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
Sad to say this much anticipated book did not work for me. It felt so over-the-top for me (both in prose and in those quirky larger-than-life characteSad to say this much anticipated book did not work for me. It felt so over-the-top for me (both in prose and in those quirky larger-than-life characters and situations). I found it really hard to engage on any emotional journey as convoluted sentences kept throwing me out of the story. Quite a bizarre book, really, that seemed to attempt to be so many things (quirky! arty! serendipitous! melancholy!) but in the end just felt all over the place for me.
Also not a fan of long standing conflict that could be easily resolved if the main characters just a decent conversation together.
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
I gave this 100 pages and I am not sure if it was my mood at the time or if it just wasn't for me? Despite some lovely turns of phrase, I couldn't finI gave this 100 pages and I am not sure if it was my mood at the time or if it just wasn't for me? Despite some lovely turns of phrase, I couldn't find any plot or get sucked into the character's lives. Feeling a bit bereft about this, I thought I would love this for sure :/ ...more
I am genuinely baffled as to why I couldn't find any magic in here like everyone else?
Fact is, the 75% I read was such a strPermanently stalled at 75%
I am genuinely baffled as to why I couldn't find any magic in here like everyone else?
Fact is, the 75% I read was such a struggle, but I persevered valiantly beyond my usual point as I was certain I could love this.
My reading experience looked like this: let's do this! concentrating on history lessons hard. bored. confused. mild intrigue. bored. confused again. c'mon, concentrate harder and get into this. finally admitting defeat. Now: confessing my shame....more
This was a breezy enough read with a writing style reminiscent of Sarah Dessen. The next door neighbour family dynamic was well crafted and my fave feThis was a breezy enough read with a writing style reminiscent of Sarah Dessen. The next door neighbour family dynamic was well crafted and my fave feature of the book. Swoony readers can probably get a good swoon over Jase Garrett (niiicely done).
Unfortunately, it just didn't match my reading tastes. I found the plot fairly slow moving and then all of a sudden crazy-town. The melodrama was what killed it for me in the end. Not so much the twist, but the way certain characters were crafted into over-the-top villains, stunned me right out of the story. ...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
It is easy for me to see why this is a beloved book for so many people. It is intelligent, clever, twist-y, tightly written and has many gasp-did-thatIt is easy for me to see why this is a beloved book for so many people. It is intelligent, clever, twist-y, tightly written and has many gasp-did-that-just-happen moments. It also has strong, admirable characters and a tortured, brave hero in Gen. It's the kind of fantasy not just written for teens, but smart enough to stand outside the YA genre on it's own.
As for me, I have the lowest rating out of all my friends on here O.o
What can I say? It's a book worthy of 5 stars, for sure. But I never rate the book, per se (it's hard enough rating as it is sometimes. I am often in a quandary over the whole star rating thing). My star ratings are an indication of my love/enjoyment of the book.
Here, my three stars say I liked it: I could see it's quiet brilliance but it just (sadly, weirdly) didn't do much for me. I enjoyed my time with it but it didn't capture me (or bewitch me) as it seems to have done for everyone else.
(this review isn't so much a review as a reason for my (lower) rating. As I know many of you will wonder what went wrong, haha. Nothing, just not a "me book" (Although I tried to love it, I really did ~ also, I actually think I enjoyed #1 The Thief more, contrary to popular opinion)...more
The story is *just* starting to get fascinating, but unfortunately I cannot see myself enjoying this enough toMade it to page 200. And... that's it.
The story is *just* starting to get fascinating, but unfortunately I cannot see myself enjoying this enough to keep wading through it.
The beginning was incredibly slow, and far too suicidal-emo (without stirring any compassion in me) for me to connect to our depressive narrator.
I also found it text book style info-dumpy in parts (regarding music and the French history). This did not help me feel transported into the story.
The French revolution-y part of the story was only introduced around page 120 (or there-abouts ~ going off memory here), and it is barely under way at 200 pages in. I think there could be a story in here that would amaze/move me, but surrounded by a cast of characters I cannot connect to I am finding it hard to care.
Back in the old days I would probably finish this and find it 3 star satisfactory (assuming the good bits are just around the corner). But now I am more confident in my reading tastes and prefer to spend my time reading something that beings intrinsic enjoyment to me the whole way along. ...more
My first Jennifer Echols book was Going Too Far which I enjoyed to the point of feeling sheepish about how much I loved it. It was compulsively readabMy first Jennifer Echols book was Going Too Far which I enjoyed to the point of feeling sheepish about how much I loved it. It was compulsively readable with a lot of slow-burning sexual tension YA style. Instant fan-girl.
However, I am completely baffled by her latest book Love Story :/
The set-up is all there for a classic love/hate romance: misunderstandings and that fun kind of antagonistic behaviour between two romantic leads.
But it's like she set up the premise then decided to make it a softer more heart-felt love story and somehow the book seems confused about what it is trying to be. It's a mish-mash of a story ~ trying to be funny/quirky/flirty one moment and then deep/meaningful the next. I can't quite put my finger on why but it just felt like the story wasn't all there ~ like there were some great ideas and an awesome set-up and she tried to take it it deeper and somehow it just all flopped out wrong.
I have always been impressed with the way Echols builds romantic and sexual tension between her characters but it was lacking here. Erin and Hunter both knew they liked each other and they fumbled along with that knowledge until the end. There was no tension sizzling underneath it. Echols is also the queen of sexytimes but she kept it quite tame (blink and you'll miss it) in here. Hunter was a nice guy with some sweet lines but he wasn't swoon-y for me. (I think maybe Echols does bad/misunderstood boys best)
I also missed some of Echol's trademark grin-worthy dialogue. I like her usual snappy one-liner style and long-running jokes yet didn't find much humour in here.
Without Echol's usual pizazz and spark in the core conflict, it was easier to notice other areas that didn't seem fine-tuned. The setting was not strong, secondary characters firmly 2D and the overall cohesiveness of the story felt loosely pulled together. (I can overlook these things for a good romp. I sometimes think 2D secondary characters are perfect in certain books, yet they needed to be more fleshed out here to help carry the burden of the flailing story)
I felt like reading this was like reading a warm-up to a real story. When I finished I thought: is that it?
My review feels a bit muddled and I think that is because I am still muddled about this book.
Can't wait to see what you guys think :)
(Thanks S & S galley grab for the egalley :)...more
I have immensely enjoyed the first two books in Jenny Han's Summer Series. They are a bit fluffy and full of ANGST and DRAMA and produce the occasionaI have immensely enjoyed the first two books in Jenny Han's Summer Series. They are a bit fluffy and full of ANGST and DRAMA and produce the occasional 'eye-rolling moment from me ~ but they are also charming and nostalgic and summer-y and somehow authentic to the teen voice. I found them utterly compelling and deliciously addictive curl-up-in-the-sun summer goodness. Good times.
I was absolutely hanging out for the third and final instalment. Especially thrilled with the characters having aged and it being more in the upper YA spectrum that I so loved (with college-aged protags)
Rave reviews of this book did not prepare me for the train wreck experience of reading it.
As a reader I do not appreciate being manipulated by an author into feeling one way or another about certain characters. I prefer characters to be written with authenticity and subtlety and being drawn into a story and being allowed to make up my own mind about how I feel.
I can handle characters behaving badly (I LOVE you Tom Mackee!), however, this story was completely biased. One character was continually showed as flawed, the other either had his flaws romanticised into strengths or, in most cases, shown to be continually superior with no flaws.
It was a recurring theme even in minor circumstances, eg: character A is messy, can't cook and liked drinking. Oh! but character B is so tidy, a healthy cook and displays mature drinking habits. It actually felt patronising to me as a reader.
I did not feel annoyed at the characters. I felt annoyed at the author who wrote with such an obvious bias. Who took a charismatic character and turned him into a bland douche with no stage presence at all so that her readers would all sway to her POV and guarantee a satisfying ending. I felt Han compromised her characters for the sake of a contrived plot.
The plot itself didn't have a lot of heart.
Belly herself did not even seem excited about her choices so I am wondering why she made them and why she stuck to them when they were creating such havoc on her relationship with her mum and adding stresses to her life. It did not make sense.
For a novel that deals with a character becoming engaged and approaching their own wedding, it was decidedly unromantic with no tingles of wedding-bell anticipation. Han has proved in earlier work that she can create nostalgia and magic and you think a wedding themed book would be a sparkling setting for her to show-case her talents. Instead it felt weary and dogmatic and contrived: it seemed the main event of the novel was there as a way to add (forced) conflict rather than as a character-driven choice.
There was a lack of swoon for a book that is billed as a romance. Belly wasn't swooning and neither was I. Which is a shame as Han has previously showed she is a master at creating just the amount of lovely-sighing-tingly-swoon.
As for the final ending of the trilogy: it ended how I wanted it to end (I had been hoping for that outcome since book #1). However, by the time it did end I found I had somehow become so disengaged that it was all rather anti-climatic for me.
I do not know how such a promising series stretched out to become such a mess. I am wondering if the author cares for her characters or just used them as pawns to create a (lacklustre and predictable) drama.
I am also feeling out on a limb here amongst so many rave reviews. It's been exhausting. I need someone to commiserate with. I need a massage and nice strong drink.
(I can't say I really like this one ~ but 2 stars for old-times sake) EDIT: the more I think about this book the more it annoys me. I'm going with my rarely given 1 star rating 'I didn't like it' ...more
This is what I thought The Mockingbirds would be: a powerful, heart-felt, intriguing and emotional read. It has a lot of components that appeal to me This is what I thought The Mockingbirds would be: a powerful, heart-felt, intriguing and emotional read. It has a lot of components that appeal to me like mad: boarding school, mysterious society, fierce vigilante justice with a traumatised but strong and sympathetic main character.
I was SO thrilled to finally have a copy, especially after reading so many fab reviews.
Unfortunately, I found myself... kinda bored while reading this.
First off ~ the first chapter is intriguing. The prose utterly appealing ~ kind of sparse and sharp and a little bit ache-y. I liked that.
I also loved all the little references to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and I adored the music stuff ~ the Mozart, the piano playing and the passion for classical music. It was really well-expressed and very cool.
However, as the book progressed, I found myself not caring much due to not being able to connect to the characters. I don’t know what it was about Alex that just made not feel anything, really, about her plight. Because I think date rape is horrific (as anyone would). Yet she was so distanced from me, I couldn’t feel her emotions. I didn’t feel compelled by her story.
The other characters all seemed interchangeable with each other ~ none of them rose above just being characters in a book. They felt flat and one dimensional. The love interest had no real spark ~ but, hey, he was a great sensitive guy.
Because I didn’t connect to the characters, I wasn’t whisked into the story and it made it harder for me to suspend my disbelief regarding the set-up of the novel. For this kind of premise ~ I really need to be engaged and rooting for the main character which unfortunately didn’t happen for me. Little things regarding the plot snuck in and bugged me. Sigh...
I am obviously in the minority here. There’s mostly high ratings and glowing reviews ~ yet reading through a lot of them it seems some people are all pumped up about the importance of this book in addressing date rape. It makes me wonder if people liked the book due to the powerful message or if they genuinely had a brilliant time reading it, you know?
Overall, I found it to be a stark kind of dull read. Yet, it really is just my objective opinion. I did like the idea and kudos to the author for tackling such an intense and relevant subject. The prose was well written (perhaps a similar vibe to Courtney Summers) so I’d still consider reading Daisy Whitney’s future books ~ I guess I’m just disappointed I didn’t connect more to this title.
I give this two stars because, for me, it was just okay. ...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