Kami has spent her whole life talking to the voice in her head. His name is Jared and she shares all her iReview originally posted on Just a Lil' Lost
Kami has spent her whole life talking to the voice in her head. His name is Jared and she shares all her inner most thoughts with him. So imagine her surprise when Jared is real, and shows up when the mysterious Lynburn family returns to her town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. The Lynburns had long ago left their home in the English town and their return puts the rest of the townspeople on edge, especially when violent things start happening.
I had heard many good things about this book, and the beautiful cover had captivated me when the book was first released. So it felt about time to finally get around to reading this. Unfortunately, I think I may be in the minority of the overall consensus on this book. I know that some may say that it was too hyped up for me, but that really didn’t have any effect on how much I enjoyed Unspoken.
Truth be told, I really don’t have any extreme feelings about it, good or bad. It was “okay”. I liked that the protagonist was an interracial character, which is not common in books I’ve read. I enjoyed the way this book started, and the dialogue and banter could be fun and sarcastic at times. The premise of Unspoken was very intriguing and for a while, I really didn’t know where it was going.
That being said, there were many elements that didn’t work for me. I’d say about halfway through was when I found my attention waning. It got really disjointed in the storytelling and what was going on. Admittedly, as I said, I wasn’t paying as much attention but I still found it incredibly hard to follow what was happening. It jumped all over the place and the thought process seemed to be very sporadic. I also wasn’t buying the dynamics of the characters. Not even for any love/relationship purposes that felt a bit hot and cold with Kami and boys, but even between the friends. It felt awkward. And then some of the writing got a bit repetitive and oddly phrased, (like in this particular example).
Overall, I hate to say it, but my favourite part about this book is probably still the cover (well, the original one as pictured in this review. Even that’s been changed now too!). The story idea was interesting, but the latter half of the book completely lost me. I didn’t hate it, nor did I really love it. While I didn’t necessarily buy into the hype from everyone else, I guess I just thought I would enjoy the story more than how it actually played out....more
Sophronia get sent off to a finishing school by her mother in hopes of taming the rambunctious nature ofOriginally posted on Just a Lil' Lost
Sophronia get sent off to a finishing school by her mother in hopes of taming the rambunctious nature of her fourteen year old daughter. Sophronia would rather climb trees and figure out how machines work than to learn how to curtsy or speak properly. That is until she arrives at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. She discovers that not only do the girls learn about manners and proper etiquette, but also deceit and diversion.
I’m so torn about this book. In one way, I love the premise and adore the gorgeous cover. The idea of a school that supposedly teaches girls how to be, well, proper girls but in actuality is also teaching them how to be spies is intriguing. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk books so that was also an interesting take on the overall story.
However, for me, the execution fell a bit flat. The repetitive use of the outlandish names of the characters (“Mrs. Barnaclegoose”) in the first few pages, added with the writing style felt very skewed for a younger audience. Granted, yes, I am an older audience of young adult fiction but there have been many books I’ve read that are for young adults, even middle grade, which felt more digestible. To me, the POV of the protagonist was not overly relatable or likable. Perhaps it may not have been intended to be taken this way, but this passage about Sophronia’s reaction to witnessing a woman get slapped by a man just turned me off from the get-go. At this point, I was almost ready for a Did-Not-Finish, but I kept reading knowing that friends have enjoyed it, and it was for Brunch Book Club.
In all fairness, the story does pick up a bit once Sophronia (ugh, that name.) gets to the school. It reminded me a bit of a more juvenile version of Hogwarts, where there were creatures as teachers, a group of friends and classmates that were as close to Sophronia like Ron, Dean & Seamus were to Harry, as well as a Malfoy-like antagonist. That’s about as far as the comparisons go. With the exception of the best friend and the bully, not too many of the companions were very well developed. A lot of what was told about them was just their appearance (“tall and lanky”, “short and dumpy”, “black, not dirty” – c’mon. seriously?)
While there are subsequent installments from this Finishing School story, and there are more adventures that Sophronia and her pals can get into, Etiquette & Espionage does conclude on a relatively final note, so it could be read as a standalone. What I was told as I finished this book was that it’s supposed to be a YA prequel to Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate adult series, but given how young this book reads, it may be a difficult age-crossover to carry successfully. I get what she was trying to do with this but, for me, it just didn’t work....more