As the title suggests, A Thousand Nights is a retelling of the timeless tale One Thousand and One Nights (which is, in fact, a collection of tales), iAs the title suggests, A Thousand Nights is a retelling of the timeless tale One Thousand and One Nights (which is, in fact, a collection of tales), in which the extraordinary heroine Scheherazade survives each night by outwitting her homicidal husband with nothing else but her brilliant mind and story-telling abilities.
This retelling uses a large portion of this plot, the heroine starts by casually entertaining her new and creepy husband, Lo-Melkhiin, with stories of home, but that’s not actually the thing that post-pones her death at his hands each night--there’s a twist regarding both the heroine and this terrible villain, but I don’t want to talk about it that much because SPOILERS. Still, even with the twists, I can’t say that I liked this book, mostly because I never felt connected with the story or the characters. But let me talk about what I liked before rambling about the negatives.
-The writing style: reading this book was pretty much like reading an old fairytale. The narrator, the heroine, has an almost poetic way of expressing her thoughts, describing the scenarios and talking about her family.
-The heroine: she’s brave, she’s noble, she loves her family above everything, and even though I don’t think I could ever sacrifice myself the same way she did, I admired her for her immense courage.
Now, what I did not like:
-The heroine has no name: actually, no one has a name in this story, with the notable exception of Lo-Melkhiin. This didn’t even bother me for a big part of the narrative, but at some point I realized that it did in fact affect my ability to relate to the heroine simply because I didn’t know what to call her; also I think this will make her way more forgettable for me, in a couple of weeks or so I probably won’t remember her or her story at all. This “No Names” situation did get pretty weird when there was a lot of family involved, like the situation with the heroine’s brothers--I’m not sure of the number but they are quite a few and she ends up mentioning them as “my younger brothers”, “my older brothers”, “my married brothers”…awkward.
-No romance whatsoever: of course I didn’t want a romance between the heroine and her creepy murderous husband, I was hoping for a romance with someone else, someone who could make her smile and laugh and blush, someone who could make her blood run faster in her veins, someone who could make her feel all kinds of new things, but nothing like that happens, nothing at all.
-So much build up for nothing: well, not “nothing”, something happens, but this entire story is about a girl marrying this horrible guy to save her sister, and then later to save, well, everybody else from him--literally, this is the only thing going on in this book, but when the time comes to actually do the deed, the whole thing happens in a very short, confusing and anticlimactic battle scene.
-The ending: okay, so I understand that (view spoiler)[the heroine does not choose to stay with Lo-Melkhiin-The-Demon, she stays because the demon is gone and Lo-Melkhiin is himself again, BUT STILL, oh my God, it’s so horrible that she stays married with the guy, I mean, that BODY ACTUALLY MURDERED all those girls, THAT SAME BODY. It creeps the hell out of me!! (hide spoiler)] And besides, (view spoiler)[Lo-Melkhiin is so old for her, ugh… if I remember correctly, he is like 10+ years older than her, we are never told how old the heroine is but since this is young adult I’m assuming 16/17, which means he is probably around 30, (hide spoiler)] and that’s disturbing, even for the type of society these characters are part of.
In general, this book was not terrible, just extremely underwhelming. Can’t recommend it.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So, I was at 25% and *suddenly* the heroine decides to have sex with this scumbag who sleeps around all the time, and calls her**spoiler alert** DNF.
So, I was at 25% and *suddenly* the heroine decides to have sex with this scumbag who sleeps around all the time, and calls her The Duff, Duffy, for short, the ugly and fat friend of the hot girls he actually wants to sleep with.
This is way too messed up for me to keep reading, because, seriously, what kind of message is this? That it's okay to sleep with a guy who manipulates and treats hot girls as disposable things, and treats the not-so-hot ones as garbage?
On top of that, I honestly can't deal with young heroines with such low self-esteem and/or have this kind of destructive behavior. It bothers me to no end and actually depresses me a little.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)...more
DNF. I hate it when the hero gets involved with someone else after meeting the heroine. It's a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to historicaDNF. I hate it when the hero gets involved with someone else after meeting the heroine. It's a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to historical romance, and the author decides to give me way too much information. Like:
hero: *cute scene with heroine* hero: okay let me go bang my mistress *cue a rather detailed and rough sex scene*
I'm honestly so upset that I didn't love this book--I had high hopes!--but goddammit I found myself bored to te**this review contains a few spoilers**
I'm honestly so upset that I didn't love this book--I had high hopes!--but goddammit I found myself bored to tears around 30%... (maybe even before that) T_T
I tried, oh, I tried, but after a while I stopped caring about the characters and their problems, and this is a total deal-breaker for me because I read for the characters, everything else comes second.
And even though it is not the central point of the story, the romance in this book is so weird--it's one of those cases where no one ever shows any real interest in the other person but then suddenly they're kissing, and nothing happens again for the longest time until bam! sex scene. Ummm???
I didn't hate this book, and the 1 star rating seems a bit harsh even for me, but so many things about this story bothered the hell out of me that I hI didn't hate this book, and the 1 star rating seems a bit harsh even for me, but so many things about this story bothered the hell out of me that I honestly cannot make myself click on that second star.
So the story is about this boy, Caleb, who hit his next door neighbor, Maggie, with a car while drunk driving, fled the scene, and went to jail for a year for it. Maggie survived but ended up with a permanently injured, scarred leg and a severe limp. The book starts when Caleb gets out of jail and goes home, hopefully to get his life back on track, but everyone he knows, family, friends, ex-girlfriend, only see him and treat him like some kind of circus freak attraction dangerous ex-con. And then there's Maggie, who will not forgive him for the accident, and whom he has to work with in order to complete his sentence by doing community service.
I never really connected with the characters, Caleb is kind of an asshole, constantly shaming his sister because she dresses in all black, makeup included, and he doesn't like it. I also hated the way he thought about Maggie for a big part of the story, like it was her fault that he went to jail, like her injured leg and scars were nothing compared to his own problems and the time he spent locked up. He never, not even once, stopped to think about what's like to live with a leg injury forever. I don't even care about the plot twist regarding the accident, because it doesn't excuse the fact that he never tried to put himself in Maggie's shoes.
I didn't love Maggie either, I tried, oh I tried, but I don't understand how she can go from not even wanting to see Caleb, to him being the love she'll never forget. How can you date the guy who ran you over with a car and left you broken and bleeding and alone on the street?? Again, the twist doesn't really matter, because she dates him, makes out with him, falls in love with him way before knowing the truth. I don't get it. I honestly don't get it.
I also don't understand how everyone at Maggie's school behaved like complete morons towards her. Seriously, a girl gets badly injured in an accident and everyone who knows her either ignores her or makes fun of her? Some of these guys even call her names like 'retard' because she limps... WTF? Where is this school exactly, Hell? I'm sorry but I don't think this is realistic at all. I've never, in my whole academic life, from the first grade to my final day at college, witnessed an injured/disabled person being bullied like that. I mean, I understand that this was just another thing to make Maggie's life even more sad and angsty, but in my opinion it's too much.
One thing that I REALLY don't like in romance books is when one of the characters hooks up with someone else along the way, which Caleb does, he gets involved with his ex (who, by the way, he keeps complaining about, he doesn't like her lipstick or her perfume, her clothes are too revealing, and so on), they make out several times and apparently they have sex at some point too (there's no actual scene of the act--thank the gods for small mercies). This type of plot grosses me out and totally kills my mood to keep reading. How can I root for a couple when I'm told that one of the involved had sex with someone else during the couple's own slow burn romance journey? I can't.
And then there's the plot twist regarding the accident, I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I can honestly say it didn't make me feel better about the love story, because, again: I don't understand the romance. I don't understand Maggie.
About the writing, the pace, and how the story unfolds: I was actually disappointed, because I've read Perfect Chemistry a while back, liked it a lot, and I don't remember complaining about any of this, but Leaving Paradise was kind of a mess--most of the important scenes are too rushed, others are mostly dialogue, without descriptions of what the characters are doing or feeling, and I believe that this made it harder for me to connect with them and with the story.
The ending was quite terrible. I don't even care that there's a sequel. It's just terrible. ...more
Every Last Word tells the story of Sam, a girl with OCD who tries so hard every day to hide this from her friends, to fit in, to be “normal”--the kindEvery Last Word tells the story of Sam, a girl with OCD who tries so hard every day to hide this from her friends, to fit in, to be “normal”--the kind of normal her friends and other people can deal with. This has been going on for several years now and to cope with all the pretending and her OCD, Sam needs psychiatric help. Still, that’s not enough. And then comes the day that she finds a group of people at school—outsiders like the person she tries not to be--that writes poetry, and her life begins to change, because with them she feels like she can finally be herself.
Dear lord, this was such an emotional read! I legit couldn't stop crying when I reached a certain part of the story--it was so shocking and heartbreaking and the tears just kept coming and coming and coming.
My heart was aching for Sam the entire time, I mean, this girl, who is a good person, thinks that if she stops pretending, her somewhat toxic friends will not accept her and she will not have a place to go, a table to sit at during lunch, people to hang out with, a group to belong to. I kept trying to make her listen to me: GET RID OF THOSE “FRIENDS”, SAM! EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE! DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY REGARDLESS OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK! But that was self-assured adult-me speaking, and I knew very well that when you’re a teenager and you’re part of a group it’s so hard to find your own voice, go against the flow, say no, because you just want to belong and not be the weird one. (Been there, done that.)
By contrast, I was crazy with joy when she joins the secret poetry group, Poet’s Corner, because she feels so good there, safe, normal. Of course the OCD and the anxiety/panic attacks don’t go magically away just because she’s there, but it helps so much. Sam knows that this new group of people in her life isn’t judgmental or threatening in any way, she knows they’ll not cast her out at the first sign of weird. There’s one quote in this book that I especially loved and it goes like this, “embrace who you are and surround yourself with people who do the same”, and that’s exactly what happens to Sam at Poet’s Corner with these people she just met.
And then there’s the romance and AJ Olsen…*swoooooon* AJ is dreamy, kind, thoughtful, a gentleman, and not just with Sam, with his friends too, he cares so much about the people from Poet’s Corner, he loves his family, he respects everyone around him, and he writes poetry, sings, and plays the guitar. I’m pretty sure this is the definition of perfect love interest. Sam and AJ actually start off on the wrong foot and at first it’s kind of hard to imagine they even have a chance, so the romance is a bit of a slow burn—my favorite type, and it kept me turning page after page. (No love triangle whatsoever.)
This book not only deals with mental illness but also with bullying and its devastating consequences. I’m fully convinced that my heart did break when I read those last 50 pages or so. It fills me with despair to think that actual people in this world go through situations like the ones described in this book, that actual people are targets of stupid pranks and hate, every single day, for no reason at all or because they’re being themselves, and for the bullies it’s just a game, but for the victims it can be the end. Christ! Here I am crying again! Thank you for the nonstop tears, Miss Stone.
Every Last Word is remarkably touching and romantic, one of those stories that feel genuine, like you’ve met the characters at some point in your life, or know someone who went through a similar situation. (Or maybe it’s you.) Sam’s unique, honest voice and journey will break you and make you all over again. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!)
My biggest problem with this book is that it's so similar to the animated movie Aladdin, like someone was watching it and describing it to me scene afMy biggest problem with this book is that it's so similar to the animated movie Aladdin, like someone was watching it and describing it to me scene after scene, that I couldn't even imagine the characters as people, or the city as an actual city, or even a house as a house, everything played in my head exactly like an animation--animated characters, animated city, animated houses, animated everything. I understand that maybe being similar to the movie was the whole point of this book, but honestly I don't see the appeal. It's like when Hollywood remakes an old, dear movie and you think, "Okay, not necessary, but I'll give it a try...", and then you watch it and "Yep, not necessary. Why would you even bother to do this?"
It does not help that the characters have no depth, no will of their own, like they only do something not because they have meaningful reasons but because you expect them to (because you've watched Aladdin a bunch of times, we've all watched Aladdin a bunch of times), like when Aladdin meets Jasmine, he saves her, they talk for a while, he shows her where he lives and shortly after he's captured by the guards and finds out she's the princess and that she's about to get married to someone of her father's choosing, and he starts thinking about needing to be a prince to marry her. This might sound cute when you're watching the animated movie and adorable cupcake Aladdin with his thick dark eyebrows and cheeky grin voices the same idea, but reading it in this version of the story when I don't even like the guy yet makes it sound so shallow and nonsensical. Why would you want to marry a person you just met this afternoon?? Is it just because she's a beautiful princess? Because that's what happens in the movie?
Plus, apparently, these characters are a bit older than the movie versions, Jasmine at some point talks about not being twenty yet, so if she’s a 19-year-old and Aladdin is around the same age, I would have never guessed. I honestly thought they were teens, 14, 15 tops.
I feel like I’m being too harsh on this book but there’s really nothing I enjoyed about it, and this coming from a person that loves retellings of all kinds.
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.) ...more