Well, this was terrible. I hated everything but the cover.
I’m proud of myself for finishing this The Queen of the Tearling even though it’s turned outWell, this was terrible. I hated everything but the cover.
I’m proud of myself for finishing this The Queen of the Tearling even though it’s turned out to be one of my most disappointing reads this year. HarperCollins was really pushing this title marking-wise, and while it’s not considered YA, they did offer it to quite a few YA bloggers for consideration for review. I had to be the special person to request it. I wish I hadn’t have done that.
The Queen of the Tearling tried to do a lot of things and that’s its biggest problem. You can’t have a high fantasy, historic society set in the future and NOT do any type of world building. You can’t have set rules up in your world only to break it because MAGIC. It’s not nice to tease the reader from the very beginning of SECRETS and have you supporting cast dangle it in from of us like a carrot for the entirety of the novel and NEVER TELL US by the end. Because that’s exactly what happened. It really made me question what the point of the novel was considering I learned nothing new about the plot or characters by the end.
I’m also surprised this was marketed as Adult to YA readers when it really is just a poorly plotted MG fantasy. For all this book had going for it — and it had a lot, including a movie deal with Emma Watson attached to star! — I expected so much more. I expected to be blown away, and maybe that was part of the problem, but really the level of SUCK contained in The Queen of the Tearling is baffling. I don’t recommend it at all....more
There's no doubt in my mind that most people are going to be captivated with The 5th Wave. It's engaging, features a witty protagonist, mystery, the r There's no doubt in my mind that most people are going to be captivated with The 5th Wave. It's engaging, features a witty protagonist, mystery, the right amount of anticipation and a romantic story line. Not to mention, it happens to be one of Penguin's big titles and had a lot of marketing money poured into it. It's not everyday that an ARC crosses my threshold with such a soft cover. Nor are they usually accompanied by beat up Teddies and survival bags.
I had seen the reviews surfacing and shouting praise left and right, including Kat. And for most of the novel, I was right there with most people who loved the story, rooting for Cassie. But somewhere around the 50% mark, I felt the book lost some of its original luster.
Yancey sets up the world perfectly and there's little fault to be found there. The narration is introduced by Cassie, who tells the reader of her life before the aliens came and the 4 waves that subsequently wiped out most of the human population. Her story, like the many others shown later, is not a happy one. She's suffered the death of both of her parents and the separation from her 6 year old brother, Sam. I quite enjoyed her as a main character and found her humorous despite her grim situation. Her fierce determination to save her brother from the unknown (to her, at least) horrors built just the right amount of anticipation to keep me turning page after page.
One thing I didn't expect was the multiple narrations: The Silencer, Zombie and Sam (though, he only narrates once, I believe). I'm surprised that I actually liked this style after a few reviews did mention it not working so well for them. I can definitely see it throwing readers off, but I thought it was pretty clever in the beginning. The way it switches back and forth, implanted a certain amount of doubt to the point where I there were times where I wasn't sure who was actually human or alien.
Still all of that just wasn't enough to keep away my rising disappointment. You see, The 5th Wave and I had a very interesting reading journey and I think I about expressed all of my emotions while reading it. There was the beginning where I'd learned about waves 1-4 and how horrifying they were. I had to take a moment and hug Sam's teddy. It was a depressing situation and I needed cuddles.
Then, Sam is taken away, Cassie is shot in the leg and I'm not sure if she's going to make it. And some Other Stuff happens, like a bunch of people getting all killed off at once, and I found myself flipping pages super duper fast. I couldn't wait to find out what the 5th alien wave actually was.
But that's when things start going downhill for me, because all of a sudden there's this weird insta-love romance that was, IMO, not done well at all. I get that Yancey was going for the whole "What really makes us human?" thing with this book. And having Cassie and The Silencer fall for each other was supposed to emphasize that, but c'mon. The whole "I shot you in the leg because I couldn't bare shooting you in the head. Can't you see I'm in love with you?" bit started sending off major weirdo vibes. Dare I say it? Yes, I think I shall. If Edward Cullen were an alien whose mission was to kill off remaining humans, but he instead falls in love with a girl, he would be The Silencer. The romance developed way too fast and had such a strange start (with The Silencer following her through the woods, reading her diary, going through her belongings and shooting her in the leg) that I just could find myself getting on board with it.
It was such a strange turn of events. One minute there's death, carnage and a struggle for survival and the next minute Cassie's in this farm with a guy who resembles Clark Kent from Smallville and he's baking her bread. This is also that part where the narrative changes really started to become jarring because we also were keeping track of Zombie (a nickname for the character in the novel). Every time we were in his point of view, I felt like I was in the midst of playing Call of Duty. So from going back and forth from those very different scenarios, I had to take a small break and ask Teddy a very frank question: "Are you fucking kidding me?"
SPOILERS AHEAD: But I went back to reading because I really wanted to see what this 5th wave was all about. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the most disappointing aspect of the novel. Up until I found out what the 5th wave was, I thought these aliens were pretty badass. They came to earth with a plan and they knew exactly how to kill off humans very effectively.
1st Wave: Take out human technology - Humans rely heavily on this for almost everything. I'd take this out first too.
2nd Wave: Natural disasters - You can easily wipe out most of biggest cites by taking out the coasts with tsunamis.
3rd Wave: Plague - One of the most effective way to kill off a bunch of people: poison them with disease. You don't even have to do much here. Just wait for them to die off.
4th Wave: Silencers (basically, think snipers) - Pick off all the survivors.
5th Wave: Kidnap all remaining children, including toddlers, nurse them back to health, feed them, train them military style and send them out to kill all the adults who they think are aliens but are really human. (UMM. What?)
The aliens had a good thing going for them. Every thing made sense up until the 5th wave. But why would they go through so much trouble for the 5th wave? The Silencers would have been just as effective or even more so, considering how fast they could take people out. They are faster, stronger, can see in the dark, etc. So, what's the point in wasting resources and years to train human children to kill human adults?
My final verdict: The 5th Wave is definitely a page-turner and has plenty to offer a reader who enjoys science fiction. Even though the romance fell flat and the plot's logical inconsistencies kept me from dishing out all my stars, it was still an enjoyable read. But despite the very strong start, ultimately, The 5th Wave didn't live up to the hype for me.
Sorry, Kat. I fully expect your declarations of Review War in the mornin'.
ARC and teddy was received via the publisher for an honest review. No monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review, though, the teddy does look cool on my bookshelf.
Pivot Point, I'm not quite sure what you are... but I think I kinda loved it. I have this issue where I feel the need to categorize things. I can't exPivot Point, I'm not quite sure what you are... but I think I kinda loved it. I have this issue where I feel the need to categorize things. I can't explain it, I guess that's just the way my brain works. Pivot Point was really an enigma for me because I just couldn't tell what genre it would fall in. From the blurb, it clearly screams sci-fi, but when you start reading it feels so contemporary. And that was a very, very pleasant surprise because the novel kept me guessing from beginning to end.
Addison lives in a little community that is very different from our world. Everyone she knows has abilities similar to those right out an X-Men comic book. She herself can see into her future by Searching different paths for her to take. Unfortunately for her, she has to use this ability to choose which parent she wants to live with when they spring their divorce on her. So what does she choose? Door number one or two?
Throughout the course of the novel you have two of Addie's future telling one story. Her POV effortlessly bounces back and forth, revealing clues to the ultimate ending. It's a very clever way of telling a story. Time after time, I thought I would get lost due to the flip-flopping, but that was never the case. West wove both futures together allowing them to compliment each other and somehow not detracting from the story. I really have to give her major props there because this book could have gone very wrong, but it went so very, very right for me.
Now, what I didn't expect from Pivot Point was the very well assembled plot. West's ability to build just the right amount of anticipation reminds me of Beth Revis' Across the Universe series. Regardless of what you may be feeling while reading, you're going to be flipping pages. I really feel it's a skill that I don't see very often these days. So many times I found myself really hooked so much so that as I was carrying on the most mundane of tasks throughout the day, my eyes diverted to the book across the room. At that's mostly do to all the great moments in Pivot Point: From the witty dialogue, the mystery, the uniqueness of the story, to the character development of Addie.
And then there's Trevor. *sigh*
AWESOME. Guys, there's this part in the book where Addie learns some THINGS and he's there to hold her and says some really sweet THINGS and, I swear, I cried because that scene was just utter perfection for me.
But what I really loved about the book was the ending. I love how Addie didn't let her feelings for one guy to dictate which path she should choose. Her choice is ultimately based on love for her friends and kindness for others at the expense of her own happiness. I loved her for that and I wish I saw more YA heroines of this same quality.
In case it wasn't clear: I LOVED Pivot Point and highly recommend it. I thought it was just going to be a cutesy little book, but it slowly became more and more complex and intriguing as the novel wore on. It took me completely by surprise and I'm so ready for that sequel!
*ARC was provided by the author for a review. Thank you!
I really loved how this one had diversity and eastern influence. The writing was gorgeous and the love interest totally swoon worthy. The main charactI really loved how this one had diversity and eastern influence. The writing was gorgeous and the love interest totally swoon worthy. The main character had a good amount of character development and I really could connect with her. The beginning was a little slow for me, but the second half was much better....more