Stained: Stained Series (Volume 1) - Ella James Just ... ugh. I have a lot of reviews to do, but I just need to get this one out of my system now. I downloaded this book because it was free on Amazon. So, it wasn't like I should have expected much from it. But what I did get was ... not good. Let's just say, I was not a fan of Stained. So, here we go.17-year-old Julia sneaks out one night, and when she returns home she finds that her house has burned to a crisp, along with her loving foster parents. (Shit, I hate when that happens!) She also sees this freaky angel of death hovering over the wreckage.Julia runs off to hide in a pecan warehouse. It isn't long before this random teenage dude literally crashes through the roof:"Dozens of glossy, charcoal feathers settled around a hole in the floor, at least half a foot deep. A guy was inside. She swiftly registered broad shoulders, hard muscle, and dark hair.A hot guy. Very hot.At this point, I could already tell where this was headed. But, I stuck with it anyway because I try to give every book a fair chance.So anyway! It turns out the "angel of death" is this dude named Samyaza. The "very hot guy"––Cayne––explains vaguely that Samyaza "stole something from him" and basically Cayne just wants to go kill him. Since Samyaza also killed her parents, Julia is eager to join in this quest. The rest of the book basically consists of Cayne and Julia wandering around looking for Samyaza and occasionally running into him, but most of the time they're just kind of sitting around having conversations that I think were supposed to be "witty" but were just ... not. There's also some weird thing going on where Julia has this birthmark which apparently makes Samyaza want to kill her. And therefore, Cayne wants to use her as "bait" to lure Samyaza around. (Nice. Quality boyfriend material.) So, that's pretty much the plot in a nutshell. I read this in ebook format, but according to Goodreads the physical version of this book is 157 pages. It felt much longer to me than that. In most cases 157 pages would have taken me like an hour and a half to read. I'm sure this book took me at least three hours to finish. ... This was probably due to the fact that I spent half the time highlighting and taking notes on things that annoyed me. First of all ... As I've already said, it just wasn't all that exciting. For a book that was supposed to be some awesome angel/demon adventure, I found it pretty boring. It was less than 200 pages long, and I still could barely get myself to finish it. Too much of the story consisted of Julia and Cayne sitting around, doing boring things like taking showers and sleeping and eating breakfast or whatever. Just thinking about it I ... *yawn*When there was actually action happening, it went by way too quickly, to the point where I could barely figure out what was even going on. Towards the end there was a whole like 10% of the book dedicated to Julia and Cayne making out again and again on a train. And then the actual climatic scene was only like five pages long and came to an abrupt halt and an annoying "TO BE CONTINUED." Needless to say, it didn't compel me to read the next book.Then, we had the characters.Julia was just ... terrible. I couldn't stand her. The thing that bothered me most was that she cried about the death of her (apparently amazing) foster parents maybe three times in the whole book. But most of the time, she was just staring at Cayne and thinking about how sexy he was, flirting with him, and/or worrying about how she looked."And tears filled her eyes again, because she’d cut her own hair and it probably looked horrible."So you're telling me, your foster parents died yesterday and you're crying over what your hair looks like? Umm ... just ... NO. NO. "... And he pulled up his shirt, revealing his omigod AMAZING abs.Julia grinned from ear to ear. She still felt butterflies every time he teased her. “Yep. Tell me right now, or I’ll pull this car over.” “And spank me?”Julia gaped. He winked, and she was sure her face looked like a tomato. That dirty jerk. Making her blush. “If you’re lucky,” she managed.So ... as you can see, she just came off as being really shallow and heartless and over all, not a cool person. Then there was Cayne ... oh God, Cayne. I don't know where to start. He's the pretty typical, abusive asshole love interest that plagues YA paranormal romance. Just some of his traits:- He "charms" people by controlling their minds and therefore can get whatever the hell he wants from anyone at any time. This makes it awfully convenient for him and Julia to get cars, food, clothes, etc. - He watches Julia sleep.- As mentioned before, he is using Julia as "bait" to get Samyaza.- He randomly kills a guy on the street by snapping his neck. This is apparently justifiable because the guy was punching his wife in the face in public. Also, the guy tries to shoot him. But still ... Cayne just walks up to the guy and kills him. Later on, he kills two other guys who are trying to kill him. And in both these instances, he just makes all the witnesses and police and whatnot conveniently forget that it all happened so that he and Julia don't have to deal with getting arrested.- He can magically heal––so all the times he gets shot/stabbed/etc. he just magically fixes himself up again. And he does this by drawing the strength out of the people around him, by the way, so that's ... nice. He apparently can't control this, but still. Doesn't seem very fair to me.- He literally eats nothing but junk food. Like seriously, Julia asks him if he ever eats fruits and vegetables and his answer is that he only eats crap. Yet despite this quirk, he apparently has "omigod AMAZING abs" and is "movie-star hot." ... WHAT?! I know that he's not human, but still. Just why? “So you don’t ever eat anything but crap? No fruits and veggies?”“Nope.”“Not even apples?”“Nope.”“What’s wrong with apples?”Cayne’s lip curled. “They taste like sweet tree bark.”Julia laughed. “You eat bark, do you?”“Who doesn’t?”“Um, normal people. They eat fruit, too. And salads. And they drive.”“What are you trying to say?”“You’re a strange one, bark boy.”Cayne frowned. “Leaf me alone.”... He also steals his bad jokes from Iroh. - He's 200 years old and hasn't learned to drive in that time. (Julia teaches him and it takes him like two minutes to perfect the skill. ... Right.) Apparently, in two whole freaking centuries, he has done virtually nothing:"The really weird thing was, for an ancient, Cayne didn’t seem to know all that much. He didn’t remember why women started wearing bras, seemed clueless about the Titanic, had never hit up a Beatles concert, thought prohibition was merely “prohibiting something,” and didn’t seem to know that Pearl Harbor was significant."His excuse for this is that he was "too busy" with all the demon/angel crap to notice anything else that was going on in the rest of the world. But judging by the slow pace of this story, it seems like he has quite a lot of free time on his hands––at least enough to read a newspaper or two. Eesh.- He randomly slaps Julia:Julia couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Seconds were hours, minutes were days. From some still-functioning place inside her mind, she saw Cayne’s brows clench, and she saw him lift his right hand. Then he slapped her, a good, strong hit that echoed through the room.I guess this was supposedly "for her own good" or something, because she was in shock or whatever ... ? But ... I mean ... HE SLAPPED HER. THAT IS NOT OKAY. It just happens and neither of them ever acknowledges it again.So yeah. I feel like I've seen this before: a creepy love interest who can "charm" people, likes to watch girls sleep, and is naturally strong and beautiful. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the only person he can't mind-control is Julia? SOUND FAMILIAR?The painful thing is this:“I can’t do it with you.”“Oh, and I believe that, Edward.”“Edward?”“Twilight!” He didn’t seem to recognize it. “You’ve never heard of Twilight?”I mean, the only thing that's worse than copying another book is shamelessly admitting that you're copying another book. It's just ... WHYYYY.So yes, point is ... Cayne was basically an Edward Cullen clone, and in addition he had his own abusive qualities that made me just loathe him.There were some other minor characters but none of them are really worth mentioning because none of them were developed enough. Even Samyaza felt like a really minor character because he only showed up like, three times ... and he was such a dull and cardboard-cutout villain that he didn't even seem that intimidating to me. Well, I think I've about reached the end of my rant about this book.Did I like it? Will I read the sequel?All right, I'm done here.