Saturday, November 7, 2015

Throne of Glass, Wintergirls, And We Stay // Mini Reviews

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
You guys convinced me to read this. I would have never picked it up on my own volition, but I saw so many fangirls that I wanted in. I wanted to know what the hype was all about.

Short Synopsis: Girl must compete as the Prince's champion in a contest to become the new royal assassin, but then the contestants start to be mysteriously murdered.

Format: audiobook

Overall Feeling: *yawn*
The first 3/4 of it was terribly slow. It did start to pick up towards the end, but by that point I had already mentally checked out. I hated the names for Dorian and Chaol. I felt that the love triangle was too forced. I wanted to see more magic and less love interests. And, for crying out loud, telling me that Celaena is the greatest assassin ever means nothing if you don't show her assassinating ANYTHING. Seriously. All tell, no show.

I also liked Nehemia, but felt that something about her was missing. And what the heck happened to Nox? He just dropped out of the plot completely.

Note on the audiobook: I hated the narrator's voice. If I read the sequels, it will be in a different format.




Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was my third read by Laurie Halse Anderson (after Speak and Twisted) and although I was pretty "meh" about the other two, I was really hopeful about this one. I had seen some other reviews just praising the book and its rich writing style, so I was excited when I finally found a nice copy at the local used bookstore.

Short Synopsis: Girl's friend dies from an eating disorder as she herself struggles with anorexia.

Format: hardback (from used bookstore)

Overall Feeling: I had a love/hate relationship with the writing of this book. It's so...different from what you normally read. It's so figurative. At times, it was beautiful and powerful and crisp. But then I got really, really sick of it. Sometimes, it was so figurative that I had no idea what was happening or what was real, and I hated that. At that point, I got really bored with it and it took me a long time to pick it up to finish the last 1/4 of it.

I thought I would like it more, but it wasn't a badly written book. There wasn't much of a plot, but I still felt interested and a bit invested in the characters. It's kind of a heartbreaking and painful story, but I felt that it was worthwhile.




And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
I was super excited about this one because I love Emily Dickinson and poetry and this type of story. It's also the first 2015 release that I've read this year (so far). It's only about 220 pages, too, so I figured I'd be able to get through it easily.

Short Synopsis: Girl goes to the boarding school that Emily Dickinson attended after her boyfriend kills himself and then writes a lot of poetry.

Format: paperback (from Amazon)

Overall Feeling: Disappointment.
This book had such potential. It had the recipe for a book that I was bound to like. It even won a Printz honor! But in the end, I felt that it didn't come together very well.

I didn't feel anything for anyone. In fact, the main character really got on my nerves. There was really no plot, and the whole book was basically falling-action to a climax that had already happened. I wish I had gotten more of the story with Emily and her boyfriend Paul and less of the French class and smoking and coffee-drinking. I'm not even sure I know what the point of all the coffee was.

It had strong influences from Emily Dickinson, which was fine, except for there were too many forced coincidences. The MC's name is Emily, which I could accept, but then she shared the same birthday as Emily Dickinson. WHY. I don't even know. It killed the illusion for me.

Also, she says "lieberry" instead of "library" throughout the book and even though she had a reason, IT DROVE ME CRAZY.

The poetry was okay. I liked about half of them, but felt that there were maybe too many. And I wish there was less oh-Emily-you're-the-greatest-poet-ever. If the author wrote the poems herself, and then has her characters praise them over and over, isn't that a bit...cocky? I don't know. They were alright, but not the best thing ever, and most of them were way too similar to Dickinson.

I will say it goes quickly and gets a little better towards the end (although I thought the ending was too rushed and forced), so if you're curious, you can probably fly through it without feeling that you wasted too much of your time.

~~~


What's the lesson here?
I think I'm a picky reader and I can't trust other reviews and I can't trust my own instincts.
5 STAR BOOKS ARE ELUSIVE AND YOU CANNOT PREDICT THEIR ARRIVAL.

Next up: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, 
I'm still trying to get through The Night Circus (it's awesome but I haven't had time to listen to the audio).

Have you read any of these books? Is there something wrong with my brain? WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

--Emily
currently listening to: Hearts Like Ours by The Naked and Famous