Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

The Pace

The Pace - Shelena Shorts Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is an average sort of girl, excluding the fact that she takes her high school classes on he computer instead of at a school.When Sophie goes to eat lunch with her mother at her college workplace one day, she crashes her car into another person's. Weston "Wes" Wilson III, the guy she crashed into, is rich, (supposedly) hot, sweet, and determined to get to know Sophie. As the two embark on a relationship, she picks up inaccuracies in his past and she's not going to let anything stop her from finding out who he really is and her past with him.I actually didn't get this book myself; my best friend read it and completely lost her mind over it, then demanded that I read it and fall in love too. I'd seen The Pace around, but didn't get it because I wasn't interested. That friend has good taste in books most of the time, so I borrowed it from her. Kayla, if you ever read this: this book is to me as Eyes Like Stars (Lisa Mantchev) was to you: a book that one praised as awesome to the extreme, but that the other found to be severely lacking.I applaud Mrs. Shorts for some of her more unique ideas. It's refreshing that Sophie takes her classes online instead of going to high school (I've never seen virtual school used in a novel before and it rules out the cliche possibility of the two meeting at high school). I also thought that making Wes "immortal" by making him cold-blooded was a great idea; it took some suspension of disbelief, but that's a given when reading fantasy and science fiction. Sophie's ultimatums to Wes when he lied to her were nice because way too many fantasy heroines seem to have no problem when their significant other is keeping secrets from them.Sadly, that's where my praises of the book stop. One issue I had with this book was that I just didn't care. I didn't care about Sophie, Wes, Sophie's mom Gayle or any other character in the book, nor did I care about seeing how the story would work out. I never got drawn into the story when I normally dive into books with ease and had to force myself to finish it. I was so disinterested that I read an entire other book (my previous entry, Paranormalcy) while I was reading The Pace. I almost never do this because I hate to split my attention, but The Pace didn't have enough of it to keep me away from other books. I don't even care that the plot was Sophie and Wes falling in love; I can read books like that and still jump in easily, but I couldn't this time.My biggest problem with this book was that one of the Big Secrets was too predictable to me. (This is where the worst spoilers are.) Within the first fifty pages, there are two instances that suggest reincarnation plays a major role in this book: one is when Sophie crashes into Wes and he asks how she found him again (or something like that); the other is on page 47, when he gets a book about people remembering their past lives. Page 47 is when I figured out Sophie was the reincarnation of someone Wes loved because the author wouldn't have made Sophie ask about the book if it wasn't important. The "big secret" isn't revealed until page 221, which left me going, "Okay, okay, when are you going to reveal that Sophie is a reincarnation of the girl Wes loved?" for about 170 pages.I like to think that I'm a seasoned fantasy novel reader because I've read about 200-300 books of that genre in about three years (which might not be that impressive to some). As a reader, I have one problem: most of my reader radars are broken, including my Mary Sue Radar (which tells me when a character is a Mary Sue) and Foreshadowing Radar (helps me pick up foreshadowing). Details that stick out to more attentive readers fly right over my head because I'm too involved with the story. That last person you want to figure out the Big Secret 170 pages away is me because that's not a very good sign.Wes's behavior after he broke up with Sophie didn't help my opinion of this book either. Following a girl around after breaking up with her? Getting another girl to act like your girlfriend so that the girl you like (but that you want to make think you don't like her) will see it, be heartbroken, and get over you? That don't fly with me, buster. I don't count "it was for your safety" and "I did it because I love you" as valid reasons to do stuff like that. To me, true love means sticking with the person you love and enduring any dangers that might come together, even when you suspect/know you're the reason why the bad things will happen. Threats of death and harm won't break up two people who truly love each other. (Not in my idealistic eyes, anyways.)Plus, "romantic stalking" pisses me off. I was that girl who secretly followed the boys she liked when I was younger and I still know some of the boys I "romantically stalked;" they seem uncomfortable around me and don't like talking to me. I don't know why anyone thinks stalking someone you like is romantic. You can ask me, those boys, or anyone who's ever been stalked and we'll tell you it's creepy, not romantic.As unique as some of the ideas were, a book automatically falls to three stars if it's unable to make me care about the characters and/or the story. The combination of the predictability and Wes's Sophie-following take away another star. My recommendation is to skip this book, but if you really want to try it for yourself, go ahead. In case you read it and like it, there is already a sequel out called The Broken Lake.