Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis

Title: My Boyfriend Merlin
Series: My Merlin
Author: Priya Ardis
Length: 5158 Kindle units
Rating: 5 stars

The Plot

Ryan knows that things are going to change when a giant earthquake shook the whole world and the sword Excalibur appeared in a stone in the middle of London. But she has no idea that Matt, the boy she’s been crushing on, is going to reveal himself to be the wizard Merlin and whisk her and her adopted brother Grey to train to be candidates to pull the stone. And it turns out that Matt’s brother Vane, who helped Mordred in his revolution against Arthur during the first go-round with the sword, has also stepped up to train candidates, though he distinctly prefers the wizard candidates to the regulars like Ryan. Can Matt and Vane work out their differences in time to train a successful candidate this time around, or will Camelot once again fall into legend?

The Good

I cannot possible describe with words how much I loved this book. Seriously, what you are about to read now is as close to gushing as I am ever going to get. The way I feel about My Boyfriend Merlin is how I want to feel about every single book I pick up. I want to be gripped so thoroughly by the plot that I can’t put it down, and I want to think about it when I’m not reading it. When deciding what to read the next night, I want to think that rereading the best parts of this book is a far better choice than trying to pick up something new that will almost certainly be inferior. This feeling is the reason that I read, and I love that this book was able to provide it for me.

As for specifics… Well, it’s a modern day Arthurian story where Merlin is a hot teenage boy with an equally hot evil older brother. What’s not to love? But there is also an interesting mythology going on over who is going to pull the sword from the stone this time around and how that is going to change the world.

The Bad

I have to confess that I don’t think that this book is for everyone. It’s definitely in the teen girl romance section of your bookstore. If you aren’t saying, “Hot teenage Merlin with an evil brother? Sign me up!” it’s probably not going to turn you into a convert. I am currently imagining authors reading this and saying, "She gave me two/three/four stars and this all the stars?" And my only defense is that I have never lied about my love of good YA paranormal romance. And My Boyfriend Merlin is good YA paranormal romance.

And technically, the book was far from perfect. I find myself asking questions like “If Ryan just moved to Boston a year ago, why is she the senior class president?” and “Why is a wizard who has been frozen in a cave for the past 1000 years making Wizard of Oz references?” Also, the chapters often ended in awkward places. But for the most part, I find myself too involved in the story to nitpick.

And, yes, the title is terrible. I’m a little ashamed to admit to reading something with the name. The second one is My Merlin Awakening, which is even worse. If you aren’t Kate Chopin or L.J. Smith, you are too late to use the word Awakening in your book title. Sorry.

The Romance

There is only one thing that we readers of teen paranormal romance like better than a love triangle, and that is a REALLY GOOD love triangle. And what makes a love triangle really good? I ask myself as I try to define why it is that My Boyfriend Merlin is so superior to other books for me. I think in this case it’s because it’s so hard to choose which team to be on. Because while both boys are right for her in that they are attractive and challenging to her, they are also both wrong for her. Matt and Vane both like Ryan, but they’re both also deeply involved with trying to manage the fate of the world, and there are going to be times that they will choose their political agendas over her. And for some reason that just makes them both more attractive. Or at least interesting.

Will I read more?

The real question is, Can I stand not having more to read without my head exploding? I stayed up well past my bedtime to finish reading My Boyfriend Merlin. And then the next day at work I may have had to download the second one onto my phone and read it in between tasks (Mom, pretend you didn’t see that last sentence.) And then, once I ran out of more to read, I went back and reread the best parts of both books. Multiple times. When I was supposed to be doing other things. And now I am in agony because I have to wait for the third one.

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