So that was really good, but not totally perfect for me. Also a tiny bit overhyped, but I had a lot of fun with this retelling. I am also curious3.75
So that was really good, but not totally perfect for me. Also a tiny bit overhyped, but I had a lot of fun with this retelling. I am also curious to see how the author will continue this series and how the retelling angle will play into that....more
This is such an odd book, in an odd series. It is a story and style that reads like no other and I love seeing what Black dreams up next for her stranThis is such an odd book, in an odd series. It is a story and style that reads like no other and I love seeing what Black dreams up next for her strange band....more
Imperfect but the perfect bits were SO perfect and the not-so-perfect bits were all small bits that added up. Harsh and brash and full of heart,3.75/5
Imperfect but the perfect bits were SO perfect and the not-so-perfect bits were all small bits that added up. Harsh and brash and full of heart, this is a pretty good conclusion. It's not Lady Thief but it's a good book and a satisfactory ending for Scarlet/Marian....more
Wow. That was one of the most boring waste-of-potential I've ever read. I made it to about 65% and them skimmed to the end, and kids? It wasn't prettyWow. That was one of the most boring waste-of-potential I've ever read. I made it to about 65% and them skimmed to the end, and kids? It wasn't pretty.
"Do you know what it's like to be a girl pieced together by appetite and impulse?" - All Our Pretty Songs, p.18
This review is probably going to end up quite short -- I don't have a lot to say about All Our Pretty Songs and almost none of what I do have to say is good.
All Our Pretty Songs has a great premise. It also can boast some truly amazing prose. When the mood strikes/the planets align/etc,. McCarry can create some truly visual and lovely writing. But that's only about 30% of the time. The other 70%? You get overwrought melodramatic teenage angst all over the place. You can't win them all, right? But it doesn't even seem like McCarry is trying half the time.
The characters are flat. Underdeveloped. One-dimensional. And? They're pretty obnoxious, or boring, or obnoxiously boring. Unfortunately for us, the readers, and for the book itself, the awesome premise isn't enough to make up for the less-than-inspiring way it is carried out. The lack of a plot for a quarter of the novel makes for a lot of aimless stream of consciousness narration from our unnamed narrator - none of it particularly riveting or engaging.
McCarry wants this novel to be the punk retelling of Orpehus. And she is not too subtle with presenting her theme throughout the short story contained in All Our Pretty Songs. As the characters struggle to decide what they value most, what they will sacrifice, the suspense does build into a somewhat interesting final conflict. But it's not enough to save the rest of the novel from being utterly underwhelming. It's too little too late and the end is too confusing (and open-ended!) to provide any real sense of satisfaction.
Ashleigh Paige's comparions of All Our Pretty Songs with the lyrical and creepy Imaginary Girls could not be more accurate. McCarry wants that magical realism Nova Ren Suma crafts so easily and so well to work here, badly, and it just never solidifies into anything remotely like it. It's a failed Another Little Piece. It's a brave attempt to create something original and suspenseful, but with the weak supports of cardboard characters and a flimsy plot, All Our Pretty Songs just doesn't cut it. The prose can be outstanding, or laughable, and McCarry never finds a happy medium. It's great or it's just bad.
So it boils down to one star for premise, one star for the prose that I was impressed with for All Our Pretty Songs. I really don't see how this could be expanded another two books - the plot is thin already - and I doubt I will be reading to see what happens next. Maybe McCarry will try to tackle a new myth, but high expectations won't be a part of it.
I guess I had more to say than I thought. This was a severe disappointed. An intriguing premise meets underwhelming ...more
Clever use of mythology, though the plot itself is fairly generic for the YA market. An interesting idea, and the Maori lore is truly the highpoint ofClever use of mythology, though the plot itself is fairly generic for the YA market. An interesting idea, and the Maori lore is truly the highpoint of the entire novel....more
4.5 out of 5 stars. I loved this! It was unexpectedly charming and clever and just plain fun even when (eRead This Review And More Like It On My Blog!
4.5 out of 5 stars. I loved this! It was unexpectedly charming and clever and just plain fun even when (especially?) at its most twisted. Kill Me Softly is a wholly engrossing and enjoyable read. This is one of those surprising books that went above and beyond my expectations; in fact, I passed this over a couple times on NetGalley because it seemed so been there, done that at first glance and I've been trying to control the amount of requests I make there. Then, pretty much the next week reviews on GoodReads started popping up - 4 stars, 4.5 stars, 5 stars - and who am I to fight the tide? I learned my lesson around December when the same sort of thing started happening with another book that I initially dismissed and which ended up becoming immensely popular (coughAngelfallcough). So with this I didn't hesitate; the day of reading those reviews, I downloaded and began my journey to Beau Rivage, Sarah Cross's imagination and quite possibly some of my favorite fairy tale retellings ever in Kill Me Softly.
To put it the most succinctly, Kill Me Softly is charming, clever and just plain fun. There's a lot to enjoy from this book - a fairly feisty heroine, a unique angle on fairytales in a modern-day scenario, and the clever allusions and asides to popular tales we know and love. I have to admit, the darker and more unsettling this novel became, the more and more I loved it. Kill Me Softly is most definitely at its best when it takes an unexpected, usually foreboding, turn, or reveals a truth very cleverly hidden behind the author's sleight of hand. Sarah Cross is quite adept, more than adept really, at setting the perfect scene and atmosphere for her cursed characters to populate and on occasion, I was really struck by the imagery in her words. I don't want to get spoilery since there's secrets and curses and mysteries aplenty to uncover and figure out, so I will just say that Sarah Cross finds a way to make both a love triangle between brothers and extreme instalove palatable.
Another aspect of this that I greatly appreciated was the author's tendency to show her fairy-tale world within a world and its rules, and instead let them evolve naturally rather than line them all out in an introductory info-dump. Sure, for a while the curses and Blue don't make a lot of sense, but given time and attention, the details emerge. Kill Me Softly is a very readable and quickly engrossing book - the kind you pick up for a chapter and somehow emerge 97 pages and several very interesting plot-twists later. There are double meanings and hints staring out at you from the page that slowly click and make a bigger picture - several times I wanted to hit my forehead and say "duh! Of course..." The author excels at providing the reader with clues and hints but not spelling out the answers desired. I won't go so far to say Kill Me Softly is perfect, but it is damn near close, and only a few slight quibbles keep it from making it to my best-of-2012 shelves.
I found the final (? temporary?) conflict with the main antagonist left me feeling rather underwhelmed. It takes Mira so long to clue in and then it's kind of... over in a flash and without much depth. There are sequels/companion novels confirmed to be written so I am sure the villain will reappear along the line but I wish the entire plotline of Kill Me Softly had been resolved in one novel. I vehemently support the idea of a sequel for another character from the fascinating world of Beau Rivage; I wouldn't be nearly as enthused for a return to Mira's plotline from the first/launching point of the series. ...more