Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much from Waste of Space. Science Fiction books tend to be a bit of a hit or miss with me and that coupled with the facAdmittedly, I wasn't expecting much from Waste of Space. Science Fiction books tend to be a bit of a hit or miss with me and that coupled with the fact that this has some critical reviews on Amazon made me think that this was going to be a waste of time. But I actually ended up really enjoying Waste of Space.
The Good: I found Waste of Space to be pretty funny. I absolutely loved Chazz. Sure, he was a terrible human being and sometimes veered towards cartoony, but my God was he hilarious. The actual YA characters also weren't too aggravating here. I really liked Nico, was in awe of Bacardi (and believe me, THAT was a surprise), and was endeared by Snout.
More Good: Waste of Space is told in a epistolary format. This can also be a bit of a hit or miss with me (didn't like it in Illuminae and was a big reason why I DNF'ed it), but I really enjoyed it here. The way it's told made the 500 pages in my copy fly by. I seriously read this book in one sitting (and yes, I am now crazy hungry) and loved that it was such a page-turner.
The Not So Great: Louise was incredibly annoying, but I think you were supposed to feel that way about her. Titania, I wasn't a huge fan of. I didn't dislike her, but she didn't really do anything for me. Considering that her arc in Waste of Space is probably one of the main ones, this posed a slight (minuscule) problem. Despite that, I did enjoy the ending to that arc. I also found the first half of Waste of Space to be much stronger than the second half where it started veering into incredibly ridiculous.
Overall, I enjoyed Waste of Space. This is more of a 3 and a half stars book, but I'm upping it to four because it did make me laugh and I didn't want to put it down. Highly recommended. Just go into it knowing that it's zany and ridiculous....more
I'm a total sucker for a good friendship, summer read. So, I was very excited to read Proof of Forever...especially when you add in that this book isI'm a total sucker for a good friendship, summer read. So, I was very excited to read Proof of Forever...especially when you add in that this book is being sort of compared to The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants (and I LOVE that book/series) just with a time-travel aspect to it. And then I opened the first page, and saw that the author had a Sarah Dessen quote in it and so my expectations kind of sky-rocketed after that because just like I love The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, I tend to love Dessen's books. However, upon finishing Proof of Forever, I found myself slightly disappointed in it. It was okay, but nothing much more than that.
The Good: I absolutely loved Joy. She definitely seemed like the sweetest of the bunch and I found her to be such an enigmatic character. In fact, I probably would have liked Proof of Forever slightly more if it had focused mostly on her. I also really loved Zoe and I identified with her feeling of being slightly stuck and feeling as though you're not moving forward. The romance aspect with these two characters was also really sweet, for the most part. Proof of Forever was also really engaging and I didn't have any desire to put it down.
The Not-So-Good: I really couldn't stand Luce or Tali at all. They were such insufferable characters and so prone to the dramatics. Tali was completely self-involved and remained that way through 80 percent of this novel. Luce was entirely way too wishy-washy for my liking. She was up, she was down, she was all-around. Towards the end, I felt bad for her boyfriend, Andrew because this chick had no idea which way was up or what the hell she wanted, but had no problem stringing him along for the ride.
However, the biggest problem I had was that despite the fact that Proof of Forever was touted as a "friendship" book, it focused very little on the friendship between Tali, Luce, Zoe, and Joy. And I'm not all that into comparing two novels, but seeing as how this book does the comparison first, I'll get over it. One of the things that I really loved about The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants was that despite those four girls spending the summer apart and spending so much of the book not being together, I was also highly invested in their friendship and I always felt it. There was also a theme of self-discovery in Sisterhood that happened that summer with the girls through different circumstances. My main issue with Proof of Forever was that while it also had a theme of self-discovery, each of these girls discovered who they were by having a romantic encounter. In TSOTP, while two main characters discovered themselves through romance, only one of those was actually about the romance while the second was about a bigger issue. But with Proof of Forever, the author focused more on the romances that these girls were having as opposed to the connections they were supposed to be making towards each other. So much that when they actually did reconnect, it didn't really ring true to me. After 2 years of not speaking, I'm supposed to believe that these four girls are now going to be the best of friends because they went back in time for five days and didn't really spend all that much time together? Nope, sorry, not really buying it.
So, overall, I thought that the Proof of Forever was just okay. I really would have loved it if it had focused more on the friendship with a bit of romance thrown in as opposed to a romance novel with a bit of friendship within it. I still think it deserves a read and I liked it enough to check out the author's future novels....more
I wanted so much to love Alive. Once I started reading it, I thought "Yes! It's going to be a good one"...bWell, hello there, you HUGE disappointment!
I wanted so much to love Alive. Once I started reading it, I thought "Yes! It's going to be a good one"...but it wasn't...not at all. That has to do with the fact that I'm one of those readers that has to like the main character in order to enjoy the book. Yeah, I'm sure that makes me extremely one-note and more than a little boring, but it is what it is. And I, unfortunately, did not like Em in the slightest. By page 50 I had already rolled my eyes three times at her idiocy and then two more at her fucking annoying attitude.
Here's the thing: Em is a strong female protagonist...and I LOVE those. But Em was one of those people who was strong and then disliked people whom she deemed were not as strong as her and therefore inferior to her. She's constantly getting annoyed and aggravated at Bello for her useless crying. Uhh, hello! Take a look around at the situation you are in. I would be bawling my eyes out, sobbing incoherently if I was in that situation. If you don't like Bello's crying, turn away. I also found it extremely ironic how useless Em deemed crying, but didn't figure that what is actually more useless than crying is swooning over O'Malley and wondering why Bishop isn't looking at you the way he's looking at some other girl. Newsflash Em: you're more useless than Bello.
And another thing, this girl was a HORRIBLE leader! She's constantly doing the wrong thing. And she's always saying "Bishop acts, but I think, therefore I'm a better leader". Yeah, you think...but your thoughts are horrible and get you into more trouble had you not thought, so again..useless. Horrible thoughts, followed by horrible actions, compounded by feelings of superiority and absolutely no sense of compassion means that someone else should have led a loooong time ago. Maybe things would have turned out differently had that happened. I would've much rather had Spingate at the helm. She was calm, cool, collected, and most of the time, extremely logical. She also wasn't an asshole like Em, so she would've been an ideal leader.
Alive also kind of failed as an action-packed novel. Don't get me wrong, it does have some (very little) action packed moments, but for 90 percent of the novel, these people are going upwards, and then downwards, and then in a flat, straight line meandering to absolutely nowhere. If constant running isn't action-packed, then you can bet that walking is even less so.
The writing: eh, meh. It was disjointed and choppy most of the time. It was also incredibly inconsistent. Case in point: the Big Bad tells Em that telling her anymore information would likely be the end of that Big Bad and while the BB is explaining that, she starts giving her more information that would therefore be the end of this BB. And that, of course, makes perfect sense in a novel that makes no type of sense whatsoever...because who cares at that point anyway?
Overall, I didn't like Alive and a lot of that has to do with Em. Horrible main character. I probably would've liked it more had we had another character front and center. I say skip it....more
I'm sort of ambivalent towards Tabula Rasa. On the one hand, it had a fantastic premise and an extremely engrossing beginning. On the other hand, theI'm sort of ambivalent towards Tabula Rasa. On the one hand, it had a fantastic premise and an extremely engrossing beginning. On the other hand, the rest of the novel never seemed to live up to the potential that that fantastic beginning had...
The Good: Again, the beginning of Tabula Rasa was so great. The atmosphere, the characters in the science lab, weird experiments, all components to a little formula that I like to call "total win!" I would have absolutely loved it if the author would have explored this a little more. Have the readers get to know the other patients, the other nurses, get us to care (or loathe) them a little bit more...And THEN come in all guns a-blazin'.
The Okay: The middle of Tabula Rasa was so. freaking. slow. And after reading the middle, I can say that I could have skipped it and not have missed anything in the novel. The last third of the book did have some intriguing parts, but Tabula Rasa never fully recovered from its coma-inducing middle and never got back to the awesomeness it was in the first part of the book.
The So Not Okay: Ugh! Tabula Rasa has insta-love. And it's insta-annoying because of that. I don't buy insta-love. I find it to be a cheap way out. Instead of actually developing a relationship, a blossoming romance, we get the easy way out with characters falling in love after knowing each other for three days. I know what you're thinking, "But they have bad guys after them! There's not enough time for the romance to fully bloom!" Yeah, you know what that means? That means there's no time for romance! "What?! A Young Adult novel with no ROMANCE?! That's not normal..." Whatever.
More Not Okay: The bad guy in Tabula Rasa was incredibly cartoon like. I'm expected to believe that this woman was somewhat normal at first and then turned into a flipping homicidal maniac just because? There's no motive as to her villainy. She just is. Also, what was up with her soliloquy towards the end of the novel. I'm all for exposition, but when the villain starts to explain herself BEFORE fulfilling what she has been trying to actively do for MONTHS, I tend to call it lazy. I get that our heroine needed answers, but there should have been another way for her to get them that wouldn't have left me rolling my eyes extremely hard.
Overall, I found Tabula Rasa to be just okay. It was somewhat of a page-turner. It had an intriguing premise, an amazing beginning, a lackluster middle, an okay end, and characters to root for that didn't completely suck....more