ARC Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

February 10, 2014 Review 44 ★★

ARC Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin
All That Glows by Ryan Graudin
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Pages: 480
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Genres: Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Faery guard? London? Kings and Queens? Sign me up!
ALL THAT GLOWS promised these things but what it really delivered was an average YA paranormal novel that focused on the main character’s forbidden romance more than anything else. Comparable to HUSH, HUSH, FALLEN, and EVERMORE, this book is ruled by the romance.

The main character, Emrys, was frustrating at times. We hear all about how old and strong she is for a faery but it is all talk, she never really proves herself and she actually behaves in the opposite. Put a young, human prince in front of her with a bad reputation and she is instantly mesmerized and becomes a weak teenage girl.

There was all the “instant” connection, the “I feel like I’ve known him forever,” yada yada yada business. It was extremely off-putting, and of course all the more aggravating because their love is forbidden. They can not be together because Emrys is a faerie and Richard is a human.

It was all sickeningly sweet and very hard to believe in so I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters as a couple. It did not seem genuine and it all happened too fast. Emrys also bothered me because her personality did a complete turnaround whenever Richard was near. Definitely not a badass faery guard.

The writing was…metaphorical. If I can even describe it that way. Melanie and Blythe talk about this is detail (and hilariously!) in their review of ALL THAT GLOWS here. To sum it up: the writing was basically paragraph upon paragraph of metaphors that most of the time did not even make sense.

The first half of the book went by fairly quick, with pretty good pacing but after that 200 page mark, the book was like molasses. It could have been much shorter, and the plot had little to no twists or turns, making it pretty bland.

The saving grace for this book was the plot (when it didn’t center around the romance) and the world building with all the paranormal creatures. That was the only thing that kept me reading.

In the end, ALL THAT GLOWS is another deceiving cover hiding a less than stellar book.

Rating Report
Overall: 1.7

44 Responses to “ARC Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin”

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    “In the end, ALL THAT GLOWS is another deceiving cover hiding a less than stellar book.” Yup. The prettier the cover, the worse it is. Is it bad that I really love reading reviews for it? Probably. They’re just so much fun though. I (shamefully) actually really loved Evermore when it first came out, then I re-read it a couple of years ago and hated it. So basically, I would’ve loved All That Glows back in 2009. But it’s time is over. At least it’s a standalone (and let’s hope it stays that way.)
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Academy: Love Match

    • Alise

      That’s sadly true. Although there is the rare case, CRUEL BEAUTY was gorgeous inside and out. HA me too, I did that with Hush Hush. Exactly, exactly, exactly. This will appeal to some people, but not the obsessed reader.

  2. Amir

    I hate it when characters seem to get an instant personality implant when it comes to their love interest, especially when you’re expecting someone who’s supposed to be badass and wonderful. And when will authors stop with the insta-love? Its just not believable anymore. Great review Alise!
    Amir recently posted…Random Musings: I’m on a Book Buying Ban!

    • Alise

      Right? It’s not appealing at all! You would think if any of them learned a single thing from a review it’s to AVOID insta-love.

    • Alise

      Exactly! I was really hoping the second half especially would be better now that the relationship was established but… nope.

  3. Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind

    Well that sucks. Here I was excited about the beautiful cover and that summary sounded so promising… When you mentioned Hush, Hush I knew exactly what you were talking about. I hate it when the focus on a protagonists mind is a guy. I mean it’s nice if done right but the book clearly shouldn’t just be about romance.
    Metaphors? I can’t picture how that would work when worked into a book so much. Or how at all that would work in any book. Weird.
    Thanks for the Warning. Great review!
    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind recently posted…Blog Tour: Reaper’s Rhythm by Clare Davidson

    • Alise

      So. Many. Metaphors.
      It’s hard to explain but you could just tell they were thrown in to make the writing seem more like “prose” or whatever but it didn’t work.

    • Alise

      It really was depressing. She’s supposed to be a hundred year old badass faery guard but she swoons when she sees a prince. Lame.

  4. Delaney

    You are so right! I read the synopsis and it sounded like so much of something I would love to read! But then I read on to your review and Insta-love?! Instant connection?! Romance takeover?! Wimpy main character?! I thought we have moved past from that already! ;O;

    I think the book had the capabilities of becoming a fabulous new release…but these days, I just haven’t been expecting much from new releases :/ .
    Delaney recently posted…The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colors of Madeline #2)

    • Alise

      TELL ME ABOUT IT. But nope :(
      Yeah, you would think after all the complaining we do about these things authors would get it, ha.

  5. Bec

    Well it sucks you didn’t like it cause it sounded decent…

    Anyway, COMPLETELY unrelated to the book but I have to comment before I forget: the MCs name (Emrys) makes me think of BBC Merlin and the fact that I have to introduce you to that amazing show and ruin your life :) (In a good way though. Nothing like how this ruined your life :P )

    • Alise

      *Sounds* being the key word, ha.

      I’ve seen that somewhere but it didn’t appeal to me. Hmmm maybe I shall watch it now.

      • Angel (Spare Reads)

        I was thinking about the same thing!! Emrys :D Merlin is such a good show, but not suitable for marathons though…. Those episodes are follows the same exact recipe, so if you watch a ton at once, it may get a little boring or repetitive (which is totally not fair to the actual series!) Better to watch like two episodes a day in my opinion.
        Angel (Spare Reads) recently posted…ARC Review: Fates (Fates, #1)

        • Alise

          I’ve heard that it’s not one you can just binge on. That’s good though, because I don’t have that much time anyway ha.

  6. tonyalee

    I seem to be the only one that liked this LOL I didn’t love it and I was SO disappointed.

    I actually thought the second half of the book was better than the first. “Embers” (LOL) wasn’t as tough and bad ass as I was hoping from a immortal fae guardian though, and that was the main thing I was looking forward to.

    Great review
    tonyalee recently posted…ARC Review~ Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison

  7. Angel (Spare Reads)

    Whoa…. I guess I’m kinda glad now that I did not request for this book. The blurb sounds really cool though, which is common in bad books… (that makes me wonder a little bit btw, did the same people write the synopsis and the book??? because sometimes the skills showing through the synopsis are so much better, but anyways) I’m a sucker for pretty cover too, and this one would totally be on my radar, though now that I see all these negative reviews I would not dare try anymore. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Alise :P
    Angel (Spare Reads) recently posted…Review: Tiger Lily

    • Alise

      Haha, that is a pretty interesting question. I think authors sometimes have the opportunity to do a blurb but other times I think it is done by publishing. Sure! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Alise

      It’s funny because I actually thought I gave it three stars xD But when I broke it down in the rating report I realized it definitely wasn’t. Yeah, definitely not a fantasy :/

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