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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-22 22:39
Wilder Girls-Review
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

I am overly conflicted about this book. There are many aspects I liked about it : the body horror, the government cover up, and the queer aspects just to name a few, but there are many aspects about it that just fell flat for me. In fact I was quite nervous to finish it because quite certain that however it may it that it was going to ruin the entire book for me. I put off the ending,aka the last two chapters, to the point that I finished an entire Pet Sematary audiobook before I finally went back to finish it.

 

As much as I love darker themed young adult novels, I was really wanting it to be darker than it ended up being . I realize this is a personal issue and had I wanted to read a darker body horror novel there are plenty of adult novels that would have been better suited to my needs. Even so I was still expecting just a bit more from this one.A lot of my issues, though, with this book in particular plot points that to me do not make sense. For instance more than half way through the book an incident with the fence safe-guarding the school from the twisted animals that now roam the woods allows a bear to get inside said fence, and inside the school itself. Under the circumstances, it would still be case for alarm if a normal bear had gotten in. Given that it is twisted by whatever is infecting the island, which turns out at the end to be some parasitic worm thing, it is meant to be a even more terrifying experience was frustrating since Hetty and most of the other girls are able to outrun the bear from room to room and barricade themselves inside said rooms. The latter is at least more believable than the former. During the whole encounter only one girl ,that I recall, actually dies from the whole episode with the bear.

 

I am not saying the author should have killed off more characters, she is not at all shy to kill characters or least some of them, but the fact remains that some how they are able to outrun the bear when people have hard time running away from "normal" bears in the wild. It just all feel too overly convenient. What should have been a high stacks nerve wrecking scene just to me held no tension whatsoever. Mentioning killing characters, though, the author does rack up quite the body count and yet it doesn't hold the impact, least to me, that the author intended. I will like to state character deaths other than a few instances(aka my favorite character in a given work or a death that comes completely by surprise) rarely do much for me. Here, though, the deaths that do occur suffer from particular aspect of novels that really bug me : killing of faceless,nameless, "unimportant, side character(s). Now I am not saying the death of side characters always come off as "safe bets" or meaningless deaths but here it does. Of the characters that do die, the reader only really gets to know the slightest bit of them based on what Hetty has said about them or the few scenes they are present in, which is not enough in to develop them or they were not develop as well as they should have been. Instead in this book , it feels like the reader should be shocked by the number of death instead of who actual has dies. I felt the same way about the two adults that died and then the boy that dies from Byatt kissing him.Given how little time we get to know them their deaths hold little or no impact. If you don't really give the proper time to really know characters than their deaths just don't mean much .

 

The only death that would and could of held any meaning the author took back , which is a trend in books and other media that I hate. Will be the first to admit I am not a doctor, but I was pretty sure with how invasive Byatt is removing the worm thing in her arm, how much blood she loses in the process, a fact that Hetty remarks on when Byatt is finally found, and the fact that Byatt is left alone who knows how long with no medical assistance she would not still be alive .Least it doesn't seem like she should still be alive. I think it would have much more impactful to have her die, have Hetty deal with that grief and pain of not being able to get there in time, which it seems for a moment she is than to be oh no Byatt is actual alive, very very weak by somehow still alive.

 

Another aspect of the novel that sort of threw me was the romantic subplot. I love that there is a queer relationship in this and other than the body horror was an element that made me pick it up in the first place,but I am still confused by the two that get together. From the start, was pretty sure Byatt and Hetty were meant to be the romantic pair given how close they seemed in every scene they shared together and given the book was from their two points of view. I have nothing against power close friendships and given what has happen the students may cling tighter to each other more than ever before,but it just felt like more than friendship between the two of them , least from Hetty's chapters. No, though, seems Reese and Hetty are the ones that get together, which just really confused me. Hetty spends way less time with her, at one point Reese tries to choke here and for awhile seems like they are not even friends anymore and are not not even talking. I can buy that Byatt and Hetty are just really close best friends . Books need more powerful platonic best friendships they really do. The fact still remains that relationship makes no sense between the two that are paired up in this book. Maybe I was missing subtle clues but to me seems they went from sort of again not even being friends because of Hetty getting boat shift, something Reese really wants to try to find her dad, to kissing and suddenly are sort of together. If this was the plan where were there no chapter from Reese to get to know her more and develop her more?

 

Overall I enjoyed it enough to finish even if I put off finishing it but I wanted more from it. I really enjoyed the body horror aspects of it and when they were the focus the book was really exciting . I just really wanted more of those aspects I am not faulting it for not being as dark and gritty as I first thought. I get it is young adult and the darker elements have to be toned down in some way for that target audience. Even so what it did do in that respect was great and just again wanted more of it. I was not a fan of the lack of any explanation for the Tox. I was not expecting a full exposition dump since that would have been over the top and annoying , but was expecting something more than was in the book. I get diseases are confusing in real life but was expecting some sort of explanation to parts of it at least in this. Finally as much as I love open endings , when they make sense, the ending felt rushed and abrupt.Was overall just disappointed in a lot of the aspects of this novel. The cover is gorgeous,though

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review 2020-01-21 05:05
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

Image result for disappointed gifs

 

*Full review to come.

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text 2020-01-19 02:44
Reading progress update: I've read 320 out of 368 pages.
Wilder Girls - Rory Power

The ending of this book is going to make or break it for me.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-16 22:17
My Sister, The Serial Killer-Review
My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite

Even though this was not exactly what I was expecting , I still really enjoyed it to the point that I flew through it. Now it is on the shorter side , but I put aside other books I was reading just to finish it. Starting out I was expecting it to be more like [book:My Lovely Wife|39796904] or the [book:Darkly Dreaming Dexter|17231] series. Will say if you are wanting more on the murder front or just something more dark and graphic, I would recommended those over this book. While the the murders are still a major part of the book given it what it is about, all the deaths happen off screen and this is much about the consequences after the fact. I could also see some people taking issue with how short the chapters. Personally thought they made it go by faster. The chapters are all only a few pages so made you want to keep reading but could for sure see how it could also make the book seem choppy at times.


Given that the murders are not front and center , the book comes off more as a character study of how the main character deals with the fact of what her sister is and the lengths she will go to protect her to the point that by the end the main character is pretty much a criminal too. There are a few elements of the story that are a bit predictable, but turn out exactly in the way I thought. Will say if you are not a fan of open endings and need some sort of closer, you are not going to get it. Personally, I a big fan of opening endings as long as they are done well and make sense for that particular book. For this book, the opening ending was the most realistic outcome. The man in the comma, for instance, finally wakes up and recalls some of what the main character though it is not clear if down the road he will tell what he knows. There is that chance he might later on decide he might, on good intention, release what he knows or maybe he will find a way that he could profit in some way from what he knows. I am sort of surprised that it wasn't mentioned.Also enjoy that it is clear that her sister is going to keep killing and that the main character is at some point going to have to decide if family loyalty is worth hiding the truth.

 

The one draw back of this novel is how easily the police believe the sister's and/or the main characters version of events when there is more or less clear evidence that something is not what it seems . In reality the truth does not always win out and people that should be in jail are not and those who are innocent are locked up , but like many similar books the police in this are sort of useless. Not saying I wanted it to go down that road. In books at least, it is more fun if people get away with their crimes or if they come really close to being caught and are able to get away in some way. The two came close to being caught when the police take the main character's car and when a bloody napkin was found at one the crime scenes. The napkin is brought up and not too soon forgotten.It doesn't even appear that that the police even took it in for processing. I also get that the main character cleans up after her sister really well, but you can't tell me she got everything . Just while it may be possible to get blood stains out of various materials, it is pretty much next to impossible to be certain ever trace is washed away even with obsessive cleaning.Every day you see criminals that are brought in because they missed one stray amount of blood or a fingerprint they front to wipe away.Even if the main character is a nurse, she is not a forensic expert and thus even if she is using a black light to make sure she gets every bit of blood it is not logical to think she got everything given that it doesn't seem like the sister does anything to cover her tracks.
Overall though even with the few minor flaws here and there still really enjoyed this one.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-14 17:26
The Tenth Justice-Review
The Tenth Justice - Brad Meltzer

Overall I enjoyed this . It was fast paced and for me at least it was quite the page turner. When I first started it, I didn't realize it was his first novel. I went just on the fact that the summary sounded like something I would enjoy. After realizing though, I can tell it is a first novel. Certain aspects of the novel are not as overly polished and a few plot points seem way too convenient, which is my main issue with the novel in general. Several plot points throughout the story are exciting while reading and then when I was finished and had time to mull them over, several events didn't really make sense or add up. I more than fine reading books where I can turn off my brain for awhile. Where it is a book that doesn't have any big meaning it needs to get across or impact to make. A book that that is just supposed to be entertainment for awhile. Even so there is a line a book crosses where even though it is enjoyable, and I did actually enjoy this book, the characters or the writing throw common sense out the window. A few times here and there is not an issue . Hell real people even with the best of intentions do it from time to time. We are all human and just even though we knew better we still fuck up. I can give benefit of the doubt to a few things, but when you add all the infractions together is when I start to have an issue.
For instance I can forgiven the first common sense abuse since in summary on the back cover, I knew going in that Ben fucked up by telling a court decision to someone he shouldn't. I can sort of buy that he let excitement of the position go to his head even though he probably signed a million legal documents stating what you can or can not say to family and friends.That and even though he shouldn't trust some random person that called, he got wrapped up in the moment and blabbed. Fine ok. Things I have more issue is that even though Ben and a few others are sure that the house may be bugged they continue to say things they shouldn't and then are shocked when things get out. Get that moving to different places every time they thought the place might be bugged is a bit obsessive , but don't get why they couldn't have stayed in the house and just been more careful about what they said. I do get having characters pass notes could get a tad clunky to read instead of spoken dialogue. Even so they could have developed a code. Just something.
Honestly too just thought there were too many twists in this. I don't have an issue with books that have twists in them. They can be fun to guess along with but do feel there should be either one big twist that is revealed toward the en or if there are a few, that they are used with a purpose in mind and that there are not so many that they start to clutter the story. This book for me falls into the latter category. I do think the twists were trying to serve a purpose but overall they came off as a mess. For instance one of the twists that just felt personally unnecessary and just didn't make sense is that it is revealed that one of the men working for Rick, the villain of the story, is actually a marshal trying to help Ben. What doesn't make sense to me is that he is supposed to an one of the higher ups for one of the companies whose law suits to Court is deciding. on. Just would think it would be somewhat public knowledge of what someone higher up would look like. So am confused why Rick was fooled by this. It just came off as a way to get someone close to Rick who could save Ben toward the end of the book. I was also not the biggest fan of Eric being a double agent. Not saying am not a fan of the concept and believe it can be done well, just feel in this book it was executed poorly.
The end of the book was the other issue for me. It felt slightly lack luster. Things are not totally wrapped up nicely since there are thankfully consequences for what happened. Still felt overall things turned out mostly ok. Rick has his typical villain moments where he threatens to kill someone but never acts on it by instead letting everyone live and just beats them. Though am a bit shocked that he got to live at the end given how so much media loves killing villains. He was overall an ok villain but for sure could have been better. Ben does lose his job, as he should . Course he has a way better one by the end of the novel so he still wins out in the end. Nathan is pissed with good reason given that because of Ben's actions one of their friends committed suicide . A detail that seems to really matter in the moment but only Nathan seems to feel any real mourning over. That and the fact that the mother of said friend is so possessive and obsessive over her son's life that in one scene she is jumping down her son's throat to get back the job he is fired from and yet is not beating down the roommates door to explain why her son is dead, which really makes no sense. That and just a personal pet peeve of having the book end with the unnecessary romance angle. I am not against romance being in any sort of book but I am against forced romance and for sure felt that the romance between Ben is and Lisa is so damn forced . It was unneeded and personally had Ben not fucked up by spilling the beans about the case outcome both of them would have been fired or least spoken to about their romance. Having the book end on that aspect was just super cringy. Would have honestly preferred if it turned out that Lisa was a lesbian as one of the guys thought in the beginning. Granted still would have had issued given that their assumptions are based on old stereotypes. More though would just preferred if the romance was just not part of the novel to begin with.

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