Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #103

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Ten Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would

Are we going to play the "this book sucked" game, or the "this book was so much better than I expected?" I have no idea, I think it is definitely fun to bash books, so let's do that. Woo!

Literally looking forward to Of Fire and Stars since the beginning of 2016, and it just didn't work out for me at all. And for a ton of other readers as well. So I guess this really wasn't just a me thing.

Also was looking forward to Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit so much, even more than Of Fire and Stars. But that just, didn't end up working out for me either. I was just way to distraught and discouraged over the main character's father actions. Big nope for me.

I don't even know WHAT I read after finishing Vassa in the Night. No idea whatsoever.

I figured that after having good luck with the author's previous book, I would like Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. But that did not end up happening at all. Instead the book was fairly boring, and was really slow.

I WANTED TO LOVE Carry On. But I should've know that Rainbow Rowell couldn't write fantasy. Or at least couldn't write my expectations of fantasy. I set the bar too high.

Let us not go back to the trainwreck that was Zenith. The best part was that it wasn't even the whole book. Literally Part One pissed me off so badly that I just couldn't.

I'm pretty sad about Ivory And Bone, and I really wish it was the prehistoric fantasy we all deserved. Sadly it was not. Or at least it wasn't for me (and my buds).

Have I mentioned I fought so hard to get an ARC of Into the Dim? In the end it wasn't even worth it because I hated the characters wayyyy too much.

Riders wasn't that great either. I'm not so keen on the one special girl surrounded by all guys type of trope. Especially when she refuses to tell ANYONE what is going on. CUE FRUSTRATION.

To me, The Girl At Midnight felt like a carbon copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Maybe if I hadn't have read that first, I would have loved it. But sadly, nope.

To sum up, nope nope nopity nope to all of these.

I read most of these in 2016, which didn't end up being a good year for me reading wise. Hopefully this year is better!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Traveler

Traveler by L. E. DeLano
Traveler #1
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Source: ALA Midwinter 2017
Date Read: 2/5/17 to 2/7/17
352 pages

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it…This Jessa is going to live.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Ever read one of those books where you know you’re not going to get a whole lot from it, but it was still a fun read anyways? This (and a bunch others I read this month) was one of them. Usually if a book featured some sort of time traveling or parallel universes, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it unless everything made sense. This didn’t end up being the case with Traveler. Not that that meant everything made perfect sense (Spoiler: it didn’t), but it just didn’t bother me as much.

The synopsis of Traveler is quite intriguing, hence why I picked this up. And though it’s nothing like one of my favorite video games, Bioshock Infinite, it definitely reminded me of it. For starters, there’s this whole multiverse thing going on, in which our main character Jessa can travel and embody her “other” selves in other, parallel worlds. In each of these worlds, society, along with Jessa, are a bit different. In one world she’s an amazing dancer, while in another her parents aren’t divorced. It’s all based on constants and variables really.

Excuse me as I flail over Bioshock Infinite, again. BUT CONSTANTS AND VARIABLES

And on top of that, we find out that someone is tracking down all the Jessas, and killing them. Finn, who is literally Jessa’s soulmate as they are together in almost every world, is determined to put a stop to it, with the help of their Dreamers (or more specifically “guides in the dream world”). This is one aspect of the story that just didn’t make much sense to me at all. Let me break it down.

Dreamers basically guide Travelers on their missions. Remember how there’s probably an infinite number of Jessas? Well it was never really explained whether each Jessa had their own Dreamer, or if they all had the same one. Or maybe they all had different versions of the same one? See how it gets confusing? Well anyways, these Dreamers basically give Travelers “quests” that change the trajectory of other worlds. For example, a quest may involve recommending an amazing book to someone, which later will lead them to come up with the cure for cancer. Apparently Dreamers can predict these kinds of things. The weird thing though, is that Travelers have to travel to another self in order to complete these quests. But why? Why not just have that specific individual (that specific Jessa, for example) recommend the book herself? Why use another Jessa from another world? Well, the reasoning behind it is apparently emotional ties. Because I would definitely feel real emotional recommending a book to some rando. Okay.

Second, it seemed like the main Jessa we are reading about is the only one traveling to other Jessas. Why is it just her traveling? Why is no one else asking her for permission to enter her body? Maybe this just isn’t featured in the book? I will never know.

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe this book bothered me more than what I’ve let on. Well, yes, some parts did bother me a bit, but overall I really enjoyed the idea of it all. Though I don’t think I buy the whole “Every Finn and every Jessa are the same person”, because I don’t think they are. But in the end, I’m still looking forward to continuing on with the series. Hopefully it’ll my questions will be answer, and the second will be even better than the first!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: Wait for Me

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 2/4/17 to 2/5/17
384 pages
Rating: 1/2

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

So, it’s come to the point where I am not really having many thoughts for the books I read. And this includes this one right here, which surprisingly, is another WWII book. Wait for Me was a nice read, but it really wasn’t anything special. It also received a ton of attention as it was assumed to be a forbidden romance between a Nazi and a young Scottish woman. Though I do want to point out that the character was a German POW who didn’t want to fight in the war, I understand why some readers are tired of reading about stories that put Jewish people in the background.

Onto the review!

Though Wait for Me was easy to read, it didn’t really bring anything new. Most of the story focused on the drama of a relationship between Paul and Lorna, the drama between Lorna and her best friend Iris, and the weird and somewhat forced relationship between Iris and William (who was such a pompous ass, I couldn’t stand him). As someone who loves to read about uplifting, hopeful, and somewhat sad stories that take place during WWII, I was slightly disappointed.

Then again, maybe I should have paid attention to what I signed up for? I’ve been meaning to read more romance-y novels, but the relationship in this one just didn’t entice me enough. I enjoyed the characters, but they are pretty forgettable.

On the other hand, I did like the different cultural references. German phrases were thrown in to make Paul seem more authentic, though whether they were accurate or not I’ll never know. Also I want milk and tea from Scotland now. Is that actually a thing? You know what’s missing though? The Scottish accent. That’s a thing right? Maybe it was better it wasn’t written out on paper, because as a non-Scottish person, I probably would have had such a hard time reading the book. I don’t know, I guess accents aren’t really portrayed in books. Maybe I’m just going off on a tangent for no reason, whoops.

I also noticed that the writing was surprisingly simple. This almost read like Middle Grade (totally stole this from Shannon as we were discussing the book). I read YA because I need that break from my graduate school work, but I think this was slightly too simple for me. I needed more to the writing style!

I don’t regret reading Wait for Me, and overall I do think it’s a pretty good novel. I just wasn’t as engaged as I wanted to be. Hopefully I’ll read better WWII books in the future, because I am already 0 for 2!
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