Quite honestly speaking, The Royal Runaway was probably one of my most disappointing reads of 2018. In theory it should be the kind of book that worksQuite honestly speaking, The Royal Runaway was probably one of my most disappointing reads of 2018. In theory it should be the kind of book that works for me. We have a princess breaking the rules, a sexy scot, a mystery, A LOT OF things that would draw me in. In actuality, The Royal Runaway ended up completely disappointing me. The characters were blander than actual cardboard. The plot fell flat, and even though there was a strong mystery element, it just didn’t work or get my blood pumping. I wasn’t invested in any of the outcomes. The only good thing I can possibly say for this book is that I finished it. It wasn’t so painfully boring that I had to DNF. I expected and hoped for more but alas, sometimes you just read shitty books....more
I love my OTP but I just don't feel like this was the conclusion this series deserved? The mystery wasn't as strong and didn't come into play untilI love my OTP but I just don't feel like this was the conclusion this series deserved? The mystery wasn't as strong and didn't come into play until about 50% through the book. The ending was incredibly rushed and implausible and I still had a lot of questions. Don't get me wrong, this book is still worth the read for fans and I still adore this series but this was not the ending I wanted or needed. Also why was there not more kissing?...more
I’ve only read one other book by Lia Riley so while I had some expectations when I dove in, I***This mini-review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads
I’ve only read one other book by Lia Riley so while I had some expectations when I dove in, I wasn’t entirely sure what I would be getting. But hey, if I had had higher expectations, I might have been even more disappointed.
This book has cute banter and a cute romance but also, the writing wasn’t the greatest? This could partially be because I read an e-arc as opposed to the finished copy but I felt like a lot of the sentences were awkward and could have been reworded.
There were also minor details that I got nit-picky about because they seemed bizarre and like the author hadn’t actually thought through the details. The MC, for example, was broke when she had lived in NYC but had lived in Hell’s Kitchen??
I would definitely say that The Corner of Forever and Always was enjoyable but also, the poor writing definitely took away from the cute banter and the also cute plotline involving the amusement park.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book for review....more
If you pay attention to the shelves I put this book on, you might find that I had a lot of different feelings. Basically, I really loved this book butIf you pay attention to the shelves I put this book on, you might find that I had a lot of different feelings. Basically, I really loved this book but I also really struggled with all the psychoanalytic stuff in it so I couldn't give it a higher rating. Alas....more
My body is filled with hate for this book. SO MUCH HATE. UGH. I was frustrated with EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER IN THIS FLIPPING BOOK. I can totally seeMy body is filled with hate for this book. SO MUCH HATE. UGH. I was frustrated with EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER IN THIS FLIPPING BOOK. I can totally see why people love it and why it's a classic but right now, all I want is to bitch slap David. DAVID, YOU DONE FUCKED UP.
Here is the thing about this book, it would have hands down been a favorite of the year were it not so flipping confusing. I am not the kind of person that is immediately turned off from a book when something doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I enjoy it when my mind is being twisted into a pretzel because everything is SO COMPLICATED but that isn’t
Vassa in the Night
Vassa in the Night
has beautiful writing, an interesting plot and a gorgeous atmosphere but the problem is that the world building needs a LOT of work. I don’t understand at ALL how the world works. This book is trying so hard to be whimsical and eerie that the bare bones are kind of just forgotten about. I need at least some things to make sense so I can get behind other things that don’t and that’s basically the problem here. NOTHING makes sense. NOTHING AT ALL. I don’t how how the story gets from point a to b. I DON’T KNOW THINGS and it is bothersome.
But I did say this book would have been a favorite of the year if it hadn’t been confusing and the reason for that is that this book is exactly the kind of fantasy that draws me in. It's got so many things going for it. Vassa is a great character and easy to get behind, the book is structured like a fairy tale even though it is set in a more urban setting, so it basically wins (or would have won) and there are some great relationships in this book even though Vassa considers herself a lone wolf.
I really did want to love this book and I am not entirely sure that I didn’t not love it. There is just SOMETHING about this book that makes me want to cuddle with it and declare it a masterpiece even though I was unhappy with the amount of confusion I experienced. You could say that I am confused about my feelings ;) (I KNOW I AM TRASH)
Whatever else I might say, I can say that I did enjoy this book and might even recommend it to an actual human who is willing to deal with all the confusion to immerse themselves in this beautifully written fairy tale. I also made a mood board for it because this is the kind of book that inspires lots of confusions and a mood board. This mood board has been approved by a friend who has read the book but is probably biased because she is my friend.
I found bits of the book funny but I just cannot take it seriously. I know it's not meant to be taken seriously but I CANNOT TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AS AI found bits of the book funny but I just cannot take it seriously. I know it's not meant to be taken seriously but I CANNOT TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AS A BOOK. It's just a bunch of occasionally funny quotes and pictures. OOPS....more
Oh, Forbidden. I wanted to love you so much and I am sorry that this didn’t work out. I imagine, in an alternate universe, if you were more detailed and not so rushed, I could have loved you, but you weren't, and so our story must end.
My lamenting aside, I am really disappointed. There were so many interesting things going on in this book but everything was SO RUSHED. I wanted details, I wanted a build-up, actual character development, all of the things but didn't get nearly enough of any of them.
For starters, the main character was really hard to connect to. Whenever Josie did anything, she’d think about how improper it was and how much Mrs Chandler would disapprove. Mrs Chandler, by the way, isn’t even a real person. IT’S A BEHAVIORAL GUIDE for young ladies. I am all up for characters who aren’t traditionally strong and badass, but I don’t want to read about a character who cannot do anything without thinking about a behavioral guide. Even when she becomes ‘strong’ and ready to let go of all the stupid claims, she refers to Mrs Chandler. *shakes head*
Then there is the romance that comes out of nowhere. That is one of the things I was most excited about because I love me a forbidden romance but there was no romance. Sure there were ‘I Love Yous’ but there was literally no development. One minute she finds the guy sketchy and the next she cannot live without him? How did that jump happen? She even admits to not knowing him but somehow she can be in love and NOT know him? How does that even work?
This brings me to the love interest, who is mysterious but so mysterious we don’t find out anything about him. Also, I don’t think he and Josie ever have a conversation that is straightforward. It’s usually him being elusive, mysterious and vague and her falling for it.
One thing I did love about this book was that it is incredibly atmospheric. Right from the start, you can tell that something weird is going on. Something you don’t want the main character to be involved in, but it’s not like she can listen to us yelling on the other side for her to RUN FOR HER LIFE.
Then we find out what is going on behind the scenes and it is kind of really awful, but I wish we got more details. I wish the build-up was more clear, I wish there was more than just one scene where this awful thing takes place. I wanted more.
The same goes for the resolution to this conflict. Too rushed. Not detailed. Just plain sad.
The way the novel ended was really interesting and something I liked but because of the lack of details throughout the novel, it did not have the emotional impact on that it would have otherwise. I remained detached from the happenings of the novel with only the mystery keeping me glued to the pages. This book could have been great, mind blowing even, but it wasn’t because it was rushed. And hey, I like my quick reads but I don’t like them when it takes away from actual development.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
If you like your Sherlock re-tellings full of lots of wit, humor and fun; Trouble is a Friend of***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads
If you like your Sherlock re-tellings full of lots of wit, humor and fun; Trouble is a Friend of Mine is for you. This book was SO MUCH fun to read. I was giggling most of the time, I liked the characters, I liked the plot, I liked the relationships. This was a great brain candy book but my problem with the book was how ignorant and privileged the characters were.
We are constantly reminded that the characters live in a very white neighborhood with no diversity and I would assume that that would at least mean that the MCs weren’t completely ignorant and flippant about certain issues but that’s sadly not true. Even though Zoe moved from NYC, a very diverse city, to a white suburban neighborhood. It isn’t just a case of slut shaming (although that is definitely present) though. There are some very privileged attitudes in this book about class, prison (and the entire system) and just diveristy as a whole. Philip Digby even mocks what it means to be a transgender teen and reduces that experience to stereotypes in movies. That actually hurt because Philip Digby is a great character, I expected more from both of these characters.
So, given all those issues, WHY did I like the book? Well for starters, it’s one of the few (if not the only) Sherlock retelling I’ve read that actually addresses mental health. I wish mental health had been explored a little more in the book than merely being stated, but I love that Digby’s habits aren’t just attributed to ‘quirks.’
Also Zoe’s relationship with her mother was kind of awesome. Zoe constantly berates her for not being a good parent but I love the ways in which the author makes the reader aware of the fact that Zoe’s perception might not necessarily be true.
My favorite thing was that even though Digby and Zoe were solving the mystery by themselves, they actually had help from adults. WHO WEREN’T THE ENEMIES. I know. I KNOW. And when I saw adults, I mean police adults. I was really excited about that. Especially since the two characters we met were hilarious and great. This made it a lot easier to believe in the plot and the mystery. Everything mixed together very well and the author connected the various threads together beautifully.
The characters, when they weren’t being ignorant, were also pretty great. I loved seeing Zoe find her place in a community where she felt left out of and I liked that over the course of the book her attitude changed from “Not like the other girls” to “they aren’t so bad.” Baby steps? Philip is also adorable and I’d really like to find out more about him in a sequel.
I definitely had issues with this book but I still think it’s a great read if you’re looking for something light to get you through the day or if you need a palette cleanser. It’s so cute and quick!
Note that I received a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
When former tooth-fairy-in-training Cory Feathering was stripped of her fairy skills, she discovered that, as the descendent of a cupid, she was bornWhen former tooth-fairy-in-training Cory Feathering was stripped of her fairy skills, she discovered that, as the descendent of a cupid, she was born to be a matchmaker, and now her latest job is to find the perfect match for Goldilocks--the only trouble is that he is getting married to someone else. The last time I read a book by E.D. Baker, I was in middle school. I had loved the book and when I found out about this series, I was excited. I started this book enthusiastic but after reading a little bit of it, I realized this was a sequel and not actually the first book *shakes fist at Goodreads for not being helpful*
That may be one of the reasons why I didn’t absolutely enjoy this book but to be honest, I am not sure reading the first book would have made much of a difference. There are certain things I would have been more aware of (in terms of world building) but the author still does a good job catching readers up so that even if it’s been a while since you read book 1 (or if you somehow missed the fact that there was a book 1 and read the sequel first), you won’t feel lost.
A lot of my issues with the book stem down to the fact I didn’t really relate to the characters. That could be because I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t know them as well but that’s probably not it. I’ve accidentally read sequels before first books several times and managed to love the characters (I seem to do this more often than I should.) I think my inability to relate to the characters was because I was so thrown off by the fact that the characters’ behaviors did not match up to their ages. The characters seemed pretty old (maybe even older than 18?!) yet their voices were very middle grade. It isn’t surprising given the book is a middle grade novel but it just didn’t work for me as a reader.
I was drawn in by the premise but was sad when the main focus of this book was not in fact figuring out a way to make a guy who is going to get married end up with his one true love. That bit was wrapped up REALLY quickly. The main conflict of the novel seemed to be Cory’s fight against the various fairy counsels and the abuse she was facing at their hands.
Overall, the book wasn’t a bad one per-say but I did find myself wanting more. Still, I am intrigued by Cory and her crew and I want to see Cory kick the fairy counsel’s butt!
Note that I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
I wanted to love this book. I really really did, but unfortunately,Zeroes didn’t blow my***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I wanted to love this book. I really really did, but unfortunately,Zeroes didn’t blow my mind the way I had wanted it to. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading the book, it's just that I wanted so much from it. Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors and superpowers are always incredibly fun to read about so I went in expecting to love this book. When it turned out this book wasn’t everything I had wanted it to be, I was sad and disappointed.
The characters are a diverse bunch, which was awesome but I don't think they weren’t developed as well as they could have been. This is the kind of book where the multiple point of views didn’t work for me. The transitions were okay but I couldn’t get behind all the characters. I liked reading about some more than others but I also felt no strong connection to any particular character since the various POVs focused more on progressing the plot than they did on character development. What development there was related back to the superpowers. I just wanted to be able to experience them as individuals and really get to be inside the characters' heads.
When a book features a group of superheroes, one would expect amazing group dynamics. Unfortunately, for most of the book this group did NOT work like a group. That’s partly because they hadn’t been a group for a year but even when they got back together, I didn’t get the sense of comradeship I had been expecting. There was no witty banter; there weren’t any really fun interactions. The group split up into smaller groups of people who worked together and reported back to Nate aka The Glorious Leader.
This book tells the story of six teenagers born in the year 2000 (WTF? When did kids in books get to be so much younger than me?); Nate, Thibault, Riley, Ethan, Kelsie and Chizara. They all possess various superpowers that make their lives both harder and easier. Nate is the leader of this group but being the sketchy character he is, we never know whether he is a ‘good’ guy or just manipulating the group. To be honest, he was my favorite character since he seemed to be the most complex. Then we have Riley who is blind but her superpower allows her to see through other people’s eyes. I feel like there wasn’t much more to her but that could also be because I never really felt anything for her. Ethan’s power comes in the form of the voice which is all knowing. Ethan was an interesting character because his power completely contrasted his personality. I really liked that contrast but I also wanted to get to know more about Ethan. Chizara has powers that allows her to crash technology and she was the one that underwent the most development over the course of the book (I’d say.) She has always had problems with her power but she finally learns to accept them over the course of the book. Thibault was the character I sympathized with the most. His powers make it so that no one really remembers him. He is invisible but not really. People just have a tendency to forget he is there. That’s nice in a lot of situations but when that results in his parents forgetting about him…. it's not so much fun as it is sad. Kelsie is the latest addition to the group and her superpowers allowed her to amplify emotions in crowds (kind of?) I guess she was an okay character too but I also didn’t really care about her?
You might notice that I barely said anything of substance about the characters and that's because I don't really have anything to say. We don't really find out the back stories of most of the main characters, we don't see most of the them engage with people outside of the group, we don't get to see them have any strong feelings towards things that don't involve their powers, we don't really get much of anything. At the moment, it just seems that their powers are what make these characters who they are.
There are two romances featured in the book and I didn’t like either *gasp*. Ethan has a case of insta-crush when he meets Kelsie. AND I DO SAY INSTA-CRUSH. They don’t even have a conversation before he is all like, I LIKE HER. Look, I've had crushes that have developed over the course of a day, so I get it, but I don’t tend to crush on random strangers I’ve never talked to before or seen.
The romance between Thibault and Riley didn’t work for me because it seemed random and we don't get to see the entirety of their relationship because Riley doesn’t always remember her time with Thibault. That is sad but also kind of creepy since she has no real way of knowing what happened. She just has to trust this guy she can barely remember, that nothing weird went down.
Also, Riley and Nate clearly have an interesting history and I was sad that was just brushed under the rug and not explored at all!
The main conflict is centred around rescuing Kelsie's dad who fucked up big time when he decided to get involved with the wrong crowd. It starts with a bank robbery gone horribly wrong and it ends... well that's for you to find out. I enjoyed watching these kids (I am going to call them kids because they were born in 2000) run around and use their powers in interesting ways to save the day.
Overall, this book was enjoyable with an engaging plot but I found it lacking in several other areas. I am intrigued though and still want to know more about these characters (AND NATE) and see where things will go from here, so I shall await the sequel. Until then, all I can say is that I hope other people will have better luck with the book than I did!
Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review...more
1. Yurik's broken English seems unrealistic. Like it isn't broken broken but this guy is writing a dissertation and wantsReasons why I did not finish:
1. Yurik's broken English seems unrealistic. Like it isn't broken broken but this guy is writing a dissertation and wants to win the noble prize for physics. I did a little research and asked a couple friends and it seems very likely that if he would have been writing his dissertation in English if he was aiming to win the noble prize for Physics. Writing dissertations is not easy. Also he would have had to do research AKA read papers that were written in English so in conclusion, I call BS on his broken English.
2. Yurik's cultural shock is also unrealistic. I've experienced cultural shock, I've had friends that have experienced cultural shock and his isn't it. People do not wonder how to give permission to someone to come into their room, we wonder about lingo and slang.
3. Ummm.. when are we gonna be done with the socially awkward super smart people stereotype? I get it, he is a prodigy and works with men three times his age (no female scientists are present in the book... or the 33% of it that I read) but that doesn't mean he has to be so socially awkward that he cannot converse with people three times his age or his own age or anyone.
4. The science bits weren't entirely accurate...
Don't get me wrong, there is potential in the book and a lot of people liked it so give it a chance if you're interested but I had feels and needed to share why this book and I were not BFFs....more
Do you ever read a book that leaves you feeling empty? Unfulfilled? This is what reading this***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Do you ever read a book that leaves you feeling empty? Unfulfilled? This is what reading this book was like for me. Even now, I am hesitant to pick it up and write this review because whenever I look at this book, I am reminded of that horrible feeling.
There are many good things about this book and I can see why so many people have fallen head over heels for it but this book and I weren’t meant to be.
This book is ripe with potential but for me, that potential was never fulfilled. Instead I was left feeling disappointed.
Maddy is a great female lead and she also happens to be biracial (YAY DIVERSITY!). I love that even though she has been sheltered all her life, she is never naïve. She is smart, aware of her situation and isn’t bitter. That is until Olly comes along. And that’s where I thing things took a bad turn. Because when Olly comes along, Maddy realizes she doesn’t just want to live, she wants to be alive. Olly makes her see all the things she wants and can never have so what does she do? She starts keeping secrets. And if there is one thing I hate, its secrets. There are exceptions but I don't think secrets should be kept from people who are on your side especially if they are just a cover for for reckless behavior. In fact, I am not really fond of reckless behavior (although there are certain situations some readers will find reckless that I wouldn’t so it just depends on the reader) and that was probably strike one for this book and I.
Even though Olly set into motion the events for strike 1, I’d still say he is pretty swoonworthy. He was hilarious, kind and SO PRETTY. He also liked math! Like Maddy, he is dealing with his own issues but said issues were never explored. Somewhere along the way, this book became more about how SCID was preventing Maddy from doing things she wanted to (like being in a real relationship with Olly) than it was about two people connecting despite their circumstances. I wanted a romance that wasn’t limited by restrictions but rather enhanced in some way. But that’s exactly what happened.
Something else that didn’t work for me were some of the minor conveniences like Maddy getting a credit card. Given that she is 18, it’s possible she could have done it without leaving the house but to get a credit card, I would assume one needs a bank account and how did she get her own bank account without her mom knowing and without her leaving the house? While we're at it, why is everything in the house so white? I get that it kind of represents the colorlessness of her life but I'd also like me some concrete explanations. Neither of these things are that big of a deal and the reason they stuck out to me more than they will to other readers was because by the point I started noticing and started getting irritated by these things, I was no longer in love with the book.
You see, this book was so very charming when it first started. Little details like old diary entries, lists, IM messages (that sounded realistic and weren’t written lyk dis) and Life is Short™ spoiler reviews that Yoon added made this book feel magical and brought Maddy’s character to life. I LOVED this book and I loved Maddy’s character (her favorite movie Pride & Prejudice, THE BBC version!!!!!) I loved Olly and Maddy’s relationship. I loved Maddy’s relationships with Carla and her mother as well. That first third of the book was magical but sometimes, magic doesn’t always last.
Something happens towards the end of the book that seriously pissed me off. That was strike three for me. I cannot go into much detail without giving away spoilers but that one thing made me feel like the entire situation at hand was undermined. Turned into something it shouldn’t have been. It seemed like an easy way out of a very complex situationand I hated that. I wanted there to be a complex solution to the problem instead of a mean twist that solved everything.
This book was obviously a miss for me but given how many people have loved it, I am sure many more will. If you happen to be one of those people who don’t, come join me in eating tons of Nutella to drown all that disappointment.
Note that I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
It’s been so long since I read Peak but I remember it fondly. Unfortunately, this sequel did NOT live up to my memory of Peak. I love a fast-pacedIt’s been so long since I read Peak but I remember it fondly. Unfortunately, this sequel did NOT live up to my memory of Peak. I love a fast-paced adventure but this one didn’t do much for me. It was quick and easy to read but that's pretty much it.
For starters, I think this book needed more development. Everything happened too fast and the tension was never the right amount. As a result, I wasn’t as invested in what was happening. I also found the entire situation unbelievable. A lot of things didn’t add up and there were way too many loopholes. For example, the climber from Australia is some guy who cannot even climb but the entire event is supposed to be full of professional young adult climbers. Could they not find a single kid who knew how to climb in Australia? I am just like woah.
Peak, for the most part was an okay kid, but he said some obnoxious things that made me wonder whether or not he lived under a rock (yes I am trying to be punny.) I guess when you’re a child prodigy, anything is a possible…
Maybe pass this one if you, like me, haven’t read Peak in years. Or if you haven’t read either, Peak might be something cool to try! Mountain climbing for the win!...more
The no.1 reason I DNFed this book was Delia. June and Delia's friendship seems so toxic to me and Delia just seems like a horrible person and I JUSTThe no.1 reason I DNFed this book was Delia. June and Delia's friendship seems so toxic to me and Delia just seems like a horrible person and I JUST COULDN'T do it.
I ended up skimming till the end to see how the mystery unravelled and that's when things really got interesting but not interesting enough to make me want to read the entire book.
I am slightly let down by the book given how much I adored Wherever Nina Lies but Delia is SO NOT WORTH IT. She is actually kind of terrifying... ...more
I have a very complicated relationship with this book. It’s not that I hate this book or even***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I have a very complicated relationship with this book. It’s not that I hate this book or even think it’s badly written. I think the characters and the plot are well developed. My problem is that this is a book told from the POV of a fox. A fox that is humanized but one readers are reminded is not in fact human. This was problematic for me because it made it harder for me to connect with the book and become invested in the story.
Isla is a young fox that gets separated from her family and then starts a quest to find her brother. She meets a somewhat fishy fox on the way that opens her eyes to the world around her. This book is a coming of age tale that features a fox and one I am sure won’t fail to melt several hearts.
In the end though, I just couldn’t be swayed over by the innocent charm of Isla and the richness of her world.
Note that I received an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review....more
I don’t even know how to react to this book. It takes you on a twisty, surreal journey and***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I don’t even know how to react to this book. It takes you on a twisty, surreal journey and leaves your brain scrambled. So what actually happened? That is a good question. DON’T ASK ME. I might be lying and you would never know. Oops.
Creepiness: While this book may sound like a mystery/contemporary, it is also deliciously creepy. There is so much that readers are in the dark about but it’s done in a way that isn’t frustrating. It’s exciting, engaging and FITTING with the characters and the vibe the book has going.
Unreliable narrators: I love me some unreliable narrators and this book definitely delivered on that end. I had a hard time deciding who I wanted to trust because even though there was one character that was horrible, the other two had hidden depths to them that made me wary of them. Basically, don’t trust anybody when reading this book. ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE GOING TO FUCK WITH YOUR MIND.
MIND FUCKERY: The caps lock is necessary when talking about the mind fuckery in the book. This ties back into my previous point about unreliable narrators. It’s hard to keep up with all the twists happening in the book because it get’s so twisty. My brain felt like a pretzel after I had finished the book.
Writing Style: I thought the division of the different point of views in this book worked very well. The characters did sound similar sometimes but I thought it was intentional because it helped confuse me even more about what the characters were doing/thinking/plotting.
My shippy feels: Of course I had shippy feels. I AM TRASH (this does not mean you are trash if you have shippy feels. I’ve just taken to referring myself as trash because I think the word trash describes me perfectly). Mind you, not all the relationships in this book were healthy and weren't meant to be.
My only dislike is that I wasn’t satisfied with the big revelation. I felt like there were things that didn’t add up. I love my twists but if I cannot trace back to places where I should have seen it coming or trace the story-line, the reveal won't work for me. And this reveal unfortunately didn't. The reveal also somewhat spoiled my reading experience because I went from being on a 'book high' to being annoyed.
But if you like psychological thrillers, or books that turn your mind into a pretzel, Wink Poppy Midnight is for you.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
Passenger AKA the much awaited, highly anticipated time travel romance. I had hoped it would be everything I wanted, I had hoped I would swoon and die because cuteness, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Passenger was by no means a bad book, I just had a hard time relating to the character and getting behind the romance (which is kind of a big deal given that it is a time-travel romance.)
Etta is really my biggest problem with the book. It isn’t that she is fundamentally flawed, I just couldn’t get behind her as a character. Her privilege, growing up the way she did and in the century she did, is so blatant and her ignorance of it really bothered me. Being with Nicholas did make her realize that she was a 100x better off but sometimes she'd say something that didn't sound genuine. Like at one point, she mentioned that things weren’t that much better in her century because as we all know, the 21st century isn’t perfect but it didn’t seem like SHE felt that way but rather she was saying it because it’s the truth. She seemed to be parroting all the right things as she underwent character development but these revelations didn’t --to me-- imply she had grown as a character.
The romance could be amazing. Time-travel romances are some of my favorites and have the ability to make me swoon but this one wasn’t everything I wanted. I didn’t hate it. I just had a problem with the fast progression. The first day (or the second) they meet, someone tells Nicholas that he and Etta are soul mates (simply by observing one conversation they had.) That, to me, was weird. Then they fall in love over the course of a week and that didn’t work either. I will say that given the situation, the development is actually pretty decent but I didn’t buy into their love. I would have liked if they had developed strong feelings for each other but hadn’t yet fallen in love since I believe that would have been more realistic, but alas.
So, those two issues out of the way, I loved the world building in this book. Bracken did such a fantastic job with it and I love the details she made sure to account for. I love the idea of passages and I love the way she explains ripples in timelines and how she builds a hierarchy within the world of time-travellers. The dynamics between these groups of people is so important and it is so interesting to see the way their interactions can affect an entire timeline. ALSO THE WARS. THE HISTORY. YAAS. It was also really cool travelling to different places in time and it was clear that Bracken had done her research. Side note: When ‘we’ were in 18th century New York, I really hoped Hamilton would show up and then everyone could hang out and be BFFs.
The plot-line of this book is also engaging, although I do think the book got to be a little longer than it needed to be. At almost 500 pages, it was almost a pain to read sometimes because so many scenes could have been cut, and I wanted the fun stuff to start already.
The book ended on a very exciting note and honestly, my problems with the book aside, I am ready for the sequel given the cliffhanger. So...the book has a cliffhanger and this is the kind of cliffhanger I know will bother some people. I was mostly okay with it because I am--at the moment--optimistic about the future but you never know what could change.
So read the book, for it’s pretty cover if nothing else. Or don’t if you don’t want to. Who am I to tell you what to do with your life?
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
Lock and Mori did not work out for me and this makes me a sad panda. I enjoy Sherlock***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Lock and Mori did not work out for me and this makes me a sad panda. I enjoy Sherlock retellings so I was excited to read this book but when I dove in, I was surprised by how meh I felt about it. If you want awesome Sherlock bits, this book isn’t it. Sherlock (yes that is actually his first name!) is barely present in the book. He is just a side character. In fact, this book should just be called Mori because Lock pretty much does nothing.
Lock has very similar characteristics to the Sherlock that we all love very well but unlike him, all Lock really does is get left behind. In fact, I kind of felt like Lock was a wannabe Sherlock. Even with the similarities, Lock wasn’t nearly as awesome as Sherlock. He was bland and all he did was spout out awkward emotional stuff when trying to explain to Mori how much he liked her.
Mori was sometimes even harder to like than Lock. All she did in this book was keep secrets from him. I appreciate that she isn’t dumb and is probably even smarter than Lock but I hate it when characters who are supposed to be working together keep secrets from one another. IT MAKES NO SENSE. Also her reactions to some things made no sense to me. Mori also seems to look down on other women and has some very skewed ideas about certain issues.
Then there was also the case of insta-love. I feel like Lock and Mori are a couple that you can root for, and I could totally understand all the hormones and physical attraction but then suddenly the L word was being thrown around and I just couldn’t understand how over the course of a week, they were in love.
The book also takes a shot at dealing with child abuse which is such a hard issue to tackle. I know sometimes I’ll blame characters for not getting out of an abusive situation earlier, but it isn’t as easy as just leaving. I think, for the most part, the author does a good job with the situation but I do wish some things had been handled differently.
The mystery aspect of this book was actually pretty intriguing and I loved connecting the dots even if I saw some of the twists coming from far away.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to win me over. I am still curious about the sequel and where things will go from here but I just don’t know if I am going to want to pick it up. Neither Lock and Mori did anything for me and I ended up feeling more frustrated than anything else while reading the book since I hate secrets. I do know several people who enjoyed the book though so don’t give up if you were looking forward to reading the book! Maybe it’ll work out better for you.
Note that I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review...more
I am now officially calling 2016 the year of the meh books because I have yet to read a book***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
I am now officially calling 2016 the year of the meh books because I have yet to read a book that has truly blown my mind and makes me want to roll around in the mud with joy. Banished is by no means a bad book, I would actually say that on the whole, it was a lot better than its predecessor but my problem with the book and what prevented me from loving it was the shit ton of romantic drama.
Romantic drama is the bane of my existence. Why cannot two people love each other and that be it? Why is it that there has to be 50000000 complications before my otp can be together? UGH. I am okay with *some* drama as long as I get groveling but when the main couple basically faces a new hurdle every couple of pages, I cannot. I want my couples to be able to work together as a team and trust each other. Trust is IMPORTANT and my rant is starting to get out of hand so let me pull myself together. Give me a second. I am alive. Okay. So within the context of this book (can you tell that the drama frustrated me?), I just wanted Jayden and Kadesh’s reunion to be a sweet one rather than them forming another fragile relationship after everything they had been through in Forbidden.
Now that I have that major rant out of the way I can calm the fuck down (to some extent) and talk about everything else in the book. WE GO ON A JOURNEY. And I like journeys so I really liked that aspect of the book. The stakes were super high and it was so so fun (I am a closet thrill-junkee…. SHHHHH.)
Jayden has also come so far since Forbidden. Her strength was admirable in Forbidden but it always seemed a little naive. In Banished; however, Jayden has matured so much that I just wanted to hug her and tell her I was proud. What? All characters are secretly my children. Kadesh on the other hand did not fair as well. He was still swoony but the fact that he chose to keep things a secret because he wasn’t ready to deal with issues was not a good thing. I realize he kept them a secret not because he didn’t think Jayden was ready because he wasn’t ready (which is better than nothing) but I was not satisfied. I am going to stop right here because otherwise, I will go on another long rant about romance stuff since that seriously disappointed me.
The setting also continues to be amazing. This time we got to see even more of the world and that made me happy since world building is always really important. I did notice that religion became a part of this story in a way it wasn’t in Forbidden. Or maybe I just noticed it more? It wasn’t like shoved down our throats which is nice but I also felt like the way religion was done wasn’t necessarily accurate given the era? I don’t want to say more because again, things get out of hand when I go on and on about something completely off topic. I am just really bad, aren’t I? You should all treat yourselves to chocolate if you are still here and reading my review. YOU HAVE EARNED IT.
So what else can I talk about? The ending? YOU MEAN THAT THING THAT HAD ME BITTING MY NAILS AND MAKES ME WANT TO BEG THE AUTHOR FOR BOOK 3? yeah that thing. it was okay I guess. *flips hair and walks out*
But on a serious note, if you are looking for a book set in a completely different time period, this is it. You have come to the right place, the Mesopotamian setting of the series is what appealed to me in the first place and now here I still am because the characters and the great plots keep me coming back for more.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
This was my first foray into R.L. Stine’s works and unfortunately, it wasn’t a very successful***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
This was my first foray into R.L. Stine’s works and unfortunately, it wasn’t a very successful one. I feel like ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ would be applicable here but at the same time, my biggest problem with the book was not the story itself but the writing style.
The writing style just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t even that it was childish, it was just that it never seemed to flow. I never felt like I was reading a story, it was more like something that was just a summary of what actually happened. I never felt like I was ‘in’ the moment. I always felt like I was an observer, merely seeing what happened instead of feeling it or experiencing it.
The story line was also a little awkward but given that I continue to read it instead of DNFing it, I didn’t mind it as much. It was also addictive because even though I didn't really like the writing style, my eyes were still glued the pages. It kind of reminded me of a cheesy old horror movie (but since I haven’t really watched any, don’t take my word for that). It was entertaining and actually kind of amusing (not sure if it was meant to be amusing).
I will not say that I hated the book, because I didn’t, it just seemed incomplete to me and I wish there was more substance to it, and the writing so I didn’t feel like I was just reading a summary of what was happening.
If you are a fan of the author, I would definitely say to give the book a shot but if you, like me, are a newbie, I'd say it's probably better if you start somewhere else....more
Duplicity is a book I can easily classify as brain candy. I had a lot of issues with the book***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Duplicity is a book I can easily classify as brain candy. I had a lot of issues with the book itself but the premise just made it so much fun to read about even if the main character and I didn’t get along at all.
This book is fantastically imagined and the fact that I am not a computer programmer and barely understand HTML, did not hinder my understanding. The author never left us technologically challenged people out of the loop (at least I felt that way) and gave explanations instead to make the whole idea behind the book seem more plausible (because it is a little bizarre at first and takes some getting used to).
Which is why this book was so fricking fun to read. I was already drawn in by the premise and hoped the book would blow my mind but sadly that did not happen.
My no.1 problem in this book appears to us in the form of a lovely (sarcasm) character named Brandon. Aka the main character. Aka a self-centered, attention seeking, asshole. It was just so ridiculously hard for me to take this guy seriously. He is kind of a sexist jerk, demeaning most of the girls around him except for his one true love. *gags*. I CANNOT. I was so enraged by some of the comments he made and the things he said. He is bad boy who acts the way he does, does the things he does, because he wants his parents to pay attention to him and he actually admits to this. Which just makes it impossibly hard for me to like him. I found myself wishing he would be more mature but he wasn’t and it bothered me. I went in expecting him to be some badass hacker and he is just a sad puppy of a hacker. I will say that he does undergo character development over the course of the book but it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy me and make me want to forgive him.
My next problem was the romance. It was so unnecessary and random. I felt like if this book hadn’t had any romance in it, there would be so much more room for Brandon to evolve as a character and for there to just be more badassery within the book. It could revel in it’s own awesomeness instead of just being a shadow of what it could be.
The romance is your typical bad boy meets good girl and decides he cannot be with her because he isn’t good enough and cannot understand why the fuck she would like him (and in this case, I kind of agree!). My problems with the stereotype aside (oh how I don’t like it when people do a 180 in their personalities for someone), I think one of the reasons why I never bought the romance was because we never really got to see the relationship. We were told the sparks were already there but since we never really saw their romance develop it was just all kinds of weird and awkward to read about. Emma was also just not a good love interest. She was incredibly boring and she was kind of just there. We never saw enough of her for me to form any sort of emotional attachment to her.
My favorite character in this book was Seb. When Seb came onto the scene, I was torn between being creeped out and wanting to cheer Seb on. Basically, Seb is made of awesomeness. I loved the twists that came with their character and I enjoyed their creepiness. I enjoyed never knowing if Seb was pycho or not. I just really enjoyed reading about Seb. They made the book SO much more funner and definitely breathed some life into it!
The plot was also fantastically developed. It was fast paced and even when Brandon was bothering me, it gave me the will to continue flipping through the pages trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.
All in all, I think this was an okay read for me which makes me sad. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I had high expectations and went in expecting my mind to be blown away when that did not in fact happen. Many of the details amazed me but Brandon was such a hard main character to get behind that I found myself feeling withdrawn from a lot of the awesome happenings. So much could have been done with his character and it wasn’t and that made me sad.
I would recommend this if you are looking for a read to take your mind off of other books, or if you’re having a massive book hangover and just want something that is light and will encourage you to pick up more books....more