Saturday, January 2, 2016

Acne, Asthma and Other Signs You Might be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford (Arc Review)

Title: Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might be Half Dragon
Author: Rena Rocford

 (The following ARC was gifted through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.


The first thing that comes to mind when I chose this book, aside from the really long but amusing title, was the beautiful cover. It was definitely a cover lust choice that put it at the top of my TBR pile.

The other thing that I loved about this book was the way it subtly slid the message of being body positive. The characters were not gorgeous, they had their own sort of problems that comes with being a teenager. They had the awkward phase, the acne, but the author mentions a smile, and how beautiful it was and how it made her beautiful. It made me fall in love with the book, even when I was struggling though it, because it wasn't about looks. It was about coming to terms with yourself and the body you were given.

Sadly, that was all I liked about the book. And I know that sounds harsh, but I struggled. Perhaps my sights were to high, because with a title like Acne, Asthma and Other Signs You Might be Half Dragon  I feel like it had a lot of places it could have gone.

The writing was so fast paced for me, I felt like characters were just thrown in my face with no emotion or back story. So much happened in chapter one that it left my head spinning. There was no lead in or build up.

I also was no a fan that the Twilight sparkling vampire was brought in. Vampires do not sparkle....and it was hard to believe that Unicorns would be jerks. I get that every genre is gonna have it's douche bags but it was still hard to wrap my head around.

3 out of 5 Stars
(It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.)

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