Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Title: The Vincent Boys

Author: Abbi Glines

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

I honestly have no one to blame but myself. The Vincent Boys is the second novel I've read by Abbi Glines and it's only a little better than the first book I read of hers, Breathe. After my experience with Breathe, you'd think I would have learned to steer clear from any other Abbi Glines novels, but I guess not. I suppose what I really wanted was to find a contemporary romance written by Glines that would click for me and somehow enable me to understand just what everybody else saw in her writing. Unfortunately, Glines is clearly not an author I am able to appreciate and this will most certainly be my last venture into her world. 

In all honesty, The Vincent Boys offers nothing new or original to the pool of YA Contemporary Fiction. When Ashton's perfect goody-two-shoes boyfriend leaves town for the summer to go on a camping trip, she is left alone and virtually without any friends except for Sawyer's cousin, the sexy and enigmatic Beau. Beau and Ashton have been friends since childhood and he's the only one who knows her - the real her - the one who isn't perfect, who has flaws and makes mistakes and does naughty things. But Beau loves Sawyer like a brother and refuses to act upon his pent-up feelings for the blond bombshell, but how long can you deny true love? 

I had so many problems with The Vincent Boys that I honestly don't know where to begin. I suppose we can start with the egregiously unoriginal plot of good-girl-falls-in-love-with-bad-boy. Hmm...where have I heard that before? Furthermore, Ashton is the daughter of a priest, making the entire novel take on a very Walk to Remember like quality, but without the slow build-up of romance, cancer, and strong relationships. Yet, despite these flaws, I knew that the plot-line was unoriginal from the synopsis itself, but I suppose it was too much for me to hope for good writing, character development, and excellent writing to still make this book work. 

The far-from-unique plot aside, what made this novel so unbearable to me were the characters. First and foremost, for a romance novel there was literally no build-up of a relationship at all. Glines tells us that Ashton and Beau have been best friends since childhood and crushing on each other ever since, so I suppose it makes sense to the characters to simply start up a forbidden relationship less than a quarter through the novel, but it simply leaves the reader stranded and confused. We were never there while Beau admired Ashton and vice versa for years on end, giving rise to their steamy affair, but we're expected to empathize with them anyway. Ultimately, I couldn't summon up a grain of emotion for these characters or their "compelling" romance which played a huge role in my dislike of this story. 

Ashton and Beau too are generally unlikeable characters. For one, Beau spends far too much time thinking of Ashton's physical attributes and while yes, I know he's a teenage boy, his love for her felt purely based upon lust. Ashton too thinks of Beau's body for too much time than is strictly necessary and has a warped interpretation of herself. I assume that Glines was trying to convey teenage emotions of confusion while growing up, but she does it in a manner that only casts her protagonists in a rather vain light (she does this in Breathe too). Ashton fails to recognize her own beauty and in addition, she sees herself as a "bad girl" hiding under the facade of a "good girl" to please her boyfriend. Ashton's definition of a "bad girl" involves playing childhood pranks and having the desire of being wanted by a guy. Surely these qualities don't immediately make her bad , but she was constantly telling herself that and frankly speaking, it became redundant and lost sight of what it's true purpose in the novel was: to attempt to make Ashton find a balance between who she thinks is, really is, and acts like she is. I think this idea is extremely fascinating and I would have loved to read a coming-of-age story about a young girl who was someone entirely different from who she pretended to be, but The Vincent Boys was not that story. 

All in all, The Vincent Boys was a story that had so much potential, but ultimately went wasted. I felt the same way with Glines’ previous novel, Breathe, and I’m wishing I had not wasted my time with her books. I suppose many reader will find The Vincent Boys to be an engaging read, but all I found in it was an unoriginal plot that failed to deliver, a romance that emerged out of nowhere, and characters whose true potential and development in the story did not emerge. Ironically enough, I can say that Glines has improved as an author. The tell-not-show method that she employed in her previous book that aggravated me was not visible in this one and at least with The Vincent Boys I managed to make it to the end of her novel. However, it is clear that as an author and a reader, Glines and I must part our ways. No matter how gushing the reviews for her future books may be, it is evident that I am steering clear of them. 


  1. Great review. The blurb of The Vincent Boys piqued my interest, but the book was a disappointment for me. I couldn't even finish it. I couldn't stomach the numerous grammatical errors either!

    1. Thanks Lyra!(: I didn't mention the grammatical errors in my review because I knew I'd end up ranting about them for sure. The Vincent Boys was better than another Abbi Glines novel I read, Breathe, but I still didn't enjoy it at all. Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog! :D

  2. Amazing work you did with this review. I really hate Abby Glines' novels (and hate is a strong word for me, so you catch my meaning!) I don't understand all the hype and 5 star ratings


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