Book Thoughts: Icons by Margaret Stohl

(**I read this title on Netgalley through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside — safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can’t avoid.

She’s different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador’s privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn’t a coincidence. It’s a conspiracy.

Within the Icon’s reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions — which they’ve always thought to be their greatest weaknesses — may actually be their greatest strengths.

When I read books, my mind sub-consciously groups them into categories. You have your literary novels, your cute romance novels, and your oh-my-god-i-was-just-mind-blown novels. Icons found its way into the thriller-action-entertainment category. Or to explain, I found this novel to be more of an entertainment read than a thought-provoking read. [It’s those action scenes, I tell you.]

The beginning is a hit and a miss for me. The beginning throws you into a scene just minutes before some world changing situation that is the catalyst for the whole story. It’s supposed to be a hook, but I just kept thinking HARRY POTTER the whole time. I would have loved to become addicted to Icons from page one, but I wasn’t able to since I couldn’t distinguish this idea from another, already used ideas. On the other hand, the second chapter is pretty good. Doloria has a strong voice; I knew I would like her the second I was introduced to her in the present story.

Most of the book is action-filled and entertaining, but I never had the INEEDTOREADFINDOUTWHATHAPPENS feeling. Yes, some scenes had me more engrossed than others and yes, I did yell at the characters for their actions.

Also, a round of applause goes to Stohl for focusing on friendship love more than romantic love. Even though I rooted for a certain couple to get together, it made me smile that friendship came first to the characters. Our friends influence our decisions; why shouldn’t characters’ friends do the same?

On the other hand, thumbs down to Lucas towards the end of the book. This kid literally goes from one intense belief to another and completely changes his mind in a millisecond! That just doesn’t happen, especially when it concerns people’s lives. While reading that scene, I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. To me, the polar opposite choice he makes interrupts the flow of the novel. I feel that it was put there to make the ending happy, but it doesn’t fit his character at all.

All in all, Icons is pretty good. The characters are enjoyable and relatable. There are interesting chapters composed just of e-mails that plays with your mind throughout the story, but makes sense in the end. If you’re looking for a little action in your next read, I suggest you check this book out!

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