You'd think with all the bestsellers they have, they'd be able to get some decent covers for their books. Don't get me wrong. I love their writing, buYou'd think with all the bestsellers they have, they'd be able to get some decent covers for their books. Don't get me wrong. I love their writing, but I'm embarrassed to hold these books in the street. ...more
Not Otherwise Specified is the story of Ella, a girl struggling with all the labels in her life. Bi, eating disorder, dancing, black, etc.
Not OtherwisNot Otherwise Specified is the story of Ella, a girl struggling with all the labels in her life. Bi, eating disorder, dancing, black, etc.
Not Otherwise Specified was a breathless read. In that, no really, I felt breathless a lot of the time. The Narration was like an unending stream of consciousness funnelling you right into Ella's every uncensored thought.
You'll find all the hallmarks of a great Moskowitz novel here. Thorough characterisation, relationship heavy, stunning writing, heartbreak.
But what you'll also find it that there's nothing really new here either. Ella worries, in the novel, that the theatre auditioners would know her bag of tricks and I think it's the same for this novel. Moskowitz has a bag of tricks - great tricks, beautiful tricks, heart touching tricks, but they can start to also feel a little tired.
I didn't feel like Not Otherwise Specified was a stretch for Moskowitz. Teeth was deeper. Gone Gone Gone more heartbreaking, Marco Impossible more fun. Not Otherwise Specified felt, in comparison, like a nice book. And that's what I can say of it. I know I'm being unfair because writing about the eating disorder stuff and the bulling stuff must have been a real struggle for Moskowitz. She really reached deep for those.
And if anyone else had written it, I think I would have been more impressed, to be honest. But because it was a Moskowitz book, I expected more from it.
But this is where my excitement ramps up because A History of Glitter and Blood sounds very very different to the contemporaries that Moskowitz has written in the past. So Moskowitz is already expanding on her bag of tricks it seems, and I am so, so excited to see what she comes up for for that....more
read Black Ice with a lot of hopes. Hopes that Fitzpatrick was writing something brave and different, a departure from Hush, Hush which was a total a read Black Ice with a lot of hopes. Hopes that Fitzpatrick was writing something brave and different, a departure from Hush, Hush which was a total abomination for me. Still, I was willing to give it a fair shot. Unfortunately, it seems Fitzpatrick has a formula that she refuses to veer from and that made this book every bit as painful as Hush, Hush was. And all the temptation that maybe Fitzpatrick was doing something brave and hard was washed away with every page I turned.
Black Ice is the story about a girl who goes camping and gets kidnapped by criminals who force her to navigating the freezing terrain in order to help them escape. Things become complicated when she starts to develop feelings for one of her captors.
Fitzpatrick set this up as a Stockholm Syndrome tale and had everything at her disposal to make it great. It to make it brave and edgy and real. Instead she bowed to whimsical fantasy and romantic notions in order to twist it into something it should never have been. A love story.
So let’s start with the formula that Fitzpatrick can’t seem to let go of.
1 Very Bad Boy + 1 Annoying Heroine + 1 Best friend who can die in a fire = Kat is going to kill something.
Mason kidnaps her, drags her through frozen tundra, lets his friend hold a gun to her and keeps up this charade as a villain all through the novel. But because he is occasionally kind to her and hot, Britt, our leading lady, falls for him.
Britt, is not quite as annoying as the heroine in Hush, Hush. She does some clever and brave things. This almost saves it for me. Almost. But her obsession over Calvin drove me mad. The story kept dropping history between her and Calvin which was quite boring and ultimately needless. She was a flawed heroine and that’s okay. She was probably the best thing about this novel, even if that’s not saying much.
Korbie. Korbie, rather like Vee was the most annoying character in this book and the very fact that she wasn’t in it much was her only saving grace. One more page of her and I might have bashed this book against my head several times just to numb the pain.
The ending. Let’s talk about the ending here because I know most of you aren’t planning on reading this shit, so being coy about it.
Mason’s not really the bad guy, see? He’s just pretending to be a hardened criminal so that he can find his sister’s killer. Who just happens to be Calvin, Britt’s ex boyfriend and Korbie’s brother. See? Britt really fell for a hero, not the bad guy. He was only pretending to kidnap her. So this makes everything about 100 times shittier. Instead of doing the brave thing and having Britt tragically need to hand in the man who kidnapped her and endangered her life, she turns summersaults to turn him into a hero. So that they can be together.
This refusal to commit to reality made the novel so much weaker and less tense. It lacked the emotional impact because it veered so far into fantasyland that I was almost ready to believe that Britt was hallucinating the end of this novel as she lay in a snowdrift dying.
If you want a book that is unapologetic in its handling of Stockholm Syndrome then I honestly suggest you skip this one and try Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher. Hauntingly beautiful and emotionally charged, it will fill the hole that Black Ice leaves behind....more
Scorched, the convoluted story about a girl who could start an apocalypse just by hatching a dragon. It’s a dragon apocalypse!
You know, I honestly donScorched, the convoluted story about a girl who could start an apocalypse just by hatching a dragon. It’s a dragon apocalypse!
You know, I honestly don’t know why I picked up this book from my ARC stacks. I just felt like dragons. But I probably should have guessed, based on the dragon coping a feel of the the girl on the cover there, that this book wouldn’t be for me. I stuck with it, though, and gave it a fair shot. All the way to page 136 when I had to stop for my sanity’s sake.
So the writing itself wasn’t the worst. I had no real problem with its descriptors or anything but the three main characters drove me completely up the wall.
The plot tried to pull this WHAT A TWIST style story structure. Trying to keep you guessing on who Trinity should trust. The clear answer being your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman and nobody else. Spiderman would have known what to do.
The most aggravating thing about this novel is that a few pages can’t go buy without Connor mooning over Trinity. Or Trinity mooning over Connor. Or Caleb mooning over Trinity. I didn’t get up to the part where Trinity moons over Caleb, but I’m pretty sure it would happen eventually. And when people were kissing only a few hours after meeting, I wanted to throw the book at the wall and sing I Feel Pretty to myself until the pain went away.
“She was beautiful, he thought. The history texts did not do her justice. Sure, she had the same tangles of black curls falling down her back in waves, the same delicate features. But no photo could capture her long lashes, sweeping across freckled cheeks, or the way her lower lip plumped as she frowned in her sleep. And they certainly couldn’t capture the fiery passion in her black eyes, illuminating the spark that was so strong within her.” And no photo could capture my pain at having to read this shite every time Connor or Caleb decided to go all star-eyed over the most specialist special girl who ever specialed. Because Trinity is the uberspecial. She kicks off the apocalypse, she has super powers, she’s bonding with a queen dragon, she’s gorgeous, she’s going to be world famous/infamous. Two uber hawties travelled back in time ala Terminator to save her.
Kill. Me. Now.
And can we talk about the use of the word Fleck? Instead of swearing in the book, Connor and Caleb use the word Fleck.
Look, first of all, you’re a Young Adult novel. It’s okay to swear. Really. I give you permission to use the word fuck. And don’t try to tell me that it’s possible that 200 years in the future, people will have replaced fuck with fleck. It’s never going to happen. Fuck is a perfectly serviceable, good word that isn’t suddenly going to be replaced by some random reiteration of it within a few generations. It’s just… Stop it, okay? Just bloody swear because you’ve made me do enough of it already.
Basically, this book is a hot mess and I demand reimbursement for the pain it’s put me through. That or, I dunno, a puppy....more