It’s not often that I give a book a 1 star rating as I’m usually quite a good judge of what books I will enjoy reading, but IWow. Seriously, just wow.
It’s not often that I give a book a 1 star rating as I’m usually quite a good judge of what books I will enjoy reading, but I judged this one way off.
I just cringed most of the way through as it was so blatantly a rip-off of other books, most obviously Divergent. Oh, it’s a society where everyone lives in different zones depending on their abilities and contribution to society? Stalwart (strength), Astute (intelligence), Collusive (greed), Radiant (beauty), Quixotic (no life direction), and the Altruistic (willingness to help others). Hmmmmm, that sounds familiar!
And how do you get sorted into these zones, I hear you ask? Well let me tell you, you put on a hat and it listens to your thoughts and makes a decision. A ‘sorting hat’ if you like. Sounds familiar does it?
Honestly, I struggled to get through this book. So many times I just wanted to stop, but I hate giving up on a book without giving it a chance to redeem itself, but this book had gone too far the wrong way for redemption in my eyes.
I really hope this book was self-published, because if this concept got through an editor to publishing, I’m not sure how they didn’t have thoughts of plagiarism running through their heads.
Sorry to be so negative, but I just really really couldn’t find anything I liked about this book, and as much as I hate to give a book a 1-star review, I just can’t give it anything other.
If you’re following my reviews, you’ll have probably noticed that I haven’t read very much this year, I just haven’t found myself wanting to pick up aIf you’re following my reviews, you’ll have probably noticed that I haven’t read very much this year, I just haven’t found myself wanting to pick up a book and read very much.
But if I needed a book to renew my desire to read, Poison Study was perfect. My friend Abi bought it for me for Christmas, so I should have known it would be awesome, I literally couldn’t put it down.
I always used to think that a standard chick-lit book was my favourite genre, a nice bit of smushy romance and nothing too deep, but I was wrong, I love books with a bit of magic or otherworldliness about them to make them more interesting.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on the plot of this book so I don’t give away any spoilers, but I have to say I loved the main character, Yelena. A strong young woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to try and get it, who doesn’t need (or want) a man to save her, and who has a kick-ass attitude that you can’t help but love.
She was sentenced to death for killing a man, but on the day of her execution, she is given a last minute reprieve; the Commander needs a new food taster, and the rules dictate that this role be offered to the next prisoner sentenced to hang.
But it doesn’t feel like a reprieve for long, as Yelena is forced to drink a poison that will require her to drink an antidote every day for the rest of her life. Eliminating the chances of escape as only her tutor and keeper, Valek, has the antidote.
And speaking of Valek, he was such a well written character; enigmatic and mysterious and completely loveable despite his seemingly mean exterior. The one thing that confused me though was that either we are never told how old Valek is or I missed it, but for some reason when I pictured him in my head I pictured a pot-bellied old man. So (view spoiler)[when 19 year old Yelena starts to fall for Valek and the feelings seem to be mutual (hide spoiler)], I had to quickly re-draw my mental picture before my mental picture got weird!
The pacing of the book was absolutely perfect, fast enough to keep you on your toes and stop you from putting the book down to go to sleep, but slow enough that it didn’t feel rushed and you felt like every inch of the story was given the attention it deserved.
I am so, so happy to know that this book is the first in a set, and even happier to know that Abi also bought me the next two parts, so I can continue straight away and find out what is coming for Yelena. After the ending that I just devoured, I’m desperate to know what happens next.
I’ve had this book for ages and it’s been in my suitcase on at least 3 holidays, but I never actually got around to reading it. I guess I was a bit scI’ve had this book for ages and it’s been in my suitcase on at least 3 holidays, but I never actually got around to reading it. I guess I was a bit scared that it would be a bit too childish.
But after reading, I don’t think I had much to worry about. I mean, obviously it’s a book aimed at teenage girls, but it wasn’t as dumbed down as I thought it would be, and I found myself caught up in the story much more than I thought I would.
As the title says, the book is about a girl who considers herself ‘the duff’ of her group – the designated ugly fat friend. That is, she does after a boy rather kindly points it out to her. (view spoiler)[Bianca hates this guy with a passion, but as you can probably guess, she ends up falling for him. (hide spoiler)]
But the book wasn’t all wishy-washy love, it also tackled some more difficult subjects like her parent’s divorce and her father’s alcoholism. This was a saving grace for the book as it stopped it being too girly and childish. Even the evolving love story between Bianca and Wesley had a lot of substance to it, not just a girl mooning over the hottest boy in school.
I had a couple of favourite quotes from the book, mostly coming after Bianca realises that although she considers herself to be ‘the duff’, her two best friends also consider themselves as ‘the duff’ of the group. It’s so true that as women, we seem to focus on our own flaws and see the best in other people, putting ourselves down and making ourselves feel inferior for no reason.
“Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling somebody the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off the inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point.”