Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Wilder GirlsWilder Girls by Rory Power
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I confess, I have tried to read this book over and over and over again for about the past year. Usually, I’m not this dedicated, and if I’m struggling that much to connect and invest in a book, I just move on. However, I received a free copy of this from Netgalley and hated the idea of not finishing and review it.

I think the general concept is fascinating, and I was extremely interested, which is why I kept reattempting this book. Unfortunately, I could never connect with the storytelling or world. It was hard to get settled in with the characters, as they were not always introduced well, so there was none of that instant emotional connection that is required to help you remember who is who and why you should care.

I needed the setting and world building to be stronger, and the characters to have more distinct personalities and reasons for having been included in the story.

In the end, I did not complete this book. After about 17 failed attempts, I finally decided to DNF and let it go. I’m still kind of sad about that, because I think there could have been something good here. It just didn’t quite come together.

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share

Mind Games by Shana Silver

Mind GamesMind Games by Shana Silver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m seriously behind on reading this book. Sorry, Netgalley. The concept is good, but I just had trouble engaging with the storytelling and characters. It’s overdramatic in moments, but the emotional resonance just isn’t there for me. It’s like the characters are a bit stereotypical or one dimensional, as opposed to being 3D, where I’m in the moment with them and feeling the emotions with them.

I did receive the ebook free from Netgalley almost a year ago, but I sort of stopped reading in print and have primarily read audiobooks this past year, which meant I just never got to this until now. I ended up grabbing the audio, since I still couldn’t talk myself into reading the ebook. I like the narration which is clear and emotional, though sometimes it draws attention to the flaws in the writing and storytelling.

I should note that this could all just be me. Maybe I’m the one that isn’t connecting with this story, because I can’t point to a whole lot of specific reasons or examples in this story that felt flawed or made it hard to connect. It was just this overall feeling of disconnect and lack of emotional connection to the characters and story. It felt like something I had to get through, rather than something that I couldn’t wait to listen to for longer. Typically, I love sci-fi, so I’m sad this didn’t do it for me.

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)The Toll by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved books one and two so much, so it’s with a heavy heart that I’m giving this 3 stars, and probably feel only 2.5 of them at most. This is long, and not in a delightful way. It’s sort of all over the place, yet it also feels like it’s going nowhere for most of the book. I had no idea what I was even supposed to be rooting for or hoping for, because the plot is random, character intentions are unclear, and there are so many scenes that seem to lead absolutely nowhere.

The pacing probably could be worse, though I’m not quite sure how at this moment, because I’m still so shocked and sad that it felt like a complete chore to read this book. I had to force my way through the last half and was relieved when it was finally over. I mean, there are some great moments here and there. It just isn’t enough to make this feel like an exciting and worthwhile story. Now I have to go, because I kind of want to wallow in despair.

PRE-RELEASE COMMENTS:
I NEED THIS BOOK. RIGHT NOW.

GET IN MY WAY, AND I MAY HAVE TO GLEAN YOU.

RULES SCHMULES.

description

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the WorldWomen in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was great! I had a bit of information overload, since I listened to the audiobook, which is good. However, I think it would probably be more enjoyable to read through the print version of this one, as you could linger (and I’ve heard it has an interesting format) and tackle only a few women at a time, instead of everyone at once, like I did.

This would be awesome for school science classes to read about one amazing woman at the start of each class for 50 days. The excerpts are relatively short, so it’s feasible.

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share

After Series

After (After, #1)After by Anna Todd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an interesting blend of BEAUTIFUL DISASTER and 50 SHADES OF GREY (without the BDSM) for me. It’s really angsty, emotional, and there’s a ton of poor decision-making occurring on everyone’s part. Characters are so damaged by their pasts that they don’t always behave lovingly, or as expected, in fact, they rarely manage to take a deep breath and figure out what is going on before overreacting.

Honestly, I thought this was going to be yet another boring NA that was so married to a common romance trope that it failed to be anything more, but I was wrong, as I was completely obsessed with this story and couldn’t put it down. So long story short, I brought a lot of doubt and judgment into this read, and while there are behaviors I still don’t condone, I was wrong on most counts about this being an interesting read. There’s even a part of me that wants to go back and reread it with fresh eyes, after knowing how it all works out. But I can’t do that, as I have already moved on to book 2 and need to know what happens next.

At the end of the day, I always prefer an emotional story with seriously flawed characters over a story that has flat characters and makes me feel nothing. Can I see some behaviors here that are red flags in a real relationship? Absolutely. But this is not a real relationship, and red flags don’t always lead to crisis. Both characters know how to stand up for themselves, so nobody is being walked on, even if I don’t always love and/or understand their decision-making during heated moments.


After We Collided (After, #2)After We Collided by Anna Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, the drama. These two are complete idiots, but I’m kind of crazy about them. I don’t even understand why, because I would not be a fan of most of their behaviors in real life, which feels like a double standard. Regardless, I seem to be addicted.

This book isn’t quite as good as book one, because it drags on forever and doesn’t provide much that is actually new through the majority of the middle of the book. However, the characters start to show minor glimpses of personal growth here and there, which gives me hope for them.

If you like a lot of ridiculous and/or shocking drama, then this will be right up your alley, as it seems to be right up mine. I think it’s because some of the drama has real teeth. I’m usually put off by excessive surface level drama, but Todd does a decent job of making the drama feel deep and complex.


After We Fell (After, #3)After We Fell by Anna Todd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I hate to say it, but I just can’t do it anymore. That’s two really long books in a row now with no actual plot or interesting storyline, other than a lot of endless drama. I’ve even gotten bored with all the sex.

Gasp. Yes, I did say that, but it’s hard to enjoy the intimacy between the characters when their relationship lacks true intimacy. I can’t even seem to get caught up in their sexy times, because it’s usually just a way to stop fighting or set their problems aside for a few minutes before returning right to them. And that’s not sexy to me. It’s actually kind of sad and pathetic, as well as completely dysfunctional.

The cycle is pretty much the same with Hardin: controlling behaviors paired with rude and disrespectful commentary, epic arguments that always escalate, screaming hateful things at a woman he supposedly loves but can’t seem to even remotely respect, running away and drinking himself into a stupor, Seeing Tessa with another man (usually just a random guy or friend—nothing questionable), getting in physical fights and/or verbally assaulting the other man, returning pathetic and grouchy and desperate, having sex, and then promptly becoming hateful, controlling, and emotionally abusive all over again. And the whole cycle repeats ad nauseam.

I was hoping for some actual character growth and development in this book, but honestly, I think Hardin got worse and worse. I don’t even really like him anymore. He pissed me off so many times by being such a controlling and abusive bastard. It was just red flags every 5 pages with this book. I thought maybe these two would start to grow up and learn how to work together and respect each other, but clearly I was asking for too much. And Hardin makes no effort at all to help himself, such as by going to therapy. He does start confiding in family more, which helps a bit, but that only lasts for a matter of minutes before he reverts to the same bad behaviors.

I liked Hardin a lot, initially, but in this book, it’s just so very clear that he is immature, insecure, and has really low self-esteem, and the way he makes himself feel better is by controlling Tessa, bossing her around, and making her feel small, which is something I can’t accept or respect at all.

Granted, he’s dating someone who he knows is a cheater, so that alone tends to create trust issues in a relationship, but after 2,000+ pages, we shouldn’t be in the same spot that we were in back at the start of book 2. If he’s never going to afford her any trust and respect, then they both need to just let go of this co-dependent idiocy and get their own shit together before trying again in relationships with new people (or maybe not trying, in Hardin’s case).

Also super shitty is Tessa constantly blaming other people for upsetting Hardin, after he loses his effing mind and goes crazy breaking things and attacking people. This just happens over and over again, and every single time, it’s someone else’s fault for upsetting Hardin, rather than Hardin’s fault for behaving so dramatically and aggressively, instead of controlling his temper and handling situations like a rational, non-violent adult who can communicate their feelings, issues, concerns, and emotions.

So yeah. From 5 stars to 2, because being crappy at relationships and not knowing how to be in one and make it work is one thing, but failing to learn and grow from past issues and mistakes is entirely another. Hardin seems to be incapable of growth, and I’m sick of it. And him. He’s a nasty bastard for most of this book, and there’s nothing charming, hot, or sexy about that. Then, there’s Tessa, who is basically becoming the classic abused woman, putting all the blame on everyone and everything other than where the blame should be laid, which is at Hardin’s feet.

I’m obviously not moving on to book 4. Clearly, this series is being drug on endlessly for the purpose of selling books, not because most of this shit is relevant to telling a good story about these two characters. It’s disappointing, but them’s the breaks. And I pretty much saw this conclusion coming while reading the last book, but I was holding on out of a desperate hope for something better. I wish I could have back the last 7 hours of my life.

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

On the Come UpOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was glorious. Angie Thomas has this was of making me think over things that I thought I already knew and understood, but then once I rethink them a bit and see all the different points of view, it’s like I understand those things in all new sorts of ways. I kind of love that. It feels like that shift from knowing to really understanding.

I think her books make a lot of complex topics clearer, even though, they also sometimes make me a bit discouraged about humanity and the slow rate at which change occurs. It would be nice if we could just all agree to do better right now.

View all my reviews

Share Content:
Share