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Search tags: 6-i-hate-1st-person-present-tense
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review 2017-06-25 23:43
Don’t You Cry - DNF
Don't You Cry - Mary Kubica

Sometimes, rarely, very rarely, I will come across a book written in first-person, present tense that is either so well done, or where the writing and storytelling is otherwise so good that I barely notice it, or else where it is used only sparingly and appropriately to a particular scene. But the vast majority of the time, I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. And I thought I only had to be diligent in checking the preview on YA novels, but apparently this gawdawful trend is invading other genre fiction.

 

I listened to enough of the first chapter to know that I didn’t want to hear any more, but will not assign a star rating as I didn’t get to my minimum 20 minutes of audio time.

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text 2017-06-09 17:27
The Girl Before - DNF
The Girl Before - Rena Olsen,Brittany Pressley,Penguin Audio

This is one of the books my mother picked using our Audible credits. She loved it, and apparently a lot of other people did, too. I stuck with it long enough to realize that the awful first-person-present-tense style was not just for effect in the prologue, but a stylistic choice for the entire book. 

 

And unlike the last book I just reviewed, it is not compelling enough to allow me to look past the FPPT. DNF. Didn't listen to enough to rate it.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Brittany Pressly's reading seemed okay, but the quavery voice she's using likely would have annoyed me over the course of an entire book, if she doesn't move on from it once her character is out of the immediate situation. 

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review 2017-06-09 14:15
The Hate U Give ★★★★☆
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

I really wish I could be consistent about writing down even a rough draft of a review as soon as I finish a book, because it starts fading for me as the days pass and my brain fills with other books that I’m reading. Because this book deserved much better than I can give it now. I finished it 3 weeks ago, and all I have left is vague impressions. I urge you to read Obsidian Blue’s excellent review, which introduced me to the book.

 

I will say that I connected more strongly with it than I expected, as I am generally not a fan of YA and have a pronounced aversion to the first-person-present-tense writing style so prevalent in the genre. The subject matter, being so far outside of my own personal experience, felt real and present to me, as did the thoughts and emotions of Starr and those close to her. The writing is compelling, and the plot kept me absolutely engaged. I appreciated the very realistic outcome of

Starr’s testimony

(spoiler show)

, and her emotional struggle to get there.

 

Sadly, I fail both the green bean casserole and the mac-n-cheese tests.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Bahni Turpin’s reading is so fantastic that I didn’t even notice the FPPT style for long chunks of story.  

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review 2017-03-04 12:41
Before I Fall ★★★★☆
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver,Sarah Drew

I should have really disliked this book, because (1) it’s YA, which usually wallows in feelings I left behind decades ago, and (2) it’s mostly written in first-person-present-tense, which I usually hate with the heat of a thousand fiery suns. I was convinced to give it a try by two excellent reviews from people I trust, and I decided to go with audio as the FPPT style is usually less obnoxious when read aloud.

 

And… I truly enjoyed it. It’s well-written, and the FPPT style actually fits with the story, and I could get over the adolescent drama, because getting over it is really what this book is about. I won’t go into plot details, because that’s been done elsewhere by more skilled reviewers, but I will mention the few flaws that made this a 4 star read for me. The mawkish romance toward the end felt like an obligatory addition to the plot, because apparently, all YA must include a love story and a teen girl’s life is incomplete without it. And the love interest was a male version of the manic pixie dream girl, and the only truly unrealistic character in the book.

 

A word of caution: As the book starts out, the main character is a truly unpleasant person, and I felt crazy impatient with her and her friends. I might have DNF’d if I hadn’t known that this was the point of the story. I’m glad I stuck with it.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Sarah Drew provides an excellent performance.

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review 2017-02-26 23:35
Can You Keep A Secret? (DNF/Not Rated)
Can You Keep a Secret? - Sophie Kinsella

I was able to get through enough of this book to see that this could have been a fun read, but I was so annoyed by the first-person-present-tense that I couldn’t force myself to continue beyond the first few chapters. DNF at 40 pages.

 

I was reading this for the 2017 Romance Bingo, for the New Adult square. I guess I’ll have to find another book.

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