Something for the beginning of the week!
Author: Wendy Higgins
Title: See Me
Release date: 15th of March 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, YA
Published by: Wendy Higgins
Pages: 315 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she'd been led to believe.
What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their ancient bloodlines.
Hmmm, I don’t know if I would have taken up this book if I had known it was about Leprechauns, I don’t want to be prejudiced, but somehow they don’t really inspire swoony and exciting YA in my mind. But, as always, I should keep my nitpicky thoughts to myself, because who would have thought that Leprechauns can be more or less sexy, in a hippie nature loving and simplistic farm boy way, of course. And while the plot in general tended to veer into basic and slightly dull territory, the characters and romance made up for it.
I certainly applaud this book on being unique with its setting and choice of mythology. Has there been something written on this topic in YA? I can’t recall. Fairies on the other hand are quite common already I think and in regards to them, this book didn’t offer much new or fascinating not yet unexplored, but it’s completely fine since they weren’t the main focus either. I did, however, get heaps of insight into the world of Chaun’s and Irish mythology, but fortunately not too much to have it too technical or tiring. This little world and its tiny inhabitants were nicely showcased and… for some reason I got the image of the Shire when reading about the village and the people there. And that’s quite a lovely image to conjure.
As mentioned, I also liked the romance and the fact that Robyn was certainly the more dominant and forward moving side of this relationship. All due to McKale’s inexperience with women, especially 21st century independent and intelligent women, and his major complex regarding himself, but both of them were extremely endearing in their kind of nerdy and awkward way. The way they moved slowly yet managed to come together in a short time was believably depicted, especially since McKale was an introvert and not overly open with his emotions and Robyn had self-doubt and was insecure in McKale’s affections due to the fairy princess who was out to snag him for herself. I really thought they were a cute couple.
Aspects that didn’t work for me:
I’ve never and will ever like the arranged marriage trope, it’s just so suffocating and medieval, not that it didn’t work in the context of this book, but I still don’t need to like it.
The secondary romance I bet everyone will gobble up since it’s the opposite of Robyn and McKale – bad boy meets fun loving cheerful girl – but it totally rubbed me the wrong way. I won’t spoil anything, but I was deeply annoyed with Cassidy and how she acted (especially being so irresponsible – Rock too, of course). They were like children, it’s all fun and games without any sane thoughts till something goes wrong and then they start to think and act out.
It was also in a way quite a sexual book and I have zero against that, on the contrary, but something about the setting and the temporality of the situation (for Cassidy and Rock) took away from the hotness. Sexuality to that degree and the Leprechaun village didn’t mix well with me – it’s just personal preference here, because there is really nothing wrong with this combination overall.
I was really fond of the main couple, both together and apart. Each had their issues, but they didn’t wallow in self-pity for too long a managed to pull themselves together for a sweet slow burn romance. A very likable couple and people.
I also liked Robyn’s parent, they seemed liked a great couple, plus they didn’t sit around and wait, but acted when their daughters were in need. They played a big part in the book, unlike many other YA stories.
Never judge a YA by its theme, you can be pleasently surprised if you step out of your comfort zone and take up something different. A cute and fluffy story!