Good thrillers are few and far between--and they're even scarcer in YA. This one has the heroine lying in a hospital bed for almost the entire book, aGood thrillers are few and far between--and they're even scarcer in YA. This one has the heroine lying in a hospital bed for almost the entire book, and yet it manages to be full of suspense.
It features: characters who reveal their true natures gradually, a slower but well-paced plot, and methodical police/legal/medical procedures. (Obviously it takes some liberties, but enough ground work is laid to satisfy the inexpert reader.) These elements all fit neatly together into an entertaining puzzle of a story that touches on the dark underbelly of friendships and the uncertainty of new passion, as well as the terrible things that can happen when we're pushed to our limits. It also accurately portrays the culture of internet trial by jury, as well as skillfully rendered records of court transcripts and interviews.
I really liked the (view spoiler)[somewhat ambiguous, but knowing (hide spoiler)] ending. I can also relate to (view spoiler)[ the betrayal of discovering a longtime blog troll is someone you know. I couldn't explain to you why I continued to talk to this person for a long time afterwards even though I had proof of who she was. And though the contact has mostly worn off, I'm still friends with her on GoodReads. Go figure. (hide spoiler)]
All in all, a really well-crafted book that I liked immensely; even if you guess the ending, it's an enjoyable experience. I was surprised to find that I've actually read two of the author's previous books, both of which I was lukewarm about. I hope she writes more thrillers in the future, though! She has a rare talent for it.
Book 4 four GLBT Book Month. Not as squicky as it sounds (crush is handled responsibly), but still not quite a standout in terms of plot or characteriBook 4 four GLBT Book Month. Not as squicky as it sounds (crush is handled responsibly), but still not quite a standout in terms of plot or characterization or writing, either. Everything pretty much is and turns out as you'd expect.
Best handed to a teen on the younger end of the YA spectrum, particularly kids who might be in search of positive representation.
I like the story, and I usually really like Jorjeana Marie's narration, but I find the broad, exaggeratePutting this audiobook on hold 8 chapters in.
I like the story, and I usually really like Jorjeana Marie's narration, but I find the broad, exaggerated accent she's doing for this 1920s book too distracting. I keep picturing a little girl playing dressup/make-believe imitating gangster/mob movies. :/ I guess I'll try to get ahold of the book eventually......more
If Regina George wanted to be Homecoming Queen, there'd be hell to pay for anyone who got in her way.
This is pretty much the premise of the WINNING,If Regina George wanted to be Homecoming Queen, there'd be hell to pay for anyone who got in her way.
This is pretty much the premise of the WINNING, which is immensely readable and keeps you on your toes. Just when you think one girl is about to swindle another, the other girl almost always manages to see it coming and turns the tables. I liked that we saw various different POVs, and that one of them was the Queen Bee herself, Alexandra Miles. She's a ruthless, manipulative schemer without an ounce of pity, and her determination to win her crown (with the kind of loopy logic that only exists in rom-coms) spares no expense or feeling.
The thing about MEAN GIRLS, however, was that the film was not only a satirical look at social hierarchies in high school, but it was also so freaking funny. That's where the weakness lies in WINNING; it's definitely entertaining, and you want to see people get their comeuppance, but it's neither sharp-witted enough in its narrative and dialogue, nor smart and original enough in its plot to go down as a truly great and memorable book. (view spoiler)[Did you know, btw, that Tina Fey based her screenplay on a non-fiction book called QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES? There's a real basis for all those girl fights. (hide spoiler)] And then the door is left open for a sequel as well? Bleh.
Still. Points for an unabashed anti-heroine, for juggling multiple POVs well, and for a lesbian BFF subplot. These girls are cruel to each other, and it's weirdly gratifying and fun to watch...but not quite as fun as it could've been. I want a story like this to be screamingly funny--and to really go for the jugular, not just settle for a slap on the wrist.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Side note to those who might get upset over these things in YA, with spoilers: there's liberal back-stabbing and underage drinking, (view spoiler)[an adult is caught doing drugs, and Alexandra crushes pills into a drink and deliberately gives it to a couple of her enemies. (hide spoiler)]...more
4.5 stars Boys fighting pirates and their feelings for each other in 18th century Paris and Venice! *swoon*
We hosted the official cover reveal this mo4.5 stars Boys fighting pirates and their feelings for each other in 18th century Paris and Venice! *swoon*
We hosted the official cover reveal this morning, accompanied by an early ARC giveaway and the MOST ADORABLE video by the author talking about why she wrote the book. She touches on wanting to address frustrating historical tropes and the lack of queer representation, as well as how "strong" femininity is defined. Oh, and there are pirates and villains and a swoonworthy romance, too!
PLEASE read the amazing excerpt on that post if you're considering the book. The witty dialogue and intimacy of the first chapter made me fall in love with it, and I'm fairly certain it'll whip you into a frenzy of longing as well. As Mackenzi says, this is the big gay 18th century road trip novel you didn't know you wanted!