Cancer books. Man, they are all over the place these days, aren't they. It seems as though you can't peruse any shelf of any book store without findin...moreCancer books. Man, they are all over the place these days, aren't they. It seems as though you can't peruse any shelf of any book store without finding at bunch of cancer books. YA is littered with cancer books. Now don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily mind, it's just that a lot of these books are about the exact same thing: dying kid dealing with Feelings. There are few variations in these stories.
Okay, I'm coming across as insensitive. I'm not trying to, it's just that when you read as much as I do it's difficult to not get bored when fictional characters die of cancer, especially when very few authors try to bring something new to the this particular table. I feel as though many authors who write about this subject are hardly trying anymore. Cancer, death, that's the stuff that rips out your guts and reduces you to a pathetic heap on the floor—who wouldnt cry, amirite? So, yeah, I often avoid these books because I know it's going to be so Tragic, rife with emotional porn, and it's like I've already read each YA cancer book—many a time—I've already cried for each poor kid that didn't get to grow up. So, yeah, even though it's sad it also is boring. And manipulative.
All that said, Somebody Up there Hates You is a breath of fresh air. Sure, Richie, our unfortunate protagonist is dying of cancer, in a hospice no less, but he doesn't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for himself. It seems as though, even though Richie doesn't say as much—quite the opposite actually—that he's at peace with his much-too-early demise. like he's just waiting for his time to come, raising a little hell in the meantime. He plays an inappropriate prank, swears at people, sneaks out of hospice, gets drunk, gets a little high, hooks up, hooks up again (with someone else), gets punched (a lot), and maybe even discovers he has a heart (I'm not telling).
And sure, Richie makes a bunch of mistakes, causes quite a bit of trouble, but you know what else he does? He spends a lot of time worrying about others, not himself. He worries about his mother, about how she's dealing with everything, about her health. He starts to understand how everyone has some sort of tragedy to deal with in their lives—not just kids dying of cancer but everyone. He does a whole lot of growing up during his last few weeks in hospice.
No, this book didn't make me cry, didn't even get teary-eyed, but perhaps that is what I love most about it. This book doesn't force you to that breaking point where all you want to do is donate all your money to Saint Jude's and all your hair to Locks of Love while you bawl your eyes out. Rather, SUTHY paints a picture and invites you to to gaze upon it, to think about it and to come to your own conclusions. And not once have I felt like a soulless baby-eating monster for not crying over this book.
Sure, I've got a few minor bones to pick with SUTHY—it was sort of difficult to get into at first—but I appreciate it nonetheless. 4 stars.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (less)
*sigh* Who is this book written for? It can't be for the female population, at least, not the vast majority of females. I mean, sure, I like violence...more*sigh* Who is this book written for? It can't be for the female population, at least, not the vast majority of females. I mean, sure, I like violence and gore but I'm an exception. Most women will cringe away from the blood and guts violence-pa-looza within the pages of this book. And because the first book in this series does pander to the female population, albeit in a bloody valentine type way, it is clearly more for teh ladies. This second book? I can't say. And honestly I don't want to know. 2 stars. (less)
I had a difficult time rating this book. It's good. I like it.
...BUT it's lacking.
What is it lacking? More. It's lacking more. This story could be t...moreI had a difficult time rating this book. It's good. I like it.
...BUT it's lacking.
What is it lacking? More. It's lacking more. This story could be the beginning of an epic sci-fi series--for all I know it actually is--but from what I can gather it is a standalone. A frakking standalone! I find this frustrating because there is so much here, so much meaty goodness. There's enough here for a series and a couple different spinoff series, at least.
I want to know more! I want more!
One thing. I'm a little disappointed in some of the characterization and—okay make that a couple things—some of the convienient events that took place in order for the author to wrap things up sooner rather than later. I was fully expecting for this book to end with some sort of cliffhanger, something to indicate this story would definitely be continuing. But, no, that did not happen.
Also, not that I mind it, this book has no romance of any sort. Again, this doesn't bother me because I'm not a fan of romantic plot lines, especially when a romance overshadows everything else. But I know the lack of romance will cause many a reader to pass up on this little piece of awesomeness.
It's unfortunate because there is an amazing universe laying within the pages of this book. It has a lot going for it. 3 stars.
A e-galley of this book was provided by Netgalley. My views are my own.
Update: since writing this review I have learned from Goodreader, Amanda, that this is the first book in a trilogy. I am so excited to read the next book, Katya's War.
Never heard of Chuck Wendig until I received a copy of Mockingbird from Netgalley. He's on my radar now, not likely to fall off of it, honestly. What...moreNever heard of Chuck Wendig until I received a copy of Mockingbird from Netgalley. He's on my radar now, not likely to fall off of it, honestly. What can I say, I was hooked on page one. Lilith Saintcrow said it right, Mr. Wendig's writing, this series is chalk full of "trailer-park tension, horrified hilarity, and sheer terror mixed with deft characterization". I too could literally not put it down even though there were a few things within the story that didn't quite work for me—I stayed up all night finishing Mockingbird. I plan on getting a copy of Blackbird as soon as I finish typing this up.
In a nutshell, I really like this book, nitpicky issues and all. 4 stars.
(I really hope to write a full review of Mockingbird soon. I mean it this time. It's just I'm still on the road—summer Roadtrip 2012 will be wrapping up by this comig Monday, I swear. So you're all just going to have to wait.)(less)
Before I actually review this book, I need to say one thing: frakking love triangles! Bah! I'm so over them. Love triangles are the laziest form of co...moreBefore I actually review this book, I need to say one thing: frakking love triangles! Bah! I'm so over them. Love triangles are the laziest form of conflict in a relationshippy storyline. The main character can either love one guy or love the other. It really is that simple, none of this confusion crap. Unless the main character is not self-aware I'd say it's impossible for them to NOT know which love interest is preferred.
The main character, Celaena, is a trained assassin. That's the cool part. The part that gets to me is we're never really told how she feels about that. We get a brief--very, very brief--description about how she felt after killing her first victim, way back when she was a kid, but never do we get more than that. It's irritating to say he least. I want to know what goes through this girl's head before she murders someone. Does she feel remorse? Anxiety? Sadness? Does she feel anything at all?
I mean, we get way more descriptions of Celaena's stupid gowns than anything she's actually feeling. Though the few times she does go there, actually trying to describe her feelings, all we get is a bunch of similes and metaphors that do not make any sense. Like this: "Celaena's blood turned into shooting stars"
What does that even mean?
Because of this and other ridiculous/nonsensical descriptions of the MC's feelings I can't even begin to relate to her. Let's not even get started on the fact that she comes across as a sociopath, which I'm pretty sure was not the author's intent.
That said, I did like this book well enough to give this book 3 stars out of 5, which means I liked it.
***An e-galley of this book was provided by Netgalley. My views are my own.***
Unbreak My Heart. Laaaaame title--I have serious hate for the same-titled Toni Braxton song which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to with this boo...moreUnbreak My Heart. Laaaaame title--I have serious hate for the same-titled Toni Braxton song which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to with this book--great story. 3.5 stars. Review to come. (less)