Posts Tagged ‘arc’

The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E Smith

Thank you to Headline and NetGalley for the ARC of this book!

Recently, all I wanted was a nice, simple and engaging book to get through. Nothing too dense or too slow or too mind-numbingly dull. I wanted a book that let me put life and all its stress on the back burner and relax.

Good job this book came around.

Summary

Lucy and Owen meet. They move around a lot (and I mean a LOT). Other stuff happens, but not really. Actually, not at all.

Cons

It really isn’t a complicated plot. It was all very predictable, which made it easy to read, but not the most compelling book of all time. The formula is obvious from the beginning.

And predictability is a theme in this book. The characters don’t have much personality. They are likeable and fun, but not exactly unique, and I wouldn’t be able to call them out in a line-up. The interactions and ‘twists’ were very easy to guess, and all of it felt very cliché.

Pros

However, there was nothing really wrong with the book. Lucy and Owen are, sure, not the most ground-breaking of characters, but are still very likeable and easy to relate to. Their situations were adequately sad and their romance wasn’t bad or unhealthy or forced – a nice change from the usual stuff that comes spewing out of young adult romance.

Granted, they didn’t have much chemistry.

I wanted to believe they liked each other. They kept saying how often they thought of each other, and you could see the plot lines threading themselves in that direction, but I never really believed it. I rooted for them because I knew I was meant to root for them, but I never believed their attraction went past slight interest, much less a core part of the book, and the only plot line. Their conversations were nice, but never progressed from that until the very end, where it was quite nice. Not much improvement there.

The writing style was simple yet effective; I had no problems with it. I wasn’t completely blown away by its amazing-ness, but it never made me cringe nor groan, and that’s rare. So yeah, go writing style.

Overall

This book is very meh for me. I liked it, but not past that. I would recommend it lightly to anyone wanting something not too difficult or dense. The Geography of You and Me is a good book, I give it that, but I don’t think it’ll shake up the world any more after reading it. 3.5 shuriken stars. I would really like to read more of Jennifer E Smith’s books, because I had a fun time reading this book, and if you’re being bogged down by stress or want something easy to just fly through, I think you should pick it up.

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Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this ARC!

So let’s get straight down to what everyone is thinking: will the sequel live up to the first?

Short answer = :(. It wasn’t as good as the first – maybe even by far.

The strange thing was, while I was reading this book, I was loving it, but I also saw many flaws and problems which I didn’t like as much. Nevertheless, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.

Warning, may contain slight spoilers/ spoiler hints!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Summary (from goodreads)

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Cons

Love Triangle

The first half of the book was good, in this sense, because Celaena had ended things with Dorian and had stuck to Chaol without wavering. Having said that, it did frustrate me when we were in Dorian’s perspective and all he could do was act like a lovebird and constantly groan when he saw Celaena and Chaol together. As if the only reason it was happening was to make him a contender in the love triangle. But really – in a book like this advertising gore and blood – how many people would be that interested in love triangles?

Then moving onto the second half of the book. Suddenly Celaena is crawling back to Dorian and forgetting Chaol even though they had spent “quality time” together.

Celaena’s Victims

At the end of the last book I clearly remember the king telling Celaena that, if she didn’t do everything as planned, he would kill Chaol, then Nehemia, and finally the rest of Nehemia’s family.
So what I don’t understand is why wasn’t she killing her victims? Yeah, I understand that she wants to have a clean conscience, but she is an assassin. If she can’t do her job then what is her purpose?

“Plot Twist” (NB this is the plot twist which has to do with who Celaena is)

When I was first introduced to some of the information in the plot twist these were my thoughts:
“That would be too predictable, and so I won’t predict it.”

So by being too predictable it became unpredictable and when it happened for sure, I was groaning inside. The plot was already complicated enough and the “twist” was unneeded and annoying.

Oh, and speaking of plot twists, I also saw the plot twist with Archer coming. I’m not sure why, but this time the plot twists were a lot more obvious, or maybe I’ve just gotten used to the style.

Future books

I saw on goodreads (so it may not be 100% true) that this is going to be a six book series. While I know I will probably read the first three, I don’t know about the rest. A long book series is always risky, and more often than not it ends up going downhill, or losing its plot. So I’m just sitting here now waiting to be proven wrong because I really don’t want to see this series, with such awesome potential, go downhill.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Celaena’s threats:

I know it’s part of her character, but I really just despise her threats of “cutting ears off,” or “eating those cut off ears,” etc. It would be okay if I knew she would actually do them, but each time she does it, it’s so obvious a bluff and everyone keeps falling for it. It’s so frustrating.

Pros

World

I loved it. I loved the magic, the mythical creatures, the royalty, the setting. It all seems to blend together and just work.

Pace

It kept me completely hooked, pretty much all my spare time was put into reading this and I don’t regret it. It started with a fast pace and since the beginning it never slowed down.

Characters

Loved the character development of basically everyone. I especially loved Celaena, Chaol and Nehemia. I also loved it after the second half when Celaena was back to hating Chaol, It was like old times again, as well as making character development interesting. I’m also eager to see though what will happen in the next book because I’m sure (ish)  that somehow Celaena will forgive and trust Chaol again.

Nehemia

I know she kinda counts as a character, but really I think she is too awesome and devious to not have a whole paragraph dedicated to her!
From the start of the first book when we first met her I loved her. Her deviousness and cleverness made her just the character that the book needed. I both liked and hated how she was smart enough to influence Celaena and I loved her “hidden life” that she kept secret from Celaena. She would be the Sherlock of this book: capable of mass destruction but decided to be “on the side of the angels”.

Second Half

I personally preferred the second half just because there is less lovey dovey stuff going on and Dorain acting like a heartbroken kid. I also loved how the sudden change, changed everyone. For Celaena it meant trying to kill everyone who stood in her way. For Dorain it meant he had another chance with Celaena. And for Chaol it meant he was dead inside.
One part in this half though that really got me was when Chaol found Celaena’s will. It was written perfectly and when I thought of myself in Chaol’s position it just made me want to melt from the inside out.

Overall
So while my review is half filled with cons, it doesn’t actually reflect properly what I felt about the book: I actually loved it! It was awesome. It’s like a cake – if I take the ingredients separately then I will have a long list of food which I don’t like – but all together it just works and becomes one of the best tasting things in the world!
So aside from my cake baking fantasies, overall I would give this book 4 shuriken stars because I loved it, but it just missed the zang of the 5 stars which the previous book had.

Ink – Amanda Sun

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for providing us a copy of this book!

WARNING: There are some minor spoilers in this review. You have been warned. HUZZAH.

You know that saying, don’t judge a book by this cover? Well I’ll admit it, I wanted to read this book because of the cover. But really, can you blame me? This cover is gorgeous! I mean look at that beauty!

So things were looking good for Ink. That is, until the romance appeared.

Summary

Katie is the new girl at high school. She meets the mysterious yet beautiful Tomohiro. He turns out to have supernatural powers. They fall in love.

Cons

Cliché

Does that summary remind you of anything? Say, I don’t know… every bad paranormal romance to exist ever?  Stripping away the Japanese element and the supernatural power in question; we have your boring, high school romance where nothing happens except our oblivious main character obsessing over some random jerk she just met. And the first half of the book, with the odd supernatural occurrence, was just Katie thinking about Tomohiro. And then talking to Tomohiro. And then staring at Tomohiro. And then thinking about him some more. And it got boring very quickly.

The Relationship

The only time I actually felt that they had some sort of romantic connection was near the end of the book, at which point it read like a school crush. Except we are supposed to believe, by this point, that these characters are so in love with each other that they would die for one another. Their relationship moved unbelievably fast.

The Characters

Katie felt very bland, as her whole personality seemed to consist of being in love with Tomohiro, which left no space for us to see anything else about her. And none of her other relationships seemed real because of it. Unfortunately, the minor characters had barely any screen time with Tomohiro taking up all of Katie’s thoughts. However, I will say that Katie, at least, had some common sense, which is more than I can say for most of those lead female characters out there.

And Tomohiro was creepy as hell. Sure he was certainly a lot nicer than most of the guys in paranormal fiction (*cough* Patch Cipriano *cough*), but the one attempted rape scene certainly changed my opinion about him. I know it was an act, and I know he didn’t mean it, and I know he was doing it for Katie’s good, but holy waffles did it make me uncomfortable. I mean, was he not the slightest bit worried about how Katie would feel afterwards, almost being violated by someone she thought she could trust? I didn’t get any inclination that he felt uncomfortable trying to rape her. And I didn’t understand why he could have just told Katie, straight up, that he was too dangerous to be around. Nope, his first resort was sexual assault. Creepy.

The minor characters really were lacking in personality. Jun was flirtatious. Yuki gossiped a lot. Tanaka… was there. Diane was sweet. There was a very obvious lack of subplots in this book, which would have helped greatly to make them more developed characters, however we know almost nothing about them and therefore they were mere cardboard cutouts of people.

The Writing Style

It was, honestly, nothing special. A lot of clichés used. Someone would say something, and Katie would tell us what they meant, even though we knew what they were talking about each time. It felt as though each fact was being repeated two or three times for us just in case we missed it, which felt unnecessary to say the least. However, the writing did flow nicely and the book was very easy to read, so I’m not trying to say that the writing was bad at all. It was good. It just could have been a lot better.

Jumping to Conclusions

Katie sees her drawings moving on the page, and then sees Tomohiro standing near her. She assumes that he is causing the drawings to move.

That seems like a pretty big conclusion to jump to for a girl who does not believe in the supernatural and barely knows this guy who she suspects to be making her drawings murder weapons.

Pros

The Setting and Paranormalcy

It’s nice to see a writer set something in a different country, and obviously know what she’s talking about. I don’t know much about Japan (apart from what I’ve learned from anime) but her facts did seem very accurate and the culture was fascinating to read about. And it did help me learn some more Japanese, which is always a bonus. And the supernatural element? Awesome. Drawings coming to attack you and cutting you yet having no control over it – a brilliant concept but also a nice new take on the old myths. My favourite parts were probably the gruesome yet beautiful images of the ink: pooling out of canvases and people; mixing with blood and to the ground, then suddenly disappearing in the next second.

The Humour

It was very sparse, but when it was there, it did make me smile. It wasn’t forced, like a lot of humour in books tends to be. And if there had been more of it, it would have made an even more enjoyable read and developed Katie’s character a lot further.

Quotes

  • “My heart was glass–easy to see through, simple to break.”
  • “They tell you you’ll forget how it used to be. You’ll get used to it, that it’s better to move on. They don’t realize you can’t. You’re not the same person anymore.”

Overall

A brilliant concept yet it was ruined by the unnecessary romance, and the bland characters. However, it was an enjoyable read and the setting and supernatural elements really enhanced the experience. 2 1/2 shuriken stars. Read it if you want a new, good, paranormal romance, or are looking for something quick and easy to read. Or if, like me, you’re a sucker for gorgeous covers.