Hello, you book nerds! The time has come for another post filled with mini reviews. It is also in which I showcase my excellent skill called inconsistency because some of the mini reviews are the tiniest things ever whereas some turned out being essays. Whoops. SUCH FAIL.
Aaaaaanywayyy, I’ve been having some pretty bad luck with my Netgalley reads as of the late, seeing as only 1 out of the 6 books I have here I (somewhat) liked. This post consists of all Netgalley books, which is funny because I didn’t plan for it to be that way at all when writing up this post. Okay so I’ll shut up now before I say anymore useless things.
Thank you to Flux, St. Martin’s Griffin, Bantam Press, Poppy, Disney Hyperion and Hodder & Stoughton for sending me these copies for review!
I put Dating Down down (hah!) at 15% because it just simply wasn’t working for me and between the first few pages, I read 2 other books. It’s told completely in verse, and while I normally don’t have any qualms when reading verse (case example: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan), this one is just not keeping my attention at all. It felt more like reading randomly broken up sentences that possessed no emotion as opposed to smooth, lyrical poetry, which was just plain awkward. I also found it really hard to understand what was going on, too, which is most likely linked back to me finding it hard to read on.
I’m sure this one will work for many others (as I can tell by looking at all the Goodreads ratings by friends and the rest of the community) who want to read about the hurt that love brings as well as the healing, but this just isn’t my cup of tea.
Hello, I hate you. Goodbye. *slams door in book’s face*
If you want a novel with (a proper representation of) Korean culture mixed with ultimate cuteness and likeable characters, I suggest you turn around and leave right now. Why? Because this has none of that. Sure, there are a few cute moments… but then the book takes it a step too far which results it coming off as cheesy and cliche. However, the main reason of this was because of how unlikeable the main character, Grace, is. She’s a music snob, completely ignorant of the Korean culture, rude, insensitive and awfully judgemental. Anymore synonyms for just a total jerk face? I swear, everything that comes out of her mouth has to be an insult to either: the Korean culture, the guy she likes, her own goddamn family etc.
Let’s take this for example, where the main character (I forgot her name already) is in class learning about the formality rules in the Korean culture:
“Why are there so many different levels of formality?” I ask Jason, praying he’s feeling gracious. “I don’t get it.”
“It has to do with respect,” he says, shocking me. “You want to give respect to people who have authority over you or are older.”
“Okay, I get that, but seven levels? Really?”
He doesn’t answer.
“It’s dumb” pops out of my mouth before I can stop it, and I mentally kick myself.
Seriously?? I just. What. No.
And let’s not forget how the novel reads as if it’s spoon feeding the reader all the information, and constantly stating the obvious. Ugh. I mean, I’M NOT STUPID OKAY, I CAN DRAW SIMPLE CONCLUSIONS MYSELF THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
On second thought, maybe I am stupid because I picked this book up. WHY, MEL, WHY?!
If you want to read something that has a similar idea to Hello, I Love You but is actually decent, try Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins instead. Unlike this book, we get a proper representation of the culture in which the MC is travelling to.
I actually went into this book expecting to not like it due to the huge number of negative reviews from my trusted Goodreads friends, but I did have a review copy so I thought: why not? And well, I finished it feeling rather surprised – I quite like this one, overall.
If you know me, you know I hate hate HATE fantasy novels that are slow paced because they’re boooooring and when I read fantasy books, I expect action, intrigue, suspense! And while this book does start out to be on the slow side of things, Johansen makes it so easy to be sucked right in. Before I knew it, I was up at 1am on a school night still flicking through the pages. The main character, Kelsea, is a young woman who I seriously admire. She’s witty, genuine, strong and is always trying to make a stand for herself, and I really appreciated that in her.
It’s a bit hard to categorise The Queen of Tearling into just one genre, it’s a fantasy with a medieval era feel but actually a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel? And that’s where I took stars off in terms of my rating. I felt like this book was exploring way too much for just the first instalment, and I would’ve liked to see just more development on the political aspect and world building. ESPECIALLY the latter, in fact. I must agree with everyone else that the world building is poor, but I have hopes that Johansen will smooth it over in the next instalment.
There’s very little romance in this book – I can see a nod towards a ship happening in the future books and well, I AM SO READY FOR IT. I love my slow burns 😀
In all, if you’re willing to look past the flaws, here’s a really solid fantasy series that I am sure will only get more brilliant as it progresses.
Blurgh, this book. Of course, I can’t properly judge it seeing as I only read up to 12% but looking at all the other ratings on Goodreads, it simply looks like there’s no point in continuing. All this book did was make me feel all kinds of levels of pissed. I get that the book was trying to go for a Courtney Summers-esque feel but nope, the characters in this book felt awfully forced, shallow and flat-out mean, while they could have been layered and messed-up on a three-dimensional level (i.e. like Courtney Summers’ books). Perhaps, if I liked the three toxic main characters more, I would have stuck with this book – but instead I felt completely indifferent towards them. Ain’t nobody got time to read about privileged, spoiled brats who can’t seem to know how to do anything else other than being that.
Why I’m only giving Witch Hunter 1.5 stars:
1. The main character is “one of the best witch hunters in Anglia” MY ASS. If you’re telling me that she’s one of the best witch hunters why do all we see from the very beginning is Elizabeth make fail after fail? I get that people make mistakes, but honestly, if you’re gonna tell me that this chick is the most badass hunter in town you gotta sell it to me. At least once. I DON’T ASK FOR MUCH.
2. The main character is annoying as fuck. Not only is this girl totally not badass, she’s as interesting as a blank piece of paper. It’s been less than a week and I had to check the blurb for the main character’s name because I keep on forgetting it because of her bland personality. She can’t do anything to save herself and has no thoughts of her own. Oh apart from her constant obsession that are her two love interests.
3. That’s right, there’s a love triangle. Great, right? I dislike this book even more now. And of course one of them has to be her childhood best friend. <.<
4. The plot is totally lacking. I found myself wanting to doze off during this one because of how bored I found myself. The plot remains as simplistic throughout and well, under-developed. There are so many plot holes and pretty much zero world building. It’s amazing that this book even fails to answer one of the simplest of questions: why is magic banned? I mean, if you’re going to write a story based on that it would be smart to explain the history behind it for starters. Just sayin’.
I’ve heard so much praise of Kirsten Hubbard’s Wanderlove that when I saw this one on Netgalley, I lept at the opportunity to try out her newest middle grade novel, Watch the Sky. I just want to say that I’m sure this will work really well for people in that age group, because the author masterfully tells an intriguing tale whilst introducing many dark themes such as mental health issues, which while they’re never explicitly said out loud, can be easily interpreted.
However, I did just not find myself enjoying this book. I really struggled to connect with the main character, Jory, who lives with his step father, two younger siblings – one who refuses to speak and his mother. His character fell on the boring side as it was lacking.
I was originally planning on giving this book 3 stars but the ending was rushed, anti-climatic and unrealistic for my tastes. Even though I didn’t end up enjoying this book, Kirsten Hubbard’s writing is something I want to read more of so there’s no doubt I will be trying out Wanderlove soon!
And that’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them?
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