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May 07, 2013

Review: Icons by Margaret Stohl

Icons (Icons, #1)
Title: Icons (Icons #1)
Author: Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers 
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 448
Your heart beats only with their permission.

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.
ICONS started off in a weird way, but it still kept me interested. I just felt like a person who was dropped in the middle of a story, someone's life, without any clue on what the hell is going on. See, this could go both ways, either it makes the readers excited and want to read more to figure out what's going on, or the reader loses interest. Fortunately, the first half of the novel managed to keep me interested. I am not one to give up easily, especially when it comes to dystopian novels. However the second half.. and especially towards the end, I started to grow restless and praying for when the book would just end
Even now, I just don't really get the whole point behind the Icon's children. Dol, the main protagonist, along with Ro, Tima, and Lucas each have a specific powerful feeling they can tap into or channel. I personally don't know the point of the whole feelings.. it does not contribute one bit to the plot or make them any special. Yes, these traits make them have some powers, but why did the author make us read countless pages about their feelings when the feelings themselves don't contribute to the plot? I know there is the possibility of Dol's use of sorrow that can allow her to read people's minds, but she never really uses it, also the author doesn't really explore that point. Something I also have to point out is the mislabeling of the novel, yes the alien invasion mark it as sci-fi or post-apocalyptic, but possessing power obviously puts it under fantasy at least right? or paranormal? I don't like being mislead by the genre categorization. 
This is another one of those hefty books I've been reading lately, and it is also a book that would have been better off reducing the page numbers by at least 100. Almost 450 pages is a bit too long for a book I could personally explain in a page or two. There were too many unnecessary things that made the whole plot slow down. Also the romance, while it barely took up much space in the plot, was a bit too insta-love for me but with a side of angst because of Dol's friend Ro. To wrap this up, this book didn't impress me in the slightest bit. I have tried reading Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures but also found the same slow pacing problem there. It seems that Stohl's writing doesn't appeal to me. However, I do recommend you guys to at least pick it up and try reading it, especially fans of her previous work. 


  1. Damn it's unfortunate you didn't enjoy this. I'm still really looking forward to it and I enjoyed 'Beautiful Creatures' so here's hoping this one goes down well too.

  2. I think I'll skip this book... I hate books that start in a confusing way. I usually DNF books that I find hard to understand from the beginning... I also dislike books that I want them to end already. Thank you so much for sharing your honest opinion!

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  3. I wasn't really into the authors BC series, so I didn't have high expectations for this one. After reading your review I'm glad I decided not to request it. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  4. I had been wondering how this would be. I tried to read BC and ended up DNFing it, so I was curious to see some reviews before deciding if I wanted to read this or not. So far it seems like I will be passing on it. Great review!

  5. I didn't like this one either - I ended up giving a whole star less than you though, probably because I didn't find the beginning interesting at all. I guess I was one of the ones that lost interest because nothing made much sense.

    The whole emotions-give-them-power thing was annoying too. I was expecting some really in-depth emotional stuff, but to me it felt more like a gimmick. Either it was just not explained well (which wouldn't be surprising, considering how vague most of the details were) -- or the Icon children's emotions truly don't serve much of a purpose. Disappointing.

  6. Oh no! I've been seeing these type reviews on this book. :( I'm already a slow reader so a long book where I'll crave it to end is not good for me. Thanks for your honesty. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  7. This book wasn´t a top priority for me, so I think I´m going to skip it. Thanks for your review.

  8. I don't think I understood the whole concept behind the Icon children either. If it was mentioned, it clearly wasn't anything I thought important enough to remember! Sorry that you didn't enjoy this any more than I did, but great review! I guess I am done with this author's work for now.

  9. Hmmm, I wanted to read this book mainly because the cover is gorgeous, but this is the second "meh" review I've read and now I'm not so sure.. I've been reading enough "meh" books lately, so I'll be waiting for this one for a while. Thanks for the awesome review.


  10. Too bad you didn't like this. I never really liked Beautiful Creatures so I'm really reluctant on picking this one up. Great review!

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  11. Juhina, I am so with you on Stohl's writing! I read BC and I also thought that her writing style I just too slow paced for me. I was hoping that things would be better in Icons, but apparently not. It sucks that it made you feel as if you were just dropped into someone's world without details and a good background. And insta-love? Bleggghh. I've been seeing so many negative reviews, I don't think I'll be picking this one up. Thanks for the awesome review as always though!

  12. There are books that can pull off 450 pages and then there are ones that can't. Sorry this wasn't one of them. It's so tiresome when you keep wondering how much more you have to read to get through it! If a book is riveting 450 pages feels like nothing. I doubt I'll be picking this up, Juhina, I just don't have the time or patience for this type of read. Thanks for the honest and helpful review. :)

  13. I was curious about this one, because I did enjoy the Beautiful Creature series, but I am not in a hurry to pick it up. Sorry it wasn't all that great for you.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  14. I have this on my pile for this month but with all these so-so and bad reviews I'm thinking I may set it aside until I have a month with less books to read. Its too bad that its just not quite hitting the mark.

  15. Damn! I'm so scared to read this book. After the Caster Chronicles, I have really high expectations from both the authors! And yes, Icons sounds weird. It's good you didn't give up but then again, it's sad the book didn't do much for you either. Anyways, awesome review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  16. I loved Beautiful Creatures, it's one of my favourite books. But, I tried reading Icons and was really disappointed. I couldn't get past the first 50 pages.