“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went super nova.”
Title: Dreaming of Antigone
Author: Robin Bridges
Publication: March 29th 2016 by Kensington
Summary from Goodreads:
Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact—including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she—the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe—is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him.
Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life…and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected.
You hear that?
That’s the sound of all my expectations, hopes, and dreams being flushed down the drain. Oh lordy… Dreaming of Antigone is sort of like that food that smell delicious and tastes like complete and utter shit. It sounded interesting, it started off on a good note, and then BAM! It makes you want to puke, gag, and forget you ever started in the first place. To be perfectly honest, I cannot believe I actually forced myself to read – and finish – this mystery meat sandwich. But, on the other hand, I did have some pretty high expectations when I started this book – damn you internet.
This book, besides being poorly written (more on that later), just felt like a conglomerate mash-up of too many things where none of it was working. A book is a machine, you see. It is a delicate, wonderful machine with so many complex, itty-bitty moving irreplaceable parts that it’s noticeable when those parts aren’t working right. Dreaming of Antigone is one of those books where none of the parts worked, at all. Goth girl stereotype? Check. Trying to force some sort of diversity through illness that clearly wasn’t researched? Check. Trying to avoid instalove by having instahate instead? Check. Just… ugh, I wanted to rip my hair out. I am so sick and tired of reading the same pieces in the same stories over and over again – but each time it’s getting worse and worse.
Everything in Dreaming of Antigone felt forced. The reader is forced to care (which still didn’t work on me) by employing various tropes and sympathy cards. The “romance” was so forced it should probably be illegal. The family dynamics or lack thereof was probably one of the worst parts, too. Actually, this book is sort of like a “Worst Ideas In Book History” awards show.
As for the writing, are you sure you want to watch me go down this rabbit hole? I advise both caution and possible parental advisory if you find yourself easily offended by other people’s opinions. (Yes, that’s supposed to come off whichever way you just took it. Deal with it.) Okay….. WHAT THE HELL!?! This book houses some of the laziest, unimaginable, poor writing I have ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on. I’ve seen first graders with better grammar and language usage than this. My biggest issue, besides everything else – of course- was the sheer laziness Bridges employs. “Antigone”, a play I’m sure most of us have read sometime during our lives, is the main tool for delivering everything here. Andria wants to explain how she feels (telling, not showing), she does so through relating her life to “Antigone”. The play “resonates” with her on a very, very, very personal level. Oh no, I’m weeping already. Jesus, this was such bullshit. If you’re going to use a play that’s already written to help you along through EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN IMPORTANT EVENT in your novel you might as well put your characters in the play and call it yours. Andria cannot feel a damn thing for herself unless she tells the reader about it through “Antigone”. Just, what the hell? I mean, honestly, how do you expect a reader to get behind this sort of thing when your characters have no autonomy and rely on a freaken play to tell them how they feel even though it’s comply irrelevant and wrong. No, no, and no.
Overall, Dreaming of Antigone was predictable, written by a two-year-old, and a horrible attempt to handle something serious. This book is laughable. It handles serious issues too lightly, so lightly in fact that you barely even pick up on the actual impact. A glossed over and half-assed attempt to do something other people have done a million times better than you – that’s what this is. No plot, no care in the writing, nothing. Just a whole lot of nothing.