All the series that people keep comparing this to are...not as good to me as they are to others. Which makes me wary.
And so far for me, great YA books...moreAll the series that people keep comparing this to are...not as good to me as they are to others. Which makes me wary.
And so far for me, great YA books this decade: All 3 Daughter of Smoke & Bone books. Rebel Belle (1 book so far in a series, and her other series is not good) Thirst #4 (but #3 and #5 were disappointing) A Need so Beautiful (but the sequels did not live up to it) Delirium (but the sequels did not live up to it) Unearthly (but the sequels did not live up to it). I've read at least one book from practically all the hyped ones: Matched, THG, Percy Jackson, Lorien Legacies, Vampire Academy, Maze Runner, Hush Hush, Fallen, Divergent, Miss Peregrine, Mortal Instruments, Legend, Shatter Me, Lux, Lunar Chronicles, Selection, PLL, Slammed, Throne of Glass, Beautiful Disaster...so I definitely have a lot of experience upon which to draw my conclusions.
I just have very little confidence that this book will be great, despite all the reviewers who seem to love it, after reading so very many non-great YAs this decade (and many non-great adult books). Anywho.(less)
I read the whole thing, but here are some choice excerpts that bothered me along the way:
Quite unnatural feelings due to things that have gone wrong i...moreI read the whole thing, but here are some choice excerpts that bothered me along the way:
Quite unnatural feelings due to things that have gone wrong in his subconscious...the perverted desire of a man for a man. Use of keeping two people together if they are no longer in love...to provide a home for their children, to protect the woman. There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule...a woman is primarily fighting for her own children. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice...pride. What makes a pretty girl spread misery wherever she goes by collecting admirers? Certainly not her sexual instinct: that kind of girl is quite often sexually frigid. It is some use comparing cats and dogs, or even men and women, in the mass, because there one knows definitely which is which.(less)
Before reading: I didn’t really care for The Sky is Everywhere, as I found it somewhat icky, manipulative, and ultimately shallow. But hey, a gay co-l...moreBefore reading: I didn’t really care for The Sky is Everywhere, as I found it somewhat icky, manipulative, and ultimately shallow. But hey, a gay co-lead. Mainstream YA fiction doesn’t have nearly enough of that. I was massively impressed this year by Rebel Belle despite finding Hex Hall super mediocre, so maybe I can find another authorial turn-around.
After reading: Unfortunately, Noah is awful. In the past, he’s a super-pretentious artiste who thinks like he’s stepped out of a John Green novel edited by David Levithan in an especially soapy mood, and in the present he acts out his idea of what a normal guy is which is a generic a-hole. Somehow Jude is better both in the past when she’s the outgoing peppy one, and in the present when she’s reclusively retreated into herself...actually I’m reminded of Bridget from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except her spiral isn’t just from hooking up with a boy.
Plus while both romances are on the instalove side, at least hers isn’t some way-stereotypical PSA-y thing that Nelson must’ve “researched” by watching The CW. And her boy seems much more like a person than his, whose semblance of a personality is mapped onto him by Noah more than it exhibits itself in reality.
Mmm...also, each of them has a weird narratorial quirk: Noah likes to envision a scene or scenario as a work of art and title it. She likes to quote from her gran’s quirky/magical guide to life, with comments. His is annoying, hers is cute.
To the plot: ZOMG the melodrama of it all; fairly engaging if over the top. (view spoiler)[So: In the space of about two days, Jude loses her virginity to her (unbeknowst to her) brother’s bully; their mother walks in on Noah with Brian, and Brian’s panic makes Noah so mad that he outs Brian in public; Noah finds out that his mom’s having an affair and wants a divorce, and she dies in an accident.
Jude has a guilt complex especially coupled with how she gets into her brother’s dream private art school (dream largely because it’d get him away from homophobic public school kids) and he doesn’t, after she secretly doesn’t mail in his application out of jealousy of his aggressively flaunting his newfound status as their mom’s favorite (when she’s been their dad’s favorite for years). Oh, and Jude falls for her mom’s boyfriend’s ex-addict assistant who’s technically illegal for her as he’s 19, and who’s seen naked by her brother first (though she does spend 7 minutes in heaven with her brother’s boyfriend before the two boys have their first kiss).
Noah has a guilt complex about hiding his mom’s secret so stops being able to talk to Jude, and about how he lives a lie that’ll make it easier to fit in. Oh, and he lies to his dad that his mom wanted to make up with him, and after his mom’s funeral he lies to his mom’s boyfriend that she never loved him anyway. (hide spoiler)]
5 quotes I like from from Jude’s POV: (view spoiler)[Then a deeper groan, which must be Guillermo’s. Because they’re lovers! Of course. How stupid could I be? The English guy is Guillermo’s boyfriend, not his long-lost son. But he sure seemed straight when he was taking pictures of me in church and when he was talking to me outside the studio yesterday too. So attentive. Did I misread him? Or maybe he’s bi? And what about all Guillermo’s hyper-heterosexual artwork? And not to judge, but cradle-rob much? There’s probably a quarter century between them.
Imagining the meadow. Imagining the relaxing effing meadow!
At CSA, I’m fairly penis-neutral in life class.
So he faked the call and was pretend-talking to no one just to get away from me? Just to stop me blathering on like that? My throat constricts. We’re never going to be okay.
“It’s like we’re at the beach.” I resume the position beside him. “Or in our coffins.” “What I like about you is how you always look on the bright side.” (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Reads like Grisham. I kinda hate the two main dudes - both the lawyer and the cop. So superior and smug and boring. Luther’s somewhat interesting, but t...moreReads like Grisham. I kinda hate the two main dudes - both the lawyer and the cop. So superior and smug and boring. Luther’s somewhat interesting, but the whole “Oh I love my daughter more than anything” angle is sappy and he pretty much peaks during the book’s central murder. His daughter irritates me pretty much throughout. Especially cuz she’s supposed to be So Much Better than Jennifer, who the book and Jack in his douchey monologue want to paint as a horrible human being. But Jennifer doesn’t even appear much despite being his fiancee, cuz humanizing her would make it harder for the reader to dismiss her. The author even makes her dad verbally trash her. Okay then. Burton and Collin are whatever. Sullivan peaks in his last scene and is forgettable beforehand. The president is of course an awful villain.
Gloria Russell is a queen though. One of my favorite character tropes is the woman who will do anything to seize what she wants, regardless of how ruthless she has to be. Too bad that the author gets bored of her and she kinda just fades into the background. And the text is entertaining in a trashy way.(less)