I highly recommend this book… only if you are determined to remain single for the rest of your life. Tainted is perhaps the cheesiest book I’ve read in my entire existence. It’s not even a novel because it’s just a patchwork of mushy romantic lines connected to each other to form something akin to a story.
Tainted immediately picked up where Broken left. But this time, the story was narrated from Alex’s point of view. Because Dr. Franks and Josh were already dead, another villain appears in the story in the person of Hailey Westmore, Alex’s demented and psychotic ex-girlfriend. I did have a lot of questions about Hailey’s existence you know but decided that I am not going to waste any more brain power with this book. I instructed myself to just go on with the flow like a mindless robot.
So Tainted really rocked my world when it started spewing over-the-top romantic lines that almost caused my digested food to go back from where it came. But I immediately stopped and an idea came to mind. Marriage is a scary thing you know and I couldn’t picture myself being tied to someone forever. So I think being a spinster would really suit me. But the problem is, how can I scare suitors away? Grumpiness is definitely out of the picture because I am a happy person. Being a psycho is tempting but I don’t want to spend my life being incarcerated or have my soul be damned in Hell. All I want is a simple strategy that is powerful enough to make suitors run as fast as light. And this book gave it to me. Hell, yeah. All I have to do is to take note some of the cheesiest lines of this book, memorize them and use them to my advantage. Want some sample?
The truth is, my mom read lullabies to me when I was sick, even as a teen. I think your quiet breathing makes the best lullaby.
Emma: A tornado couldn’t keep up apart. I meant it when I said I feel better with you, and I’m sorry I never said thank you. I really do love you, Alex.
Alex: Please don’t thank me for something so selfish. I love you too.
Alex: I’m whole with her.
Emma: When I realized I would never breathe again, all I wanted was you.
Alex: Nothing can defeat us. Not the dark my father created. Not the shadows looming over us now.
I cinch my arms tighter around Emma, drag her onto my lap. She’s more than my girlfriend, she’s my everything. They can’t take her away.
Character development isn’t important in this story. As long as Emma, Alex, Bree and Jason could throw corny romantic lines or kiss their partners to the point of sucking their saliva dry, it was already good. Even the new villain wasn’t doing her part well. Maybe the “doormat character sickness” is extremely contagious.
All throughout the story, instead of getting electrified about what Hailey could do, I was almost killed from the barrage of teenage sexual tensions. Instead of reading action scenes, I was forced to read a lot of lip and tongue action or arm action and how a simple touch or embrace can set someone on fire. I cannot grasp the whole point of this story because it’s supposed to be about executing Hailey’s master plan. But Hailey came to the game late. She was only mentioned in the first book and never made an appearance there. But the author used her for this book to come into existence. Instead of giving us an explanation of Hailey’s motivation for trying to win back Alex or for trying to get the 50% share of Ascension Labs, the story was determined to follow the b-llsh-t romance path. Every significant event that happened in this book were all plot devices in a desperate attempt to keep the story going. There’s Emma’s death and resurrection, there’s Jason’s sudden terminal sickness and Hailey’s out of this world evil scheme. They just fail to connect to make a solid plot. It was like the author does not know what she’s doing.
I finished this book with “zero care.” It was worse than the first one. Reading the series was a traumatizing ordeal for me. I think it would leave a permanent scar on my mind.
To conclude, this is the third series that I will not finish. Just thinking of the last installment makes me want to weep with fury. It is hard knowing that I will never acquire a closure with this book. But I am doing it for my own sanity.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading Broken and Tainted, it is how not to write a book.
*ARC was provided freely by the publisher through Netgalley. Obviously, no money was involved with this review. All quoted lines were from an uncorrected proof and are therefore subject to changes*