What: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Who: HMH Books for Young Readers
When: March 1st 2016
How: A copy of this novel was provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for review via Edelweiss.
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.
why i did not finish into the dim
Ugh. I was so excited for Into the Dim. I mean, my mum is OBSESSED with the Outlander books, has been since I was five, and when I saw that Into the Dim was being marketed as the teen’s version of Outlander, I jumped on it.
And was thoroughly disappointed. I got to 24% of Into the Dim, and I couldn’t keep going. And here are my reasons why:
1) Hope. This main character is, in one word: insufferable. She is the most special of all the special snowflakes in the world. She’s just so smart, and instead of liking singers or actors when she was a kid she liked scientists, and she doesn’t kiss boys, and she isn’t pretty, and the family needs her. I cannot STAND characters that are just so ~unique~, but also don’t realise it so when their ~uniqueness~ is revealed they’re all shocked. Please. Just stop with this trope already. Everyone is unique because *GASP* every person on earth is different from the other.
2) The slut-shaming. Hope meets a beautiful boy with heterochromatic eyes, and he mistakes her for a girl he hooked up with at some school. To which Hope replies, “But then again, I’m not one of those slutty St. Sebastian girls.” OHMYGOD, YOU’RE SO FUCKING SPECIAL. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DON’T KISS BOYS OR HAVE SEX WITH BOYS AND ENJOY IT AND THEREFORE ARE NOT A SLUT. THANK GOODNESS YOU AREN’T BECAUSE OWNING YOUR SEXUALITY IS A SIN, OBVIOUSLY. BECAUSE GUYS CAN LIKE SEX AND PHYSICAL CONTACT BUT GOD FORBID IF A GIRL DOES. GOOD ON YOU FOR MAKING THAT CLEAR, HOPE. I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR YOU NOW.
Slut-shaming needs to get the fuck out of YA. And any genre. And life in general.
You could easily say things went downhill from that moment onwards for me.
3) The plot. By 24% there had been no time travel, and for the previous 4% there had been a massive info-dump of half-assed explanations of how the family found the time travelling whatever underneath their house. There was no plot in what I read is what I’m saying here.
4) The characters. I’m all for reading about spineless dads if they’re there for a reason, but shipping your daughter off to Scotland days after her mother’s funeral? Just no.
And everyone that Hope met in Scotland was so … cringe-worthy. We have the dottery grandmother and grandfather types who coddle her after knowing her for a day. We have the blue haired grinning orphan who will probably die in the series at some point because happy and cute characters are usually there to remind the main character of what life can be like, if only you let the light in.
There was the ~cool~ and ~mysterious~ aunt, who was really just annoying because she wouldn’t answer any of the freaking questions. There was the beautiful blue and green eyed boy who will no doubt turn out being from the EVIL time travelling group. Romeo and Juliet forbidden love from opposing families: begin.
Then there’s the other orphan child who seems to care a lot about his family but not at all about Hope who will obviously turn around during the progression of the book and likely become a love interest who is really warm hearted under that asshole exterior. And then there’s the computer geek who is so BIG but is actually really SWEET.
5) The writing style. All tell, no show.
All in all, I really wanted to love Into the Dim, but was ultimately disappointed.
© 2016, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.
trigger warnings: familial bullying, abduction – please keep in mind that as i did not finish this book, i don’t have a comprehensive list of trigger warnings