Book Review: STONE COLD TOUCH by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Pages: 446

Released on: October 21st, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

My Review:

Boy oh boy. There are few books in this world that are powerful enough to reinforce my heavy gag-reflux… This book is one of them.

I’m not even sure where to begin. I mean we could start with the shitty Twilight-esque love triangle JLA is trying to pull off here. Or we could even start with the lack-luster plot twist that everyone said was going to make us gasp and turn our heads when, in reality, it isn’t because it is so damn obvious that you’d have to be blind not to see it.

Maybe I’m coming off too strong? Okay, let’s rewind for a second. The book starts off right where we left off. Roth is gone, Layla is mourning, Zayne is being the cool bestie and holding Layla’s hand when she needs it. Abbot is still a lying sack of potatoes and his character doesn’t really improve throughout the book. In fact, we just hate him more at the end of this. Anyway, I digress. Not even 100 pages in and I already feel a strong dislike toward the main character of Layla. And how sad that is because no one wants to read a book where the main character is an insecure little twelve year old, right? Especially not when said insecure little twelve year old can’t seem to decide whose dick is bigger than the other – Roth or Zayne? Now, where I’m all for nicely written love triangles, it is probably important to say that there has only been ONE author who I’ve read and have deemed the author that can actually pull off a decently written love triangle. And that is Cassandra Clare. If your name is not Cassandra Clare, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WRITE A LOVE TRIANGLE. YOU WILL FAIL.* (Most likely).

Suffice to say, Layla made me want to tear my hair out for a good majority of the book. Zayne also pissed me off. Here’s Mr. Goodie Goodie I’m So Cool And Good and Let’s Revel In My Goodness who has apparently always loved Layla? Really? Where were you when she was going through all her demon issues in book one? Where were you when your dear daddy was keeping secrets from her? Where were you when Layla started to feel shame over the fact that she’s half demon!? Oh yeah, you were off basking in your goodness and mating with Danika. Ugh. And half the time I’m reading their interactions, I’m like “you guys are such great best friends, you know? Like bro and sis.” Whenever it came to the sexual stuff, it felt forced. It’s hard to really describe what I mean when I say it felt forced, but if you read it (or have read it) then maybe you’ll see that something just didn’t sit right whenever they got physical with each other. It didn’t feel as effortless as it does between Roth and Layla.

While on the subject of Roth, I can say with absolute certainty that Roth was the only character who did not piss me off to no end. He’s a realist douche bag and I like that so much. Where everyone else has their heads stuck up their asses and are not thinking with their heads, you have Roth who’s like “I know what needs to be done & I’m on a mission here. Everything else comes second.” And I appreciated that so so much, especially with Layla being an insecure child who thought the world’s problems were all because of her. Ugh. Seriously, Layla would go on and on for pages about how it’s all her fault and she needs to stop herself and stay away from people and I wanted to smack her upside the head with a golf club.

But back to Roth. He never wavered, you guys. He’s a constant in this book. He’s changing and developing as a character, but the underline tone of his character doesn’t change (for the most part). That consistency was what I was missing from Layla and I missed that about her. I missed the Layla from book one! Roth had it though! So he quickly became my favorite character. And he knows Layla so well. I mean, it’s no contest, right? It was always Roth. I don’t know why JLA said that some people might change their minds about the guys once they read this book, but I didn’t. At all. Zayne only knows one side of Layla, and Layla isn’t ready (probably never will be ready) to show her other darker side to him. Roth knows both sides – good and bad. He understands how Layla thinks and operates. He loves Layla for both the good and bad parts. HOW CAN ANYONE THINK IT IS ZAYNE? Layla is an overall better and more complete person with Roth. And Roth is just better overall with her. But, that’s beside the point.

Plot wise. Again, I don’t know where people think this book is full of twists and turns because everything was predictable. Everything. That’s part of the reason why the ending pissed me off so much because JLA ended it on a note that said we were supposed to gasp and say “omg, I did not see that coming!” But we totally did. There were so many signs that pointed to that ending. Seriously. It had flashing neon signs scattered throughout the book practically.

Another thing, can JLA please stop adding in references to other pop cultures. I’m talking about Supernatural here, JLA. WE GET IT. You love Supernatural. There’s no need to add a shit ton of references to a show that needs to get off the air now. There was Zayne’s car, Layla’s friend Sam, and the other character who went mad named Dean. ENOUGH. Adding to that, I don’t like when JLA writes things like “totes” or “hella” in her books. Seriously, I cringe every time she writes like that. I mean, I’m supposed to be reading a work of art here, a piece of literature. Instead I feel like I’m reading fan fiction. Where I have nothing against a good fan fic, I don’t expect to read a fan fiction after I pay around $12 for a signed copy of a published work of art. Rethink your writing style, JLA. Save the pop culture references for fanfic.net

So with characters that pissed me off, besides Roth, and a plot line that fell flat, I did not like this book. I’ve gotten the question asked if I would read the last book in the series, and the answer is yes. Yes, because at this point I’m in too deep. I’ve read book one (which was a great first book!) and now that I’ve read book two (piece of garbage), I have to know how it ends. Curiosity will drive me to pick up book 3. Also Bambi. I freaking love Bambi.

MY RATING: 2/5

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