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Search tags: YA
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review 2017-02-26 22:08
Fangirl ★★★★☆
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

I enjoyed the story of Cath and her sister Wren, two young women in their freshman year of college who are trying to come to terms with growing into adulthood. Wren is launching herself into her idea of adulthood, with wild parties and brutal separation from her family. The unsociable Cath is warding off adulthood by clinging to the tokens of her childhood and responsibilities to her family, but is 

finally dragged into the bewildering world of adulthood by the friends and boyfriend she tried not to make and her father’s insistence that growing up means creating a life beyond the safety of immediate family.

(spoiler show)

 

I liked that both characters grew over the course of the book, but still retained their essential selves. I liked that the consequences for recklessness didn’t have to include sexual assault as a plot device, as so commonly found in other books. I thought the “Simon Snow”/Harry Potter knockoff was funny, and having been a reader of HP fanfiction myself, I enjoyed the whole fanfic subplot as well, although I found it a little incredible that a popular author of fanfic would be naïve enough to turn in her fanfic in a college-level creative writing class, and to be hurt and surprised when her professor called it unoriginal and plagiarism.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Rebecca Lowman provides a terrific performance, with Maxwell Caulfield reading all the “Simon Snow” excerpts.

 

I read this for the 2017 Romance Bingo, for the New Adult square. I think it could fit these other squares:

Young Adult: I genuinely think this belongs in New Adult, but because the main characters are still in their teens, the “voice” is that of teens, and there’s no explicit sex, you could argue that it fits YA too.

Key to My Heart: She falls in love, almost against her will, and through this new relationship learns to open her heart to others.

Twins: Cath and her sister are identical twins, and there’s even a few scenes with college douche-bros doing the whole, “whoa, twins, my sexual fantasy” thing, and even better, some decent guys calling them on it.

Fairy Tale Retelling: A bit of a stretch, but I’d argue that the “Simon Snow” tale is a retelling of and AU Harry Potter, and Cath’s fanfic is a retelling of an AU Simon Snow.

Guy/Girl Next Door: Cath’s new boyfriend

is literally her roommate’s friend and a constant visitor in her room, and he definitely has that boy-next-door persona

(spoiler show)
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review 2017-02-26 16:34
DNF @ 38%
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1) - Maggie Stiefvater,Will Patton

It's not that the narrator is bad, per se, his voice just doesn't fit the story or characters very well. He sounds 60-something, and this is a book about teenagers, and he has that kind of smoky, gravely voice that I suppose would work good with, IDK, campfire stories but isn't quite up to snuff for this book.

 

Also, I'm kind of annoyed that Blue, the only prominent female protag, is limited to a plotline surrounding her relationship status, or lack thereof, while Gansey gets a whole quest story. And Blue's power is to enhance other people's powers so isn't even useful to herself, which means she's going to end up helping Gansey on his quest to find the ley lines and yadda yadda yadda.

 

Maybe I'll come back and try this later in ebook format, but it's not something I'm feeling compelled to finish now.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-26 14:16
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1)
Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing with Dragons

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review 2017-02-26 13:20
Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Quercus Books in return for an honest review.

This novel is a murder mystery set in a small Minnesota town. 17 year old Hattie was an inspiring actress who had plans to move to New York as soon as she could. However, when she is found murdered, its up to family friend and Sheriff Del Goodman to solve the murder.
This novel is told through three points of views. We follow Del as he solves the murder in the present day, and we also read Hattie and her English teacher's perspectives from the months leading up to her death. This split perspectives works well in this novel, the split timeline also leaves the puzzle unsolved for a long time, it takes a large part of the novel before all the pieces fit together.
This novel definitely has elements of the psychological thriller about it. The split perspectives, which create a tension and mystery in the novel, and the mystery around Hattie and her 'true' persona created this feel to the novel, and I have seen this novel compared to Gone Girl, and there are similarities, not in plot but in the thriller aspects.
Hattie is a fascinating main character, because she isn't honest to anyone you never know whether you are actually seeing the 'real' Hattie in her perspectives or not. This unreliable narrator adds another layer to the narrative as you have to take everything you are told with a pinch of salt! Mejia also deserves praise for her excellent writing of a 17 year old girl. Some authors struggle to accurately replicate the voice of a 17 year old, but I think Mejia has got it exactly right in this instance.
If you are looking for an exciting 'who-dunnit' this isn't the novel for you. There are very few suspects from the beginning of the novel, it is more about piecing the events together, and less about the big reveal of the murderer.
This novel also wasn't the quickest read, the first 70% or so was quite slow, the pace of the novel only picked up in the last 30%, and I was a little disappointed that I wasn't drawn further into the story than I was.
Overall I enjoyed this novel, it was an interesting story about a murder in a small town where everyone knows everyone, with some interesting twists and turns within. However it just didn't draw me in, it felt slow paced and laboured at parts.

Source: acascadeofbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/book-review-last-act-of-hattie-hoffman.html
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review 2017-02-26 10:03
Scattered Souls
Scattered Souls - Erica Lucke Dean

by Erica Lucke Dean

 

After a prologue to give some background information about what happened with Laith and Maddox in the past, chapter one starts off as a direct continuation of the first book. This made me wonder if this one would end in a cliffhanger as well and decide I was finished with the series if it did.

 

Questions of who Ava loves and which is the good brother get more complicated in this one, but we get a nice trek through history and even meet a famous person or two along the way.

 

I felt the twists and turns in the plot of this one were less believable than in the first book, but it kept my interest and I enjoyed the read, even if I did sometimes want to tell Ava not to do something stupid! We see different sides of both Laith and Maddox, which is where I had a little issue with consistency.

 

The historical aspects of the story fit well enough and while I'm not an expert on any of the periods we traveled through, they rang true. The convolutions of time travel worked well and I enjoyed learning more of the 'rules' that affect the twins as they move through time, though the source of the ability was magic rather than science.

 

I could see how this one needs to end, but the chance was missed to keep the story going through another crisis. It didn't actually end on a cliffhanger, but definitely set up for a next book. My only other complaints is that though sex wasn't actually graphic, it was a bit much for a YA book. Pre-teens read these after all.

 

A generally enjoyable time travel book, but I feel the plot has lost its way.

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