. I don’t think there should be any kind of name-calling more than once on one page. And most teenagers don’t say ‘dude’ or ‘man’ in true earnest much anymore, either.


The characters were very two dimensional. One minute Ebony was your generic YA heroine with a love interest for two boys. And then she would show some glimmer of hope towards becoming something more than that, and then she would simply fall back into the niche that was created for her so long ago in the YA world. It was the same for the other characters. Jordan was your typical whiny ‘friendzoned’ guy who couldn’t get over the fact that the girl he liked was not into him. Thane was your overprotective older male. There was even an alluring darkside sexy guy. Character tropes: tick, tick, tick.


There was instalove to the nth degree in Hidden. Ebony and Thane literally lay eyes on each other and fall in love. By their second meeting or so, they are professing love and making out. The explanation given was that they are destined to be together. Destiny had no hand in this instalove. There was absolutely zero relationship development in any way. They were in love within a blink of an eye – quite literally.


The storyline bored me. Special girl is a special snowflake that everyone falls in love with. Girl is wanted by both good and evil. Did I mention that girl is uber special? Girl hates to admit that she is very special. Everyone insists girl is very special. Towards the end of the novel girl begins to grasp her specialness. I have simply read so many novels that follow this storyline that I could not engage with it. I have seen it all unfold before.


I was really excited about reading Hidden, and I am not lying when I say that I really wished I had liked this one better.


© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.


Your Turn: Has a beautiful cover mislead you in the world of books? Do you continue a series if you weren't so impresssed by the first book? Let me know in the comment section below!