Rainbow Rowell is an author I very much admire, and very much enjoy. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who dislikes Rainbow's novels becau...moreRainbow Rowell is an author I very much admire, and very much enjoy. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who dislikes Rainbow's novels because they're that far-reaching and that awesome. She writes books that anyone can enjoy - Chick Lit, Young Adult, somewhere in-between, so I was very, very excited to hear about her new novel Landline. I thought it sounded fantastic. I love novels with magical concepts, and I just adore the idea of being able to talk to somebody via a magical yellow telephone, in the past. It's CRAZY, but it's awesome. I get a kick out of magical elements like that, they're the best. So I was very intrigued to see if Rainbow could pull it off...
First off let me say that Rainbow is such an awesome writer - of that there is no doubt. And Landline is written superbly, but for me, I felt like every day leading up to Christmas Day was the same for Georgie. The whole reason she didn't go to Omaha for Christmas was so she could work, but she actually spends the days moping, crying, and not doing any work and every day's like Groundhog Day because she does the same thing - she goes to stay at her Mother's, she sleeps in really late, and when she does show up at work she doesn't do anything. I got a little tired of her refusing to talk to anyone, it was quite annoying, and I just wanted her to pull herself together, to be less of a sad sack. I understand she was going through a rough time, but I just felt she needed to be a bit more in control, and I could understand why (eventually) Seth got exasperated with her; if she was so worried about her marriage, she would have got on a plane to Omaha tout-de-suite.
A lot of the reviews I've read mention how Neal irritated them, which made me kind of sad. Looking at it from his perspective, I can see why he was so frustrated all of the time, and it was a classic case of Georgie and Neal needing to talk to each other. If they just talked to each other, were a bit more honest, understood that marriage is a compromise sometimes, they might not have ended up where they did. I quite liked Neal, especially the young Neal we get to know, maybe he's not stereo-typically happy-go-lucky, maybe he doesn't know what he wants from his life, but I got him. I don't know what I want to do with my life and the thing I'm doing (working at a supermarket) sucks, just like his oceanography studies. The best part of the novel for me was definitely the whole Georgie-talking-to-Neal-in-the-past. That was ace. That let us peek into their lives before kids, before marriage, before work and frustrations and all of that seeped into their every day lives and when Georgie and Neal were just falling in love, and trying to make their relationship work.
I probably would have liked Landline to have had an Epilogue. I'm a sucker for knowing what comes next, and considering we spent so long with Georgie, Seth and Scotty working on their show, I would have liked to have seen whether it had taken off (or not). But it was a great, solid read. There were times when I definitely loved Georgie (and times when I didn't) and I just felt so sad that two people who seemed so perfect for each other (although a teensy, tiny bit of me liked the idea of Georgie & Seth) were struggling so hard to keep the love alive, to keep their marriage kicking. Rainbow Rowell is a writer who I will always read, whose books I'll pre-order months in advance and although I probably loved Attachments more, Landline was a solid read, and it made me laugh a couple of times, too, and there was just something ridiculously sweet about the fact Georgie's little girl Noomi spent a lot of her time meowing. It was way, way too cute.
When I spotted The Objects of Her Affection on Netgalley, I thought it sounded really, really interesting. I was a big watcher of White Collar for a w...moreWhen I spotted The Objects of Her Affection on Netgalley, I thought it sounded really, really interesting. I was a big watcher of White Collar for a while, until it dropped off my radar, and I loved the idea of Sophie being an art-thief and no one even realising, it's the perfect crime! So I couldn't wait to dive in; some reviews said it was quite a high-class novel and I must agree - Sophie may be suffering after buying her new house, which leads to all the art-related thievery, but her and Brian are hardly suffering. They're certainly not poor and there is a tad bit of snobbishness to the novel, but I didn't let it effect my enjoyment of the book.
Perhaps the whole point of the novel is that because Sophie and Brian are the perfect family, with the perfect family house, that no one knew what Sophie was doing, but I thought it was great, and I rather got a sense of tension any time Sophie decided she needed a new 'score', for lack of a better word. The beginning of the novel sets up the need for Sophie's need to steal, and it was somewhat surprising that despite saying she was the one who took care of the family's finanaces, that she was willing to play so fast and loose with her mortgage just because she felt like the house was the 'one'. I would have expected her to be on top of her finances, to not be led astray by a dodgy mortgage broker, but I could also understand her blindness, and her need to get the house at all costs, damn the consequences, though it obviously comes back to bite her in the bum.
I enjoyed the novel - it was fun and quite frivolous, with an added edge of danger whenever Sophie went into the museum where Brian worked to steal more stuff. Cobb managed to make it quite tenuous and tension-filled. I felt kinda sad for Brian, considering he had no clue, but really he was way too interested in a French candlestick - Brian's whole purpose for the novel was to discuss that bloomin' candlestick! I was kind of surprised he didn't pick up on Sophie's change of mood, and that he was so oblivious to the trouble they were in, but it was all candlestick this, candlestick that. It was the same old Chick Lit trope, though, if Sophie had opened her mouth sooner perhaps she wouldn't have had to go to the lengths she did, although the best parts of the novel was when she was either stealing stuff or going up to New York, to meet Harry, an antiques dealer.
One thing I felt The Objects of Her Affection lacked was the ending. It just... ended. It was the one issue I wondered about before I started reading - because how do you end a novel that's about stealing? You can't really have a happy ever after and although I liked how serious the matter of Sophie's actions became, I just felt that it all came together too neatly, and that the ending was just a bit blah, for lack of a better word. I wanted closure. I wanted to know what was going to happen going forward, with Sophie, Brian, the kids, everything. It was a shame to have such a short, sweet, unexpected ending after quite the roller-coaster ride. It was a very interesting read, though. I really enjoyed it, The Objects of Her Affection was very different to most novels I read, and I enjoyed the art aspect and the thieving aspect - it was great, and had my heart pulsing.
When I spotted Sweetness #9 on Netgalley, I was intrigued. I liked the dark blue cover, with the packet of sugar on it (PINK SUGAR, no less) and I tho...moreWhen I spotted Sweetness #9 on Netgalley, I was intrigued. I liked the dark blue cover, with the packet of sugar on it (PINK SUGAR, no less) and I thought it sounded mildly intriguing. After all, the entire world and its mother are obese these days, me included (I'm not just judging the world - I find sweets and chocolate and crisps as addictive as the next person, sadly) and I thought the novel would be a comic look at the addictiveness of sugar (or artificial sweetner, as sweetness #9 is). Now, the novel was interesting, I'll give it that, and it certainly had its moments, but it was a bit too dry for me.
Most of my problem with the novel stems from the synopsis - the synopsis makes it sound like David Leveraux works at Gold, Olivetti and Dark for ages, working on sweetness #9, when in fact, it only encompasses the first few pages, before he is swiftly fired and carted out, on account of his inability to keep his mouth shut about what it's doing to his rats. Although, to be fair, if I had found a favourite rat named Louis, I too may have started to shout and yell if I thought the sweetener I was giving him was perhaps going to make him kill himself, but only because I'm a sentimental fool, more worried about Louis than anything else. I just thought for something so important to the novel, we would have more time spent on it, but it was over and done with before you could blink (well, it wasn't over and done with, because David grapples with his guilt over not speaking up the whole novel, but you get what I mean.)
The whole novel is pretty much all about sweetness #9's effects on people, or what seems to be sweetness #9's effects on people, because it's never actually proven. Perhaps it all was indeed down to the "American effect". Who knows? It's never explicitly clear, unless I missed it. It's also about David's guilt. David is a guilty, guilty man. Some may say paranoid, too. He spends the whole novel caught up in sweetness #9, and his whole life is dictated by it. His wife is addicted to diet sodas, his daughter goes on, and on, and on, and on some more, about the dangers of sweetness #9, his son is verbless. And all around him, all he can see is his guilt. It permeates every page. But from what I can tell, even if David had spoken up, there's no telling sweetness #9 would have been stopped. So it's kinda irrelevent. What I did enjoy was Ersnt's story, he becomes David's new boss after a period of.... well, David has a breakdown, and Ersnt's comes in and helps him out giving him a new job, and Ersnt was in Germany during the war, serving Hitler and it was exciting to hear his story.
Sweetness #9 was very interesting, I'll give it that. I enjoyed David's narrative, even if it was sometimes a bit long-winded, and he sometimes got off point, but he had his moments of brilliance and I did chuckle a few times. The novel takes a somewhat bizarre turn during the last quarter, which I wished had come in sooner, especially as there was no conclusion to it - what had happened? Why had it happened? Who was to blame? There were too many questions and not enough answers, for some things. But overall it was an interesting, if sometimes scary look, at just what goes into our food. Because I adore shows like The Big Bang Theory, I quite appreciated the science of being a flavorist. (And I'd love to know Sheldon Cooper's take on them.) It's definitely a very on-point novel (and it made me fearful of diet soda's, lemme tell you) and I think people will enjoy it. I enjoyed it, for the most part, I just wished it were a teensy bit funnier, a little less serious, but overall, it was interesting.This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read(less)
Last year I read and absolutely loved Abigail Haas's debut thriller Dangerous Girls. It was unputdownable, completely gripping and the way the story s...moreLast year I read and absolutely loved Abigail Haas's debut thriller Dangerous Girls. It was unputdownable, completely gripping and the way the story switched from the present to the past was an awesome technique. So I was super excited to see Dangerous Boys up on Netgalley and I crossed my fingers that I would be accepted and I was so excited when it happened! It sounded just as great as Dangerous Girls and I couldn't wait to see if it lived up the Abigail's previous work.
If I had to use one word to sum up Dangerous Boys, it would be the f word. The long, drawn-out version, because I can barely believe what I just read. Even after reading Dangerous Girls and being aware of Abby's writing style, and technique I was still blown away by what I read. I was literally scared. Books generally don't scare me - the last time anything scared me I was a kid, and I watched Scream, but I took a good look around after I finished the final sentences of Dangerous Boys, just to be sure I was safe. It was bananas, let me tell you. More so, probably, than Dangerous Girls.
Love triangles are as old as the day is long, but the love triangle in Dangerous Boys felt fresh and different, mostly because the two brothers were like chalk and cheese. Ethan was super sweet, super kind, always wanting to make things better, and Oliver was dark and dangerous, offering Chloe something she's rarely experienced and giving her the chance to have some fun and excitement in her life when it's sorely lacking, since she didn't get to go off to college as she expected to. I was torn between the boys. I love a bad boy, but I thought Ethan clinched it for me, personally. The idea of a bad boy is nice, but the nice boys always win out.
Abigail Haas is one of the most talented writers around - she's proven that since she can write YA, Chick Lit and her thrillers. I mostly enjoy her thrillers best because I just love the rush of adrenalin as the plot unravels and secrets are revealed. I loved the back and forth action, from The End, to Before, to After. It's such a great writing method and I love how it ratchets up the pressure and it was so, so hard to put the novel down until the bitter end, which did not disappoint. Chloe literally shocked me. I had no idea that was how the novel was going to end and it was freaking insane. It was cray-cray. Seriously, you'll put the book down, as I did, and want to use the f word I would rather not type.
As soon as I heard about Dear Daughter, I wanted to read it. Mystery novels are the "thing" of 2014, following Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I stil...moreAs soon as I heard about Dear Daughter, I wanted to read it. Mystery novels are the "thing" of 2014, following Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I still haven't read, and they've thrown up some pretty interesting novels. Off the top of my head, the best of the bunch is C.L. Taylor's The Accident, which was a fast-paced, frantic read. But Dear Daughter sounded different to all the other mystery novels on the scene, and I quite liked the synopsis and I just plain ADORED the proof copy cover - Dear Daughter in big, blue letters, with a covering of newspapers all blaring various Janie-related headlines. It pains me that that isn't the finished cover, because it's eye-catching and visually stunning, at least I think so. I was super excited to receive a copy of the novel to review, in a BLUE envelope which was a first and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
As soon as I started Dear Daughter, I knew I was going to love it. Jane has a voice you're either going to love, or hate, and I loved her. I love snarky heroines, with their wit and sarcasm at their beck and call whenever they want. I loved that Jane called herself out when she was sounding too clever, when she was merely trying to tell us she was scared. It was such a clever narrative, so absorbing and there were times when I just wasn't sure if Jane was guilty, or innocent, and I desperately hoped it was the latter, because I loved her. Her honesty was raw, and exciting, and I appreciate that in a narrator, because even though she lied to everyone else around her, we got to see the real Jane Jenkins, and it was super interesting to go along with her on her journey, to try and discover what really happened the night her mother was murdered.
There's quite a ride during the just under 400 pages of Dear Daughter, not only is Jane trying to find out the truth about her mother, but she's also dodging the press, who are just desperate to find her (and possibly kill her). I quite liked the quaintness of Ardelle where Jane ends up, posing as a dowdy Historian called Rebecca. It was an interesting sub-plot, with lots of questions being posed, and not many answers forthcoming and usually with novels like this, you can tell who the villian of the piece is, and you figure it out way before the main characer, but I actually didn't. I basically followed Jane wherever she went, and found stuff out at the same time she did; it was only when I got to the end that I realised, right there with Jane, who was responsible all along and part of me wondered why I hadn't already figured it out. Hey ho, that tells me Elizabeth Little knows her stuff and can write a cracking mystery.
Despite being a mystery novel, not the typical Chick Lit/Young Adult/New Adult I read I was surprised there was a bit of a flirtation between Jane and Leo, the town cop. It thrilled my heart, because I'm a sucker for some flirting, and banter, and those two had it in spades. But sadly that was just a bit of fun and games, but it was enjoyable. The ending was... surprising. I want to say disappointing, because of how it all went down, and how it all finished, and I can't really say why without spoiling it, but it wouldn't have been the ending I'd have written, but then again, I can't thrive without happiness, ya know? I should know better, this isn't a bloody romance novel, right? But it was such an awesome, well written book. Janie (I know she hates it, but I think it suits her) is such a great character, so memorable, and that's what took this novel ahead of all the other mystery novels out there, because it has such a memorable, honest, snarky heroine.This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read(less)
When I was offered the opportunity to read and review Only Ever Yours, I thought it sounded like such a fascinating novel. I don't read many Dystopian...moreWhen I was offered the opportunity to read and review Only Ever Yours, I thought it sounded like such a fascinating novel. I don't read many Dystopian novels - though I'm not sure if that's the correct genre to put this novel in. But, it's definitely not set in the "now", that much is for sure because if what goes on in the book happened today, there'd be repercussions (and it makes me kinda sad that in this world, that is the norm because it's AWFUL). I was interested to see how the novel progressed, and very much intrigued by all the positive comments I've seen about the novel. And it is a VERY interesting read.
Probably one of the only complaints I have about Only Ever Yours, is how the girls are treated. They're like meat at a market. And it pained me that the men clearly ruled the roost. That the whole purpose of these girls, who are manfactured (NOT BORN - MADE!!!!!! DESIGNED!!!!!) are for the purposes of becoming a "companion" to 10 eligible (or not) bachelors. It was ICKY. That was a major issue for me, and I took offense because I'm a girl and because the rules and regulations are just so awful. A mandatory weight for the girs to maintain or be ridiculed and called fat, calorie blockers, all sorts of awful nonsense that just made me want to close my eyes and scream, "NO, NO, NO!". I couldn't imagine being in Freida's shoes, competing with all the other girls to be picked as a companion, because that's the most desirable option of the three where the other two options are to become a concubine (basically a doll, to be treated poorly by the men) or a chastitie which nobody wants to be.
But, I can't deny that the bizarre ways, and treatments and stories are fascinating. Freida's - and all the girl's - lives are awful, but it's immensely readable because you can barely believe your eyes! It's just so bizarre. It took a while to get used to the girls' names being uncapitalized (so bizarre, and I have capitalized all the names in my review, which may be wrong of me but oh well) and words being spelt different (ice kream, chocco, myface) but it really helped to get into the world of the girl's. This bizarre-o world they live in, where being fat is a curse, and being picked as a companion is a blessing, and poor Freida just doesn't know what to do with herself. Her best friend, Isabel, has left her in the lurch, and she can barely function - she can't sleep, even with the help of SleepSound, and she's slowly disengaging from everything. What I would have liked to see was more of Isabel and Freida's friendship. We only get very brief glimpses, and I still don't really understand why Isabel pulled back. I do not agree with Freida's assessment at the end, as to why. I think there was more there, and having Isabel as another narrator would have helped massively.
Only Ever Yours is one of the most fascinating, disturbing books I'll probably ever read. I'm dying to know where Louise O'Neill came up with the idea because it's just so clever, and creepy all at the same time. Despite all my bad feelings about the fact it was the girls being groomed for the boys, and not the other way around, I was still flipping the pages as quickly as I could, desperate to know what would happen. I probably would have preffered a different ending - considering everything we go through, I felt a little teensy bit cheated. I expect something more, I suppose, but nevertheless it's a solid, solid read. I can't wait to see what Louise O'Neill writes next, she's clearly got a very imaginative imagination and she's written a corker of a debut novel, I'll be thinking about Only Ever Yours for a very, very long time. (And I'm still not sure if that's a good thing!!!!)
When Alice Oseman posted a shout-out on Twitter asking who would like to read and review her debut novel Solitaire, I very excitedly asked if I could....moreWhen Alice Oseman posted a shout-out on Twitter asking who would like to read and review her debut novel Solitaire, I very excitedly asked if I could. I thought it looked and sounded fabulous, and was very pleased to receive a copy from the lovely folks at HC Children's Books. The cover is black, but the colourful shapes that make up a heart add a pop of colour and the boldness of the title is quite amazing. I was super disappointed to see the tag-line, mind, "This is not a love story..." But love stories are my favourite! But, I was prepared to let it go, for once. It doesn't always have to be about love (what am I saying? I'm lying. LYING.), so I picked up the book just before bed and I was ENTRANCED by the first chapter. Entranced! And couldn't wait til the next morning to get stuck in properly!
Solitaire is a novel that could have been written about me. I am literally an older version of Tori. I am socially inept, conversations are difficult for me unless someone is asking questions, or they keep the conversation going, and I much prefer to just spend time solo, although unlike Tori I LOVE books. So on that we'll have to agree to disagree, and perhaps I'll introduce Tori to Suzanne Collins and see what she thinks of books then! It literally made me day to see Tori referenced by her brother as Sheldon Cooper, if she were to be ANY of The Big Bang Theory group (though it killed me she said it was unfunny) because sometimes I feel very Sheldon Cooper like. Tori and me just GOT ON from the off. If she were real, I would be her friend and she would be mine because we would just click. We would be BFFs for life, I can tell you that without even thinking about it - and I'm kind of tempted to go meet Alice, who wrote the book, and see if she and I would too be BFFs.
What I liked best about Solitaire, is something that always amuses me - when someone who most definitely does not like company, is brought into the world of someone who doesn't understand that. And Michael Holden doesn't seem to get that Tori is a one-woman show, and does not want or need to be cheered up for any reason. Michael Holden lit the book up! With his funny different coloured eyes (I have no idea if the reason his eyes are two different colours is true, but I liked it) and his geeky glasses, and his side parting. The novel is quite a downer of a novel - Tori is seriously struggling to be part of her sixth-form world, and barely interacts with her peers and her moods are low, and grumpy, and sad, so it was quite nice to have Michael come into the novel and try and make it better. It would have been so easy to just shrug his shoulders, and leave Tori to her misery, but he didn't. He wormed his way in, and eventually I liked that Tori found herself needing him in unexpected ways.
The addition of the whole 'Solitaire' plot line was awesome. Seriously, so imaginative, so clever and bloody spooky! As the novel progressed, I had a feeling who it was (and it KILLED ME, actually) and I let out the biggest sigh of relief when it turned out it wasn't who I thought because I could see that would have literally destroyed Tori. (I let out an audible "Phew" when I found out who was actually behind the whole thing.) It astounds me that a nineteen-year-0ld wrote this book - I am envious beyond belief at Alice Oseman's writing talent. It is a seriously impressive debut novel. I LOVED it. I raced through it, from beginning to end, because it was like I was Tori (and I suppose she's right - when we read books, we DO become the main characters), although I've always been a bit like Tori. It was literally like Tori and I became one and the same, although I am still lacking my very own Michael Holden. Sob.
It was such an interesting look into life as a teenager, and I just wanted to hug Tori (which she would have hated, but I felt that nonetheless). She goes through a lot, and her brother's storyline was so awful. Solitaire is one of those special, honest, unflinching novels and I'm torn between wanting a sequel (the thought of never hearing from Tori again KILLS me) and not wanting a sequel (because I would want it to be HAPPY. Overwhelmingly happy, and Tori isn't there yet) But either way this is a special book, from a very special author. Alice Oseman knows what it's like to be a teen - she bloody is one!!!!! - and she writes about one beautifully, and sadly, it must be said. Tori and Michael are such unforgettable characters - they all are, to be fair, Oseman has written a great cast of characters (although I wanted to slap Tori's mother, she's awful). If you read one contemporary novel this year, make it this one. It's SO good, and you will not regret it in the slightest. I LOVED IT.
Last year I read and enjoyed my first ever Amanda Prowse novel, A Little Love. It was a delightful read, and I just loved the book cover! Amanda Prows...moreLast year I read and enjoyed my first ever Amanda Prowse novel, A Little Love. It was a delightful read, and I just loved the book cover! Amanda Prowse is a very lucky lady when it comes to her book covers - they are delightful! So when I spotted her new book cover on Amazon I was delighted! It was even better than the cover for A Little Love, would you believe? It's the twinkly stars that get me. I love twinkly stars, especially when they're bright, in a purple-blue sky. When I got the email asking me if I'd like to review the novel, I was delighted. I haven't read Poppy Day, the prequel to this book, but from reading this book it doesn't really seem to be a necessary endeavour (I like when books stand alone).
I was quite surprised when I learned Amanda Prowse had brought back one of her very first heroines - from the sounds of Poppy Day, Poppy has had quite the adventure, so it's always somewhat of a shock when an author brings back their characters for another go round, especially when they intend to make them ill. Gravely ill. It just made me so sad whilst reading the book - that Poppy, a young mum with two kids, and her husband just returned from Afghanistan are going through yet more trauma. It was quite tough to take; hadn't life already thrown them so much? Didn't they deserve to live out their days, happy as larry? But that was not to be, sadly, and we get to see Poppy start a whole different kind of fight, one that isn't always winnable. What surprised me most was the deterioration. I know cancer is awful, but it just seemed to progress so quickly for Poppy.
One of the brightest parts of the novel is most definitely Poppy and Mart's daughter, Peg. She's cute as a button, brighter and more perceptive than most adults, and wants nothing more than to be register monitor in her class. She's full of questions, desperate to know everything, and she lit the book up. In such hard times, it's nice to have a bit of relief, nice to see some innocence still shining and Peg fit that role perfectly. There's a lot that occurs, in such a short period of time in Will You Remember Me? and it's not all great - I wasn't a fan of Poppy keeping her illness a secret, nor that her husband would be so ignorant as to not pick up on some of the signs of illness, even if he didn't guess what it actually was. We're meant to believe Poppy and Mart have this fabulous relationship, so why wouldn't she tell him about her illness? To have someone to lean on? I didn't get that. It baffled me.
There's one more twist to the novel that I didn't care for, involving Poppy's friend Jo. It seemed as if it had been chucked in, and I hated it. Absolutely hated it. Considering what Poppy's going through, I didn't think she needed that extra hurt. JUST NO. I wish I could have scrubbed those pages from my memory. But, apart from all that, it was a really interesting read - I don't dare say it was 'great' because it wasn't, let's be honest. Poppy goes through something so terrible, so hard to watch, and it was hard to watch her be so ill. I just wanted to close my eyes, and pretend it wasn't happening, and I shed a tear or two towards the end of the novel. But the novel had its bright spots - I quite liked the Epilogue, it was SO cheesy (last chapter of the Deathly Hallows cheesy) but it was quite sweet, too. And I liked the St Lucia link, which was surprising and unexpected, but actually quite awesome. Will You Remember Me? is a sad, but ultimately quite uplifting tale, but tissues will be required, I can promise you that.
When I spotted Upside Down on Netgalley, I was torn. I've got lots of books to read. LOTS, LOTS, LOTS. So I've got to be really choosy about what I de...moreWhen I spotted Upside Down on Netgalley, I was torn. I've got lots of books to read. LOTS, LOTS, LOTS. So I've got to be really choosy about what I decide to download and review, because I've already got books to choose from. But Upside Down interested me and it's been a while since I've read New Adult novel, so I decided to take the plunge, especially with the added extra of Talia's OCD. I very much enjoy novels that deal with mental health issues, and OCD is not something I've ever read about before, and I was interested to see how Lia Riley tackled it, and whether the novel would rank among my faves amongst the very good New Adult genre.
Upside Down is an interesting read. It starts really, really well, and the chemistry between Bran and Talia is bubbling away nicely, and we're going along, and they're bantering with each other, and it's cool... And then they make out and do stuff, and it all just seemed to happen so fast. My main issue with the novel is that it gave me whiplash. There I was enjoying the tug of war between Talia and Bran, and their connection is ace, and suddenly they're in bed together .Then you flip a page, and the ex is on the scene making a nuisance of herself and Talia can't handle that and it just sort of repeats the same hot/cold cycle throughout the novel. It drove me nuts. I hate when characters are so hot/cold, they're so indecisive, they can't make up their minds and instead of Bran being cute and awesome, he came across as a bit of a jerk. He totally screws with Talia's head on numerous occassions, and it just got a little tiring after a while. I wanted her to just let him get on with his life, because he was so down on her.
I wished the novel had focused on Talia's OCD more. It's mentioned, frequently, and there are moments where we see it in action (like when Talia uses the radio in Bran's car, she presses all the buttons before the button she needs) but it was sporadic at best. I didn't really feel the obsession that Talia mentions frequently. Was that because she was away from her home, and in Australia? I kinda figured Bran's actions would have had her OCD going mad - but, no. It just needed a little bit more time spent developing that part of the story. Considering what comes out near the end of the novel, it's hard to believe it's the same Talia. It just felt a bit like a missed opportunity to get into the head of someone a bit different, someone I've never read about before.
I wanted to love Upside Down and add it to my list of New Adult favourites, but it was too indecisive and Bran wasn't some kind of hot hero (he was during his and Talia's first interaction, in a costume) but after that he just kept blowing hot and cold and that doesn't really work for me (though it seemed to work on Talia, so what do I know?). The ending was just a mish-mash of things that I normally find in a Chick Lit novel and don't usually expect in a New Adult novel - Bran's holding a lot of secrets safe, that come out as the novel wears on, and when one of his secrets comes back, I was just like *EYEROLL* because sometimes it's just not necessary, and sometimes authors do it to just annoy me I'm sure, and I didn't like this one, even worse when Bran admits why his secret came back, and Talia just goes "I'M SO SORRY". I just wish the novel had kept it's early promise as those first few meetings between Bran and Talia were ace, especially the costume one, when they were both so snarky, but the hot/cold didn't really work for me. I'm an all-in kinda girl.
An interesting read. I don't read many memoirs, only because it's quite difficult to review something that's somebody's life, but Me After You sounded...moreAn interesting read. I don't read many memoirs, only because it's quite difficult to review something that's somebody's life, but Me After You sounded interesting, and it was a very interesting look into Lucie's life after her husband, Mark's, sudden death.
I wasn't a massive fan of the words "He", "His", etc, being capitalised throughout sentences - it's a very religious thing, that you see whenever God or Jesus is mentioned, and it sort of made me think Mark was in that category too. I always knew who Lucy was talking about, so there was no need for the capitalisation.
I'm very glad I read it, it was a very sad, but interesting read, and very thought-provoking, and I love that Lucie is a Geordie. Geordie's are few and far between in the book world, real or fictional! (less)