Rachel (Kalanadi)’s review of All the Birds in the Sky > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Mikayla (new)

Mikayla Ok, I agree with your dad, the rant is great.


message 2: by Peony (new)

Peony What an impressive and thorough rant. I'm sending you a friend request!


message 3: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Just read it and I agree


message 4: by Rosa (new)

Rosa Loved your review, every bit as much as I did not love reading the book (which I was only able to finish by skimming). This was a classic case of throwing in anything and everything at any given point, character/story be damned, all under the banner of "genre-bending" and "cliché-busting" - and the type of book where if you're not a fan, it's because you like it "safe" and conventional - ugh. I also appreciated your comparison of this book to Grossman's Magicians - very apt! And I deeply enjoyed your rant, but am surprised you didn't work in Michael Chabon's blurb about how this title belongs in the pantheon of classics, alongside Le Guin - huh?


Rachel (Kalanadi) Rosa wrote: "And I deeply enjoyed your rant, but am surprised you didn't work in Michael Chabon's blurb about how this title belongs in the pantheon of classics, alongside Le Guin - huh?"

*whistles* Well, I missed that one, didn't I!! Alongside Le Guin, indeed?! Even if All the Bird was a good book that I enjoyed, I wouldn't make that comparison....


message 6: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Nekola Spot on!


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Mora I am similarly not impressed. I at 37% and don't know if I can continue.


message 8: by Toni (new)

Toni Wi Thank you for the rant! Did not want to keep reading this book but I needed to see if it got better. There's no hope or humour or anything good to hold on to, and it needed that to balance out all the horrible people.


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim Hicks Halfway through, already feel the same.


message 10: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I only made it through the first 5 chapters. The writing is truly, truly awful. Thank you for your rant, because it saved me from my curiousity about whether the book would get any better.


message 11: by Nore (new)

Nore Thank you for this, I was feeling bad for hating this as much as I did. My loathing slowly grew as I dragged my unwilling ass through it.


message 12: by Jade (new)

Jade I totally agree with you! I couldn't invest in any characters at all (and I really tried) after a while every time I read the word 'aggrandizement' I had to count to ten and the last chapter was just pointless. It's a shame, I thought I would really like this book.


message 13: by Sonali (new)

Sonali Thanks for this. I got to page 55 (the assassin at the mall) and I just stopped. I feel bad because Charlie Jane was my favorite part of io9 and this is not a compelling read.


message 14: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Allen I agree with your comments and your comments about The Magicians.


message 15: by Colette (new)

Colette This is exactly how I felt! The first half I enjoyed while the children were still young and innocent, but the second half felt like the author was trying to shove her hipness down my throat. So fake!


message 16: by Scott (new)

Scott Bright I'm so incredibly glad I wasn't the only one who thought the writing was pretty fucking bad. I thought it was because I had just finished reading the Song of Fire and Ice series and had weirdly high expectations. But no, I just know when writing is bad. But I will definitely check out The Magicians!


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy I enjoyed this book quite a bit but cannot dispute your criticisms of it.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Bushell I enjoyed it but agree the writing style was very uneven, some of the narration was awful. But some quite good.


message 19: by Jesse (new)

Jesse Lehrer There were parts of the book that were good, and I did enjoy the actual overarching story ideas of the book, but unfortunately yea, the writing was mediocre and increasingly worse and repetitive, the plot was sooo repetitive and got really boring, i got pretty far in and i literally forgot i was even reading it and had stopped like a month ago i was so bored.


message 20: by Jake (new)

Jake Man I'm glad everyone picked up on this stuff. I felt like she was a novice teen trying to make big statements (that weren't) that she just got from reading/watching Facebook quotes. That she was basically trying too hard to be a deep thought provoking writer in her debut book. Everything said about her writing style, poor plot, random purpose of graphic sex scenes and such other comments are spot on.


message 21: by Bea (August Bee) (new)

Bea (August Bee) I cant agree enough! Just got a few chapters in and simply cannot stand her style of writing or the characters. Im surprised you stated shes writing for hipsters because thats exactly the vibe I got! Trying too hard to be cool. Its just awful and I put it down right away. Not reading a single word more


message 22: by ThatBookGal (new)

ThatBookGal I love this review. Its all of my feels. The second half was dire!


message 23: by Rita (new)

Rita You convinced me at, "I think it wanted to be Brakebills." Good review. Confirmed my hunch that this is a waste of my time and I won't force myself to plod through it.


message 24: by Emily (new)

Emily Thank you.


message 25: by L. (new)

L. Tait AGREED!!!!!


message 26: by Jess (new)

Jess I abandoned this book halfway through and this captures exactly why. Thank you!


message 27: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Fernandez Ask me how this book won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards? I feel almost the same as you do it wasn't all that good.


message 28: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Fernandez Also thank god I'm not the only one who thought that sex scene was cringe worthy.


message 29: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Omg, I feel way better about DNFing this! I literally just threw it across the room. I think I'm the most baffled by the blurbs-did they read a different book than us??

I also despised The Magicians, but perhaps I should give it another go. If for no other reason than to erase this from my memory.


message 30: by Derek (new)

Derek Theresa wrote: "I literally just threw it across the room."

See, you can do that when you have a paperback, or even (though guiltily) a library book.

But I just had to buy a new e-reader, so I had to suppress my urges to throw it….

Thanks, Rachel.

I read chapter 1. It was shitty. I put it down for two weeks. But I'm voting for the Hugos so I thought I owed it a second chance. Managed 13 more chapters and it only went downhill.

The characters don't even deserve the name! They have no character!


message 31: by Lisha (new)

Lisha Kujo I didn't even finish this book, I got up 3/4 and just gave up. I found this book was trying to be toooooo many genres as it could possibly be, and unfortunately it didn't work out.


message 32: by Starr (new)

Starr I just started this book because I want to read nebula/Hugo shortlist.....I'm 10% in and we seek g if it's worth it.....


message 33: by Irene (new)

Irene I'm surprised that I didn't find this book well written at all despite being widely acclaimed. The characters are so flat with no personalities. The sex scene made me cringed as though I was watching children having sex. Even though I manage to finish this book, I don't think it's worth reading at all.


message 34: by Cara (new)

Cara Shank great rant. think I might read it anyways.


message 35: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer This is. The best. Review. Ever. You're my hero.


message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I agree 100%! The writting is patronizing and horrible. The characters are horrible. I am at 47% and keep hoping the story clicks.


message 37: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I came here specifically to find out if anyone else thought this book was trash. Was not disappointed. I spent the whole read waiting for the amazing revelation to hit me, and then it was over and I still hated it. The characters were awful! The writing was terrible! It normalizes abuse and animal torture! The ending was facil (and didn't really make sense, if you think about it)! I completely agree with the above comment that says the author just threw anything and everything at the main idea of the book. And the plot was soo uneven, and zero character development... I can't.


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Irene wrote: "I'm surprised that I didn't find this book well written at all despite being widely acclaimed. The characters are so flat with no personalities. The sex scene made me cringed as though I was watchi..."

Irene wrote: "I'm surprised that I didn't find this book well written at all despite being widely acclaimed. The characters are so flat with no personalities. The sex scene made me cringed as though I was watchi..."

I agree with everything you said, especially the sex-scene! I felt creepy reading this book.


message 39: by Faizan (new)

Faizan Amazing review, agree to many of your points. One of the worst fantasy books I've even read. Not sure why/how I finished it.


message 40: by Eric (new)

Eric Nelson So I assume, based on your list of reasons that you dislike all the Lemony Snicket books, too? It's a similar writing style. Just not as "adult."


message 41: by Steven (new)

Steven I knew as I was reading it that there was something off about the book that made me not entirely hate it (there were still some genuinely funny and interesting parts), but also keen to finish it quickly so I could move onto something else. Then I found this review and you pretty much just summed it all up perfectly, especially the description of the writing as "trying WAY TOO HARD to be relevant to an ironic hipster Internet crowd, which really doesn't exist except in liberal website comment sections and people's political rant blogs", all the eco-friendly locally sourced vegan hole in the wall restaurants, and basic summary of it as "a fantasy novel about unlikable people being dicks to each other".


message 42: by Marie (new)

Marie Couldn't agree with your review more!


message 43: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Even though I don’t fully agree, I loved your review!


message 44: by Justin (new)

Justin I wish I had written this review. Brava to you.


message 45: by GalleryBound (new)

GalleryBound Yes! Just,... YES to all of this!!!


message 46: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace honest n pointed!


message 47: by Katherine (new)

Katherine I love your rant, but I totally disagree with your assessment of the book. I loved it. Much heavier on ideas that Grossman's Magicians series - more finely drawn teen angst - really, more of a concept book than a draw-you-in novel. But you have to want to be reading that kind of book!


message 48: by Shayna (new)

Shayna This review was by far better than the book itself.


message 49: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Ha! You've convinced me to downgrade my two-star rating to one star. We hated all the same things. (I also hated the Magicians, for what it's worth, but much less than this.)


message 50: by Christiaan (new)

Christiaan I wish I had read this review instead of the other more glowing, and subsequently about half of the actual book.


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