It scares me to think that this was meant to be the first in a series. Because...why? No, seriously. Why???
As someone who does not read a lot of romanIt scares me to think that this was meant to be the first in a series. Because...why? No, seriously. Why???
As someone who does not read a lot of romance lit, I have no qualms admitting that I actually adore Jessica Park. I've enjoyed her other novels, specifically the Flat Out Series and Left Drowning.
This one though...this was a mess. A horrible, stupid mess.
About a fifth of the way in, I thought "Eh. This is pretty messed up, but I don't care, I'm sticking with it. It will probably get better."
About a third of the way through, I thought, "Okay, standard Jessica Park steaminess." But I'm not still not sure what to think.
Shortly thereafter, it lost me. Death tripping, sure. Interesting concept. But if someone kills my boyfriend right in front of me and I start to question my own sanity, and I then engage in utter weirdness with my now-resurrected boyfriend and the guy who killed him?
Not my cup of tea.
The part that bothered me the most was how easily everyone forgives each other. Sure, friends make excuses for their friends' behaviors. Sure, friends give out free passes. Sure, you wanna make out with your best buddy, okay, if you're into it, why not? But dude, if you my boyfriend in front of me, or kill me later on? I'm not so sure that is an easily forgivable offense.
I understand that Jessica Park wanted to try something new. That she wanted to explore the nature of addiction. Of how to heal and be healed after suffering untold psychological traumas. But man, there had to be a better way to deal with it than this. And really, if I had known that something as simple (view spoiler)[as watermelons (hide spoiler)] could be a temporary curative for addiction...
Yeesh, I have no idea what possessed her to think that that would fly? Talk about suspension of disbelief.
So, Jessica Park. You usually entertain me, and I'll even admit it, you turn me a bit gooey on the inside with your inevitable heartbreaking moments. But this one? My disgust level for most of the characters in this novel, as well as the plot, was pretty much hovering somewhere between 8 and 9 for a majority of the time. And that saddens me.
It saddens me, Jessica Park! You owe us another Flat Out or another Left Drowning! But no more Death Tripping!!
A number of the short stories in this collection were meh...but there were a few standouts (and by standouts, I mean that it has a) made me love the aA number of the short stories in this collection were meh...but there were a few standouts (and by standouts, I mean that it has a) made me love the authors I already truly loved even more, b) made me appreciate the authors I was sort of on the fence on, and c) made me want to read more from newly discovered authors).
So, out of the collection, these are the ones that stood out, in my opinion:
What Do You Do, Gillian Flynn (B) A Year and a Day in Old Theradane, Scott Lynch (A) Tawny Petticoats, by Michael Swanwick (C) Provenance, by David W. Ball (C) Roaring Twenties, by Carrie Vaughn (C) The Meaning of Love, by Daniel Abraham (C) Diamonds from Tequila, by Walter Jon Williams (C) The Caravan to Nowhere, by Phyllis Eisenstein (C)
Was I disappointed? Yes. Particularly by Abercrombie's Tough Times All Over. Yes, he managed to tie in a network full of minor characters from his previous novels, which was great. But it was also a cheap thrill and the story didn't amount to much. Rothfuss's The Lightning Tree was sometimes fun, but there is something about Rothfuss's writing that always irritates me. The Rogue Prince, by G. R. R. Martin was good, but again, I'd rather he spent the time working on the sixth book of his actual series, rather than go back several generations into Targaryen lore. Neil Gaiman's How the Marquis Got His Coat Back was entertaining, but sometimes, so is twiddling my thumbs.
The one that annoyed me most: Connie Willis' Now Showing, which was just as annoying as Doomsday Book. 'Nuff said....more