Published by: on August 25, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating: ★
🚨 MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD 🚨
Sometimes love gets a bit twisted.
Avery Montgomery doesn’t even know if she wants a soul mate.
As a member of the Hellenicus—a race founded in antiquity and descended directly from the Greek gods—Avery’s attending her first Gathering where she’ll gain the ability to entwine her thoughts with her destined soul mate and be tied to them forever.
But all is not as it seems at the Royal Court. There are severe and strange looks from the elders, whisperings from the ancient Dodona tree, and encounters with spirits who seem to know Avery better than she knows herself.
Throughout these whirlwind events at Court, Avery finds herself torn between her feelings for the wise and protective Vladimir and the passionate, fun-loving Adrian. Unwilling to surrender her independence or to betray her heart, Avery must decide once and for all if she’ll give in to her desires and risk the wrath of the Gods.
Because who are you if your destiny lies with another person?
❝What if your soul mate never comes? What if you waste your whole life waiting for someone who never shows up?❞
High school bully? ✔️
Ex crush and notorious player? ✔️
Best friend’s brother? ✔️
Family issues, including strangely horrible and emotionally unavailable parents? ✔️
Obscure Harry Potter reference? ✔️
Every cliché going? ✔️
On the surface, Entwined sounds promising, but the novel suffers greatly from being too predictable and falling back on the unpolished storylines prominent on 2012 Wattpad. It doesn’t feel developed enough to be published — I always have higher standards for (traditionally) published books because there’s an entire creative team and editor ensuring the quality. An excess amount of tropes can be found in this book and — as much as I like clichés sometimes — there’s no original spin on them, causing the whole thing to feel haphazard and chaotic.
❝I should have known better than to allow myself to be vulnerable and give someone the chance to break me. It was like giving a murderer a gun and expecting not to be killed. Love was a myth.❞
Although parts of the world and lore are a little surface-level, Rosen’s effort at bringing more of Greek mythology into YA is admirable. Greek mythology is so vast and rich and the take on soulmates in Entwined is interesting enough, if not rough in parts. The time period is too ambiguous for my taste and I personally don’t like books where it’s seemingly modern day yet they go to a court and dress or dance like it’s the 1500s. Some of the elements reminded me a lot of The Selection, so if you enjoyed that book, Entwined might be perfect for you.
❝The idea of being trapped in this predetermined destiny makes me sick.❞
❝I don’t do damsel in distress. I look after myself, thanks.❞
Avery Montgomery is the protagonist and a victim to ‘Not Like Other Girls Syndrome.’ Avery wants to read a book instead of partying and hates high heels (so quirky!), she isn’t ashamed about how much she can eat (wow, she eats burgers? that’s so different!) and her best friend is the pretty one whilst she doesn’t compare, yet has five boys attracted to her at some point over the course of 300 pages. My biggest issue with Avery is the emphasis on how special and different she is. Not only is she a Mary-Sue, she’s cringe and says things like “what the flying pigeon,” “holy inventor of ketchup,” “sweet roasted corn” and more. It makes the book feel very immature and the references to K-Pop and reading on Wattpad feel out of place in Rosen’s fantasy world as opposed to creating a connection between the reader and Avery. Despite being the same age as her, I couldn’t relate to Avery at all and found her annoying. All that said, I can admire her stubborn resolve and strength.
❝You were looking at him and when you weren’t, he was looking at you.❞
Adrian and Vladimir are the two love interests, both of whom I’m going to clump together because they are both as bland as each other. I found both of their relationships with Avery to be rushed, albeit I tend to prefer slow burns. If anything, it doesn’t feel like either of them have a purpose beyond being a love interest. It’s a shame the relationships weren’t developed more and the characters are demeaned to being stereotypes instead of fully fleshed individuals the reader wants to root for. Since I found them both to be boring, I don’t have much of an opinion on them, despite the fact I’m partial to a good love triangle.
MY FAVOURITE MOMENT
Carlo’s voicemail adds a considerable amount of tension and is the first time it feels like there’s something at stake. The mystery surrounding Carlos created a lot of enigmas, enough that I kept reading until the end, even if I had some suspicions about the truth already.
MY LEAST FAVOURITE MOMENT
In truth, there are quite a few moments I thought to be questionable or borderline ridiculous. First of all, Avery’s arrest was beyond dramatic for such a small offence and it evoked more eye rolls than surprise on my end. Second of all, Avery’s best friend daring her to kiss her brother was really strange and out of the blue. The lack of build up to that moment is disappointing and I don’t understand why her best friend would do that so willingly without having a conversation with her brother or her friend beforehand. Third, the stabbing! It sounds terrible, but it was hilarious because it made no sense and was so random. I couldn’t stop laughing at the insanity of it and poor attempt at additional drama.
I didn’t like Entwined and I’d doubt you’d like it if you’re looking for well-developed characters, a complex plot or a book you can get emotionally invested in. On the other hand, if you want a quick, fast-paced read that will distract you for a few hours, this could be for you. To be honest, I might have liked this more if I was still thirteen. A lot of this book fell flat for me and it felt more like an outline or first draft than the finished book. If anything, my primary issue with this book lies in the lack of structure and how the events don’t connect and there isn’t enough build up for certain plots to pack the intended emotional punch. Overall, it was a solid premise with a lacklustre execution.
Thank you to Smith Publicity and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
read it and weep,