Friday, November 23, 2012

Phantom by Laura DeLuca

Title: Phantom
Author: Laura DeLuca
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Release Date:  March 30, 2012
Pages: 262 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Phantom The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.


Don't get me started on The Phantom of the Opera. Just don't. I love the musical and movie to bits, though I have different feelings on it than others might (like how I actually like Christine and Raoul together). Novels where people are performing drama productions, especially musicals? Me want. One where they're performing The Phantom of the Opera? OUT OF MY WAY BEFORE I CUT YOU.

This is not worth getting excited over. It's worth running from like it's got a knife in hand and it wants to stab you in the neck. Phantom is an insult to YA literature and to The Phantom of the Opera, among many other things. This book shouldn't even be allowed to exist, it's such an insult to The Phantom of the Opera. I could rant forever on this one, but I'll try to keep it trim and short.

So we have Rebecca, our oh-so-perfect heroine who naturally has a professionally trained singing voice that lets her hit all the notes she needs to for her role. Then there's Tom, the annoying first love interest, and Lord Justyn, the second annoying love interest who has the title Lord for absolutely no reason. I checked. There really isn't a reason. Justyn talks like he's from centuries ago. When he says he won't kiss her until he knows he has her completely, body and soul, it's creepy instead of romantic. Any teenage boys says that to me, they get tased in the nuts. Then there's our mean girl Wendy, who is flatter than a piece of paper and who earns way more of my sympathy than Rebecca. The love triangle is flat, the relationships are not well-developed, etc. etc.

The writing is nothing but tell, tell, tell and there are multiple errors throughout. We're told how shy Rebecca is, how Gothic Justyn (sorry, Lord Justyn) is, how irritating Tom's best friend Jay is, how horrible Wendy is for no reason, and more. There's not one thing about the writing that is enjoyable or actually shown. Andrea Bocelli's name is misspelled as Andre Bocelli, heroine is used where heroin should be used in another place, modus operandi is misspelled motis operandi, and there are many basic grammar errors

Then we've also got some casual ableism; just because students don't like the janitor Mr. Russ, he's a schizophrenic nut job. For whatever reason, Rebecca continues to date her boyfriend even after he starts to regularly assault the guy she really likes, and she also continues to do so when she suspects either guy could be the one killing people and making threats. Hell, she even decides to date Tom after he calls one of her best friends a fat cow! Brains: she has none.

Phantom is especially on my shitlist because of its complete disregard for how school newspapers work. I did journalism three years in high school and was senior editor for one of them. A non-staff member submitting a story that falsely calls a student a suspect in a murder case and implies the student was having an affair with the fifty-something murder victim? Like hell that's getting printed, especially without a fact check! That should be laughed at and promptly put through the shredder. Yet this somehow gets printed in their school newspaper. Are you kidding me?

And this is apparently the first of a trilogy--the Dark Musicals trilogy. Count me out. Ugh, this book makes me want to go bathe myself until I've scrubbed away my skin. Other Phans should hide from this book like they're trying to avoid getting eaten during the zombie apocalypse.

0 stars!

What am I reading next?: Quicksilver by RJ Anderson