Despite an intriguing premise, AFTER THE END never grabbed my attention enough for me to complete reading it. If the book had stood alone on the premi Despite an intriguing premise, AFTER THE END never grabbed my attention enough for me to complete reading it. If the book had stood alone on the premise of a commune separated from the rest of the world and intent on keeping its people insular to the point of naïveté, I could have believed the storyline and what happened when Juneau left. On the other hand, had it been a supernatural tale about those who were different and who hid their powers from those who would try to abuse them, I could have also followed that. The mix of these two scenarios, however, made it hard for me to become immersed in the world or believe in it. I also found the main characters of Juneau and Miles to have no chemistry together, despite the obviously-intended romance, and their dialogue and bickering was grating and immature. I'm glad others found this an enjoyable read, but it didn't work for me....more
This is the fifth title I've read (or attempted to read) by one of the independent or self-published authors I met at the 2014 UtopYA conference, and This is the fifth title I've read (or attempted to read) by one of the independent or self-published authors I met at the 2014 UtopYA conference, and every single one has disappointed me to the point of my not being motivated enough to finish the story.
I support independent authors and am excited by the significant changes that women authors have created in the publishing industry in the past five years, but we must still expect stories to be polished, well thought out, and intentionally planned. That can be done, even with independently-published titles. Indie authors must just slow down and take the time, money, and resources to do it. ...more
After avoiding this for 2.5 years as it sat on my Kindle was one of many unread Netgalley downloads, I decided to finally give it a chance and see wha After avoiding this for 2.5 years as it sat on my Kindle was one of many unread Netgalley downloads, I decided to finally give it a chance and see what all the fuss -- good and bad -- had been about. Unfortunately, due to the many ridiculous and offensive components of this text, I didn't make it past the 54% mark.
The writing was basic and full of typos, and the plot was limited to the unhealthy relationship; no character development happened in the first half of the book. I know that many readers enjoy alpha males and stories of a "bad boy turned good," but I couldn't stomach the abusive behaviors shown by the love interest, Travis Maddox, toward Abby, the main character, and all those around him. What on earth could be sexy about a guy who sleeps with women with abandon and openly admits to using them, who has nearly no friendly relationships with other people, and who does nothing but drink, smoke, and punch people all the time? Abby didn't show much personality either, as she simply goes along with everything going on around her and spends the rest of her time slut-shaming the women who want to date or sleep with Travis. Everyone else in the narrative felt like a stereotype at best. Many aspects of the college setting also seemed off and unrealistic, showing me that the author understands little about university life.
While I knew that this book would raise my hackles, I hadn't realized just how much it would anger and frustrate me. Is it too much to ask for a New Adult love interest who's not covered in tattoos and not weighed down with emotional issues or past trauma?
Note: This review refers to an advance review copy. ...more
We listened to this as part of our annual Midwestern holiday trek, and we were sadly disappointed by the inconsistent depth of the humor. Some jokes aWe listened to this as part of our annual Midwestern holiday trek, and we were sadly disappointed by the inconsistent depth of the humor. Some jokes and commentary were funny and insightful, but the majority were obvious and often unnecessarily simplistic or crass....more
I requested this title for review via Netgalley when I saw it pop up, as I had met the author this past summer at a book/writing conference and I had I requested this title for review via Netgalley when I saw it pop up, as I had met the author this past summer at a book/writing conference and I had one of her promotional cards about this novel. Though it sounded like a simple romance, I liked the concept and was intrigued: a tattooed, spunky children's librarian who co-writes erotica on the side meets a charming British man and tries to find inspiration for her writing through him and their romantic interactions.
Sadly, this book disappointed on many levels, and I DNFed it at 23%. Early on, I found the dialogue between the main character, Blair, and her roommate, Raine, to be trite and unbelievable. While Blair and Raine bicker and talk like best friends and writing partners might, it was pointless, empty dialogue, and it did little to develop their characters. It was also boring. So little happened in the first quarter of the book. I can imagine that two writers are stressed while on deadline, but the two friends acted ridiculous, didn't treat it a like a real job, and just drank lots of coffee and feel asleep at their laptops a lot. I felt as though the set-up of two friends writing bestselling erotic novels under a pen name was just a wish-fulfillment fantasy or stand-in for the author herself. Instead of being proud of their work, the main character even hides it, but then has all of her well-read librarian colleagues conveniently tell her about how fabulous these popular books are that they carry (which, coincidentally, happen to be hers written under the pen name).
Characterization of Blair as a children's librarian also fell short, as did characterization of Declan, the love/sex interest. Blair would not be able to repeatedly fall asleep at her desk in the children's room, be chastised/worried over by her superior, and then be called "damn good" at her job by the same person. The author also seemed to show her ignorance about librarian training by not understanding how old someone would be if she had gone to MILS/LIS school, when and what age someone can be a teaching assistant, etc. The same goes for the love interest, Declan. When Blair's friend snoops out information on him and finds out that he is a rich businessman and investment supervisor, a sparkling college graduate, and a current MBA student at an unnamed Ivy League school (which he doesn't appear to attend in person), we're also smacked with the news that he is also only 23 years old, has a 3 year old son, and has already been married and divorced. When I read that, my incredulity wouldn't let me get past it. He also dresses his son in suits, even to go to the library with the stereotypically snotty nanny. It would have made much more sense to age both characters up to their late 20s or early 30s.
Finally, I didn't feel much for the budding relationship between Blair and Declan. I read through the first date between the couple, and while their banter/dialogue was better than the rest I'd read, the story too quickly jumped to a focus on sex without any focus on the relationship and its development. The main character even says things like (paraphrased), "This felt different emotionally," but there's nothing to back it up. She even waxes poetically that the relationship feels like it will last months or more, despite having shared very little between them and for it being her first time having sex on the first date.
All in all, I didn't find much to move me or motivate me to finish this title. The author's other titles seem to be more well-received, but I don't think I'll be a good fit for them.
Note: This review refers to a review copy provided by the publisher....more
Unoriginal tale, but it will still likely pull in many readers
RED QUEEN follows Mare, a rough teenager who has no skills of her own but instead reli Unoriginal tale, but it will still likely pull in many readers
RED QUEEN follows Mare, a rough teenager who has no skills of her own but instead relies on pickpocketing to help her impoverished family. Like those who live around her in the slums, Mare is a Red, a person with no special powers who bleeds red. The Reds are oppressed by the Silvers, a class of people whose Silver blood gifts them with formidable powers and places them in the middle and upper class. Through a series of unlikely events, Mare finds herself living in the Silver palace as the betrothed of the younger prince and faking her way as a Silver. All the while, she is plotting ways to overthrow the Silvers and help the growing Red rebellion. Unexpected alliances form, and Mare finds herself pulled romantically between the two princes.
In the publisher letter that accompanied my review copy of RED QUEEN, the title was described as being "wholly original." Describing anything that way in a very dangerous proposition these days, but it was especially so with this book. I found nothing original about RED QUEEN, but in that, I think, will lay its success. It is a hodgepodge of character tropes, plot points, and themes that pulls from popular YA: strong, female heroine who's rough around the edges; love triangle (or, in this case, love quadrangle) with different boys; story of strife and power struggle between the haves and have-nots; and a bit of rebellion, fighting, and secret alliances. I found that the book struggled to be anything different, new, or more exciting than what I've read before, but I'm sure that many people, teens and adults alike, will love it, even though I did not.
On the positive side, Aveyard's writing is better than most I've read recently in the young adult genre. In addition, the story has the aforementioned elements that will pull in many readers: class struggle, fight scenes, the primary love triangle between the two princes, and visually-compelling descriptions of the various settings. Even so, I found the first 60% of the book incredibly slow, with little forward action in the plot or in character development. When things did start to happen and the intrigue increased, the pace picked up, but my interest level remained low. Many of the events that happened seemed implausible or ridiculously orchestrated, and I found myself frustrated with the main character for being so oblivious to when she was being tricked or manipulated. When the big twist and betrayal was revealed, I was still unmoved and unaffected.
In future books in the series, I hope that the author works to break free of the genre tropes she incorporated into this first novel and brings something new and original to her tale.
Note: This reviews refers to an advance review copy....more
I have read two of Colleen Hoover's other works and was disappointed in each, so I'm not sure why I expected that my experience with this novella woul I have read two of Colleen Hoover's other works and was disappointed in each, so I'm not sure why I expected that my experience with this novella would be any different. Despite the easy, breezy style of her writing, the plot points, character and relationship development (or lack thereof), and the indescribably slap-dash way in which the big issue was handled were all beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. I'm also confused as to whether her novels in the Hopeless world should qualify as young adult or new adult; it seems like the two categories are mixed up in her works. ...more