I don't even care, I can't stop thinking about this book so I'm bumping my original 4.5 star rating to a 5. Plus it made me cry! I don't think anotherI don't even care, I can't stop thinking about this book so I'm bumping my original 4.5 star rating to a 5. Plus it made me cry! I don't think another 2014 book has done that this year.
I cannot believe these were written as prequels, they give readers such an enormous breadth of understanding for Celaena's character and history, as well as enormous sympathy for what she's been through, faults and all.
4.5 stars Tamlin is going to set your loins aflame. Phew! My cheeks are still flushed.
I'm also fairly confident this book is going to help change the4.5 stars Tamlin is going to set your loins aflame. Phew! My cheeks are still flushed.
I'm also fairly confident this book is going to help change the face of new adult fiction. How awesome to see gifted writers shaping non-contemporary stories that have the coming of age/youthful perspective and vibe of YA books and combine that with the freedom that writing for an older target audience affords them. If you liked the mood and romance of (the excellent) CRUEL BEAUTY but perhaps mourned the missed opportunities of such a seductive premise, ACOTAR more than satisfies. (view spoiler)[ BITE MY NECK SOME MORE, SIR. (hide spoiler)]
Plus stunning action and gorgeous imagery and interesting characters, including a fascinating anti-hero I'm looking forward to learning more about. Serious Darkling vibes, my friends.
More of a review closer to release. If I can calm my racing pulse before then. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Remember how I was just saying I wanted a YA thriller that would actually, you know, thrill me? Here it is.
Those who liked certain elements of CharmRemember how I was just saying I wanted a YA thriller that would actually, you know, thrill me? Here it is.
Those who liked certain elements of Charm & Strange and Wild Awake might like this, and certainly you'll like it if you enjoy books like Dangerous Girls. Not a perfect book, but a really, really good one, so I'm bumping it up in star ratings in support. I had never heard of Nick Lake until now, but I'm definitely reading his other books! Review to come. ...more
3.5 stars Recommended, although with some strong reservations. The story gets pretty convoluted as it progresses, and the book would have been much st3.5 stars Recommended, although with some strong reservations. The story gets pretty convoluted as it progresses, and the book would have been much stronger if many elements and just about all the characters were further developed. I'm also a bit turned off by the numerous occasions when a young teenager was witness to some pretty squicky adult situations, although they were admittedly non-graphic in nature.
An entertaining gothic tale in the tradition of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt (for mature YA readers only), but I dearly wish the story had been more cleanly plotted and was more emotionally satisfying....more
3.5 stars, which would have been 4 stars full of praise were it not for one crucial point.
I almost never read books involving Hollywood/star types, be3.5 stars, which would have been 4 stars full of praise were it not for one crucial point.
I almost never read books involving Hollywood/star types, because I worked in entertainment for a long time and most stories include cringe-worthy misconceptions or shallow portrayals of both the industry and the people involved. So how awesome it is to find a book that avoids the usual cliches and forges characters and relationships that feel like real ones--and it also takes the unusual position of the BFF to the famous person rather than the POV of the shiny star herself. Reagan and Dee's friendship feels incredibly close and mutually loving and supportive, and I loved how both of them were at their best with each other.
Beyond that, this book also humanizes celebrities in a way that's very rare--to the point that, combined with the many spot-on details about day to day life and career/image decisions, it made me wonder if the author had actually had some first hand knowledge of this type of relationship. Turns out, she's just done her homework, and is just very observant. The touring music star thing is really well done, and there's enough detail there that it feels grounded/real in a way that most books involving stars do not.
I'm surprised, however, that a story that is so clear-eyed about that the difficulties of a friend/celeb dynamic gave us a heroine with such an unfortunate lack of empathy for every single other teenage girl who is not her BFF. I'm not someone who's always especially sensitive to slut-shaming in the instances where it's called out in other books, but with this one I was pretty turned off by the behavior. It happened so often---really, it happened without fail whenever any other girl showed up--and was not balanced by positive peer to peer interaction (other than with Dee), so it became extremely difficult to look past it. And really, we shouldn't. We shouldn't be "othering" other girls to this extent, certainly not based on first glance and no other evidence. Sure, we've all had knee-jerk unkind thoughts, especially if we're feeling insecure or our backgrounds contribute to that. But if this ugliness colors every single interaction and a person/character never grows out of blaming/denigrating other girls, it's not excusable.
(And while I understand the portrayals of Dee's publicist, grooming, and management team for the most part, particularly filtered through a rebellious BFF's eyes, I do wish we'd also seen more positive interactions on that front.)
Obviously the Dee team is not the focus of the book, however, and Matt Finch also makes up for some of that--he's pretty darned cute, and I was on board with his romance with Reagan. I was even okay with the drama that pops up later, although you could see it coming from a mile away. I also loved the Dee/Jimmy back story and how that ended up. This is such a strong contemporary in so many exceptional ways, and had it not been for the character's inexplicable and disproportionate attitude towards other girls, I would have rated this higher without any other reservations. (I had zero problems with any other aspects of Reagan's character, including her history or other behaviors that might generally be considered "unlikeable." I get her.)
Still, this is an author to watch and Open Road Summer is a very strong debut. The writing is evocative and sets the right mood for each scene, and I found myself eager to return to it whenever I had to set it down. I just want to see more stories that empower girls without feeling the need to constantly disparage others....more
3.5 stars Cute! Wasn't a huge fan of the actual "going vintage" part, and there were things that were strangely glossed over. But I like Mallory and h3.5 stars Cute! Wasn't a huge fan of the actual "going vintage" part, and there were things that were strangely glossed over. But I like Mallory and her relationships with her family and friends, and I like Oliver, too. Bonus points for characters who behave as they should (well, except for Jeremy, of course.)
Would definitely try another book by this author. ...more