Emily Jane Trent’s “Captivated” might be the most boring New Adult title I’ve picked up to date. Entirely too introspective (without any kind of depth), repetitive, and plodding. It’s not without promise in its respective theme/premise, but the way that the narrative reads out is extremely lifeless, non-kinetic. Part of the reason for this could be that the work differs from many New Adult novels in that it’s written in third person. But even third person limited can work if it’s sequenced well and allows for the characters to have palpable thoughts, dialogues, and tangible conflicts.
But Trent really doesn’t make the most of using the device. Matter in point, I think I’ll quote what I mentioned in another measure about the book that sums it up quite notably:
“…I think part of it may be the fact that not only is it written in third person, but there’s barely any dialogue in the book. And what little dialogue there is does nothing for the characters of Adam and Ella – it’s either repetitive (repeats information already established in the novel) or incredibly dry (like “Oh, he’s incredibly cute, isn’t he?” “Oh yes, he certainly is.”) Gahhhh.
Also, if I have to read that the hero describes Ella as “soft and feminine” one more time, it will be too soon.
*looks at page*
Ugh. I guess I could recap the story, but not much of a point when Adam and Ella are really about as dull as the end of an unsharpened pencil. Even when we’re introduced to Ella, she’s supposed to be surfing, catches sight of Adam as she’s taking a wave, and falls out. He ends up rescuing her. Then there’s this really long and tedious introduction where she’s like “Hi” and he’s like “Hi,” and she makes mention that it was his fault that she fell off her board, and he’s like “Well, I can tell you’re attracted to me.” And then there are the long journal entries from Ella where she’s like “Oh he’s so cute, and he’s from Brazil, but he’s also Italian. He wasn’t there at the beach today, I wonder if he’ll be back tomorrow.” And when he isn’t, she’s lamenting over her looks, like “If only I were beautiful like Kaiyla (her friend)…No, I had to get drab brown hair and no curves.” (This is an actual quote from the book.)
And I’m thinking “Please tell me that the rest of the book isn’t droning on like this.”
And it is. =_______=
Another random passage of dialogue, taken directly from the book:
“So tell me about this guy,” she called.
“You kknow, the guy who rescued me, you remember him.” Ella replied, never showing her stride in the short walk to the beach. Her friend jogged to catch up.
“Oh that guy. He was hot. You’ve seen him again?”
“Yes, yesterday, and he promised he’d be back today.”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know yet. I’m going to ask him today, but I know he’s from Brazil, and he has this really romantic Italian accent, or sort of Italian, I think. Wait until you hear it.”
I. Was. So. Bored. This information’s actually repeated multiple times and considering the choppiness of the dialogue, when it was featured, it didn’t help matters much. And there are passages dedicated to noticing his abs and hair and I’m just mentally saying “Where’s the plot? Move on.”
The diary entries (basically info-dumps) were pretty painful too from the heroine, such as:
“Today was amazing. I want him. I really do. I can tell you, diary, because you know I’ve never had anyone. Just Doug. But he doesn’t count, you know that. I know I’m dreaming to think he wants me because I feel so inadequate. I see the women at the beach look at him. He could have his pick. Even Kaiyla wants him. But I’m sure she was just kidding, kind of.
If only I could do something to make myself look less plain Even then, I’m not sure. He’s perfect. He really is. I think of him as golden because he shimmers in the sun. His hair is a golden brown, his skin is a golden tan, and his eyes are a golden amber. If his name were Adonis, it would fit.
He’s built but not over-muscled. He has the legs of a surfer, but he must work out too, because he’s so strong. My heart throbs when I’m near him. It’s so loud he can hear it. I want his arms around me, his cheek against mine. He kissed my hand today, and my skin still tingles.”
Yeah, there’s more to that but I’m stopping there. Mind you, this information is already given earlier in the narrative when the hero interacts with the heroine, and they’ve only known each other a short time, so it’s instalove in overdrive. It not only feels tedious, but just…not good.
It’s like this even from the HERO’s perspective. He goes on about how she’s all “small and feminine” and this is repeated so many times. He’s supposed to have all this so called exotic and mysterious charm, but I felt none of it.
And the ending made me feel cheated because it leaves on a cliffhanger with really a gimmicky way of leading into the next book. The hero has to leave for Brazil, the heroine doesn’t know why, and it just ends like that.
No. Just no. Save your time and money on this one. It’s not good.
Overall score: 0.5/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.