Received for free from Netgalley in exchange for a review.
My impression of H20 was actually mostly positive. It’s a book about an apocalyptic future where an asteroid almost hit the earth, but scientists managed to blow it up. But in exchange for avoiding that catastrophe, the asteroid mixed with the earth’s atmosphere, releasing a super parasite that attaches to water and destroys humans almost on contact. It’s a really bloody, awful death.
For one, the book goes into just enough detail about everything to paint a picture of what the world is like without dragging it out, or making it monotonous. With those small details, the author still manages to paint the picture of the world being miserable and, often, absolutely gross, just as a landscape full of dead and decomposing bodies should be.
I also do like that Ruby learns from her behavior and realizes what she does wrong. I feel more sympathetic towards her than a lot of YA protagonists I’ve been reading about these days. It is a bit ruined by the fact that she is so awful to “the nerd.” It just wasn’t congruent with the way she seemed to be characterized otherwise. Yes she was portrayed as ungrateful, but every teenager is ungrateful. There wasn’t really any explanation about her being popular before the parasite destroyed the world, jut a typical teen with her friends. And to be honest, if I were in the same situation, I wouldn’t care who it was, or if they had been the biggest geek in school, as she always describes him. I’d be happy to have someone I knew alive, especially considering he was a lot more prepared to take care of himself than she was.
The ending was also rather rushed, and I never felt like there was a particular climax to the story. It was a good book, but it fell short in any sort of immediate plot other than “get here, then get here.” So it’s average, thanks to the author thankfully not falling into a lot of YA cliché characterization....more
I wanted to like this book. And there were times where I did, but unfortunately they were very few and mostly clustered in the beginning and end.
The writing was… very mediocre. It had the problem of way over-sharing. It was more like a bulleted list of “this happened, and then this, and then this” where a lot of the non-essential events that did nothing but fill the gaps between actions could have been cut. And of course related to this, it tended to gloss over important things. They spend time being excited about something, and then it happens but it only takes about a paragraph, literally “And then this happened” and a scene change sometimes.
It was also extremely cheesy. I felt like I was reading a daytime soap opera instead of a young adult novel about teenagers who would never talk like that. There was simply too much effort put into making them seem like they were in love and apparently not enough thought into the actual book and its plot.
One of the consistency problems I had is a spoiler so tread with care. Danny’s friend share ends up being pregnant and it turns out she’s an entire three months along. She says she had been suspecting for a while and after she gets over the shock, Danny says she is “Almost like the old Cher.” Except he never knew the old Cher. If she was preparing for the prospect that she could be pregnant that’s all he knew of her- and this entire book takes place, except for the last chapter’s time skip, over the course of about two weeks.
There’s also the smaller one where Danny asks about and is told TWICE that his mom, her best friend and his father are reforming a band they had in college. Listen if you’re going to ask a question Danny, because otherwise I’m chalking it up to bad editing.
Honestly it’s not bad and most inoffensive towards the groups it’s trying to support so it isn’t a complete flop. But it reads a lot more like a first draft than it should....more
Like a lot of people, I’m a pretty loyal fan of Sarah Dessen and her books. Saint Anything is herRead more reviews at my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Like a lot of people, I’m a pretty loyal fan of Sarah Dessen and her books. Saint Anything is her most recent one, filled with just as much heartbreak and recovering from tragedy as her books tend to be. This time we follow Sydney, whose family is still reeling from her brother being sent to jail for hitting a kid while drunk driving.
As always, Dessen writes characters well, full of quirks and reason to like them even when they’re being unreasonable (for the most part). The acceptance of their situation is not rushed; in fact, I felt like it went at the right pace, especially since the story takes place not that long after Peyton was put in jail. Sydney’s mother is a bit frustrating, with reason to be, though I felt like it was laid on a little bit thick in some parts.
The only problem I really had with the book, though, was something that seems common in Dessen’s books: she loves flipping around in time. One minute they’re in the present, and another minute there’s a flashback. Sometimes there’s a flashback within a flashback and I just got completely turned around and confused at just what was going on in the present. I feel like for how long she’s been around, Dessen could learn to write a bit more linear.
Despite that, though, this is definitely a book I’d recommend. So happy reading!...more
This book was received from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Femme isn’t all that impressive. I finished it in a single day, but that’s only because it was so short. I’ve never read a book in this series, but looking at other reviews, there are a lot of them saying they don’t expect much from it, and I feel like this isn’t an exception. There’s too much going on and it’s glossed right over within a half a page to a page. The entire climax of the book is resolved in a page when they get into the school and Sophie’s friend is like “Oh it’s over.” It’s some buildup for a resolution that isn’t satisfying at all.
There’s also a lot of stereotypes. The entire book focuses on it, in fact. You have Clea the butch lesbian, Sophie the ‘femme’ lesbian, the stereotypical mean girls. There’s a talk with Sophie’s teacher about how you shouldn’t be afraid of labels because they can help you know who you are and blah, blah, blah, but it doesn’t really stick with the reader.
Not to mention this book falls into the category of ‘adult who thinks they know how to use teen slang when they really, really don’t.’ It’s painful to read some of this stuff.
The only reason I gave it two stars on Goodreads instead of one is because I did manage to finish reading it without feeling the need to toss my Kindle across the room, so at least there’s that. But it goes into the increasing pile of ‘coming out stories that I wouldn’t recommend.’...more
Received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
There’s really not much to say about this book. It was sort of cute and had some pretty original concepts in it, such as the funk, but I found myself bored with it pretty quickly. The side characters, especially the adults, tend to be cardboard cutouts there for the purpose of advancing the plot or, worse, just being mean to Anni so that she can talk about it for a page or two. I suppose the point is to show that she really didn’t belong in her previous life, but I found it annoying because there were plenty of ways to go about that without sacrificing characters to the cardboard gallery.
The writing itself is extremely amateurish too, a lot of rapid-fire dialog with no narrative or explanation, just the author expecting the reader to follow when I really didn’t. It might have been the whole “I was bored” thing, but there wasn’t any substance to it most of the time and yes, that doesn’t help to keep my attention.
Not to mention that like the previous book I received from this promotion company, the formatting was horrible. Lots of line breaks in the middle of sentences and even words when there was plenty of space left. I usually read landscape format so I tried switching to portrait, but it was still a problem and either way, the pictures at the start of every chapter would be sliced into pieces between pages, kind of ruining the effect.
So yeah this book was kind of a disaster. No one I’d recommend....more
Received an ARC as a gift from someone I follow on Twitter.
Evidence of Things Not Seen is an interesting book, in that I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it before. While it’s obvious the author was trying to make it mysterious, so that we’re never quite sure whether the boy was kidnapped, wandered off, or if he really could have slipped into an alternate dimension. This is told by alternating chapters that are from the point of view of one or two people, and each chapter only loosely relates to any others, so other than cameos, you never really see other characters again.
Of course some things you do find out about, because a new character is related to the last, but it still seems a bit disjointed to be called a novel. And while I’m not exactly squeamish, quite a lot of the chapters center simply around abuse. While of course it’s a horrible thing, I feel like perhaps the writer didn’t think it through too much and simply went for shock value for a lot of the book.
While I did enjoy finishing it, I wouldn’t say that it was anything special. The disjointed chapters, sudden resolution and the fact that it feels like the author was going for shock factor a lot didn’t put it at anything above average in my mind....more
When she was little, Riley and her brother Aidan lost their parents in an oil refinery expYou can read more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
When she was little, Riley and her brother Aidan lost their parents in an oil refinery explosion. From there, their lives were pretty much nothing but downs. Their aunt and uncle mistreated them, everyone in the group home they lived in through high school hated Riley, etc etc etc.
This is about where I started having problems with it. Riley isn’t that compelling of a character, and she actually has a pretty bad mean streak. Not the ‘she’s traumatized and has a hard time controlling her emotions,’ kind, though. She, and pretty much everyone in the book, suffer from what I like to call Not Like Other Girls Syndrome. Phrases like “They’re so shallow” or “They look so generic” followed by “But we’re great!” are pretty common, from Riley, Aidan, and all their friends. It’s treated like it’s a good thing, that she’s looking down on girls that she doesn’t even know and probably don’t care about her.
It also felt incredibly over-dramatic. I’ve heard of mean girls, but the way she’s treated through the entire novel just felt like all the author could think of for conflict for most of the book was making Riley suffer at the hands of mean girls as much as possible. There’s not much sympathy to be had for her, either, because a great deal of the book is done in summary, saying ‘this happened and then this happened’ rather than actually playing out the events. We’re told a whole lot (including about characters, how they supposedly act etc) but we never see it.
I don’t know a whole lot about the subject matter either, but I have a feeling there wasn’t much research done into group homes and the foster care system, either. I just felt like in the real world, even with the horror stories about the foster care system, Riley and Aidan would’ve been handled a lot better. With Riley’s constant nightmares and panic attacks, she would’ve been sent to therapy a lot sooner than she was (she’s pretty much forced into it near the end of the book). The book also erroneously said Riley had night terrors, when she really just had nightmares that were often followed by panic attacks.
The romance was probably one of the better features of the book, but it didn’t really redeem it. Both of the girls Riley’s interested in have the Not Like Other Girls Syndrome that I mentioned earlier, which pretty much turned me off to the idea of either of them, if they feel like the only way to compliment someone is to put down others.
Finally, although this is the first thing that made me flinch, it has a Twilight prologue. By that I mean it has a prologue that’s literally just copy-pasting part of the climax of the story. I haven’t seen one of those in a while, so I thought the trend was over. I personally find Twilight prologues sloppy and a cheap way to try to drum up drama.
I really wanted to like this book, but I’m one of those people that doesn’t feel like bad representation is better than no representation at all. I’d give this one a pass....more
I feel like Populatti tried really, really hard to be what iRead more reviews at my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Received as a free ARC from Netgalley.
I feel like Populatti tried really, really hard to be what its author wanted it to be and fell horribly short. Considering there isn’t a single review below three stars that I’ve been able to find, I was expecting it to be pretty good, but most of the time I just felt underwhelmed.
As you can see from the summary, this book is about a girl whose social life depends on a social networking site her friend made. The friend, Crystal, is trying to get into a computer science program at MIT and plans to use the site for her portfolio, so a lot of love has gone into it. Supposedly Populatti is what rules the social scene at school. Unfortunately, I’m just not seeing it.
Does anyone remember the skit from The Amanda Show, The Girls Room? It had a few girls hosting a show in the girls bathroom, and one of them was named Amber. She always introduced herself saying “I’m popular!” and her friends would back it up (and even enforce it with violence). But then it turns out most of the people in the school either don’t like Amber or don’t even know her name.
Now imagine an entire novel of Ambers, only the writer was trying to make it seem like they actually ARE popular.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing inherently against books that are about high-class people who are popular and maybe a little bitchy. But these guys are sophomores in high school, spending all their time worrying about a site that boils down to an exclusive clique that even the book admits a lot of people see no value in because they’re pretty much required to only socialize with other members.
That and I just don’t get Livi’s progression. She was apparently bullied in middle school, before she moved to Golden Hill, called ‘drumstick’ because of her supposedly large thighs. It’s implied she had no friends, and spent a lot of time alone. And then in high school she proceeds to exclude and gossip about people who aren’t in Populatti, doing the same thing. She doesn’t even realize it the entire book. Instead of realizing that Populatti is toxic and getting out, all she can think of is that her friends would stop spending time with her if she wasn’t part of the site, not realizing that they probably aren’t actually her friends if that were true. Sure in the end she realizes that Populatti isn’t perfect, but the ending left me underwhelmed just like the rest of the book. There’s really no resolution to anything.
The writing itself is problematic too most of the time. There are times when it’s great, usually descriptions, but a lot of the time, it’s much too simple, and it’s made clunky by the fact that the author likes dropping in brand names. And, I usually don’t complain about the formatting of a book since it’s an unproofed galley, but to be honest, the formatting errors were way horrid. Entire chapters would be smashed to the left, about five words per line, and often coupled with that, there would even be times when words were shifted around in sentences so that I had to read vertically to understand what the sentence was trying to say. This book was already self-published, but it only shows up at print, so I’m guessing that since it was picked up by a commercial publisher, they decided to add an e-book version, which is what I obviously got. But as I said, the errors were just a little too gross for me to overlook.
So yeah, this book was probably a little below mediocre. As I said, it tried so hard, but it just didn’t get where it wanted to....more
I will fully admit that I haven’t read any of the books that are apparently being compared to it,Read more reviews at my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
I will fully admit that I haven’t read any of the books that are apparently being compared to it, though I do have The Selection in my queue once I get through a bunch of books I requested from authors and all that fun stuff. My first impression of the book was that it was a bit unsettling; I mean, why wouldn’t it be? It seems to go back and forth on its impression of surrogates, whether they’re slaves or they’re girls who’ve gotten a great opportunity in their life.
I really did enjoy most of the book, mostly because the problems Violet faces and the ways she reacted made sense to me. She’s torn on her life in the Jewel, one she feels like she should hate and yet, every time the Duchess gives her something for acting good and staying in line, she can’t help but think, “Well, maybe this isn’t so bad.” I have to admit that I didn’t really like the fact that she started right off with thinking how unfair it all is; it’s becoming a cliché in dystopian, I think, for characters to be Rebels From the Start. One of the things some people seem to have a problem with is that she’s special, as in has “better” or “more” as far as other surrogates (as in her Augeries, in this case) but I’m one of those people that’s of the opinion that in a lot of cases, main characters do have to be special in some way. If they don’t have special powers, or a “tragic” background, then they’re just some random person thrown into the events for no reason, and I’d find that boring.
A part I can honestly say I enjoyed was the Duchess. I didn’t find myself hating her, even though we probably were supposed to. She has her obviously mean moments, of course, such as when she threatens to break Violet’s hand, and when she has Annabelle drug her so they can try to impregnate her again without even telling her it was happening. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s obvious that she’s not the worst person ever. The reveal about what the Electress is trying to do as far as surrogates makes that clear, if it’s true (though I personally am a bit skeptical, considering the Electress came from the Bank, not the Jewel, and so wasn’t raised like the royalty).
One of the problems I did have with the book, however, is the “instalove.” As in she’s in love with Ash as soon as she meets him. And I was actually fine with quite a lot of the book after they met, however… I couldn’t help but slam my head on the nearest hard surface sometimes. When she sees him and Carnelian kissing in the ballroom, for instance, even after she heard during that very first encounter that he might be obligated to kiss her or even have sex with her, if that’s what she wishes, she freaks out and thinks that he’s a traitor. I mean, seriously? I know you’re smarter than that, Violet. It seemed like it was just put in there to create drama and, in the end, the same ending could’ve been achieved by a lot of other means.
Also the ending is a cliffhanger and the worst kind too, where you’re left thinking “Where’s the rest?” as in “That’s more like the end of a chapter not a book,” and people who’ve read some of my past reviews would know I hate that device. It doesn’t stop me from being interested in the next books, but I still hate it because I find it sloppy.
Still, I think it’s worth a shot, so happy reading!...more
The first thing most people really notice about The Edge of You is that it does have a really unique setting. Alaska is a far from common setting; this is probably the first book I’ve encountered that used it where it wasn’t some kind of wilderness survival plot. And the setting is used well, with details dropped about it without seeming overbearing or too casual. There are certain times when a special setting really does need more details than usual, and I’d say this is it. Kodiak is pretty unique, and the fact that Maya is an artist worked really well, I think, because she’s the type of person that would have an eye for the type of beauty the island exhibits.
Overall, though, I’d say that the book was average. The plot wasn’t anything special; a typical ‘broken people find love’ plot set against an interesting backdrop, and I found myself annoyed with the characters sometimes. Most often Jake’s mother in the beginning. I have a lot of sympathy for someone in positions similar to hers, but I just saw no reason at all why she’d stay with her boyfriend. If he had spent even a little time taking care of her or earning money so she felt like she was dependent on him maybe, but he sucked her dry and didn’t give a darn about her, so I honestly had no sympathy that she didn’t just kick him to the curb earlier than she did. Not to mention Maya’s mother was a pretty horrible person and her father handled things incredibly badly for… no apparent reason. It even says in text near the end when he doesn’t contact her after she starts staying with Jake that he had no reason to stay silent. He could’ve at least called and made sure she was okay. He didn’t have to let her in on the Big Reveal.
I also found that the writing got really simple near the end, like the author just wanted to get it over with or something, which made those last few chapters a bit of a slog for me.
So again, I’d say this book was average. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I was hoping I would....more
I read one of Squires’ books back in January, one that she wrote later. The Rules of Regret was heRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
I read one of Squires’ books back in January, one that she wrote later. The Rules of Regret was her second book, I believe, and I can confidently say that she improved between this one and Draw Me In.
The Rules of Regret is about Darby, who’s left alone for the first time in her life when her boyfriend of six years goes to an internship in Washington, DC. Rather than moping around and letting the highlight of her summer be repainting her apartment, she decides to take a job at a summer camp so she can raise money and go see Lance as a surprise.
To Squires’ credit, the book does start out okay. But by the time she gets to camp, I feel like she tried to fit too much in and ignored some things that she should’ve had in. Suddenly Darby’s relationship has been on the rocks for years, Lance is a horrible cheater, and Darby is immediately attracted to Torin. I found myself rolling my eyes at how fast she went from “He’s so annoying” to “OMG I want to sleep with him.” It just made Darby seem shallow to me. Not to mention, the entire book is filled with heavy-handed scenes that just kind of made me roll my eyes. For instance, on their overnighter, Torin mentions how religious he is. I felt like it came straight out of left field, and it’s never even mentioned again, except for in passing by Darby, and not in reference to him.
I also really hated that Darby’s time at camp is treated with a time skip. We never get to meet any of her cabin members or any other campers when, in my opinion, it could’ve been a much better way for Darby to come to terms with herself than what actually happened. Instead we’re rushed right to her trip to DC to see Lance. It just seems to me that Squires was focusing on the wrong way to tell the story.
There were certain passages and things I enjoyed about the book, but it wasn’t enough to really bring it up to average in my mind. Which makes me glad that the author improved for her next book....more
The Tyrant’s Daughter might seem like it’s trying to be an issue book at first, and I’d say that it is. It’s a big issue book, dealing with a lot of different things at once. There’s the big plot, of course, of the main character and her family escaping from their country in the midst of a rebellion, but then it gets down to the fact that their culture is nothing like ours.
They’re outsiders in a land that is so different from their own, and it’s a little uncomfortable reading it. Not a bad uncomfortable, but I think it’s what the author was trying to accomplish with it: that even if someone is willing to learn and try to assimilate into a new culture, there’s always something about it that they just can’t get used to. Laila protests fitting in at first, but when she realizes that she’s being just as judgmental of her possible friends as many people are of her, she relaxes.
Of course all of this is happening while Laila is slowly learning that her family’s position in their country wasn’t what she thought it was. She had been brought up believing that they’re royalty, when it was really a dictatorship. While some might say that it would be hard to believe that she had never even suspected it, it reads as pretty believable to me. And the fact that she gets swept up in the affairs the government agent is trying to get her mother to be a part of just makes it easier to believe that Laila would be easily fooled. She was brought up sheltered, even on those trips to France that she lovingly describes.
The ending, while I won’t give spoilers, is bittersweet and fits, I think. The entire book is a pretty interesting ride, and I believe Carleson succeeded in showing us a story about a displaced girl trying to find her way. So, happy reading!...more
This book… where do I begin? I loved it. And I’d recommend itRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Received a free copy from Netgalley.
This book… where do I begin? I loved it. And I’d recommend it to anyone who asks, and even people who don’t. I found it clever and light, with just enough conflict to keep things tied together and not make it one of those random, light novels about, essentially, nothing. I loved the idea of ‘would this have happened if xyz?’ because it’s something people think about quite a lot. So I loved the love story part of it, as well as the twists associated with it.
What brought this book down a bit was Hadley herself. Well one I was never big on ‘unique’ names for protags because more often than not, it makes it look like the author is trying too hard. Another thing is that, while it’s completely understandable that Hadley is torn up about her father leaving, especially under the circumstances he did, it seems to me that she spends way too much time just being whiney about it. Teenagers aren’t expected to be reasonable, but I had a hard time feeling anything but annoyance towards her when she went into another ‘my dad is so horrible for leaving ugh why do I have to do this it’s so unfair’ tirade.
Still, it’s a good book and a fast read so it’s up there on my good books to rec list. So happy reading!...more
And here we have the third book in the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series. I read reviews for it afterRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
And here we have the third book in the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series. I read reviews for it after I finished it, mostly because I was curious what people would say, but didn’t want it ruined for me (I do this for a lot of books I’ve just finished reading, actually). Anyway, it seems that a lot of people didn’t like this entry in the series. But you know what I also noticed? People who didn’t like this one liked the previous books. And as you’ll know if you’ve read my previous reviews for the books, they aren’t that great, as far as I’m concerned.
This time the action really gets started. Mina experiences a tragedy very early in the book in the form of a fire in the building she lives in, which everyone believes claimed her younger brother. Pretty early on she finds out that he’s in fact been kidnapped, orchestrating another tale after she was avoiding them on purpose all summer. The book isn’t perfect, I don’t think, but it definitely shows leaps and bounds of improvement for Hahn and her writing. I actually enjoyed a good majority of it, especially near the end when everything starts being revealed and the stakes for the final book are set. It’s different from the last two books, and that’s probably why reviewers who enjoyed the first two don’t like it, but I personally think it’s much, much better.
I just wish that Hahn had started off this strong. When the final book comes out I’ll probably be looking for it, though. So, happy reading!...more
Diamonds Are a Teen’s Best Friend is one of those books thatRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Received as a free ARC from NetGalley.
Diamonds Are a Teen’s Best Friend is one of those books that seems like it should be for younger people (maybe classified as a middle-grade book instead of young adult) but it’s really not. I mean it could be, but it’s not dumbed-down like a lot of middle-grade books tend to be when dealing with some of the issues this one does.
There are a lot of clever things about this book. Of course there’s the whole thing with Nessa’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe, and the acknowledgement that it might be that she just wants a ‘friend’ who can stay with her while she and her father travel around the world so much. And Nessa’s point of view was, for the most part, pretty entertaining. She’s overly-naïve, though, and it becomes irritating when she misses obvious things that the reader got a long time ago.
There are also things here and there that the author seems to just skip over. For instance, when the book says Nessa and Marc had become friends, I’m just sitting here thinking “When?” It’s not even that anything was skipped over; because the cruise is several days, rather than the book taking place over the span of a few months for instance, the time skips aren’t that long. And it’s not even that Nessa just assumes they’re friends; Marc is really disappointed in her when he finds out about the whole Nessa’s Lessons in Love thing and says he thought she was better than that. It’s a weakness in the book that tugs it away from being as good as it might have been.
Despite that the book is pretty good, something I’d recommend to others without hesitation. So happy reading!...more
Disconnected follows the trend that started showing up in YA a while ago of rather introspective bRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Disconnected follows the trend that started showing up in YA a while ago of rather introspective books that are more about the main character and how his or her mind works with the mental illness they have than really have a plot. In this way it’s kind of iffy, because the writing is unclear in a way that has nothing to do with Millie’s confusion over who she is and how Amelia is actually a part of her, not a separate person. The writing is murky and doesn’t feel complete in the way that a rough draft would, not because it’s told from the point of view of someone whose mind isn’t “right.”
This book differs from others of its kind because it does attempt to have a plot outside of Millie’s mental illness, but it’s a little… bizarre. It feels more like a soap opera than a YA book, but I suppose that that’s where the genre is sometimes heading, with its flare for dramatics and such. I will give the author credit and say she manages to do some foreshadowing that isn’t ‘drop it right in your face’ obvious, though, so she at least tried to connect the plot throughout the book instead of having it dropped on us at the end.
I really have nothing else to say, though. The book wasn’t necessarily BAD but most of it was unremarkable and didn’t stand out that much to me. So an eh book....more
Fairest is the second book in the Unfortunate Fairytale series, and if you’ve read my review of thRead more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Fairest is the second book in the Unfortunate Fairytale series, and if you’ve read my review of the first book, you could see that I wasn’t all that impressed. The first book is one of the top free books on Amazon, hence why I saw it in the first place, and I kind of felt like that was the only reason people got it: it was free. But I couldn’t help but want to see where things went from there, so I have the other two books that are out.
This one is slightly better. In terms of the story, anyway. Things connect better, there’s foreshadowing that makes it feel more like things happen for a reason than they’re just thrown around as plot devices, and it’s just all around better. Mina’s still annoying, but the fact that she’s cast as the villain in the major tales in this book shows Hahn’s giving it a try to make it interesting rather than everything just going well for Mina.
Unfortunately the story being better doesn’t excuse the fact that it still is a chore to read. The writing itself is simple and I felt like no one had bothered to go through and edit it on even the most basic level. Seriously, it was a chore to read at times because of all the mistakes. It might not be so bad for someone who isn’t as picky, but, well, I’m a writer and so it is for me. Because of this, it gets a pretty low rating. Not only because the editing is bad, but because the mistakes are so simple and basic (dialog formatting, anyone?) that I find it lazy that she left them in for the final version.
So yeah still not a great book but I’ll be trudging through the third soon on principle. Happy reading if you choose to check them out yourself....more
Roomies is a dual-narrative story from the point of view of two giYou can read more reviews on my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.
Received from NetGalley.
Roomies is a dual-narrative story from the point of view of two girls who are going to be roommates after the summer ends and they start college. Lauren, from San Francisco with her huge family, and Elizabeth (EB) from New Jersey, with her single mother and love of landscaping. The book itself is smooth and enjoyable, not to mention a quick read. The two narratives flow together well, between the emails they share and the things that happen to them as they count down the days towards moving-in to their dorm room together.
The two girls are pretty different, avoiding a common problem that books with more than one narrator have: both of them sounding too similar to each other. Since the book has two authors I’m guessing each wrote one of the girls. I really enjoyed them both, although Lauren’s narrative was a little annoying because the text is pretty huge. I realize that they might have just wanted to have a visual difference between the two girls, but it was kind of ugly to look at, and unnecessary considering it switched between the two every chapter so you knew who to expect for a new one.
The only thing I’d really have to complain about is that EB is overdramatic more than once. It seems less a character flaw and more a plot device to put conflict between the girls, where there would probably be very little since they only talk through email. She goes into some things expecting to be offended, and takes however Lauren reacts to her news or tells her things the wrong way, making her upset and wanting to ask for a new roommate. The second time this happens she’s called out for it and realizes that she was being stupid, but it still seems stiff and unnecessary. Neither time really adds anything to the story that seems vital and they could easily be taken out or replaced with her being upset in real life, rather than at Lauren.
Overall, though, it’s a great book, and one I’d recommend. So, happy reading!...more