Book Review: Bang (Visions #2) by Lisa McMann

Spoilers Abound – You have been warned

I was looking forward to this book since I read the first one on it’s book birthday back in January. Like the first book, it was a quick read for me, about four hours with some breaks interspersed. I was expecting it to be just like the first, but this time from Sawyers. They’d hash out the visions, solve the puzzle and save the day. My expectations were right on. There was nothing crazy, mind-bending or heart-wrenching. Nothing that would keep me up all night pondering the weird things or ripping up a box of tissues (like Hunger Games) It was a safe read, like watching a Disney channel movie, and I’m okay with that.

What I enjoyed about this book most was the first-person narrative. I love (love, love, love) well done inner monologues. Ones that don’t come off as constant angst and whining. Julia oozed her full personality in the first person perspective – completely unlike most first-person cookie cutter personalities from book to book (I felt that way about Hush, Hush). Jules created lists in her head periodically to analyzes her situation and added “Dot-com” in her head to the ends of things that had dirty connotations (which did get annoying after the third or fourth time). Regardless, her personality was obvious, and, though predictable, was still raw, energetic, and had a clear characterization.

However, I did feel like McMann was trying to push this too much into the romance genre. That’s the main reason this book got 4 stars from me instead of 5. I didn’t care how hot and bothered she got around Sawyer or that she could feel his bulge against her. She’d been dating him for just a handful of weeks by that point and barely seeing him for 5 minutes at a time. I wished the relationship played more relaxed and as a second note, like Cable & Janie from the Wake trilogy.

Another thing that bothered me was the sudden flash and death of the most interesting part of the whole book: a huge clue that her father is suffering from visions too. She’s picked up (or rather dragged from) the library by her crazy father and realizes the similarity in mannerisms between their driving habits when she was being overloaded by her visions. WHY – For all that is good and holy – WHY did she not say something?! Her anger at her father could not have been so potent that she couldn’t have the biggest secret of her life solved right there. She’s started to suspect it since the first book, and that was the biggest clue she had. She could have easily said something snarky if she wanted to be condescending by saying something like “you’re driving like you can’t see in the mirror. Maybe you’re seeing things.” If I had noticed something tragically wrong with my parent, no matter how angry, that would get shelved pretty quickly. Especially something that is similarly plaguing me.

I do think her suspicions are correct – that her father is also seeing visions. Is he seeing the same one for years? Or is he not solving his visions so he keeps getting new ones? And did the father really have an affair, or do the Angottis and Demarcos share more than just sauces… like mental disorders, maybe? Or is sawyer a half brother (please, no. Let me be wrong on that. I had my fill of pretend incest with Mortal Instruments.) I don’t know if I buy the whole contagious visions thing. But if that were true, I think Ben (aka, FINALLY Trey has a love interest. Yay Trey!) will be the next to see things. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book. Think it’ll be called Boom?

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