Aire - Lena Goldfinch *a free digital copy was given by the author via We ♥ YA Books! in exchange of an honest review*Rating: 3My opinion: I'd like to start this by saying that some of the problems I had with this book are probably the reason why some others really liked it. One could say that I knew what I was getting into, but I really kind of didn't. I have read some high fantasies and historical romances, or whatever this was, in the past. But very, very few. And by that I mean that I can count them with my two hands. I'm more fond to contemporary/futuristic worlds, whether they are realistic or fantastic. That said, I think I should stay in the present or the future. I had two major issues with this book. First of all, the pacing. Oh, my. I admit I'm one of those who says "Why fast when you can have lightning?". I also tend to dislike extensive inner monologues. Sue me, but I like less talking and more doing. So, this book wasn't necessarily full of talking, but what they did was repetitive. The beginning was entertaining, and the ending was quite good as well. But then there was that sixty percent in the middle that took me days to read. Between Anna, Ilan and Jovanni trying to figure out who had Jovanni's sister, and Hendri, the guy who had her, talking about his brother I almost leave the book. It had lots of potential, but it lacked action. I say you throw in rabid koalas who shape-shift into cats, chicken nuggets, and some kind of sword duel between a stoned magician and a cursed drug dealer. Or something as exciting as that. The other problem I had with this book was the romance. Here's where it gets really personal. It was too cheesy. And generic. It's not that I wasn't rooting for Jovanni and Anna, but I got to a point where I just wanted them to get it over with. And the contradictions! There was a bit of insta-attraction, yes. However, they didn't instantly know they were meant for each other. I liked that! I liked the tension! And then there was this scene halfway through the book where they are watching the stars and it's all cute one moment, and the next rainbows are thrown all over it. Some pages and SHE DROPS THE L-WORD! Finally, they both internally agree that they knew it was fate or something. Maybe this what the fans of the genre like, how the times of veils and tunics were, but it wasn't it for me. Not my cup of tea, or however kids call it these days (I wouldn't know because I stay all day in my room reading romances so I can bitch about them later). Now, now, it wasn't all bad. Not at all. I'd say that even though the book had two huge NOs, there were two huge YES, PLEASE! MORE! If I had to name one thing that was under a shiny light, I'd say the characters. Anna was what authors who don't want to write an overly feminist woman should go for. I love chicks like Dani O'Malley or Kate Daniels, who are "their own super-hero" or "would rather be stabbed in the eye than be called cute". They're my favorites, but I understand that not all women are like that. Problem is, most people in books go from that to Bella Swan or Nora Grey. Back to Anna, she was a great woman. She was, indeed, lady-like and didn't want to become a physical fighter. But she wasn't helpless. Instead of complaining about how much bigger and stronger her captors were she used her mind to figure a way out. Hilarity wasn't her strenght, but she did tease her best friend. Not once did I read a description that made her seem like some kind of beautiful goddess, one of a kind, never before seen in the kingdom. A brave young woman, that's what she was. And realistic one, regardless of her "power" and her title. I really liked all the other characters as well. Jovanni's caring personality was endearing and Ilan's loyalty was something to behold. Even Natius, Jovanni's "rival", was quite charming and not the asshole most authors make of the third wheel. I feared the villain, an intelligent mad man, and respected Josefina, a harsh but necessary queen. Disgust went through my every cell when I read about Hendri, and I never cheered as much as I did when Mira was freed. Lilia, Anna's sister, reminded me a lot of Jane in Pride and Prejudice with her innocence and kindness. And then there was my favorite character, the prince who literally climbed a wall knowing the guards would caught him because he thought his love was caged there. Tallen was ten times the man any of the other male characters were. A good friend to Anna and Natius, a good lover to Lilia, a good future king for his people, and a good person in general. You go, Tallen! Characters aside, I thought the writing was really nice, if you took the casual cheesiness away. The descriptions weren't overwhelming and, like I said before, there weren't that many boring inner monologues that told what happened instead of showing it. Overall, this was a good book. It just wasn't my book. The rating is based on how much I enjoyed it, and it is an I liked it, but it didn't wow me. I honestly don't regret reading Aire, but I won't be doing it again either."Impossible.Unbelievable.Yet true."- Alive or Undead ~ 2013 -