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review 2018-08-25 05:51
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

I had some really high hopes for this book because I heard so many things about it and it was hyped up to my knowledge,,,,and I was kind of let down. I expected something that was a lot more suspenseful and had a different tone than the one that was in the book. I don't know how to describe but what I expected wasn't exactly what I got.

My biggest problem with this book is that it's really slow and really boring. I got to the 160 page mark,,,,and nothing of note had happened except for Mrs Warrens being a right pain in the ass. Nothing really picked up until the last 68 pages or so.

I get that the purpose of the slow build was for the big reveal and to real shock us, and believe me, shock me it did. But I think it missed that mark of being just the right pace. I had to keep making myself read this because it was a library book and it has to go back soon. And you really have to make yourself keep reading because this book is just exhausting to get through.

By the time I hit the 280 something page mark of the copy I had, I said fuck it and just skimmed most of what I had remaining and I don't think I missed much. Obviously the juicy stuff I slowed down and read properly but the rest of it, I just didn't care. I spent the entire book hearing about Hal's worries and concerns that by the end I just didn't care about what her next concern was going to be.

And I feel like the bit in the summary made it sound like the entire family was bonkers or serial killers or something when it was really only two people, everyone else was just kind of,,,,,a normal dysfunctional family.

I will say this though, the plot twist at the end, it was wild. My heart started beating so fast I went into fight or flight mode, I'm in the middle of an adrenaline crash as we speak. It was good. It was the only reason I gave this 3 stars.

Pacing aside, the writing was fine, I'm not great with punctuation so if there were any mistakes with it, it completely escaped me. And because of that plot twist ending, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the characters were pretty dang good too. I liked the tarot card reading element of the story since it essentially is the ticket to solving the entire mystery and you don't even notice you've been given the hints the entire time until you get to the end.

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review 2018-08-06 22:51
Not the Girls You're Looking For
Not the Girls You're Looking For - Aminah Mae Safi

I was really hoping that I would like this book, unfortunately, it seems that I did not. I was really excited to read it because it focuses on a Muslim girl and her life, which you don't see a lot of in YA fiction. But it just let me down in pretty much every area.

I'm not going to lie to you, I knew pretty much right off the bat that I probably wasn't going to like this book. It starts off with no beginning, in fact, when you first start reading the book, it reads as if you picked up in the middle of a book as if it was the continuation of a sequel. There's no easing you into the stories or the characters, it just starts in the middle of something and keeps on going. Like I finished the book and honestly, I still don't know what the hell even happened or anything about these characters.

There's no plot in this book, at least none that I could see. I know it's a coming-of-age story but there should've been at least something to push the story along. The closest thing that came to a plot was I guess the string of parties everyone kept going to. I know that for some stories it's not the plot that carries it forward but the characters but to be perfectly honest, this didn't have great characters or even interesting ones to keep it moving or to keep you reading.

Moving onto the characters which was my biggest problem and why it took me so long to get through a book that would've normally taken me half a day. I didn't like any of them, they were all assholes and uninteresting, and I pretty much knew nothing about them and I still don't. In fact, I even question why Lulu and her friends are even friends. From what I could tell, they had nothing in common, they were constantly judging each other and trying to put each other down. They never listened to reason.

And most of the problems seemed to come down to simple miscommunication and I hate to tell you this but if your entire story is hanging on some simple miscommunication that can be easily fixed ... then your story probably isn't that good. There, I said it.

Lulu is so like, up her own ass that I just don't get her. Every interaction she had with her love interest at the start of the story was so baffling because he was being portrayed as being the bad guy or being offensive and half the things he did weren't even that bad. Like I get why the "you're not like other girls" thing is bad and a terrible pick-up line but a simple "no thanks" would've sufficed and she could've just gone on her way. But instead, Lulu literally drags that small line on for 2 pages and for what? It was so unnecessary, it was such an overreaction to something that wasn't that big of a deal.

Or she goes to a Battle of the Bands type of bullshit and he asks her "oh are you a fan of the band?" and she literally????? gets so mad????? and for what??????? She takes it as him trying to mock her or provoke her into proving that she's a "real fan" which is literally not what he's doing, he's just asking if she likes the band. Like Lulu is constantly accusing this guy of being an asshole but as far as I could see, she was the asshole in literally 99% of her interactions with everyone. And she kept describing him as looking confused when he was talking to her, and for good reason, because she was taking the conversation in a completely different area than where it was headed and the poor guy was just tryna follow along.

The only thing James, her love interest, did that was actually kind of yikes was take her to see belly-dancing because she was Arab.

Lulu is literally just so antagonistic for no reason over E V E R Y T H I N G. It's really hard to sympathize with a character who is constantly victimizing herself and making everyone else out to be like some kind of idiot who isn't as woke as her. And the funny thing is, she just makes an ass of herself every time because she thinks she's so much better than everyone else, the Ramadan incident being exhibit A.

Sis barely knows any Arabic, hears the word whore in a sentence half of which she can't even translate, and assumes it's about her mother like shut up. Your relatives, assholes they may be, can not only swear at you in Arabic and English but probably like 2 other languages as well, meanwhile you refuse to even tell people how you feel in English, sit down.

Her friends were just so????? I don't even know how to put it but like I said, I don't get why they're friends. I would say they're realistic but other than their interactions with each other, I literally don't know anything about them or their families or their interests, nothing. They're all also assholes in their own right.

Let's start with Audrey who's literally the worst person in this book. 

This girl always has something to say about not only Lulu's sexual activity but literally everyone else like you're an alcoholic at the age of, what, 16? I really don't think you're in any position to be judging someone, get off your high horse. And at the end she comes crying to Lulu like no fuck you, you're a terrible person goodbye.

The only thing that was irritating about Lo was the fact that she was trying to fuck the racism out of Scumbag Luke or something like for someone who has her head set straight like she does, I literally didn't get this one lapse in judgement from her. It just made no sense from what I understood about her character. And then at the end of the book, she's crying because Scumbag Luke turned out to be a scumbag like literally everyone said he was. She even knew that he was a racist, homophobic asshole, it wasn't a mystery, it was a well-known fact throughout the book. So did I feel sorry for her? No.

Next.

Emma, didn't do anything, she honestly might as well have not even been in the book because she literally contributed almost nothing, she only served as some sort of plot point because she's gay, but other than that, she didn't need to be there.

To conclude, is this book worth reading? Not really. I'm just glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.

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text 2018-05-15 05:35
Backlash
Backlash - Sarah Darer Littman

I literally hate this book with every fibre in my being. This is literally the most ridiculous portrayal of cyberbullying that I have ever had the misfortune of reading of my own two eyeballs. I literally don't even know where to begin.

First off, the writing in this is literally so ... mediocre? It literally reads like mediocre fanfiction. And full offense this author literally hasn't spoken to a teenager after 2010 and it shows. I'd feel bad for saying it but I'm getting so tired of adults who have literally no idea what the teenagers of the modern day are like and writing them as whatever stereotype they have in their head. I would've let this slide if this had been written in like 2009 but this was literally published in 2015 so like ... get with the times.

People my age don't use Facebook all that much anymore, at least they don't use it in the way that it's portrayed in the book. Nobody puts you on blast and tells you to kill yourself on a Facebook post in the year of 2015. They just don't. They'll do it on a spam account on instagram or on their snapstory but even then they'll be shady about it, they won't ever mention any names.

Which someone would know if they had ever actually spoken to someone between the ages of 13-20.

Moving on.

All of these characters are like caricatures of human beings, not to mention they're all fucking sociopaths. Everything is so exaggerated to the point that it literally wouldn't work this way in the real world.

Lara is literally so annoying and I should probably feel bad for saying this considering her situation, but she was a fucking idiot. I get where her self-esteem issues came from, seriously I do, but I feel like the way that they were handled was so poorly and it honestly didn't feel like it came from somewhere deep. Maybe it's just me but I literally do not understand why someone would give two shits about the opinion of any boy, especially one they've never met in person. I don't know what it was but her situation just didn't feel real to me.

You mean to tell me, this girl goes from being perfectly fine for weeks and months on end and enjoying life ... to attempting suicide because one boy told her the world would be a better place without her? I don't know, maybe I don't know enough about this type of thing yet to be able to judge whether or not it was realistic, maybe someone really can make a complete 360.

Her sister Sydney is literally ... so self-centered. Her sister literally tries to kill herself and this girl thinks her life is hard because she can't make it to her audition. How fucking hard it must be for you to have a mentally ill sister. Why doesn't she just put on hold so that you can have some attention for five minutes. God she was so annoying but as annoying as she was, she was also one of the only sane fucking people in this book and that wasn't all that hard to achieve since everyone was batshit insane.

Bree is a fucking sociopath, I feel bad for saying this but honestly this girl deserved everything she got and I can't believe the book actually tries to make you feel bad for her. Boo hoo you dumb bitch you didn't make the cheerleading squad get on with your life Christ. Literally who even fucking thinks it's an appropriate thing to create an entire fake account so you can emotionally damage someone you used to be friends with. I literally can't put into words how fucking insane that is.

HER MOM WAS EVEN WORSE.

This woman, instead of scolding her daughter and punishing her for being a literal terrible human being decides tO JOIN IN ON THE CREEPY CATFISH FLIRTING TO BE PETTY AT LARA'S MOM BECAUSE SHE'S AN UNFULFILLED MIDDLE AGED WOMAN. 

The only decent, sane person in this entire book is Liam who calls out his sister for her absolutely insane behaviour and tells her that she's a literal piece of trash.

Look I get it, cyberbullying is a big thing in the age of technology and it's important to talk about ... but this book does a really bad job of it and I feel like if anything, makes it seem a lot simpler than any cyberbullying situation would be.

This book is terrible and I didn't even bother with the last 20 pages, thank you for listening to my TedTalk.
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review 2016-04-22 03:09
Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness and the Congo Diary - Joseph Conrad

Let’s get right down to it folks: I hate this book. I hate it with a burning passion, and I’m experiencing severe dislike for my English teacher for making me read this pile of shit. She’s a lovely lady, but I don’t understand why she hates me because there’s no other reason as to why she would make me suffer through this book.

 

I know that this is considered to be some great literary masterpiece, and in the words of my teacher, an existentialist novel but watching paint dry is more interesting than this novella.

 

I’ve read a lot of books that were written in the 1900s or set in the 1900s and dealt with racism but none of those books have made me nearly as uncomfortable as Heart of Darkness did. I know, I know, racism is a thing but that doesn’t make me any less uncomfortable by the amount of times the n word was used throughout this novel, or the many times where black people are referred to as “savages,” “enemies.”

 

Moving beyond that, after reading this entire book, word for word, page for page, I cannot tell you not onething about it beyond what my teacher talked about in class. After reading one entire page, I couldn’t tell you what happened on that page. There is a problem here when I can’t tell you what a book is about after reading it. I have no recollection of any of the events that happened in this book.

 

The story didn’t really go anywhere, there wasn’t a point to it, it was just Marlow talking about an adventure that he had which nobody asked to listen to in the first place. By the end of the story, I don’t think anybody on the ship with Marlow, besides the other narrator, even listened to what he said. I know I’m supposed to care about the events that occur and all the symbolism and stuff, but I couldn’t bring myself to care at all.

This is supposed to be deep and meaningful because it talks about human nature and the darkness in our hearts and yada yada yada but I don’t care.

 

I locked myself up in my room for days on end so that I could focus on this novella and absorb it and understand it, and I cannot tell you what happens in this story. I can’t believe trees actually died so this piece of shit work could be printed on it.

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review 2015-12-18 21:49
Sisters of Versaille
The Sisters of Versailles: A Novel (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy) - Sally Christie

I stopped reading this mostly because I had to return it to the library since I couldn't renew it but anyway.

I should have technically been able to read this book in a matter of two to three days, it wasn't very long, but it was so boring that I kept finding reasons to NOT read it. I love me some historical fiction, really, I do, but something needs to happen in order to keep my attention throughout the entire book.

Nothing happened in this book. Nothing. At all. Louise had sex with Louis a bunch of times, the two of them fell in love, and then Louis got the hots for her sister and she was heartbroken over it, and it went on. That was pretty much the whole story.

I hated the plot of this story, to be honest I'm not even sure there was any plot to begin with because I sure as hell couldn't see it. The story started off with Louise and we read about how she gets to Versailles and eventually becomes the kings mistress. And I was okay up until the point when she does becomes the kings mistress, and then it just goes down hill from there.

I have to read page after page of Louise fawning over Louis, and how great he was and how sweet, smart, and gentle. Pages of her describing what other people were wearing, and going into detail about the dresses of the ladies, it went on and on. I didn't care. It felt like my brain was leaking out through my ears. I was so happy whenever the story was being told from the point of view of any of the other sisters.

I want to talk about everything that I hated about this story but I can't because nothing happened, there is almost nothing for me to talk about. The pace of it was so slow it could've put me to sleep, which is probably why I read this before going to bed every night.

The characters were almost as uninteresting as the storyline. This book is narrated by five sisters, and you'd think that with five sisters, they'd all have different personalities, but no, they don't. They're all exactly the same, each and every one of them. They have the same voice, the same thoughts, and they're all fake as hell. They're supposed to be sisters but instead they shit talk one another behind each other's back like okay, real strong bond you've got there.

Like I get it, you vent to someone whenever a friend or family member or co-worker does something that upsets you but that wasn't even it, Louise's sisters were just straight up shit talking her.

All of the sisters are so painfully polite and nice to each other whenever they're together, and you know that they're huge fakes because of how they feel when you read the story from their point of view. The only one who actually stood out, was Pauline. Pauline wasn't fake, she was straight forward about what she wanted, and she'd get it. Pauline wanted to be the mistress of the king, Pauline wanted to be the most powerful woman in France, and no one was going to stop her.

Pauline didn't even have to try and replace Louise as the kings favourite because Louise is such a pushover, and so dull that all she did was get out of the way and let Pauline do whatever she wanted. Pauline wasn't kidding when she said Louise was stupid, I thought she was just being a bitch but the girl was right, Louise is stupid.

But I can't even defend Pauline because she dethroned herself in the end so I mean. Marie-Anne was trying to be Pauline except she wasn't very good at it, but this girl probably had the most interesting sex life out of all of them so you know what, power to her. At least Marie-Anne figured out how sex worked and got her husband to do it right.

Honestly, if it didn't have the name of which sister was narrating at the top of every chapter, I probably wouldn't have been able to figure out who was telling the story.

The minor characters were equally uninteresting, and they all had the same personality traits. If you can't have your main characters stand out, then you could at least have one minor character that really stood out, but no. All of the women had the same nasty characteristics, and all the men were trying to kiss the kings ass.

And lastly, the one thing that I felt was extremely unnecessary to this story was the letters that the sisters wrote to each other because they were so dull, and so repetitive, I felt like I was at the beginning of the novel each time I came across one. I ended up skipping all of them altogether because I just didn't care.

For a debut novel, it wasn't bad. It was extremely dull, and the characters were all dull and copies of one another, but the writing itself wasn't bad. That being said though, I would not suggest writing from five different point of views in your debut novel, because even if you think you can make your characters stand out from one another, you probably can't.

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