A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin had the potential to be a decent read. Unfortunately, its emphasis on romance came at the expense of chA School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin had the potential to be a decent read. Unfortunately, its emphasis on romance came at the expense of characterization and plot development. Whereas I felt like I barely got to know the secondary characters, the main character, Georgiana, came across as pretty immature and impulsive. She also kept complaining about her red hair and feeling unloved, which became annoying because she wasn't Anne Shirley!
As well, the short time span that the book covered made nothing feel believable. For example, Georgiana develops an invisible ink within six days, yet tons of people had tried to do something similar, with limited success. She also meets and falls for Sebastian during this time, and then is later involved in an extremely quick rescue of someone....more
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan was a book I hesitated to read because I hadn’t really liked the first book, Firelight, in Jordan’s previous series. But, IUninvited by Sophie Jordan was a book I hesitated to read because I hadn’t really liked the first book, Firelight, in Jordan’s previous series. But, I decided to give her writing another chance because I thought the premise of Uninvited sounded interesting.
One of the aspects of Uninvited that I enjoyed was the growth in Davy’s character. At the beginning of the novel, she had the perfect life – she was rich, popular, smart, musical, dating a hot jock, and had a loving family. Once Davy tested positive for HTS, however, her friends dropped her and her parents began to avoid interacting with her. Yet even as her life changed; Davy continued to believe herself to be superior than other HTS carriers. Over time though, Davy learned to look beyond people’s superficial features, and became less of a damsel in distress.
The same depth of characterization, unfortunately, wasn't given to Sean. Not only would I have liked to learn more about him, but he just seemed to serve the purpose of conveniently showing up whenever Davy needed help. As well, even though the romance wasn’t insta-love, it sure seemed like it because I had no clue why Sean fell for Davy. What made her so unique from the other girls that he interacted with?
Another reason I had to lower my rating of Uninvited was because of the weak worldbuilding and premise. For example, even though the novel was set in 2021, there wasn’t much of a difference in the technology. In addition, I learned very little about the Wainwright Agency or how HTS was discovered.
Furthermore, from a scientific perspective, the premise of Uninvited is illogical. Since, HTS affected more males than females in the book, this suggests that it's a case of X-linked recessive inheritance. For Davy to be a carrier and her brother to not be one, it implies that her HTS allele is on the X chromosome provided by her father. This would mean that Davy's father should also have the HTS allele and therefore test positive, which he doesn’t!
Ignoring my issue with the genetics of the premise though, – I spent way too much time thinking about that, – I liked that Uninvited makes readers think about whether we’re a product of nature or nurture. Although the governmental authorities in Uninvited seem to side towards nature, the book does a good job of demonstrating instances where people committed violence as a result of their environment....more
Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards is a book I probably would enjoyed more in my teenage years. That’s not to say I still don’t love revenge storiesGone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards is a book I probably would enjoyed more in my teenage years. That’s not to say I still don’t love revenge stories – I do – but if I’m going to love the plot now, there needs to be a very good motivation for the character(s) to want revenge and the victim(s) must truly deserve it.
That wasn’t the case in Gone Too Far, though it did acknowledge that there’s a person behind a label and that not everybody within a certain clique is the same. The motive of the person responsible for exacting revenge (and later blackmailing Piper) was extremely weak, and Piper herself voluntarily became a co-partner because she hadn't stood up for Stella and had been bullied herself by the popular kids. Thankfully, over the course of the novel, Piper slowly becomes more uncomfortable with her role in the take down of some students and realizes that part of the reason she’s in the mess that she’s in is due to the fact that she’s very judgmental. However, trying to get her anonymous co-partner to stop seeking retribution is another matter altogether. ...more
The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver was a book that turned out to be a disappointing read. Personally, I just couldn’t form an emotional connection wThe Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver was a book that turned out to be a disappointing read. Personally, I just couldn’t form an emotional connection with Ella because I didn’t understand her motivation for pretending to be Maddy. I mean, it’s understandable that her parents were joyous when they heard the news that Maddy survived – at least one of their daughters did. I have no clue though why Ella would assume that that meant that they wouldn’t be happy to hear that she, instead of Maddy, survived. As well, although the synopsis suggests that Maddy’s life was full of secrets, Maddy really only had one big secret, which unfortunately just wasn’t scandalous enough for me....more
Although I’d never checked it out, Cinda Williams Chima’s The Heir Chronicles was a fantasy series that I’d heard a lot about in the past. With the reAlthough I’d never checked it out, Cinda Williams Chima’s The Heir Chronicles was a fantasy series that I’d heard a lot about in the past. With the release of the newest book in the series, The Sorcerer Heir, however, I figured I’d give the first book, The Warrior Heir, a try.
Though I found The Warrior Heir to be an okay novel and thought the worldbuilding was pretty solid, the story just didn’t grip me. Not only was The Warrior Heir quite predictable, but its pacing was slow and the characters were sort of boring. Ultimately, I think my younger self would have enjoyed this book a lot more....more
As a fairy tale, the story of Sleeping Beauty was never one that I felt the need to reread or re-watch. But, since I love seeing what an author is capAs a fairy tale, the story of Sleeping Beauty was never one that I felt the need to reread or re-watch. But, since I love seeing what an author is capable of doing with a retelling, I decided to give Rhiannon Thomas’ A Wicked Thing a try.
A Wicked Thing is very much a character-driven story. After being woken up with a kiss and finding out that all the people she’s ever known are dead, Aurora is a girl who’s thoroughly confused about what to do and believe. This isn’t surprising given that she was locked in a tower while growing up so that she would remain safe. Now, she’s expected to marry a person who a book claims is her true love, and be the saviour for her suffering kingdom. Aurora, however, just wants to be free from the constant expectations placed upon her.
Although I liked the characterization of Aurora, it took a long time for her to decide to not simply be a pawn for other people to manipulate. As a result, I eventually got bored of the story – so much so that I considered DNF’ing it at several points. In addition to the slow pacing, there was also no romance. However, I would say that there are three potential love interests for the sequel....more
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen was a book that began with a compelling first chapter. However, as I further delved into the novel, theThe 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen was a book that began with a compelling first chapter. However, as I further delved into the novel, the main character began to annoy me and the premise that the book was built upon became confusing.
Despite the mean pranks that Alex pulls, I initially liked Alex because her confusion about her visions and desire to be normal felt very realistic. Over time though, it became clear that Alex is very much ruled by her emotions, which makes her prone to not making wise choices. For example, during one of her visions, she goes against her mentor’s wishes – which she does constantly – to come back to her Base Life in order to spend more time with a guy. It drove me crazy to see how attached she becomes to a guy after knowing him for less than a day!
Another issue I had with Alex was that she made generalizations about all girls based on her experience with just one girl. This quote, for example, really irritated me: “Jensen, if you haven't figured out by now that most girls are shallow, shallow creatures, then there's no hope for you” (97% in my Kindle).
Furthermore, the meandering plot relied very much on Alex being kept in the dark. As such, when explanations were provided, they were given in info dumps and made little sense in the grand scheme of things. In spite of all the terminology thrown around, I’m still very fuzzy on how time travel works in this book and remain clueless as to how Porter, Alex’s mentor, knew in which body Alex would be reincarnated in in Base Life. ...more
Although I haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels, the fact that Jaclyn Dolamore’s Dark Metropolis was compared to her books meant that I had prAlthough I haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels, the fact that Jaclyn Dolamore’s Dark Metropolis was compared to her books meant that I had pretty high expectations for it. For a multitude of reasons however, I ended up being disappointed by Dark Metropolis. Firstly, while reading the book, it was hard for me to get into a rhythm because it kept switching perspectives between different characters, all of whom I found rather dull. On top of that, Dark Metropolis then featured two bland romances, – one heterosexual, one homosexual, – both of which were insta-loves. Finally, I found the worldbuilding to be pretty vague as many things were either explained only briefly or alluded to. ...more