Despite the story's potential to have a quirky and interesting protagonist, the heroine's characterization felt all over the place and I couldn't sympDespite the story's potential to have a quirky and interesting protagonist, the heroine's characterization felt all over the place and I couldn't sympathize or believe in her character....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
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
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
DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE will likely be a solid read for those who like their thriller/suspense stories to be filled with angsty romance, but I couldn DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE will likely be a solid read for those who like their thriller/suspense stories to be filled with angsty romance, but I couldn't get past the plot holes that confounded the resolution of the story....more
Unbelieveable plot & weak writing make this a poor read
After being less than satisfied with the two other Nicholas Sparks novels I have read ove 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
I'm finally, finally done with this tome of a novel. Sadly, this was the most disjointed and clearly unplanned novel of the series. Plot lines were br I'm finally, finally done with this tome of a novel. Sadly, this was the most disjointed and clearly unplanned novel of the series. Plot lines were brought up and then dropped; characters were introduced or reintroduced and then ignored; and the entire conflict and resolution felt contrived and anticlimactic. Oh, and our two main characters of Matthew and Diana? Even more perfect and revolutionary and special than anyone before them and anyone to come and all to a nauseating degree of implausibility. ...more
After letting this book sit on my floor for the past week, stagnated at page 79, I have decided to put to give up on it. While Rowell does write someAfter letting this book sit on my floor for the past week, stagnated at page 79, I have decided to put to give up on it. While Rowell does write some charming and witty dialogue in many scenes, I didn't find the main character remotely sympathetic or engaging so it's hard to push on. I hope that I have a better experience with the authors' YA books should I ever pick them up....more
In all, this New Adult anthology of first times (first kisses, first intercourse, first meetings, and others) fell where most new adult books do with In all, this New Adult anthology of first times (first kisses, first intercourse, first meetings, and others) fell where most new adult books do with me: in the two-star range. Some stories were stand-outs, but overall, the plot arcs and character development of each tale felt underdeveloped, rushed, or unbelievable. I was also extremely disappointed in the number of significant typos in the collection, from misplaced and misspelled words to frequent changes in verb tense to a flip from first-person to third-person perspective and then back again in one story. Given that this was published by a large publisher and not an indie one, I surprised that these mistakes slipped through and so frequently.
Mini-reviews for each story appear in the reading progress updates below....more
I picked this up at the library book sale because the cover image made my spouse and me laugh. I was also intrigued because this was written by a well I picked this up at the library book sale because the cover image made my spouse and me laugh. I was also intrigued because this was written by a well-established contemporary romance author with many other popular books. Though frothy and light, it was an enjoyable enough way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, and it proved to have much better writing than most other Harlequins that I have encountered. The quick and saccharine ending, however, left me disappointed....more
My fluffy and light Christmas read this year. Though this title didn't offer anything astounding plot-wise, I enjoyed and it was the perfect feel-good My fluffy and light Christmas read this year. Though this title didn't offer anything astounding plot-wise, I enjoyed and it was the perfect feel-good holiday romance read. I think I'll be picking up more from Lisa Kleypas in the future to see if I like her full-length novels....more
Quite possibly one of the most disappointing reading experiences I've had in a long while. I picked up this book, long neglected on my shelves, as a w Quite possibly one of the most disappointing reading experiences I've had in a long while. I picked up this book, long neglected on my shelves, as a way to indulge a bit on a snowy Thanksgiving at home. Unfortunately, the book's premise (a long reclusive vampire takes in a woman stranded in a snowstorm) didn't come together due to poor characterization and poor writing.
The best way I can think to describe this book is as "vampire wish fulfillment" with little beyond that. In addition to being stunningly handsome, the standoffish vampire hero Michael is an accomplished pianist, a doctor, an internationally bestselling author (and conveniently the heroine's favorite), and a master horseman who can "meld" his mind with his steeds. If that weren't enough, he's also sworn off feeding from humans for the past 200 years and he makes handcrafted music boxes. When Nicole, the foolish woman who drives her rental car into a winter storm, gets saved by him, he finds the one thing he's been missing his entire life: an equally perfect woman that he describes as such.
I've read many a case of instalove before, but never one as blatant as this; the couple has no real connection, but they are swearing their love to one another in mere days and their lovemaking is described in rapturously overdone similes and metaphors. Because the writing employed so much telling and very little showing, I never felt a connection between the couple and the whole situation came off as completely implausible, even when negating the vampire angle. If I was supposed to fall in love with these characters and ache for them and their doomed love affair, it didn't happen....more
Thoughts wavering on this one. Initially after finishing a few hours ago, I was feeling very positively and felt that it was certainly a 4-star or eve Thoughts wavering on this one. Initially after finishing a few hours ago, I was feeling very positively and felt that it was certainly a 4-star or even 4.5 star read. The writing is gorgeous, the romance slow-burning, and the plot well and evenly paced. However, I still can't get past some worldbuilding flaws and character inconsistencies that are now niggling at the back of my mind....more
DNF at 13%. After not being impressed with the first in the series (A Little Too Far), I started this one because it purported to focus on Alessandro, DNF at 13%. After not being impressed with the first in the series (A Little Too Far), I started this one because it purported to focus on Alessandro, the most interesting and nuanced character of the initial installment. Unfortunately, the writing remained tedious and uninspired, the main character and narrator (Hilary) wasn't likable or sympathetic, and the regular New Adult cliches were out in too much abundance for me to handle. ...more