Giselle's Reviews > Strange Places

Strange Places by Jefferson Smith
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it was ok

First off I want to thank the Goodreads' First Reads program and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book, but unfortunately it was not my cup of tea. Strange Places is about an orphan girl who is trying to find her parents and embarks on a journey in a completely different and magical world.

In the beginning it was actually pretty great. Very intriguing, mysterious and actually had lots of funny dialogue. But once Tayna goes into the magical world, it dragged on and on and on and on. Eventually I lost interest and skimmed the last 80 pages or so. It's a bummer too, because of that great start I was sure I was going to really enjoy it.

It's not a bad book, and I can see why others like it. It's the little details that bothered me the most. The names! Village names, character's names, kin names. They were strange and hard to keep up with. Some of them had apostrophes, some were tedious and most were just strange. It was hard to keep track of what the heck was going on because of it. I was often confused as to if we were now talking about a person or a town!? Likewise, the towns, villages, the whole world was huge. A map at the beginning of the book would have helped situate us in the story. The point of view switches were also bothersome. They seemed to be random and shifting to characters that were either mundane or irrelevant: I wasn't interested at all in Elecand in his pocket and that weird empathy language they had going on. I just wanted to walk along Tayna and let her find her parents already! Cheese whiz on a stick!!

Now, there ARE a some good aspects in the book. The humour was actually pretty decent; It had me chuckling a few times. I really enjoyed the protagonist. She was strong and brave, and the mysteries behind her life were very interesting. So it wasn't all bad, or even half bad. Mostly, it just felt too long. If the author would have given us a few hints and more excitement towards the middle - or been shorter - it would have definitely kept my interest. Instead, the beginning was great, the middle was way too monotonous and kept changing directions, then the ending was very abrupt: we get all our questions answered in the very last pages. It had nothing in between to keep it fresh. Giving us nothing to ponder over.

I really really wanted to like this. I especially liked the hand written note I got with the book. I presume from the author or publisher. So it pains me to give it a low rating, but it is what it is.
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Reading Progress

July 31, 2011 – Shelved
August 19, 2011 – Started Reading
August 19, 2011 –
page 42
13.42% "So far so good. Intriguing."
August 22, 2011 –
page 199
63.58% "Meh. Kinda bored at the moment."
August 24, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by AH (new)

AH Don't feel bad if the book wasn't right for you. The first reads program is a great way to get books/genres that you wouldn't normally go out and buy. Sometimes there are really good gems, sometimes not.

Giselle Yeah I love the firstreads program. I've gotten a 5 star book - the very first book I won. So it's a toss. But I'm still glad I read it. It did sound like something I would like and I get to try out new authors.

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