I am so confused. This is not the Rina Kent I was looking for.
Many years ago, I was playing pretentious and read tons of Albert Camus. Somewhere amongst his books, there was a quote, and I’m paraphrasing here, but it was that a writer only has one story, and they tell it over and over again. Keep in mind Camus was an anarchistic existentialist philosopher who was deeply obsessed with absurdism.
But he has a point. Fiction writers are subconsciously motivated to resolve their psychological issues cathartically. They often do it through repeating themes or recreating situations that leave their characters to face similar deep-rooted trials.
So, what I like about All The Lies is what I enjoyed about Royal Elite School because it is a reused thematic derivative of the earlier series.
Asher and Reina have a past that has Asher’s panties in a twist. But Reina is just waking from a coma; she has amnesia, she doesn’t want to be the person who does the crap the old Reina did. And Asher keeps trapping her to get her dirty-worked-up so he can leaver her hot-and-bothered.
Asher (who reminds me of Xander) is introduced at the end of Twisted Kingdom as a fellow a-hole at Oxford with Aiden. He’s an arrogant American douchecanoe who rivals King in a debate. The taste we get in Twisted Kingdom of him suggests Asher’s a magnificent monster to fill our hearts with darkness, which is a cause for confusion because ATL-Asher is far from it. This book’s MC has returned home to punish someone who he calls his monstrous fiancee, who is an actual horrible human being, bulling everyone and somehow, at one point, pushed Asher’s delicate-hearted sister to kill herself.
But this is not the Asher I was looking for.
A lot of this book is nonsense. It does not compute because it reads as a younger culture. Blackwood College’s social hierarchy feels like high school, not advanced education. The cheerleaders are varsity level mean girls, not university athletes, or sorority be-otches. The fully kitted spirit-leaders stalking about as a feral pack isn’t university behavior. I say that having gone to a Big Ten school. The culture is all off. But then I love Reina with Lucy and Naomi because that is what you fight a mean girl with, a posse.
Reina (who reminds me of Kim) was a horrible monster in her pre-accident life. There are two different Reina’s, one who is literally ‘woke.’ But we’ve seen this before. Twice in Ella and Ethan. Sometimes people are someone different before an accident than they are after the coma.
No more comas.
More complicating than the similarities between Aiden and Asher and Reina and Ella are that Asher and Reina remind me of Xander and Kimberly. This resemblance brings me to the aching fear that Black Knight will share some terrible echo of this story. I will be looking at Xan and Kim’s story, and the crux will be that the betrayal is one more incident where the guy is psychotically angry about something the chick can’t even remember doing.
The conflict between AshIna is as convoluted as XanBerly.
Rina doesn’t usually have this many flaws in one of her books. The research and portrayal of events are not indicative of a real understanding of the topic at an experience level nor as effective at advancing the plot as they did in the Royal Elite School Series.
Yet three stars? I know, but I much enjoy the push/pull relationships Rina writes. I love the steam in her sexy scenes. And I overall enjoy her characters. Lucy is so damn cute. I want to eat her right up: nom, nom. nom.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary advance copy of this book.
About Rina Kent:
Rina Kent in an English author who’s constantly parading between France and North Africa due to her studies and her husband’s demanding job.
When she’s not packing suitcases or hopping from one plane to the other, she’s busy whipping her characters to shape.
Since a young age, Rina has been obsessed with storytelling and flawed, edgy characters. Her heroes are often killers and anti-heroes and her books are always sprinkled with darkness, angst, violence, and lots of heat.
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