"I needed to be near my smart friends," Chris said calmly. "The back don't know jack."
Let me think
I think I just fell in love with Chris
Yep. I did.
I am really sorry but I just can't. It seems that lately every YA Fantasy I pick up is like this one. Totally a struggle to get through. So I did what I rarely do and decided, I ain't gonna torture myself.
I am done.
Maybe if this wasn't another book that felt more like a chore reading, one in a long line of disappointments I've been struggling through, I might have finished it.
BUT let's face it, I know this wouldn't have gotten loads of stars from me, no matter what.
Because my biggest issue with this is the writing style.
Rather surprising considering that I have read Redwine before, and quite liked her writing style. The Shadow Queen however feel rather woody. It felt constructed. I found the dialogues most of the time annyoing. The banter way to cliche. It's like Redwine tries really hard to incorporate the world building and the way she did it just doesn't work.
It's all too cliche to start with. The plot, the characters - I was hoping for an awesome different kind of retelling. But when you look at the plot we are in cliche-ville YA. There is absolutely nothing that stands out. It could be any old YA story, it's been done a gazillion time.
Which would have not been a huge issue for me, if this had great characters... Alas. I didn't thinks so.
Then add to that rather underwhelming world building... and we have a not completely terrible but honestly a forgettable book.
Which brings me back to the writing style. Because even if with all those faults I would have still read it. But I literally dreaded picking up the novel to force myself through another chapter. And at 20% I decided that enough is enough. I really don't like the way Redwine wrote this.
Pity really, because I like Redwine (usually) and I love the idea behind this.
Honestly wish I would have liked this more.
Because the way this started, the blurb, the cover - it all made me feel extremely hopeful
A royal assumed dead. Lost and forgotten. Trapped in a tower within a cursed forest, surrounded by monsters.
Doesn't that sound familiar? Well, to me it sounded like my favorite childhood fairytale.
And hence I was looking forward to it.
I liked the idea of the world- the midlight, shadows, the creatures, the eclipse... It's so goth, pretty gruesome awesomeness...Right down my alley.
But alas I didn't.
Because let's just face it. That's where my likes end, mostly at least.
I am not exactly wowed by the character building.
The support cast, feel exactly like that. Support. Nothing more.
While I like that Luna is a slightly different kind of MC, I found here annoying. In fact, she is rather melodramatic and very ungrateful. Supposedly she is this amazing person... but I just couldn't see it.
And mostly she was the cliche spoilt uber-dramatic princess. I wanted to smack her most of the time. Actually I wanted to shank her. I found her POV overly whiny. Her dramatic self-sacrificial ways, felt more like a way of getting attention than anything else.
Fowler... So he is clearly hot, or at least we are told that, he has a sexy voice. BUT he is just another walking cliche. His big secrets, are not surprise - I could see them coming from a mile off. The only time I felt a connection was when he was thinking about Bethany right at the beginning.
The romance is woody and felt a tad tired. I mean we told that there is this huge connection between them- this amazing chemistry. I however didn't see that at all. There were a couple of sweet moments, but the kiss 75% in was totally underwhelming actually. It's insta-love/lust and the few sweet moments couldn't cover up that fact. Oh and where is the starcrossed part we are promised in the blurb?!
While I do like the setting, the world building has huge gaps. I was left with a gazillion questions. Still my favorite part of the book.
The plot is boring.. most of the time. At least for the first half, not much happens. Much melodrama. But then they started traveling and it got a wee bit more interesting. At 80% though, I was kinda done. I would have totally DNFed if this wasn't a ARC.
This ends on a cliffy. It's supposedly one of those uber-cliffies... but the most disappointing thing about that? I didn't' really care. I was just glad that it was done.
I am really sad that this didn't work for me. I like Jordan's writing style. I like the way she described how Luna saw things, I like the concept, the general idea and I am not sure I am totally ready to give up on the series yet. I have hopes, that the second book will get better....
So the big question remains..
If we were a movie...What would we be?
I've just asked Mr. O that question.
I thought you were more the if we were a song kinda a girl.. actually you are, but you even more if we were a book kinda girl.
I am totally aware of that! I always have a theme song to my current life. So yeah, he got it right the first time around.
Hence I could totally relate to Jordan's outlook on life. In fact, now I keep thinking about what movie I am could be in... the little problem is, I am so not a movie buff... So guess I just keep having theme songs and read books instead.
Why do a babble on about movies you wonder? Well, because Oram related every scene in the book to a movie. Starting with Sliding Doors and ending with Love, Actually. I totally love the way she incorporated over 30Movies- two imaginary once, related to her previous books (so cool!) - into this fantastic cute & fluffy. In my opinion this is Oram at her best!
Full review to follow on release day!
Until then I shall give you the movies list:
Joe Versus The Volcano
She's The Man
The Princess Bride
The Druid Prince
The Usual Suspects
How To Loose A Guy In 10 Days
Back To The Future
Sid and Nancy
Save The Last Dance
Someone Like You
Music and Lyrics
V Is For Virgin
Home For The Holidays
Nation Lampoon's Christmas
Shakespeare In Love
Sleepless in Seattle
(and references to Matrix and Arachnophobia )
So what movie would you be?
I have a feeling that I might be in the minority, as quite often when it comes to romance books like this one. And with these kind, I mean your rather cliche, well everything.
I actually liked it too much to DNF but while it had some quite fun and cute moments-the entire thing felt way too tried. It like half the situations were beyond cliche and the other half felt like Drayer is trying way too hard to make this quirky.
I think the writing style is quite good. The plot- well, I am a fan of bestie to lover stories- and this one was a bit meh and way to0 melodramatic.
The characters were.. well ... the guys are all a bit dim r super duche-bags, quite frankly. Except for the two gay guys- they seemed to dole out life advice on a stick instead. The women are all a bit catty. And let me just put it out there I am not a fan of Megan I found her self-centered and totally immature, a totally drama queen and rather manipulative. Half the time I kept thinking, she is supposed to be 30, but behaves like 12... And all those situations? Spoilt and selfish is all I can see.
I did like Peter, except he wasn't the brightest bulb was he? And I honestly don't think men are that stupid. I think it's rather sexist of us women to assume men don't have a clue- like ever... oh wait: except when they are gay, then the ball game changes apparently.
My biggest issue with this however? The sex and the supposed chemistry between Megan and Peter.
There was none. No chemistry. Drayer kept mentioning there was, but I couldn't see it at all.
The smut? It felt generic. Like now we doing this kind of scene- let's start and a go to b then c.
"Why Peter, I'm getting the distinct impression that you want something,"she teased as he crawled up her body. She giggled and tried to wiggle out from under him, but he caught both her hands.
Peter wasn't sure what she had in mind, but she was an alluring siren. He'd follow her anywhere.
Really? I found Megan's smut talk and behaviour obnoxious. At best.
But mostly the smut felt plotted and overdone.
So not a series for me..
Buuut I still lurve the cover and bestie-to-lover beats insta anyday!
"Marriage is an ultimate sport in emotional multitasking. I'm never ony mad at Greg. I'm mad and madly in love; angry and concerned for his wellbeing; he frustrated and delights me in the same second"
Happily Ever Ninja gave me exactly what I was expecting and it totally didn't.
Let me explain this statement.
What do you expect when reading Reid? Well, that's easy enough to answer: A whole lot of fun, some cute & fluffy, awesome geekness, lots of smolder and most importantly real life romance. And Happily Ever Ninja ticked all those boxes... and then some.
So basically if you love Reid and haven't read this: Why are you sitting here reading my review? Just go read the book. You will like it. I promise.
Now why did is say it totally didn't fulfill my expectations? Look basically this is a good thing, but it also holds the a wee bit of my only tiny issue with the book.
I mean what do you expect when there is a romance novel about a couple that is married for more than a decade? When Reid has written a super cute and heart melting novella about how they got together? (oh yeah, if you haven't, do read it! It's awesome!)
I was worried that maybe we get a break up and this is their makeup novel? --Rest assured this isn't.
Honestly would you have asked me how Reid is going to make this into a romance, that would have been my only possible option. Buuuuuut thankfully as I said, she didn't chose that route.
Instead, she, in my opinion, did something way way better. She went real. And I mean really real.
If you have been like me married a while, your spouse and you live hectic life, spending quite a bit of time apart. This will ring so true! I cannot describe how often I could relate to Fioan's worries and reactions. Those issues, are totally real life.
But most importantly the romance. The love. All the bits that make Fiona and Greg's romance, were so familiar and rang so true, it was eerie actually. I felt like Reid might have stalked my life... Then I wondered if this is maybe, at least to a part autobiographical? Because, though I have never met Reid (sadly) I imagine her to be quite a bit like Fiona, which mean she definitely has a Greg in her life, doesn't it. Add to that Fiona's situation at the end of the book... (well minus the ninja parts obvs.. at least I think so) then well, it seem to kinda fit right?
I am getting carried away here...
Basically what I am trying to say: Reid managed to write a romance about a fairly happily married couple... by highlighting the beauty and depth of their relationship. She took a marriage and boiled it all down to the core of why we are married or in relationships with people and what the beauty of it actually is. Simply put: genius. I absolute adore it!
To get us to those meaningful moments, Reid chose a rather action filled plot. To be honest I am not quite sure how I feel about the plot. I love it and I don't like it that much.
Look the stuff that happens in Nigeria- I love that Reid decided to point something out, that is a reality. But while I read it, I kept on feeling frustrated by the lack of romance. Don't get me wrong, the action bits are good. They are fun. They are sadly not that far fetched.
The oil industry and the situation she points out in West Africa sadly are absolutely true.
But as I said I had expectations- and it wasn't THAT.
When I finally got over that tidbit however, I really enjoyed the ride.
While this could work as a standalone- I think it would be a crime to not read the other books first. You would miss out on so so much. (So basically don't do THAT.) Having read every single thing Reid has published so far, I loved revisiting the City Knitters. And honestly I think Greg has become my favorite male hero in the Knitting in the City Series...(sorry Alex.. ok, maybe they kinda equal...)
Greg is infuriating, sweet, hot, .. ah just pure awesome. I could totally relate to his POV and I absolutely loved Fiona's POV. I was hoping there would be a novel about them, right from the first book. And Happily Ever Ninja, did not disappoint. I loved getting to know those two better, loved how they got together and absolutely adore how they make their romance work, day after day.
I am not sure how I felt about the 180 turnaround in the end... I guess I expected a compromise rather than a total turnaround... but I still felt all gooey happy about it.
Look again, this is not your usual run of the mill kinda romance, it is actually the daily grid kinda romance. And if you look at it that way, then this is way more profound and way deeper than anything Reid has published so far.
Oh and I loved how each chapter was started.. Just loved it!
In my opinion a must read for everyone out there that is with their person for a while...
"My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you,"he whispered, like it was a secret. My smile was immediate. A rush fo emotion stung my eyes. Because sometimes marriage to this man was wonderful.
SO I just need to first mention this: Please have a look at the cover. Isn't it very pretty?
The coverslut in me was very happy indeed, when I got this novel.
And while one shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, this one, well just go ahead and do.
Because if I had to describe The Secret to Letting Go in one word? My choice would be beautiful.
I love Fleet's prose. And I am definitely going to look out for more books by her. Her writing style is descriptive, thoughtful and subtle.
The plot was well paced. I liked the back and forth in time. And Fleet chose the right moments to expose more details of the mystery. It kept you in the exact right amount of suspense, to eagerly read on but not be distracted from the subtle changes and small events. There were some nice twists, bits that I didn't exactly anticipate.
But I also have to say that some events were kinda unbelievable and a tad too convenient. Especially how Clover's situation got solved.
I was however too wrapped up in the characters to care. I connect with both Daniel and Clover quite quickly. While I wasn't a fan of their insta-connection/love or whatever. I did love both POV and I routed for them. I loved Clover's inexperience and her wonderment. I love how Daniel found himself as her protector but also how they helped each other deal with their past. They both change over the run of the story- and it is believable. Fleet it an amazing job at showing their heartbreak, their insecurity without being melodramatic- but rather it's subtle yet raw and real. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
Last but not least: a word to the epilogue. I would have been ok with the end- before the epilogue. The epilogue made me grin- the perfect cute & fluffy to a heartbreaking & heartwarming story.
So even if the romance was rather insta, the story line rather unbelievable at times - it is still overall a unique cute & fluffy- that has actually some serious depths. And there lies my favorite part of the book. The depth. The unexpected dealing with loss and overcoming the past. It's beautifully done, incredibly moving and yet wonderfully uplifting.
When I read the blurb of this, I loved the sound of it. It's set in NYC - one of my favorite cities in the world.It sounds like there won't be any instas going on... I knew that this could go one of two ways- I love it or loath it.
Well, I was wrong. On many accounts. First I neither love it nor loath it. I am not wowed for sure, but I also didn't hate it. It was just.. kinda awkward actually.
Look it's not terrible or infuriating, but it just never gelled with me.
First of all, the romance? INSTA all over. I could have lived with that. But I didn't buy it. They had no chemistry. Even if Clinton kept stressing that they did- well I didn't feel it.
Then the smut- was beyond awkward. It was odd and felt super wooden. Not enticing or sexy or hot. It felt rehearsed and planned. As in Clinton added some odd bits to make the couple more real or unique... BUT it felt like it was planned and more importantly it just felt off and weird.
They supposedly so in love. But I really didn't get any of that. I mean they professed to strong feelings, I just never I felt nor did I actually believe it.
Their infatuation felt superficial. Their big fight and the break up? It felt staged. And the supposed hurt of Ashley? What hurt? I felt it more in the blurb than reading the entire novel.
The character building felt labored. I mean, Clinton gave both MCs quirks and bad sides... but that's how it felt. Like their weaknesses were planned. Like Andrew's problem at the end? I felt like smacking him. Seriously, get real! It felt totally put on- so that we can have a last big drama...you know the perfunctory one before the end.
My biggest issue with the character building was, that Ashley and Andrew behaved rather juvenile most of the time. Their actions and reactions seemed to be rather arbitrary at times. Just like teens. But see we talking adults, first they in their early twenties then in their early thirties.. and frankly I just kept thinking grow the heck up people!
The plot was okay. I guess. A tad cliche. But actually not bad. This could have been a good cute & fluffy.
But I think my absolutely biggest issue with You're Still The One was the writing style. While Clinton does very flowery descriptions- they quite nice actually- the dialogues were totally wooden. Somehow they felt staged rather than a conversation. Then going back to the whole flowery descriptions- they didn't work in the context most of the time. I am not sure why. As I said, Clinton writes quite nicely. But somehow it just didn't work for me. I missed depth and soul- and saying that I have to stress, that I feel like Clinton did try and portray that. BUT I could simply not connect to it. It surprises me, because I usually love beautiful descriptions- but here it felt put on. The New York Clinton described, was not my experience of New York- Just some details felt off. In fact I was wondering if she actually has been there.
It seems my recurring problem with this novel. I simply didn't feel it, I just couldn't connect. At all.
So while I wish it would have worked better for me. I think the concept was interesting, sadly not for me though.
"As long as your fingers remain clean, I can ignore the rest." At her surprised expression, he elaborated,"Yeah, I know it sounds freaky. I have a bad case of finger obsession."
I am not quite sure why this was marketed as a fantasy- because in my opinion it isn't.
Well, it does have some fantasy aspects.. but on the large, I would call this a historical novel. And therein lies my biggest issue. There is no world building. If this is a fantasy- then the world building is extremely bad. Because the only bit of world building that has been done: There are some people with witchy powers. Full Stop. That's it. No other fantasy or paranormal aspect at all. Ok maybe because there is some paranormal bits- we could call it a paranormal historical? Even that is kind of a big stretch at the moment at least, maybe Carson will add more paranormal bit in the next installmen? Who knows, but for me this was a huge let down.
Now. Let's look at the rest of this novel.
The genre is different from what I usually read. This is a rather realistic historical western- based on the gold rush to California. And if you look at it that way... it's rather a different experience. To be honest I am not that well versed on that part of the history. But as far as I can tell Carson did a smashing job at it. The difficulties and dangers that people faced, the euphoria , the drive of the gold rush. It's brilliantly described and conveyed.
Carson's description, her writing style are beautiful. This a really well written novel. Clearly well researched. I love the landscapes Carson painted with her words. But mostly I loved her character building. It's definitely my favorite part of Walk on Earth a Stranger. While everything is told from Lee POV, so the view of a young girl, who travels by herself west, each character has real depth. Over and over we get to see other sides to each of the support cast. Lee changes hugely, her fears and hopes were pivotal to me. I totally got where she was coming from. Her upbringing being unique for it's time, the mysteries around her parents past and the friendships she forms are part of what makes her feel like a real historical character. I feel like I got a glimpse of one of the tracks west. A slice of those exciting and scary dangerous times thanks to the exceptional character building.
Because while Lee is in constant movement- and somehow quite a bit happens. This is totally character driven. It's the lives and story of the characters that build the story.
Looking at the plot. I was left with a gazillion questions. As I said, Lee is in constant movement. There is a hint a romance, but not much happens in that department. But if I would have to sum the plot up.. in one sentence: This is the story about Lee's track, who through bad and unexpected circumstances, ends up joining the gold rush to California, on her own and in disguise. I found this rather slow paced. I kinda expected more adventure. But after I got over my initial expectations- I enjoyed the slow but beautiful way this was written, reveled in the brilliant way Carson conveyed an interesting part of history through her ability to bring the human aspects of the time across.
While I am totally unimpressed with the worldbuilding. I liked that this is something different, a completely different setting than what I usually read. So at this point I am planning on reading the next installment.
Walk on Earth a Stranger is a beautiful and interesting coming of age story, set in an intriguing time with a splash of paranormal.
I loved my mother. Loved my father. Loved Olivia, Oz, Chevy, Violet and this club. Then there was meeting Breanna and the emotion of being around her is nothing like that definition of love. This is heartbreaking and consuming and addictive. It's terrifying and peaceful, crazy and serene. It's a million things in one brief moment and it's something I don't understand and never want to live without.
OMG THE FEEEEEEEEELLLS!
my heart is breaking and expanding at once!
The first reason why I was drawn to The Mother Road was the cover. Yep, really. I am a cover slut after all and this one? Pweeeeety.
Then the title.. I mean hello?! Anything that could involve a road trip... worth reading in my books.
The third and final reason why I chose this, the blurb.
Sounds so like my kinda book.
Well I knew this can go only one of two ways- I was going to love or loath it. AND. *looks at the rating* lurve it. I did.
I have never read anything by Quinn before, but the first thing I did after finishing this, browse amazon and get myself another book written by her. Because honestly I love how this was written.
The Mother Road is written in first person, alternating POV of Porter and Marley. It's in fact written like the two of them are friends and they telling you their side of the story. I loved both POV. And mostly though I loved the humor. This is really funny. So funny that I kept chuckling - Mr. O kept asking me what was so funny.. which meant I had to tell him.. which started getting annoying because I have so little reading time atm and I really wanted to enjoy the book...- Any way, this is hilarious. It has some absolutely beautiful and really funny moments. I love Quinn's humor.
Her writing style is witty, spunky and descriptive.
The story line is just like the blurb says. Essentially we have 4 people going on a road trip as a lot big hurray, eating a whole lot of hot dogs and playing lots of odd games, while reminiscing and honouring the past, but also making new memories.
As I said my kinda book. But if you expect loads of beautiful description of the landscape... not gonna happen. While they are on the road, their journey in a way is much more inward. This is all about those 4 people and their bonds. In the best possible way. Don't get me wrong, there are some great description, but there are way more great moments. I think they could have traveled to Mars, it wouldn't matter. (Well, obviously it does, because this trip has a personal meaning to them) But the point is, that Quinn writes this beautifully. I felt like I was on the road with them. And honestly she get's the balance just right. This isn't a travel novel after all. But you get the feel of the places they are at.
For someone who traveled a lot and who has done loads and loads of road trips The Mother Road felt like I was on the journey. All the ups and downs were in this. The mishaps that could happen... the private jokes one gets, the funny and the ugly it was all there. This felt authentic.
Then there are lots of foodie references. (that leads me to the question is there really a secret menu?!!)
I think I would be friends with Marley and Porter in RL... Paul... hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Weeeeellll. Actually yeah, I have a friend who Paul reminded me of. LOL. But I would draw the line on road trips.
Let's just put it out there: The Mother Road is completely and utterly character driving.
And Quinn did a fantastic job at character building. I honestly feel like I know all 4 of them. Like I was told the story by Porter and Marley. I felt their distress, was upset for them but also delighted and amused. Essentially we only get to know the 4 characters, we just get a small glimpse of a couple of others. Quinn created four complex individual characters, but more than that she wove a picture of their relationships. There is no insta nothing here. But deep roots, complex relations and history. Each one of them has a unique relationship with the others. They interwoven and all care for each other. And all of this feels like it could be real. There is no pretty or immaculate instead we get complicated and complex with real depth.
Another real romance book that is a must read IMO.
I love Entangled Crush and have come to expect solid cute & fluffies from them. And The Girlfriend Request does deliver!
I enjoyed this falling for the best friend story and like that Andrefski showed that sometimes hiding behind the world wide web seems easier than actually talking straight to the person.
Naturally this brings a buttload of drama with it- because well, making a fake FB account, can never ever bring happiness after all...
I love Adrefski's writing style. It's straight to the point and contemporary. Both Eli and Emma's POV are clear and different. And I got their confusion and pain and related to both of them- well most of the time. I shall get into this a wee bit later however.
The story line had a few twists and turns, but I wasn't surprised by a single one. It doesn't matter however, because this is a classic high school cute & fluffy and while one is totally aware of the destination, one - well I particularly am in for the ride.
This shines with the character building. I did like all of the characters. Andrefski did a great job. Because I liked the support cast so much I would like to read more about them as well. I adored Eli and Emma. Their little quirks and bits and pieces that made them a team...I got most of their confusion. It did remind me of being their age again, one has these ideas and expectations but essentially we all a tad lost and confused. It's a time of finding oneself and finding ones path, and also a time of utter stupidity at time.
So why is this just 3.5 Stars? Honestly? I found their inability to communicate really annoying. Actually let me correct that. While I wanted to smack Emma for the stupid fake account, I kinda thought, well know people who would do that... Then when they were all confused I felt for them... BUT when Eli did spill it all and asked Emma to talk. She didn't even listen and she didn't speak up as well. She just well, expected him to know. And even worse she kept trying to manipulated him. Now I know actually many grown women who do that. So I guess Andrefski hits a point there. But personally I can't handle the whole smoke and mirrors thing- just freakn man up and say what you want. Speak the heck up. I get that it's scary and that it's hard to put ones heart out there... BUT if you want to gain a heart you gotta bare yours. And well if you don't the result is guaranteed heartache or at best a relationship that is built on deception and dishonesty. I felt that this wasn't actually stressed enough. I feel in fact if we would tell teenager out there to drop the act and be straight with the ones that we hold dear- we all would have much less heartache... but Emma does redeem herself and the end is really cute.
Another great addition to Entangled Crush.
Definitely worth reading for lovers of the genre!!