322 Haunted By
196 Haunting
Stacia

Stacia in Progress

Sparkling water fanatic. Lover of random crap. Goodreads member curious to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.

Currently reading

Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Laini Taylor
Still Life with Strings
L.H. Cosway
Rated YA-MA : Adults Who Read Young Adult Fiction
Rated YA-MA 2854 members
A group for adult lovers of Young Adult fiction. We feature a different type of book for each mon...

Books we've read

Vampire Academy Vampire Academy
by Richelle Mead
Start date: September 1, 2013

Eve and Adam Eve and Adam
by Michael Grant
Start date: August 1, 2013



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Untamed

Untamed - Jane Shoup 2.5 stars. WHY?!?!!!? I wish I could convey how much I wanted to love this book. A Tarzan retelling? I was so in! I was looking forward to seeing the interaction between Tarzan and Jane, and wanted to witness how a "civilized" woman dealt with an "untamed" man. Trigger warning : dubious consent (polite term for rapey w/only partial or belated submission from a character). The scene appears to be written from a standpoint of 'character ignorance' because the offender didn't have a clear understanding of his behavior being harmful or wrong, but this is a warning which needs to be included for any readers who would be emotionally harmed by having to read such a scene.Normally, the triggers in this book (because it's labeled as mainstream and not dark) would be enough to cause me to rate a book 1 or 2 stars, but I had to round up to 3 stars because I loved the bones of the story, and the writing had a certain charm to it. But there were definitely a few 1-star-worthy situations in Untamed which extremely bothered me. I will get into those later. With a few minor tweaks and story rearrangement, this could easily be a 4 star-plus book because the few shining moments that did stand out were absolutely lovely. I've seen Tarzan movies in the distant past, but have sadly never read the version by Edgar Rice Burroughs. My mind probably confuses Tarzan and The Jungle Book when it comes to how the stories actually played out. I think I expected more of an interaction in the wild, with some time spent on drawing a man out of his untamed instincts, which is what I absolutely loved about The Jungle Book. Since I haven't read Tarzan, I have no basis to compare this to the original, but I was surprised at how little time Ari (the Jane character) and Zan (Tarzan of course) spent together in this story.Positive number 1 : It was nice to see Zan mentioned as unkempt and harder to distinguish as attractive at first with all of the layers hiding him when he was still living in the wild. You know, you watch that Disney cartoon and never really think about the fact that OF COURSE Tarzan should have been sporting a beard. What uncivilized man raised by non-humans would happen to have a razor handy?Shhhh, Jane. We won't mention the fact that I'm completely groomed. Just go with it.Positive number 2 : There were a broad range of character types, from good to evil. Some were bad at the core, others were just self-serving. The characters that were good were not all good on the same levels. One character surprised me by turning out to be good, when I wouldn't have expected it.Positive number 3 : This book was entertaining. While there were a few drawn-out moments in the middle which required minimal skimming, I generally liked the flow of the story. My complaints about content had more to do with what wasn't happening (i.e. main characters who barely spent any time together) than what was happening. Positive number 4 : Other than a wtf moment at the start, I thought Zan was an interesting character. His reactions to Ari were strange, yet somehow pulled me in to wanting to know more about him underneath the surface.But wouldn't you know it? A few things had me wondering how the heck I was going to rate and review Untamed.Here is where I tread into some spoiler territory. If you want to know what bothered me, keep reading. If you are unsure whether or not to proceed, be warned that I will be discussing a few specific plot points which had an effect on my feelings about the book, and there will be spoilers ahead.Negative number 1 : We never really go to know Zan. What was his life like all of those years he was living in the wild? I wanted to know about his personal experience of feeling as if he were more animal than man.Negative number 2 : We never really got to know Ari and Zan together. Their interaction was so extremely limited, that we missed out on the chance of watching them get to know each other on a more intimate level.Negative number 3 : The dub-con scene and Zan's lack of remorse over it. There should have been a point later in the story when Zan realized what he did was extremely wrong (even though he didn't know any different at the time) and should have tried to make amends for it. He was so in-tune with not wanting to hurt people, that you'd think he would have dealt with guilt later, after he'd realized what he'd done. Ari never suffered any trauma either, which was bizarre in its own right.Side note : How would a man who had never had sex with a woman (and I'm assuming only had knowledge about sex from watching animals mate) know about oral and breast/nipple play? Wouldn't his views on sex be strictly about getting in and getting out? Wouldn't his views on breasts be strictly from a nursing standpoint? I found it unbelievable that Zan would know how to orally pleasure a woman, or that the thought of doing so would even cross his mind. Negative number 4 : The only sex scene was the dub con scene. REALLY? Obviously, the author had no issues with writing a sex scene if that much detail was put into the initial encounter. WHY would there not be a LOVING sex scene between the couple after they got together in the end? If this had been a "clean" romance, I would have forgiven the lack of a scene, but it wasn't. There was graphic sex at the start. The readers needed to see Ari and Zan come together willingly of their own accord. The ball was dropped big time with this, to the point of being unforgivable. This is something which irked me, big time. Either an author can choose to have no sex at all, or they need to include sex somewhere in the book which appeals to the reader. Final Thoughts : The reason why I stood firm and rounded up to 3 is because I don't regret reading Untamed. I was entertained, which does count for something. I liked so many things about the book, and the style of writing makes me want to read more from this author. I might hesitantly recommend this to people who are interested enough in the subject matter and would be willing to overlook a few glaring flaws. It's almost heartbreaking to see how the book didn't live up to all of the potential which was there for the taking. I would plead with the author/publisher to consider reworking the book and adding in more Zan/Ari time up-front (the separation part could still feasibly happen), as well as the much-needed sex scene at the end. I would also implore them to consider adding at least a few extra days or encounters in the wild because this was an untapped part of the story. Since the book is a retelling, liberties can be taken to enhance or subtract unneeded moments. If we could get a re-publish on this (with either a name change or a note stating that it was reworked), I'd probably be the first in line to read it. We could be dealing with incredible here. It's really quite sad that incredible got lost in the shuffle. This book provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.