August 3, 2017

The Midnight Rose: A Rambling Review (Adult)

18143789The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

I quite liked Anahita's voice and the historical chapters; in particular, the sections set in India felt fresh to me (I've read very few books with that setting). However, the modern-day sections dragged and I just found the conversations so boring and wordy. The dialogue seemed stilted and inauthentic at times. Generally, I think the book could have been pared down a lot more, to streamline the plot and avoid needless repetition.

I also found the story took a weird turn into the Gothic at the climax (spoiler, highlight to read: the whole scene where Rebecca is abducted by Lord Astbury) — I enjoy Gothic atmosphere and storytelling when that's what I'm expecting, but here it seemed a little out of place. There was also a psychological element that was explained in a confusing and potentially inaccurate way (
spoiler: Lord Astbury was referred to as having schizophrenia, but then Dr. Trefusis kept mentioning his alter ego/personality, which sounds more like dissociative identity disorder. They are two very different disorders!).

Overall, the historical chapters told through Anahita's voice felt real and compelling, but the story was let down by the modern-day counterpart. Given that I picked this up since it's a similar style of storytelling to Kate Morton's novels, I have to say: this book suffers for the comparison. 


3 shooting stars.

 

August 1, 2017

Flights of Fantasy 2017 Reading Challenge




Okay, so I've decided to join the Flights of Fantasy 2017 challenge! (Better late than never, right? I know I am too late to officially sign up, so this is just an announcement of unofficial participation, lol.) This challenge is hosted by Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Rachel from Hello, Chelly. I participated in this challenge last year but failed to reach my goal :(

This year, I've already read about 15 fantasy books, so I figure, if I sign up now and aim for 25, that's achievable... *crosses fingers*

Books on my shelves already that could qualify for this challenge include:

- Red Queen
- Defiance
- Stray
- Strange Sweet Song
- Shadows on the Moon
- Monstrous Beauty


July 27, 2017

The Crowns of Croswald: Unboxing Video!

I was contacted by author D. E. Night's publicist the other day about her upcoming middle-grade fantasy The Crowns of Croswald, with an offer to send me a "magical book surprise." Of course, with that description, how could I resist?

So without further ado, here is the unboxing that I filmed! Thanks very much to D. E. Night and her publicist for sending this my way :)


July 24, 2017

The Fault in Our Stars: A Rambling Review

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

11870085I'm no longer practically the last person on Earth to have not read this book! This is one of those books that I think is objectively quite well-written, but I just didn't emotionally connect with, personally. (No, it did not make me cry.) Hazel was a likeable protagonist who felt human and distinctive, and since she is the narrator we get to know her the best; yet even so, I still didn't feel as close to her as I would have liked.

A lot of this book is composed of conversation and Hazel's musings, so not that much really happens plot-wise (except for a few key events). I knew going into it about the spoiler ending (has anyone managed to escape that spoiler by now?) so that was not a surprise.

I found some of the philosophical observations on life a tad lofty and pretentious at times (which at least the characters are aware of), but I did find a lot of them true to life, acknowledging human reactions that often get swept under the rug or covered up by our society. That was one of the things I liked best about this book, that it was quite blunt about how it cut through the "socially acceptable" layer of human responses to get at how people actually think and feel.

3.5 shooting stars.



July 17, 2017

My Life Next Door: A Rambling Review

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

12294652This contemporary YA novel has gotten quite a bit of hype and I know a lot of people loved it, but unfortunately I didn't fall head-over-heels for it. I mostly liked the main character Samantha, whose voice was relatable and felt realistic as a teen's. Jase, on the other hand, while sweet and rather mature for a teenage guy, seemed a little too perfect; he never made mistakes and always appeared to know best, and it came off as a bit holier-than-thou at times (especially when all the other teens were making mistakes left, right, and center). I did enjoy the general dynamic of the Garrett family and the contrast to Samantha's, and found it interesting how entrenched she becomes in their life, which is unusual to see in a YA novel.

I felt kind of like this novel was split into 2 different parts: the lighter, bubblier, falling-in-love section that spans the first two-thirds of the story, and then the darker, heavier, angstier section of the last third. It was a little strange to suddenly have the story change direction and tone, and become much more serious. I thought Samantha's conundrum was a difficult one to face, and I liked the fact that the book was posing some moral questions and forcing her to think about what she believed in, but I also felt like it didn't exactly fit with the rest of the story that had come before.

Also, what an awful example some of the adults in this story set. I mean, just terrible. *shakes head*



 
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