Double Cross - Carolyn Crane Well. There goes another highly-anticipated read.

Double Cross is a lot less action-packed than Mind Games, and most of the book is about Justine and her problem with her conscience. She still hasn't gotten over the fact that Packard tricked her into being his minion and that she has to disrupt people's feelings/realities for her own freedom. Most of all, she can't come to terms with who she is, and that about killed this book for me.

Justine's a little scared, weak girl inside who wants to simply belong to someone and believes that being with a perfect guy means that maybe she's perfect too. I get that, I really do, and I had no problem with this part of Justine's personality in Mind Games. But in Double Cross, I expected Justine to get over herself and stop being so blind and just realize that being with someone perfect does not rub off on you by mere association, because the same thing failed with Cubby, but does she wake up at all throughout the 300+ pages of this book? No, she does not. She only gets a reality check for about 10 pages before she goes back to how she was, courtesy of Otto and Sophia.

This book is a rare case where even the ending couldn't make up for the rest of the book. The ending was astonishing, very genius, blah blah blah, but it can't even begin to make up for the pathetic and weak character that is Justine. And if it wasn't clear enough already, I really really really hate Justine's insecure personality.

And the villains are called "The Dorks"? Seriously? That's so ridiculous, it's funny.

As for Otto...

So you better run, you coward!

And now, I'll be fair and discuss the good stuff:

Packard! He's like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day, like a bag of marshmallows, like a delicious cake, like the full moon in a starless sky, like the first snowflake that melts on your nose, like THE BEST DAMN THING IN THIS ENTIRE BOOK! So yeah. Just lemme eat have him, because no one wants to have to deal with me and my dreadful poetry.

After Packard, Shelby is my most favorite character in this series. I adore her strength, her cynicism, and the way she always seems to be getting the bigger picture. In short, she's everything I wish Justine could be.

And if I look at the ending alone, without the boredom from the first half of the book poisoning it, I do have to admit that it's pretty amazing. I was so happy for a while there, even getting over my anger at Justine, but then

Needless to say, I can't wait to see how the latest mess will resolve itself.

And this book has a 4.28 rating average? Maybe I'm the only one who couldn't tolerate Justine and wasn't completely wooed by the ending.