Otherwise known as Tumble & BORE (sorry, I hadn’t seen anyone use that pun yet). Tumble & Fail: the most boring apocalyptic b...moreTumble & Fall
Otherwise known as Tumble & BORE (sorry, I hadn’t seen anyone use that pun yet). Tumble & Fail: the most boring apocalyptic book ever. A gentler, kinder soul might say that it’s a character-driven novel exploring the way three teens face the oncoming apocalypse. That gentler and kinder soul would be wrong. The apocalypse is treated like background radiation. It keeps getting mentioned, but it’s hard to see what the hell it’s got to do with the book. Honestly, you could remove it and most of the book would scarcely be affected which is problematic considering how much the book rides on that concept.
This book is made even more boring since, for a bunch of people about to possibly die, and have everyone they love die, these are the most disaffected people ever. No joke, the first hundred pages or so of this novel is people standing around going:
“Hey, heard about that apocalypse thing?”
“Yeah, sucks. Wanna make out?”
There you go. If you were interested in Tumble & Fall, you now have a basic grasp of the plot – times three! This is possibly the most disconnected and emotionless novel I have ever read. Even Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality was more interesting because at least it was funny! Zan gets the closest to some kind of emotional impact, but it’s over a boy who died 10 months ago. Where’s the examining of one’s life, the search for the meaning of it all, the desperate despair at an uncontrollable fate? If you’re writing a story about the oncoming apocalypse, here’s a tip, why don’t some of the characters spend some time actually agonizing over it. This novel spends so much time trying to be cool, yet fails to be anything other than frustrating.
The writing is abysmal, especially when it’s trying to be clever.
“Two things people make time for at the end of the world: Free food and a party.”
The two things everyone cares about is sex and doing all the illegal shit they couldn’t otherwise do unless the world was coming to an end. End times babies and our inherent affinity to breaking shit is proof of that.
Free food and a party? Don’t get me wrong, I will eat ALL the things if I know the end of the world is over. I’ll probably have cans of whipped cream on tap just so I can constantly be injecting it into my mouth. But a lame community center party with cocktail wienies? WHO DOES THIS?! You have a week to live people! It’s like you don’t even know how!
Here’s a tip:
-Big ass speakers and a base.
-A packet of condoms (safe sex, kids! Even at the end of the world!)
-an enraged badger
-a bag full of feathers
-enough PVC glue to fill a vat
-a pool filled with corn flour slime
-inflatable pool filled with jello
-clothing optional policy
I don’t know about you, but that party sounds like it’d be totally illegal in at least 49 states but totally awesome in every single one of them! Boom. I should have written this novel.
Most of the time, unless I paid attention to the chapter header, it took me awhile to figure out who was who. I only figured out the difference between Zan and Sierra because one of them was constantly moaning about a dead boyfriend that I honestly couldn’t have cared less about. And the only thing that marks Caden’s chapters differently is that he’s checking out girls instead of boys and being even more disaffected than the other two characters. Which frankly seems like he bends the rules of the time space continuum to achieve.
What I want to know is, end of the world, why did Coutts pick the three most boring teenagers ever, living at the most boring place ever, to write about?
I stretched my brain to think about three characters I’d be even less enthused to read about and this was all I could come up with:
1. Someone whose goal is to document the full life cycle of the Boletellus obscurecoccineus fungus family before the end of the world. 2. A man desperately trying to convince family and friends to legitimately convert to Jedi-ism before the end of the world to save their mitochondrial souls (because he doesn’t really understand the force). 3. A mime trying to send a message of peace to the entire world through silent body motions – only to realize, sadly, that nobody cares. Because everyone hates mimes. Everyone.
Actually, I take that back. Those three people could actually manage to be more interesting.
This book was given to me by the publishers for the purpose of an honest review. As you can see, there's no reason they would give me money, gifts or favors for this kind of stuff.
The later books in this series go a long way toward making up for the rapey first few books. But I still don't know why I'm reading them. WITCH! She's...moreThe later books in this series go a long way toward making up for the rapey first few books. But I still don't know why I'm reading them. WITCH! She's a witch! May we burn her?(less)
Adams has written a total psychopath, and sometimes I’m kind of worried because he doesn’t seem to think this character is necessarily a psychopath. O...moreAdams has written a total psychopath, and sometimes I’m kind of worried because he doesn’t seem to think this character is necessarily a psychopath. Or maybe he’s fooling us. See, I interviewed him about this terrifying character and this was his response:
“I loved writing X because he doesn’t see himself as a bad guy at all. And maybe he’s not. What he has is a plan to save the world and the power to put it into action even though his means seem ruthless. But, like he tells Danby, God didn’t say to Noah, “Hey, beardy, get all the animals” – he said get two of each. X thinks it’s important to save people with skills to rebuild the world rather than try to save everyone. I think if you got access to government emergency plans, they’d have similar sort of ideas on the books. If you’re an author, sucked in. If you’re an engineer, we’ve got your Ark berth all made up. X’s point is also that circumstances have allowed him and Danby to create a new world from the ground up. There are no billionaires or politicians or celebrities to get preference over ordinary folk. Being able to explore his complexity – and Danby having to admit that he makes sense – made him feel very real and their relationship a joy to write. Those themes are picked up in the second book. Danby might not be as all-knowing as she can think she is. Or is she? Whaaaaaaaat?”
No, Adams. You’re a tops guy and I can’t wait to chug back beers with you one day (Editors note: OMG. We are so goddamn Australian it hurts), but no. He is eviller than someone who doesn’t like My Little Pony (the worst kind of evil).
I say this because The Last Girl is the best kind of Apocalypse book around. Not only original, but an actual apocalypse. With a lot of apocalypse books, you tend to see things just after the world has gone to shit. The story starts with a survivor, just after most of humanity is lost. The Lost Girl doesn’t shy away from all that, and Danby is in a situation where she has to choose who dies and who lives. Who she can save and who she has to abandon. That’s pretty intense. And that’s also hard work for a writer, thus why a lot skip it over in preference for getting down to the fun carnage bits. Believe it or not, it’s kind of hard to orchestrate a believable end of the world, from a writerly point of view.
Doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Mainly, it’s biggest issue is me. Because I’ve read so many bloody apocalyptic novels that they all tend to blend into each other. However, for someone mostly new to the genre – this would be a good place to start. Think John Marsden meets Pyscho, though I’m not sure Adams meant it to be this way. The concept is original, Danby is cool, but the set up isn’t. Love triangle, psycho boyfriend, only one girl who can save them all. It’s pretty run-of-the-mill stuff in Young Adult Landia. Shatter Me did the psycho boyfriend better, but since The Last Girl doesn’t have the horrible purple prose, it wins on all other accounts. And the setting in Sydney is refreshing to the usual middle America. Writing is pretty good.
It took me a while to get into this book. The love-triangle thinggie didn’t help, but then things get full on scary and that’s when the book gets good. The first half of the book is a 2.5 star read for me, but the second half was a solid 5 star because it gets suspenseful as all hell. The narrative itself feels kind of critical of social media, and Adams seems to be aware of that. Is constant connectivity a good or bad thing? I feel like that’s what The Last Girl is really asking. And it’s answer is that we don’t really want to be connected to everyone at all times, we only think we do. We want everyone to know that we’re eating a cake in the shape of Steampunk Harley Quinn’s face for our birthday party, but not that we think anal beads would be a fun thing to try this weekend. And that’s an interesting distinction, one it pays to wonder if future generations will have to struggle with more than us. The line between our real selves and our online selves becomes increasingly blurred. And what if we stop knowing the difference? The implausibility of the story vehicle aside, The Last Girl asks a lot of questions. Ones I’d be happy to answer as soon as I’m finished looking up pictures of cats who like cheese burgers and can’t spell.
I have no complaints, people. I’m putting this on my Christmas List Recommendation Guide Thinggie for Teenagers. I guess I’m just waiting for book #2 to come out to see if it can really deviate into amazing territory, and if Adams can keep up the momentum from the second half of the book. It seems to me, his strength lies in the psychological thriller side, which the second book seems to promise a lot of.
Until then, peanut butter jelly time! (Because I’m shallow and all moral quandaries result in the celebration of useless memes.)
This book was provided to me for review purposes. Nobody paid me for it and I received no favours or gifts for it. This is a problem. Where's my goddamn pony?! I was promised a pony! Can someone get back to me asap with my pony?!
I described this book to my mother. “It’s about a chef who gets kidnapped by pirates. He has to cook a gourmet meal for the pirate captain once a week...moreI described this book to my mother. “It’s about a chef who gets kidnapped by pirates. He has to cook a gourmet meal for the pirate captain once a week. And this pirate captain, mom, she is AWESOME!”
My mom smiled knowingly, “Oh. And then they start getting it on like rabbits!”
I faltered for a moment, stalling while trying to explain. “No! It’s not a romance-romance. I mean, they do develop a relationship but it’s…not a focus in the novel.”
My mom seemed to understand, giving a confident nod. “So how does a teenager become a pirate captain?”
My brain stalled again. “No, um, the chef and Mabbot are middle-aged.”
This time, it was my mother was the confused one. “What are you doing reading this?”
She has a point. This isn’t my usual blog-reading fair. Not romance and no teens? Yet as soon as I saw this book on the publishing line up, I couldn’t resist getting it and I’m so glad I did.
This book was amazing. No-holds-barred, completely fantastic. I loved every minute of it.
No detail is spared and the level of research used in this novel is astounding. Obviously the biggest fascination for me was the seemingly-insurmountable task Wedge is faced with once a week. Preparing a gourmet meal on a pirate ship where food is scarce, basic and the kitchen rudimentary at best. Yet Wedge is a genius and his resourcefulness both in cooking and trying to escape was more than admirable. It was fascinating!
But obviously the biggest draw for me was the construction of the characters. Wedge, a pudgy, middle-aged, chef pitched against Mad Hannah Mabbot. She’s brilliant, fiery, passionate, endlessly-capable, fierce, blazing, outlandish, charismatic. If you can tell I loved her, good. Kids, when I grow up, I want to BE The Shark of the Indian Ocean, Mad Hannah Mabbot, Back-from-the-dead Red. I seriously need to start working on a badass pirate name like that. The journey they go through as Captain Mabbot chases The Fox, the King of Thieves, and evades the grimly determined Laroche while aiming to bring down the Pendleton Trading company is action packed, blood-soaked and utterly enthralling.
The writing is detailed and so incredibly nuanced. Wedge’s personality shines from every page as the fussy, prudish, cooking-obsessed Catholic man who has the world and his Regency-era appropriations torn down around him. The result is a much better person. Don’t be deceived. There are no alpha-males with rippling muscles, or chest-heaving women needing to be saved. Captain Mabbot would kick an alpha male in the teeth, tie him over a churning ocean and laugh madly while she robbed him blind. Wedge can only really beat a steak into submission, but he’s smart and passionate and lovely. Eli Brown has given me everything I wanted in a novel. A diverse cast, a delightful, realistic break from traditional gender roles and a gratingly beautiful human touch.
This book eats lesser pirate tropes for breakfast. Respect it’s authoritah or Captain Mabbot will have you keel-hauled.
This book was given to me for review purposes. I received no gifts, favours or money for this because why anyone would want to pay money for my reviews in beyond me.
I really, really liked the beginning of this book. I think it's well written and the world setting is quite interesting. The first 25% certainly kept...moreI really, really liked the beginning of this book. I think it's well written and the world setting is quite interesting. The first 25% certainly kept my attention though I had trouble connecting to the characters other than Llewl.
At 42% in, I felt it started to lose focus and Llewl's relationship with the characters felt more and more disingenuous. I thought this was a shame since it started so strong. My biggest struggle with the book was in trying to visualize things. Howell is a little vague on creating atmosphere, but the only reason I stopped reading this was a pretty personal one. I'm sure many other readers will get a lot out of it.
So, give it a go if you're looking for a fantasy series like Touch of Power to fill your reading time with.(less)
I was actually pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I bought it on a whim based on some random tweet I saw. I didn't expect much, but I c...moreI was actually pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I bought it on a whim based on some random tweet I saw. I didn't expect much, but I certainly enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
It wasn't perfect, of course, it was super jumpy with too many random scenes that had no real impact on the story. But it's relatively fun and sweet - like a toy you get from a cereal box when you didn't expect it. You don't rave about it, but you keep thinking that it's not a bum deal.(less)
I did not request this book, I didn’t even know it existed until a publicist in Australia sent it to me. “Read this or I will punch your ovaries in th...moreI did not request this book, I didn’t even know it existed until a publicist in Australia sent it to me. “Read this or I will punch your ovaries in their still-beating hearts until they cry and explode.” Okay, maybe she didn’t use those exact words, but I like to imagine she was secretly thinking it.
I’m kind of glad she did mind-threaten me though because this book was fabulous with a capitol FAB!
All the Truth That’s in Me follows the events of a small pilgrim-like town. Judith is the town pariah. She and her best friend disappeared two years ago. Judith returned home after an extended period of disappearance, her best friend did not. The town wants to know what happened to Judith, but she can’t tell them. Her tongue was cut out and she’s mute. The boy she was in love with, who seemed to care for her in return, is out of her reach.
Do you ever feel like the world is once again descending into an Atwood dystopia where women are judged on purity, looks and moralities that are valuable to men? Did you ever wonder what that would be like to live in? Thankfully, you don’t need to, because Judith lives in it. She loses any and all status in her town when she returns “spoiled” and suspicion lingers of her morality, derived from a situation where she was held prisoner at the hands of a madman.
But that rejection by her own family and society is also kind of freeing for Judith. She’s semi-invisible, untouchable, and also kind of free to be human – to be herself. She’s cut-loose to be this free-spirited, sexual being who longs for all the things she can’t have and, in a way, experience a better version of herself. Her situation allows her to see past the pitfalls and trappings of her grossly imperfect society, so that she can fight for her own value and worth.
The romance with Lucas is charming, lovely and heart-wrenching all at the same time. This novel manages to pack an emotional punch as well as remaining consistently noteworthy in its plotting, pacing and writing. I’ll be looking forward to future novels by Berry.
Sometimes I see a book tweeted about, or mentioned somewhere, and on the spur of the moment I’ll buy it. Randomly, I’ll neglect my careful pile of TBR...moreSometimes I see a book tweeted about, or mentioned somewhere, and on the spur of the moment I’ll buy it. Randomly, I’ll neglect my careful pile of TBR ARCs that I’m supposed to be reading, deviate from my schedule and try something completely left wing. Sometimes this turns out really great. Sometimes it doesn’t.
This was one of those times where it doesn’t. Ever been in a dream that you kind of liked, though couldn’t help but notice that it made absolutely no sense? If you don’t, ReVamped is a great way to experience the sensation for yourself. A young, president’s daughter is off on her first assignment! To unite a ragtag group of weirdo vamps and turn them into a team! For reasons…
Unfortunately, things go awry when mysterious forces work to attempt to kidnap her! For reasons…
Luckily, there is a super hot guy who is mysterious, sexy, there to protect her and somehow knows something about her! For reasons…
ReVamped was kind of like if you took The Vampire Diaries and Mighty Ducks and created some kind of weird baby.
There has got to be a fanfic of this somewhere…
It had the same kind of small-world,plot twists where everyone is related/knows each other somehow. Drama! So much drama! And the ragtag group was, on one hand, extremely formulaic and, on the other, probably the best thing about this novel. They were funny, interesting characters – eventually. Unfortunately, getting them there required the smoothest road of annoying blandness I’ve ever come across.
Indeed, the beginning and ending of this story are its weakest links. The very beginning because the author hasn’t finessed the balance of info dumping and narrative commencement. Thus the beginning was like an alarmingly boring series on infomercials where I was left wondering if I could just skip it or flip to another channel.
“How’s it going, Dad?” I asked.
*Insert two paragraph explanation on protagonist’s relationship to father.
“Swell, daughter, I’m off to see the president tomorrow!”
*Insert three paragraph explanation on how her father is the president of vampires and how that came about.
“Oh, wonderful! Hey can I totes head out of here on a mission? I’m heaps bored.”
*Insert two paragraphs of the protagonist wallowing over her caged childhood and giving her entire back story.
*Insert characters extreme excitement and mental checklist of everything she’s going to do*
It was so clunky and awkward that I found myself cringing, this was proceeded by the most inane, colourless writing, though that did improve. It read a lot like a child’s fanfiction, which was interesting as the writing did pick up a good deal more later in the story.
The romance with the lead character was absolutely bland. It seemed there was more focus on making him as mysterious and surly as possible to shoehorn him into a popular archetype than to actually develop him as a character, or the relationship in any meaningful way. I felt like I slipped on a banana and they were in love.
Throw in some fiendish, mustache-twirling villains, a completely ridiculous ending which stretched even my ability to suspend my disbelief and you end up with ReVamped. Something that seemed to realize how campy and silly it was, but ultimately, never managed to pack in the fun, vitality and necessary introspection to really pull off the effect.
Over all, I cautiously advise reading the free sample before purchasing this one!(less)
I have kidnapped your review. Your review is not harmed and shall be released as soon as you meet my demands.
In exchange for giving you back your review, which I am prepared to do, you will first need to provide for me:
1 copy of The 5th Wave #2 – undamaged, complete, unmarked (except for your signature or a stylized message to me).
This copy of The 5th Wave #2 must also contain certain characters unharmed and ready for me to snuggle them in my imagination.
Cassie – Because she’s badass
Zombie – Because he’s adorable.
Nugget – Don’t ever even think about hurting him.
Ringer – She is my hero.
The Silencer (I won’t mention its real name here so as not to spoil) – This character is essential. Failure to provide this character will result in immediate disposal of your review. I’m not even kidding.
Please leave my requested item in my PO Box. Do not call the police – they can’t help you for I am no longer human at this point but a starved, ghost-like creature dependent on my next hit of The 5th Wave lest I waste away. If I see that you have called the police (or the next best thing, your publisher) then you will leave me with no choice but to kill the review.
I’m sorry it had to come to this, Mister Yancey. I had hoped that we could come to some kind of reasonable arrangement. But you had to go and write a wonderful book and the next one is not due for publication until August 2014. August 2014? Now do you see how you have pushed me into a corner here? I’m an everyday hero, doing what I must to survive.
Once my demands are met, I will upload the review as promised. Think about this, Yancey. Nobody needs to get hurt here. We can all win.
An ARC was supplied to me by the publisher for the purpose of greater understanding American line dancing. Alas, all I used it for were review purposes that I was in no way paid for. Bummer.
Nameless is a bit like billowing, amazing clouds on a warm sunny day. It’s nice. Just really nice, you know? Sure, it doesn’t move fast and clouds are...moreNameless is a bit like billowing, amazing clouds on a warm sunny day. It’s nice. Just really nice, you know? Sure, it doesn’t move fast and clouds aren’t the most gripping things to look at, but it was just really nice. God I really liked Nameless and I really like clouds. They’re so magical.
Unless they’re giving you goatse. Don’t look that up if you don’t know what it is btw.
Nameless wasn’t a perfect novel, but it was an enjoyable novel. I feel like most of the things it set out to do, it accomplished.
Things like creating, nurturing and building the relationship between Nico and Cami. Book, candle, Nico *cue heart melt* (you’d get it if you read the book). There felt like a depth of years to their relationship and that’s a hard thing to manufacture in a few hundred pages.
Nameless was a pretty ambitious story, which worked out for me because I’m a pretty ambitious reader, but it’s not going to float everyone’s boats. And that’s because it’s ODD. It’s just a really odd book.
Like Harley Quinn – twisted but in a really, really good way
Firstly, nameless is an alternate reality world with a whole slew of different rules and supernatural… things happening. And St Crow doesn’t hold no hands when she tells this story. She doesn’t sit you down and say, “Now children, this is a twist. It’s a person who has twisted in bad way due to emotions…” Nuh-uh. She just starts throwing this lore at you and expects you to catch up. You have to pay attention or you’re not going to know what’s happening.
And her lore isn’t simplistic. It’s a complicated world. Add to that, the fact that there’s so much going on. Camille isn’t just dealing with figuring out who she is and avoiding being turned into a heartless shish-ka-bob. She’s dealing with Nico learning to take responsibility for his temper and his life, helping her friends, developing a friendship with the mysterious gardener, finding a home and identity for herself and, most of all, trying to get people to damn well shut their mouths and let her express herself.
Which is hard, because she has a significant stutter all throughout the book. This had the potential to be frustrating for the reader. But I think St Crow really pulled it off. Instead of feeling frustrated, I felt HER frustration. That people wouldn’t wait to hear what she had to say, would assume what she was thinking because they were too lazy to wait for her to say what she really wanted, etc.
But, the thing with Nameless is that it’s a really slow burn. Just so slow. And since so much of it is internal, emotional issues being worked through, it sometimes felt like it was dragging.
There were some elements to the story telling that I wanted to be tighter. Stronger. The Snow White myth felt really lost in the story. Rather like it was grossly outweighed by all the other elements until, sometimes, it became easy to forget that this was a Snow White retelling. This is an issue because Nameless could easily have been a standalone novel with no ties to Snow White. I would have liked it still and wouldn’t have felt a little cheated on the fairy tale retelling aspects that felt largely shoe-horned in at the end to justify the label.
Mostly though, if you’re a fan of Lili St Crow, or YA Paranormal romances with a touch of thriller to them, then you’re really going to like this one.
This book was provided to me by the publisher. This does not affect my review in any way because they refused to pay or bribe me. Greedy buggers. Left with no other option, I was forced to be honest.(less)
If you can’t love Dante Walker then you’re probably not going to love this book. He is cocky, flamboyant, arrogant, hilarious, and sassy. Luckily for...moreIf you can’t love Dante Walker then you’re probably not going to love this book. He is cocky, flamboyant, arrogant, hilarious, and sassy. Luckily for me, I absolutely loved him. Victoria Scott has perfectly encapsulated the jerky, arrogant seventeen year old who thinks he’s a straight up badass – and nothing is more satisfying than watching Dante Walker realize that not only does he have a sweet, kind side, but he’s also a good person and a good friend.
The book basically went like this:
Dante would be all like:
And outwardly I would be like:
But then when I thought the book wasn’t looking, I’d be like:
There’s another character, Charlie Cooper, who I just loved. Mostly because, though Dante is so mean about her at the beginning, Scott wrote her with such empathy and compassion. Even while Dante was waxing poetical about how unattractive and what a loser she was, and even while she was acting like a loser, I still loved her. I think everyone who’s been an awkward teenage girl could see part of themselves in Charlie.
Whilst the writing of The Collector was pretty good, it was the slang and dialogue that really got me. Basically, she nailed it. Nailed teenage guy with a great finesse. The plot itself is pretty cool if a little simplistic. Bad Collector dude spies innocent virgin girl. Shenanigans ensue. It was hard for me to grasp the greater moral aspects of the book, the struggle between good and evil etc when I spent the whole book going, “God, girl! Just ride that guy to O-Town already!” As the book progressed, I found myself rocking backwards and forwards begging her to not change. NEVER CHANGE, CHARLIE!
I guess this was the only aspect that I found a little less satisfactory than I would have liked. For me, where it really made up for it was the characters. The dynamics between Blue and Dante and Charlie. Between the Liberator and Max and Dante. Between them all. I just couldn’t get enough of those awwwwww moments. And then it ended, and I wanted more. Especially more of teh sexy. Which meant I finished the book shaking my fist at Victoria Scott, saying:
Which is really just my way of saying, “I love you.”(less)