I have so many thoughts about A World Without You!
So, I have to admit that I knew I wanted to read this book, but that I didn't know what it was abouI have so many thoughts about A World Without You!
So, I have to admit that I knew I wanted to read this book, but that I didn't know what it was about going in. At first, I didn't realize it was a contemporary, because of the whole school-for-kids-with-special-powers aspect. As the book went on, I realized that, in fact, the book was not sci-fi or paranormal or fantasy- basically, whatever genre you classify kids-with-special powers as. That was when I realized the book was more contemporary than anything else. I was a little disappointed that it was a contemporary novel, because I think it had a lot of promise if it had stuck to the idea that Sofia was trapped in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, and not the aftermath of her suicide. I do think the books works better if you don't know that going in, because the paralyzing fear that something is wrong is much more palpable. I kind of liked that I didn't realize something was wrong at first, because everything seemed so normal. But it was frustrating at the same time, because it became a story I wasn't as interested in.
I think, had I known going in that Bo had severe mental illness, I would have spent the book frustrated knowing what was going on, and waiting for him to catch up and figure everything out. There is an undercurrent of fear and confusion and you really see Bo lose all sense of time and reality. It's also the most severe case I've seen in any YA book that deals with mental illness- I think Identical by Ellen Hopkins is the only other one I can think of that comes remotely close, and it's pretty similar in that you don't realize what's going on until the end of the novel.
I did really want the story where Bo has to go back in time to save Sofia- partly because that part of the novel really interested me, but I'm also curious about how Revis would tell that story.
I feel like the blurb gave away way too much. I know I mentioned that this a book that may be better if you don't know what's going on, and you're figuring things out right alongside Bo. But I still think it works better if you know nothing.
We also get a few chapters narrated by Phoebe, who is Bo's sister. I feel like her chapters were meant to show how different they are, and how everything that is going on with Bo affects her. Her chapters were boring and flat, and I feel like all she did was complain about how no one paid attention to her because she's the good student who's going off to college. It's clear that her parents seem to be focused on Bo- which is understandable- but I do understand that her parents probably don't give her a lot of attention because she's the one they DON'T have to worry about. And given everything going on with Bo, she probably feels like she has to do well.
It is hard to say for sure, though, since most of the book focused on Bo, and we only get a few chapters focusing on Phoebe.
The last chapter- an epilogue- was really weird for me. It did leave you wondering if maybe Bo did have some sort of power or ability but no one realized it because it presented as something else. It's ambiguous enough that you're not sure, but...I am not a fan of the epilogue. I know it's trying to wrap up with what happened the previous chapter, and that if the book had ended with that chapter...it would have been a hell of a cliffhanger. But I felt like the epilogue took away a lot of the fear and confusion that we saw in the chapter before it, and it really lost the darkness and edge that it would have had otherwise.
The moment between Bo and Phoebe was weird- if Bo does have a mental illness, then was it just a coincidence? It did feel off, like maybe he did have some sort of supernatural ability, but no one believed him. I wonder if maybe he did, but it wasn't said outright, because it would have contradicted everything in the book? Maybe I'm wrong, but I felt like you could see it that way.
My Rating: 3 stars. I do think it works better if you don't read the blurb, but it's also a really good look at mental illness. It's just not for me....more
After reading Tiny Pretty Things, and after hearing there was a sequel, I knew I had to read Shiny Broken Pieces. It picks up where Tiny Pretty ThingsAfter reading Tiny Pretty Things, and after hearing there was a sequel, I knew I had to read Shiny Broken Pieces. It picks up where Tiny Pretty Things left off, and you learn what happened the night Gigi was injured. It’s been a while since I’ve read TPT, but I remembered enough to get me through SBP, and it really is Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. Only this time, there is a new mean girl, and I was really sad to see the change that Gigi made. At least she recognized it wasn’t who she wanted to be, and the events from months earlier really changed her- and not for the better. I get things really changed her, but she became the person that hurt her. I was a little surprised by Cassie, and I didn’t realize how much things changed her until the end of the book. I don’t really remember her from TPT, though, so that might be why I was surprised.
There is a lot of mystery and back-stabbing, and that kept me going, even though I found I didn’t care for Bette’s story or June’s story all that much. June, I think, has the most to decide, and it seems like her future is up in the air. It’s very open-ended, and even though she’s set to go to college, there is also the possibility of going to Salt Lake City and dancing in their ballet company, but you don’t get a decision either way. It does seem like she was leaning towards ballet, but at the same time, it seems like maybe she’s done ballet too? I am curious about Gigi and Bette, and where things ended with them.
To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I did really like it, and I did like seeing the fallout of Gigi’s injury. I also really liked seeing them go for their dreams, which they all worked really hard for. But it didn’t have the same appeal as the first book, and some of the mystery didn’t hold quite as well this time around. It did hold my attention, though, and I did want to see what was really going on.
My Rating: 4 stars. I really liked it, and I liked the mystery and seeing the fall-out from the previous book....more
After reading Everything, Everything, I knew I couldn’t wait for Nicola Yoon’s next book. Unfortunately, this book was not for me. I wanted to love itAfter reading Everything, Everything, I knew I couldn’t wait for Nicola Yoon’s next book. Unfortunately, this book was not for me. I wanted to love it but I couldn’t.
I did like that chapters alternated between Daniel and Natasha, and we see how both of their stories unfold. We also get chapters narrated by the people around Natasha and Daniel, and we see the history and stories of people on the periphery of their lives. I don’t know how I feel about those chapters. They made me feel even more removed from what was going on, and we see how the choices others made led to this moment in their lives.
If you don’t like insta-love, this is not the book for you. Even worse, this book tries to SCIENTIFICALLY EXPLAIN insta-love. My reaction to this: no. Please, no. Do not try to scientifically explain insta-love. That is the last thing I want to read. I thought they had no chemistry and it was creepy how obsessed Daniel was with Natasha, and how much he believed that they were meant to be together. You only caught a glimpse of her, and you decided that she was The One? Thanks, but no thanks.
I felt so bad for Natasha, who had to go back to a country that didn’t feel like home to her. I get why they had to go back, and the thing with the lawyer? She went to him for help, and he couldn’t even do that because he was too focused on his paralegal. I liked that she had hope, yet didn’t want to say something until she knew for sure what was going to happen. I did feel for Daniel, and the pressure his parents (especially his father) put on him. Something about Daniel’s family in particular seemed very stereotypical to me but at the same time, that was much more interesting to me than the romance between Natasha and Daniel. I really wish the story was more about them and their families then their romance.
My Rating: 2 stars. I liked it a lot less than Everything, Everything, and the romance (and scientific explanation of it) were not for me. I did like the family dynamics and the thing both Natasha and Daniel were facing....more