Well, I suppose the blurb by Colleen Hoover should have tipped me off to the book’s quality. Though at least the Hoover books I’ve read have evoked stWell, I suppose the blurb by Colleen Hoover should have tipped me off to the book’s quality. Though at least the Hoover books I’ve read have evoked stronger responses from me - negative ones, especially being appalled at how their romances are supposed to be desirable and healthy. Swear On This Life pretty much has nothing besides a cool-sounding concept.
The barely-triangle of characters are super bland and predictable, and I agree with the protagonist when she says that she can’t see how “From All the Roads Between” is popular given how there’s not a thing special about it. Okay, I guess that’s early on when she’s still mad at Jase, and I have to say I still don’t understand why he never ever got into contact with her. Perhaps an explanation happens in the book but I was too bored for it to stick in my memory.
The others in the cast each have maybe one dimension at most, so they’re not worth talking about. What else? Oh, the prose is blah and could be from a million romance novels out there. At least I didn’t actually expect quality here so I wasn’t technically disappointed....more
Neither funny nor fun. Pointless with very low stakes aside from the obvious future major plot point about her parents. I suppose it doesn't help thatNeither funny nor fun. Pointless with very low stakes aside from the obvious future major plot point about her parents. I suppose it doesn't help that the protagonist starts with approximately no friends or loved ones nearby so her main connections are with her generic love interests. I'm unclear on what she previously did on a daily basis, and what she will do now.
And while it's...unusual for an urban fantasy to have its vampires and aliens be aliens from outer space, that doesn't make the mythos actually compelling. A step down from Kate Daniels, and multiple steps down from The Edge....more
Hmm I don’t particularly like Mia or find her very interesting; I didn't really buy her supposedly being a better person than everyone else there as pHmm I don’t particularly like Mia or find her very interesting; I didn't really buy her supposedly being a better person than everyone else there as people kept claiming in the book. Her lover Tric is even more of a dud. The italicized flashbacks of her life don’t help at all; they mostly annoy me with how they slow down the book to unsuccessfully deepen appreciation for her.
The dialogue of the book feels way too 21stc American teen. Even with the ‘genre-y slang’ thrown around. Though the tendency towards overwrought, overlong figurative language goes down as the book goes on, so that’s a plus.
However...Jessamine is a nice if unoriginal and simple example of a Mean Girl; she reminds me a bit of Jenna Marshall from Pretty Little Liars in terms of her motivations. Ash is very like a certain character from one of the Throne of Glass prequel novellas which are way better than the series proper. And Hush is my favorite from his introduction on; I kept wondering exactly why the author would seemingly randomly mention him despite his lack of effect on the story. If the sequel happens to focus on them instead of Mia, perhaps I’ll read it. But the post-epilogue certainly implies the opposite
The plot is basically Hogwarts, but now it’s a School of Assassination and Killing so it takes elements from the more action-y books in the YA Fantasy genre.
I am curious who exactly the narrator is. The very first page tells us that Mia is “dead herself, now...A republic in ashes behind her...I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me...I loved her.” So apparently Mia dies at the end of the series and someone who loves her writes her story. I do doubt that whoever it is would be able to so accurately and precisely tell said story in the third-person limited POV, but I’ll go with the conceit. Sometimes something like that doesn’t ultimately detract from a book....more
Well I expected the book to be set in a wild city teeming with violence and war. Not...a high school for much of the early part of it. Though the charWell I expected the book to be set in a wild city teeming with violence and war. Not...a high school for much of the early part of it. Though the characters at school outside the leads barely matter. Really, no one outside of them and their…’families’ make any kind of impression. Which is somewhat problematic, but at least I find August to be relatively likable and intriguing in his internal conflict i.e. “You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”
The best part, as with A Darker Shade of Magic, is the original worldbuilding (though again the explanation is sorta lacking), but it almost feels like Schwab should create concepts for other authors to execute. The plot is oddly unexciting and pretty much goes the way one expects from the genre. The writing is effortful, sometimes leading to pretty prose and other times a trudge through unnecessary verbiage.
I’ll probably just skip to the ending of the next book to see what happens. This is the author’s 3rd book that made me go…‘eh.’...more
I would've thought that such a buzzy book, about a cult no less, would have plot and characterization and a point. It has none of these. I can't evenI would've thought that such a buzzy book, about a cult no less, would have plot and characterization and a point. It has none of these. I can't even give it points for the concept either, given what it's based on. ...more
Hmm I was expecting something a bit too ambitious in scope given how this is supposed to be a Literary Event. But it’s...small, very low-stakes. And nHmm I was expecting something a bit too ambitious in scope given how this is supposed to be a Literary Event. But it’s...small, very low-stakes. And not that interesting.
A guy gets in a car accident and loses the nest egg he and his siblings have been counting on for years. So they scramble around the mess while blundering about in their blah, selfish lives.
While I didn’t care too much for All the Light We Cannot See or The Goldfinch, I could see how their overall premises could be bestseller bait. And parts of them merited the outsized popularity. This is just a dime a dozen family drama.
At least one plus for those with a short attention span - it sorta reads like 6 connected short stories about the various people involved and keeps flitting back and forth among them. So it’s easy to put down and pick back up for those pledged to finish.
Best things I can say about the book: queer characters (as thinly written as the rest), pretty cover....more