Alrighty then- I know a lot of people sometimes skip these little intros- but I am gonna ask you not to look away cos I have *important* life updates. As much as I squirm uncomfortably when it comes to talking about myself, I have to mention that I’m going to be going away for a few months in just over a week. And this is almost as surprising for me as it is for you, cos I only sorted out some of this really recently 😉 While I’m hoping that I’m going to have plenty of content scheduled (this is possibly not the smartest decision I’ve ever made lol, so we’ll see how we go) and that I’m going to be able to sort out internet issues fairly quickly… that’s is all subject to stuff I don’t know yet. And also not gonna lie, I’m a bit all over the place at the moment getting ready, so I’m sorry if this effects bloghopping and replying to comments. So yup, that’s my exciting, but nerve-wracking news, gonna shuffle off like an awkward turtle…
Oh and in relation to books, I’ve kinda put that on the back burner and am not really reading for the first time in years (I’d call it a slump, but when I realised I didn’t have time, I figured I’d hit the pause button for a bit). That said, I still have quite a few books from before that slump hit:
Ugly Love– oh this won’t be pretty… Let’s get to what I liked first. I did think it was well written and the dual structure worked nicely. I also liked the Miles sections quite a bit. HOWEVER the romance felt too heavily based on physical attraction and not much else. Both the past and present felt like instalove- and while I could forgive it in the past sections, cos of the style, I couldn’t connect with it in the present. I also found Tate to be whingy and her perspective a little dysfunctional considering Miles’ treatment of her. And it’s not that I didn’t feel sympathy for Miles- but this was only cos I had information about his past that Tate was lacking. So I never understood why Tate put up with how nuts he was. Also, the lack of communication made it feel like such an unhealthy relationship and in the end I just wasn’t feeling it. Hoover can be hit or miss for me and to be honest this didn’t quite hit the mark. I wouldn’t say my relationship with the author was on the rocks after this, but I’m not quite flooded with joy (in case it isn’t obvious, I liked the water motif). It wasn’t bad per se, just okay.
Rating: 3/5 bananas
The Deviants– so this was a bit more graphic than I was expecting. In fact this was a book full of subverting expectations, cos there was a big twist I didn’t see coming. I did like how it was done, I’m just still not sure how I feel about it as an ending, even if it was clever. It fell short of the mark, because there didn’t seem a good enough reason for it (hard to explain without giving spoilers). Unfortunately, one major sticking point was that I didn’t like most of the characters and didn’t feel a proper emotional connection. It felt more like a message book than an exploration of people and the emotive blows that almost hit were from the subject matter alone. Overall though, it was a pretty good book and my main reason for the lower rating is that I don’t think the subject matter was something I wanted to read right now.
Rating: 3½/5 bananas
The Bone Queen– this was such a nostalgia trip for me that I probably wasn’t as critical of it as I should have been. The thing is, even though it’s years since I read the original trilogy, I still loved the characters and that carried across. And I liked some of this content-wise, but I had no idea why a lot of plot expedient information was told instead of shown- just why?! I mean, I’m not one of those people that yells “show don’t tell”- yet this was all action expedient to the story. It would have made so much sense to not treat it as backstory that’s reported in dispassionate third person. The story was alright overall, I just don’t agree with this stylistic choice at all.
Rating: 3/5 bananas
The Smell of Other People’s Houses– this has such a great cover and title and promising reviews… but was ultimately really disappointing for me. While I liked the initial descriptions, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. There were just too many of them for the short space and it kept chopping and changing, so I couldn’t get to grips with them. Worse still, none of their voices were distinct enough to set them apart, so I didn’t even realise there were more than one perspective until halfway through the second pov character. The structure killed this for me and I didn’t get anything out of it.
Rating: 2/5 bananas
Falling Fast– dear lord this was bad. Literally everything about it felt *wrong*. This is why I normally don’t pick up random books on Overdrive. The plot is essentially: girl wants bf because she’s bored, girl gets bf, bf is borderline abusive and shouts at her at the drop of a hat, but girl is okay with that cos she *loves his face*. I almost felt sorry for the mc, only she was such a whiny “oh why is my life so ordinary” character (why do authors think this is sympathetic?). In fact, while we’re on the subject of unlikeable, having the mc call her mum a Nazi cos she has a problem with her child’s abusive boyfriend is not #relatable, it’s just disrespectful (and majorly stupid). Anyway, I know *clue’s in the title* but they fall way too fast. Oh and don’t worry that he’s volatile and loses his temper easily at her, it’s cos he’s been abused. After she says “I love you”, he doesn’t reply cos they’ve barely been going out, but then a while later he says this: “I should have said: okay then come home with me. Then we’ll see if you love me”- which turns out means he wants to show her his abusive home life- BUT isn’t that the creepiest line ever? How is this romantic?
Other stupid elements:
- Studying a play that has to have relevance in real life- this goes for Romeo and Juliet, because of course this dumbass teen drama wants to compare itself to the bard. Just effing great. *Slow clap* there.
- Apparently at the school they go to the High School teachers bribe teens to be in the school play with an A* in English coursework #logic
- Her being jealous of her attractive bestie.
- The obligatory “bf saves girl from rapists”, in an attempt to make him seem not so bad in comparison. Also I thought I’d got the age range wrong before I got to this bit, cos it was written in such a childish manner.
I’m trying to come up with any redeeming features, but I’ve got nothing. This gets a banana peel:
They Both Die at the End- would you believe this is my first Silvera book? I was largely impressed by it- it was very original and emotional in a short space. It was fairly gloomy the whole way through- but then I expected it somewhat, cos, well, the clue is in the title. And argh that ending was really tough and felt so authentic. The romance was good- only I think this is the only time I’ve ever yelled at a book to *hurry up* given it’s their last day and all. Also bonus points for having an awesome taste in music, especially “American Pie”, which made me sing and read at the same time (I am such a weirdo).
Rating: 4/5 bananas
La Belle Sauvage– so if you don’t know, I am MASSIVE fan of His Dark Materials and I was super stoked for this book. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like the book was entirely necessary, especially since I knew where it was going pretty much from the start, yet I liked the story and really appreciated the way it set up that there is more to come. I’m especially intrigued to see where this whole series is going. And as a book on its own, it added to the world-building beautifully and had wonderful adventures that reminded me why I fell in love with the series in the first place.
Rating: 4½/5 bananas
Have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!