Unbelieveable plot & weak writing make this a poor read
After being less than satisfied with the two other Nicholas Sparks novels I have read over Unbelieveable plot & weak writing make this a poor read
After being less than satisfied with the two other Nicholas Sparks novels I have read over the years (A Walk to Remember and The Choice), I read THE BEST OF ME in anticipation of the film adaptation that's being released in October 2014. When I read Sparks' other two books, I was one of the many readers who knew she/he was being manipulated emotionally but who still cried anyway. For this one, I was expecting much of the same: schmaltzy scenes with serviceable but unimpressive writing to back it up. I experienced something far less enjoyable than that, however.
Never before have I encountered such a ludicrous and unbelievable plot. In Sparks' attempts to add some mystery and paranormal happenings to his typical storyline, the author created a tale with no feeling and no logic. I have never before flipped to the end just to get through something, but with this novel, I did. And, when I got there, I literally exclaimed about how ridiculous the resolution was and how unrelated it was to the first two-thirds of the novel. The two main characters themselves were supposed to be sympathetic, but they seemed incredibly immature for their ages, and the villains and other townsfolk were simplistic caricatures who were hard to imagine as real people. In addition to the failed plot and hasty characterization, the writing was incredibly pedestrian and flip-flopped between narrators (in third-person limited point of view) too often to maintain any type of narrative flow.
With this experience in mind, I think I've had my fill of future or past Nicholas Sparks novels. I'm glad that many other people enjoy his work, but his style and plotlines are not a good fit for me as a reader....more
Sci-fi light at its lightest. This title, a tie-in with the CW show of the same name, masquerades as a science-fiction/post-apocalyptic title that isSci-fi light at its lightest. This title, a tie-in with the CW show of the same name, masquerades as a science-fiction/post-apocalyptic title that is simply a teen romance. There were hints of worldbuilding and conflict that could have been built into an engaging plot, but the romance aspect and the characters' ridiculous decisions regarding their relationships took away from that....more
Not as bad as expected when you read the entire thing, but the middle third was full of nothing but romantic angst that almost did me in. This is not Not as bad as expected when you read the entire thing, but the middle third was full of nothing but romantic angst that almost did me in. This is not the strong female story that the blurb claims it to be, but instead it is a romance sandwiched in between typical fantasy/adventure events....more
This book had the potential for an interesting set-up with a young woman studying abroad in Italy, but the love-triangle dilemma between the protagoni This book had the potential for an interesting set-up with a young woman studying abroad in Italy, but the love-triangle dilemma between the protagonist's step-brother and an almost-priest was too unbelievable to be taken seriously. Poor writing (quite frankly some of the worst I've ever encountered) and uninspired sex scenes also left me unmoved....more
One of the most poorly-written and poorly plotted things I've ever read. I just can't even begin to describe how lackluster this was. I also don't und One of the most poorly-written and poorly plotted things I've ever read. I just can't even begin to describe how lackluster this was. I also don't understand why this was being marketed as "new adult" when it would be better suited as a young adult title; there was nothing about it, content- or maturity-wise, that would push it into the New Adult category versus YA. ...more
Despite the publisher's attempt to pique my interest in these ten titles, I was turned off by the poor writing, plotting, or characterization in all but three of them. The only three I would consider ever reading further included Wait for You by J. Lynn, Dinner With a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs, and Foreplay by Sophie Jordan. I am admittedly biased toward WAIT FOR YOU, as I have read it before and it is the best New Adult title I've read (though that's not saying a great deal, as I only gave it 2.5 stars). THE DARK HEROINE had a snappy and harrowing opening and was the one paranormal title among the mix, and FOREPLAY seemed like it could be a fun, mindless romance if someone was in the mood for that.
Otherwise, even THE REGISTRY, which I had high hopes for as a dystopian, held little appeal. The excerpts by Carmack and McAdams were especially egregious in their writing, complete with run-on sentences and comma splices galore, and horribly contrived or cliche plots. I would have hoped that these titles, which were primarily self-pubbed before being picked up by HarperCollins, would have been cleaned up before being promoted, but apparently not. ...more
When I requested a review copy of Stealing Harper, I didn't realize that it was a companion novella to an already existing book (Taking Chances). Desp When I requested a review copy of Stealing Harper, I didn't realize that it was a companion novella to an already existing book (Taking Chances). Despite that, I was still able to read it and understand what was going on, but I unfortunately didn't care about the story or its characters. The writing was repetitive and insipid, and the characters had few distinguishing characteristics other than an unexplainable attraction to each other and a noticeable lack of reasoning. Chase wasn't hot; he was emotionally hurtful, sometimes physically abusive, and downright disgusting in his dealings with and perception of women. Harper, his love interest, had no personality other than being indecisive and easily embarrassed. Their interactions with each other lacked authenticity, and the supposed romance between them never held a hint of romance for me; it was merely empty sexual attraction and a lot of repulsive, possessive inner dialogue from Chase about "his princess."
Only recommended to those readers who enjoyed the first book, TAKING CHANCES, and who want to see things from Chase's perspective.
Nota bene: Only 65% of the e-book contains actual content; the remaining 35% is merely samplers for the author's other works. ...more
Though slow in the middle with an unnecessarily drawn-out love triangle, this tale’s very Gothic mix of mystery, romance, and the grotesque makes it a Though slow in the middle with an unnecessarily drawn-out love triangle, this tale’s very Gothic mix of mystery, romance, and the grotesque makes it a winner. Not for the faint of heart, though, as Dr. Moreau’s cruel experiments are described in detail more than once. ...more
A disappointing end to Stolarz's TOUCH series in which the exact same storyline is recycled yet again, the love triangle is resolved in an unbelievabl A disappointing end to Stolarz's TOUCH series in which the exact same storyline is recycled yet again, the love triangle is resolved in an unbelievable and quick fashion, and the characters remain shallow and too-inwardly focused overall. ...more
Though I really enjoyed the first one in this prequel series, I'm now a bit worried about book two. The teaser chapters (available through MTV's HollyThough I really enjoyed the first one in this prequel series, I'm now a bit worried about book two. The teaser chapters (available through MTV's Hollywood Crush site) suggest that this one is going to bring the unnecessary romance and sex drama like WOAH.
(view spoiler)[The first two chapters are about nothing but the scummy boy wanting to have his rape-y way with our heroine and then the heroine trying to have her lovey-sexy way with the hunky, reasonable love interest. In 24 hours, she goes from her first-ever kiss to seeing people battle evil and die to fleeing on horseback under the cover of darkness to talking herbal birth control with her lover in the forest after trying to run her hands up into his man goods. Really? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
Charming historical-supernatural romance that's slow to start
In Saundra Mitchell's The Springsweet, seventeen-year-old Zora finds herself stuck in Ba Charming historical-supernatural romance that's slow to start
In Saundra Mitchell's The Springsweet, seventeen-year-old Zora finds herself stuck in Baltimore - both emotionally and physically - as she grieves the tragic loss of her fiancé. When a rash choice provides a way out, she takes it and finds her way to the wind-swept prairies of Oklahoma to live with her aunt. Once there, Zora discovers that she has the power to sense water under the ground and that her skill is in much demand in a drought-ridden land. While burdened with the responsibility of locating water (and hope) for others, Zora finds that her own heart may be awakening again.
Overall, The Springsweet was a charming historical romance with a light dash of the supernatural. The novel was short and succinct, and it was easy to sit down and devour it in one sitting. Zora, though a bit selfish, was a sympathetic character given her experiences and loss, and side characters like aunt Birdie and her young daughter helped flesh out the story. One of the love interests was also very likeable, and the romance, though quick and not entirely explainable, had some swoony moments. The greatest strength of the novel, however, lay in its detailed and beautiful descriptions of prairie and frontier life; these vivid mental images provided the story with an excellent sense of place and time.
Despite these positives, the novel was slow to start, and the writing felt a bit awkward in a few places. This novel is also not a good choice as someone's first foray into a historical/period novel, as there were words or descriptions, such as Zora lifting up the "combination" under her dress, that didn't mean anything to me and left me confused. Some of the supernatural elements weren't clearly explained either. The romance also developed too quickly and without much substance. This was one of the few times that I wanted a book to be longer, instead of shorter. It seemed like a lot of my concerns about the romance and the supernatural elements could have been cleared up with a few more pages about each topic. Though it's advertised as a companion novel, not a sequel, there were also times I wished I had read Mitchell's first book, The Vespertine, before this. The story does a good job of filling in the gaps, but I still felt like I was missing something.
Even though I found things I didn't like in The Springsweet, I found a lot that I did, and those strengths are enough to make me want to catch up on the first book The Vespertine and read the next (Aetherborne) when it comes out. In the coming book, I hope Mitchell continues to create a memorable sense of time and place while also providing readers with more insight into the supernatural ways and romances of her characters.
Note: This review refers to an advance review copy....more
Having trouble rating this one. As a standalone, I would give it three stars for its sheer readability, but as a sequel that should be an extension ofHaving trouble rating this one. As a standalone, I would give it three stars for its sheer readability, but as a sequel that should be an extension of the first book's theme and tone, it falls flat and would only get two stars....more
Since I'd already read the first three books in this series, I decided to take on the fourth installment when it showed up at my local library. Though Since I'd already read the first three books in this series, I decided to take on the fourth installment when it showed up at my local library. Though Stolarz's writing continues to be easy and quick to read, the story lacks any real substance or originality. Not surprisingly, the plot involves Camelia's touch powers and yet another stalker out to hurt someone in her town. The love triangle between Ben (mysterious and brooding) and Adam (sweet, hot, and understanding) persists, and the side-kick characters of Wes and Kimmie continue to say ridiculous things at inappropriate times.
With nothing really new added to the story or Stolarz's stock plot line, I found it difficult to care about any of the characters, their relationships, or the dangers that might be following them. I'll probably read the final book, Deadly Little Lessons, when it comes out just to see how things end, but I'm not excited about it. ...more