Sometimes you know a book is objectively very good but it is not the book for you.
This is not one of those times.
I was so bored while reading The GiSometimes you know a book is objectively very good but it is not the book for you.
This is not one of those times.
I was so bored while reading The Girl on the Train I am genuinely baffled at how most people have found this to be suspenseful and riveting. I read on, hoping for a plot twist or something that would blow my mind. I anticipated up-all-night reading and a deliciously satisfying book hangover.
Instead I got (mostly unlikable) unreliable narrators, a sprinkling of red herrings and carefully doled out information (held back by a main character having selective amnesia) and a very ordinary reveal that made me wish I had listened to my gut and abandoned this 25% in (which is when I could no longer deny I was finding things tedious and boring).
Hawkins does do a good job at setting things up and at making you glad you are living your ordinary suburban life and are not one of her heroines. I genuinely felt for Rachel and the depiction of alcoholism was painfully bleak and harrowing. as far as psychological thrillers go, my fave author remains Honey Brown.
I am obviously the outlier on this, so you should probably still give it a go (it is one of the biggest buzz books capturing people's attention so far this year). ...more
It started off strong/intriguing but things quickly deteriorated for me. I could believe in the concepA short note for the curious: read just over 40%
It started off strong/intriguing but things quickly deteriorated for me. I could believe in the concepts but not the actions/dialogue of the (mostly unlikeable) characters. The lead was too whiny, melodramatic and immature and oblivious for my tastes (even if that is part of the character arc, once I started rolling my eyes at her I could not stop). Finn was the only character I liked and I lost respect for him in the way he allowed himself to be such a doormat -- and the fact that he would like such a rude, bratty girl made no sense to me.
The plot was intriguing and fast-paced, sure, but I grew tired of Em and really could not root for her -- or even handle her any more -- and thus could not possibly bear to continue. ...more
For Sophie Kinsella, I will always suspend my disbelief. She puts her characters in ludicrous situations for a pay-off of genuine amusement and good tFor Sophie Kinsella, I will always suspend my disbelief. She puts her characters in ludicrous situations for a pay-off of genuine amusement and good times. She's an addictive read, swoony and ridiculous in the best of ways.
However even I, a long time fan, can not find much to love in this book. While there are little snippets of Kinsella charm hidden throughout, reading this book was still like watching a train wreck. What happened, Kinsella? Where did your magic go?
I can get behind ditzy characters doing stupid things, however the characters in this book were just plain unlikeable with no redeeming features. The situations they got themselves in made me cringe rather than giggle. There was no fun-ridiculous, it was just plain bad behaviour and in the end I was not rooting for anyone.
Still, if someone had told me this about Kinsella's latest, I still would have read it (I still did read it). I am so curious what her fans will think of this book.
Fingers crossed Kinsella gets her regular charming mojo back for her next project. This, I cannot recommend. ...more
The imagination and scope of Under the Never Sky is immense. Rossi’s debut is no small undertaking. It involves incredible world-building, weaving togThe imagination and scope of Under the Never Sky is immense. Rossi’s debut is no small undertaking. It involves incredible world-building, weaving together two worlds (one super-tech-y and sci-fi, the other like an ancient/primitive civilisation but even within that there were hierarchies (blood lords), traditions, and sci-fi/paranormal elements (whew!). Add to this, the alternating of two POVs, and you have a vast, complex and unique YA novel.
Under the Never Sky is often bandied about as a YA dystopian. It is not a dystopian, IMO. It is futuristic with sci-fi elements, most surely post-apocalyptic (but an apocalypse is never referred to in detail). Despite all the techno gadgetry, it read, to me, a little like a fantasy: two unlikely companions teamed up to help each other fulfill their personal missions. There’s a lot of travel and exploration and dangers along the way. They meet different characters, all crafted with their unique, lively personalities, and stay in different places: in caves, in fortified cities, trees, and in places with earthly relics of a time long past, etc.
The world-building is nicely done in snatches, lots of specific lingo to grab a hold of. I felt the more interesting parts of the world Rossi has created were often sidelined by the plot always moving forward. (I would get intrigued by a concept/idea/revelation and then BAM, next scene, moving right along...)
The prose is more descriptive than lyrical. Action sequences abound, and are well articulated yet I felt no emotion/adrenalin on behalf of the characters when they were fighting for their lives.
On one hand, I am quite in awe of the fabulous premise and diverse world Rossi created. On the other, I mostly don’t care. I think this is just a case of this book is just not my thing. The only things I can critique are all pertinent to my personal reading taste. For whatever reason, I was not grabbed by this book, yet I loyally trudged my way through it, admiring it in places, yet never bonding to it.
Before I close, I have to comment on the (romantic)relationship between Perry and Aria: it didn’t work for me. For the first half of the novel, they have an antagonistic/indifferent vibe, yet even in that there was no tension, no anticipation, no undercurrent of sexytimes to come. They were just...there. Then, like the flip of a switch, at the magical 50% mark, she noticed his smile, he couldn’t stop waxing poetic about her violet smell and BAM = love. I felt like there was no groundwork for their attraction and friendship, despite not really beginning it until halfway through the book. Baffled.
My two star rating is purely indicative of my personal enjoyment (I always rate based on how I feel about a book, not so much on the objective merit of the book). I’ll happily endorse the book as a creative and original YA read to those people who are intrigued by the premise....more
I am out on my own little limb here in saying I did not care for this book *waves to all my goodreads buds who love it to the max*
It is not the subjecI am out on my own little limb here in saying I did not care for this book *waves to all my goodreads buds who love it to the max*
It is not the subject matter that irked me but rather the heavy-handed and melodramatic way in which it was handled.
This book, IMO, is the equivalent to a daytime drama* ~ complete with sappy character names (Lochan, Maya, Kit, Tiffin and Willa are the children), over-wrought "true love" sentiments, parental issues of alcoholism, abandonment and abuse, and an oh-my-gosh extreme climax (designed either to make a statement or just for forbidden love shock angle?).
The love Lochan feels for Maya (his sister) is all-consuming. In his mind it is love, no doubt, but it is a dark, all-consuming force. He is possessive, jealous, brooding and manipulative as he clings (and wrestles) with his desire for his sister. His intense love for her, and the way in which he declares it, is reminiscent of the romance Edward and Bella share in TWILIGHT (in intensity/forbiddeness/ and i-would-rather-die-than-face-the-world-without-you sentiments). It's hard-core, and Suzuma goes all out with poetic prose and cheesy statements.
While Lochan's behaviour is certainly plausible (in a teen who's view of himself and the world is so polarised), I struggle with that version of "love" being shown as romantic ~ and being written in such a way to gain the sympathy of readers. It is rather creepy and obsessive (although softened somewhat by Lochan's own social phobias/mental health problems which make him a character some readers would long to care for).
The only characters I really cared for in this book were Lochan and Maya's siblings, who are neglected and abandoned and I genuinely ached for them (although their problems take a back seat behind the incest-love-drama)
I found the prose a little heavy to trudge through and the sex scenes a bit too explicit (okay, they were too tackily explicit) for my preference.
FORBIDDEN is like a Romeo & Juliet forbidden love story with a sensationalist incest twist and an ending designed to shock and enrage readers on behalf of the characters. I get why it has garnered so much curiosity and also why so many people are gasping and weeping at the end. It is gripping and shocking and makes for an unrelenting read. It's quite dark and I felt like a heavy weight was sitting on my chest as I was reading it.
Unfortunately, melodrama and all-consuming sweeping love acts/declarations in a "day-time drama setting" are just not really my thing. ...more
Blurbed by Melina Marchetta: 'Beautifully written with characters that stayed with me long after the final page,' and with it's stunning cover, MatcheBlurbed by Melina Marchetta: 'Beautifully written with characters that stayed with me long after the final page,' and with it's stunning cover, Matched is the shiny new temptation of the season.
Okay - so I was completely PUMPED about it. I am an unashamed fan of a good love triangle - tension! drama! heart-ache-y choices! swooning! Also - a dystopian, well, it's a fascinating setting to explore all kinds of themes and deliver some twisted showdowns.
Matched begins with the Matching Banquet, on Cassia's 17th birthday, where Cassia is Matched by the Society to her long time best friend, Xander. She's thrilled, but then a glitch causes things to unravel and Cassia starts questioning more than just her match... Oooh - something's going to go down...
Because the pacing is a slow. It's a deliberate build, more introspective than action. However, I found it compulsively readable. I casually sailed through the first 2/3's and then the final third really comes into it's own. By then it felt like the story was into it's own completely addictive groove and by the time it ended, I was ready to pick up the next installment (Ah, Dec 2011, it's a while away...).
Rather than it being gritty with undertones of foreboding - it is more laying the ground work for a future rebellion and show-down - taking Cassia from a place of acceptance of the Society, to questioning and ultimately finding a strength inside of her that will alter the course of her life. It's very much a coming of age novel set in a manufactured world.
Condie has laid all the groundwork for some thrilling discoveries, impossible choices and deadly stakes. (re: thrilling discoveries, impossible choice and deadly stakes - it was kind of lacking in this title - but I'm thinking they're coming in the next, yeah?)
Xander and Ky are both stand-out characters (although neither had me swooning - what was with that? Two guys and neither one did anything for me?) However, I so appreciated the restraint Condie showed in fashioning the love triangle aspect - it does not tread the well worn path of YA melodrama (although I'm hoping she'll amp it up a bit in the sequels in terms of choices and stakes).
The prose. Some have called it beautiful. It does read effortlessly - and there's a few instances of lovely thoughtful introspection and nice phrases. There's also a lot of prose. As in, occasionally, it feels overwritten - I sometimes felt that urge to skim over redundant paragraphs.
Recommended: This is right in the pocket of the YA market and all my teen readers out there (love you guys!) are sure to enjoy and devour it and maybe even find it earning a starred place on your favourites shelf. It's an entry level novel into dystopian worlds, perfectly suitable for mature middle grade readers. It's a squeaky clean read.
As for adult readers who are still digging the YA scene, it's enjoyable, sure, and perfect for a rainy-day comfort read. As Alexa said: A word of warning though, if you are looking for a book to fill the void left by the end of The Hunger Games, this may not be for you, despite the dystopian tag. Matched is more reminiscent of the coming of age/romance you might expect from Sarah Dessen. It is quiet, and it is beautiful, and it is well worth reading. (and I get what she means) - which worked okay for me as I love that Sarah Dessen vibe. ...more
This is a hard one for me to rate. First off, I flew through it - it's an easy and fairly addictive read - but I don't think it's a book that2.5 stars
This is a hard one for me to rate. First off, I flew through it - it's an easy and fairly addictive read - but I don't think it's a book that will linger or be a favourite.
For a serial killer book, it wasn't that creepy and there weren't clues for the reader to feel a part of the investigation (which is part of the thrill for me as a reader). I can't help but think of books in this similar genre in Adult fiction which pack a lot more punch, and maybe it's unfair to compare a YA novel with Adult thrillers, but it fell a little flat for me - there was nothing original or surprising about the killing/investigation part of the story.
The book really was more about Jay and Violet. Unlike most people, I found Jay to be fairly dull despite his gorgeous grin. We are told he and Violet are best friends, told he is hot and then watch for a good quarter of the book how half the girls in the school are falling all over him. The scenes with him and Violet were sweet, but he didn't do anything to impress me. His dialogue was standard, neither funny or brilliant.
That is, until half way through. Okay, so after the party - things turned (suddenly) hot and Jay's personality finally showed up. It just took half a book for him to get there. And considering nothing happened between him and Violet for the first half, well, Derting more than made up for that in the second half. Jay knows how to charm the parents but once they leave the room, he brings the sexy right on back.
As for the supporting cast of friends, they all seemed a little interchangeable - none made an impression on me.
I did love the family vibe, Vi's parents were cool and so was her uncle.
This book is written for teens and it probably is the perfect blend for them - some wish fulfilment with a hot stud of a best friend turned boyfriend, lots of sexy/hot scenes that are still PG, a not too freaky serial killer to ease young teens into the genre - (although when I was a teen I read lots of thriller/killer adult fiction with some freaky bad dudes and coped pretty well :) ...more