Yes, I liked this a lot. I really like Lauren Oliver's writing especially. So many YA authors try so hard to write all purpley and pretty, it's nice tYes, I liked this a lot. I really like Lauren Oliver's writing especially. So many YA authors try so hard to write all purpley and pretty, it's nice to see a more in your face, IDGAF attitude. Full review to come (maybe)...more
There's just not a lot of good things to say about Need. The characters are flat and the story doesn't flow well. I've read this story many times andThere's just not a lot of good things to say about Need. The characters are flat and the story doesn't flow well. I've read this story many times and seen it done much better....more
The acknowledgments say it all "I wanted to write something edgy". yeah, I could tell. Perhaps this book would have been more successful for me if youThe acknowledgments say it all "I wanted to write something edgy". yeah, I could tell. Perhaps this book would have been more successful for me if you worried less about writing edgy characters and more about writing complete and complex and honest ones.
Ok, time for the longer review.
For those of you who think The Fault in Our Stars romanticizes terminal illness, All the Bright Places romanticizes mental illness. Depression is not cute. Being suicidal is not quirky. Being in a codependent relationship that encourages harmful behaviors as "mysterious and sexy" is not a relationship status anyone should want.
I felt like these characters were personifying text book mental illnesses and that they weren't people on their own. Violet in particular was very flat, and Finch was such a manic pixie dream boy it made my eyes hurt. This book was so full of indie rom-com tropes it was really tiresome to read. I thought my eyes were going to roll right out of my head.
However the biggest complaint I have was the ending. It's a spoiler but suffice it to say I hate when any character's pain, abuse, or death is used as a point of growth for another character. It's dismissive of that character's pain by making it all about the main character. (view spoiler)[ I absolutely hated the way Finch's death was a literal teaching moment for Violet to learn to live life to the fullest. I find it so emotionally manipulative. Finch's pain doesn't matter, the fact that literally every person in his life, including Violet, fucked him over doesn't matter, because Violet learned a life lesson at the end. The "treasure hunt" she goes on at the end is frankly, disgusting. (hide spoiler)]
This book is incredibly misleading about how to help someone with a mental illness who is struggling with suicidal thoughts. This book heavily implies that no one could help Finch and that his death was "tragically beautiful". The thing is, no matter how hopeless it seems you can get help. A suicidal person is never truly alone, if friends and family won't listen there are hotlines and services in place. Someone will help you. Books like this that romanticize mental illness and suicide as a "tragic but beautiful flaw" are incredibly damaging and dangerous.
"The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park" fuck off.
This was a great concept, but I felt like the pacing was off. They mystery of The Silence of Six was overshadowed by just running away from the FBI. TThis was a great concept, but I felt like the pacing was off. They mystery of The Silence of Six was overshadowed by just running away from the FBI. The mystery wasn't paced well and a lot of the puzzles were easily solved by Max. His greatest challenge was just not being caught, not in solving any computer problems.
What I really didn't like was how heavy handed the author got with the whole net neutrality political argument. The book was really hitting you over the head with GOVERNMENT SPYING BAD, INTERNET ANONYMITY GOOD. I get this is a book for teen who may not have ever considered these concepts before, but geez have a little subtlety please. It did get preachy at times which I didn't appreciate and I doubt teen readers will either. I get what it was trying to do, but I don't think it was fully effective.
Overall though I did enjoy The Silence of Six. It had an interesting concept with some great action scenes. However the more sophisticated political themes didn't quite hit the mark....more
Crown of Midnight was an improvement over Throne of Glass in terms of writing finesse, but I really disliked some of the tropes present in the plot. ICrown of Midnight was an improvement over Throne of Glass in terms of writing finesse, but I really disliked some of the tropes present in the plot. It went from just cliche to, I hate to say it, problematic.
First let's talk about what I liked. The writing greatly improved. We were shown a lot more, especially Celaena's assassin abilities. The action was much more exciting in Crown of Midnight and we went a lot deeper into the ethical/moral issues of assassinating people. I especially like the horrifying Frankenstein's monster-esque thing in the library and I really hope we see more of that scary shit. I'm also super interested in Dorian and whatever the heck is going on with him. Some crazy stuff happens to him in the book and it's pretty interesting.
There were some major plot point that I didn't like however. First I didn't think the overall magic system was explained well. I don't understand the context of the two types of magic and how they work, why some of them have disappeared and why only certain people can wield the power. It's almost like different rules about magic are just thrown in as plot elements are introduced. There are no rules to this made up world.
But now let's talk about what really ticked me off and dropped the rating a whole star. These are HUGE SPOILERS btw, read at your own risk!
(view spoiler)[OK. The first spoiler I didn't like was the big reveal at the end. I know we're supposed to be like OMG CELAENA IS FEY AND A QUEEN HOLY SHIZ! much like Chaol, but I really was just confused. We've spent two whole novels largely in Celaena's head, and she never once thought about the fact that her parents were royalty/magical? It'd be one thing if she didn't know or had amnesia (which is weak but whatever) but the way it's presented it just kind of pissed me off. This plot "twist" was for shock value and it just felt like trying to trick the readers.
Now for the biggest spoiler, Nehemia's death. Her death was Celaena's woman in a refrigerator. Nehemia is not a character valued for herself, she is only important to motivate Celaena to give a damn. AND of course the ONLY character of color is killed off in a terrifying and brutal way. I do not believe that Nehemia is more valuable dead, it just furthers how shitty Celaena is as a person and friend. She sucks major. Nehemia deserved so much better. (hide spoiler)]
So there you have it. The writing is getting better, but the tropes are worse and more damaging to women's and people of color's representation in fantasy. I really don't understand how these are so popular when there are so many glaring problematic tropes. I will give the third book a chance, but I am about done with this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a fun novel. I really enjoyed the concept of telling the novelist's life story as well as their novel. I did find myself more interested in DThis was a fun novel. I really enjoyed the concept of telling the novelist's life story as well as their novel. I did find myself more interested in Darcy's life, but Afterworlds had a fantastic beginning and ending. I also really appreciated all of the minorities, we have prominent Indian and gay characters and that's awesome.
I did have a few issues with the overall writing though. After the really fantastic beginning, Afterworlds really lagged for me. I don't think the underworld was presented in a very interesting way and as I got further into Darcy's life I found it hard to figure out if the novel was pre or post edits. It felt like it was pre edits and I found myself wishing Nan's comments were incorporated. I honestly would have liked a little less "YA hotness" and a little more death cult/serial killer. (view spoiler)[ Although I suspect this novel is way self aware of real life YA paranormal romances and I think he purposefully used tropes of the genre to influence Darcy's story. But even if his intentions were to have commentary on current YA trends, I still wanted Afterworlds to be an interesting book in it's own right, and unfortunately that wasn't always the case. (hide spoiler)]
I thought both relationships to be very insta-love (though it was worse in the novel) and that made them very unbelievable. I really had issues believing Darcy's relationship because she didn't really have any inner turmoil over it but she'd never really thought about it either. Everyone in her life was totally ok with it too, and I wish there had been just a little more introspection and discussion. And Darcy never really had any major conflict with people in her life, she just stressed about writing. I really liked the writing world stuff, especially as someone who has followed the YA publishing world very closely for 4+ years, but I would have liked more general life growth as well.
Even though I had some issues with the execution, I loved the concept of Afterworlds and I'm really hoping we will get a sequel. I personally would love to read Pyromancer and I hope that happens.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is just good old fashioned horror fun. One of my favorite things to do is pick a random horror movie off of netflix and just dive in, and that'sThis is just good old fashioned horror fun. One of my favorite things to do is pick a random horror movie off of netflix and just dive in, and that's what this book felt like. There's not a lot of character development or deep meaning, but honestly I didn't want that.
I thought The Merciless did a great job of keeping me guessing. I couldn't tell for a long time if this book was going to have some sort of paranormal element or if it was going to be a case of revenge gone wrong. Both are really awesome horror stories, and I would have liked either path. I really did like the way this one turned out. The only aspect I didn't like was the fact that this is going to be a series. I think it would have been a better stand alone with slightly different pacing. However I will be picking the next one up, but I really hope they don't change the covers (seriously, this cover is so perfect I love it).
I would recommend The Merciless to anyone who enjoys possession based horror movies. It's a little like The Craft meets The Exorcist and I really liked it....more
This was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book wThis was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book was well paced, with just the right amount of clues and red herrings to keep you guessing. I did spoil myself for this book, because I'm a idiot, and I would recommend resisting the urge. It is best to go into this one with no expectations. I know that will be hard because of all the hype....more
I enjoyed Fangirl a lot. I really related to Cath, especially in the beginning. I remember calling my mom the first week of college and crying about hI enjoyed Fangirl a lot. I really related to Cath, especially in the beginning. I remember calling my mom the first week of college and crying about how I wasn't making friends and that I felt left out and lonely. And, like Cath, that alone-ness was really self inflicted. I just wasn't giving people a chance.
I had the biggest problem with the ending which felt really rushed. I felt like a lot of things were glossed over or not fully addressed. Namely what happened with Cath and her mom's relationship as well as finishing up Carry On and the fiction writing assignment. Those were three huge parts of Cath's life and they didn't get any resolution.
Overall the writing and character are adorable, but it needed some plotting work.
Oh and did anyone else find Simon Snow WAY lamer than Harry Potter? Because I did....more