This review is also posted on my blog at: Thoughts and Pens
Note: A free copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read and review.
HA.HA.HA. to the power of Bajillion.
That’s how I laughed every time I flipped a page of Ravenous. The whole thing was ridiculous and I couldn’t quite summon any liking for every element that the book has. Ravenous is set in a future where food shortage has become a critical problem and the government has to put in place stringent measures in controlling the food intake of every citizen. Once a citizen is found out to be overweight, he/she will be immediately endorsed to a Wellness Facility to shed off the excess weight. Unfortunately, our heroine, 17-year old Calla Ryan became one of those citizens. While staying on the Wellness facility, Calla gradually discovered the horrors the facility have been secretly keeping.
When I first read the synopsis of Ravenous, I was immediately hooked and raised my hands to get a free copy to review. Being a food enthusiast, my curiosity was really piqued because I could never imagine the future with food being so controlled. One of my mottos in life is “Live to Eat” and not the other way around. Having said that, there’s no way for me not to read this book and see how the author would scare the hell out of me. Obviously, I was surprised that the opposite had happened. It entertained me to the point that I just couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe not the way the author intended it to be. Nonetheless, I was highly entertained.
Ravenous’ beginning was slightly okay. But as the story advanced, it was glaringly simplistic with so little twists at all. The scenes weren’t that engaging and lacked solid foundation. There were even unnecessary minor info dumps here and there. The lengthy explanation about the bread making and the mushroom really made my day. I felt that the book was competing against a cookbook and “How to Propagate a Mushroom” book. Plus, I understand that Ravenous is all about food but I wasn’t prepared that it’ll go out of its way to highlight a lot of menus and from what crops they’re made of. Every time I read about those, I find myself staring at my laptop screen and check if the book isn’t something straight from the Agriculture bookshop. Or from the Cooking section of our local bookstore.
Next, we have the shoddy characters. No one, not even our hero Calla Ryan is spared from being the typical, boring doormat. Madge, Billy, Chef, Daniel, Marnie, Caleb, Chef and even the villains comprised of Dieter and Robert are all as flat as 1D. I can’t even hate them…. What for? You can’t hate mindless and emotionless robots let alone those good ol’ doormats.
Another thing that set me laughing about Ravenous is the romance. The power of instalove is sooo amazing, it’s irresistible. It was even crudely done. Calla didn’t really notice Billy until she was told that the latter is giving her the eyes. Suddenly, Calla was all over him and then the innuendos came as fast as lightning. Seriously?! After they escaped the facility, they took refuge in one of the Northern villages and there, they said I love you to each other all of a sudden. There was no transition, no subtle hints. Where did that even come from?
Ravenous has a lot of potential but the execution was a total… I can’t even. *sighs irritably* The conflict was resolved so easily like it was just a walk in a park. And that mystery about Calla’s birth, it was sooo meeehh. Instead of getting awed, I found myself rolling my eyes heavenward and beg for some salvation from this book. And that ending, it was absolutely as relaxing as counting from 1-5.
1 star for managing to make me laugh.