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Search tags: borrowed-from-my-library
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review 2018-06-21 01:47
The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) (Audiobook) - DNF 17%.
The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

Technically, this is competently written, and the narrators do a decent job with their parts once I sped up the playback to 1.25 times normal speed. But... 

 

I was bored a lot of the time. It got interesting for awhile. I like Kaladan and Shallan, but they don't make up for the clunky world-building or the overall awkward tone of the writing. This reads like an opus to fanfic much of the time, and it's cringe-worthy fanfic at that.

 

And the whole lighteyes/darkeyes thing just feels weird. Like the author wanted to include something about racism, but didn't want to start up a sh*tstorm by doing it badly, so decided that eye color made a good alternative. Maybe he heard about Jane Elliot's blue eyes experiment and figured it was a good stand in. It's not though.

 

If this were only 200 or 300 pages, I might feel compelled to power through to the end, but there are another 800+ pages to this thing, so my patience has run dry. 

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review 2018-05-24 03:31
Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)
Leah on the Offbeat - Becky Albertalli

Wow, I don't even know where to start with how awful this book is.

 

Terrible bi rep? Check.

Terrible girl rep? Check

Terrible fat girl rep? Check.

 

I loved Simon Vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda and fell in love with all the characters (well, not Martin) and I felt especially drawn to Leah. So when I found out there was going to be another book, centered on Leah, I got excited. Then the blurb mentioned that she's suddenly bisexual, and I got concerned because there was zero indication or hint of that in the first book. But it couldn't be that bad, right?

 

Other reviewers have said it better: this story felt like fanfic. And not even good fanfic. It felt like the really bad fanfic that you don't admit to reading. The AU kind where everyone's gay and acts so out of character as to be unrecognizable in order to force together the writer's OTP that makes zero sense in canon but dammit they're going to make it work no matter what. 

 

On top of that, there's no plot. It's just a string of scenes that are connected only be the fact they happen chronologically (aside from a couple of flashbacks). Leah exists just to be awful and condescending and rude to everyone, yet for some reason everyone still loves her.

 

There's also no heart. We never learn why Leah acts the way she does because there's zero reflection on her actions or feelings, and so she never learns or develops. She's the exact same awful person at the end of the book as she is at the start of it, and she's taken everyone else down with her. This is just Leah referring to herself as a bitch for 300 pages because isn't it hilarious when girls call themselves slur words? There's no reason to care about Leah, so there's no reason to care about anything that's going on around her.

 

There's a really awkward attempt at addressing racism that feels more like it was written as an overhanded after-school special message than an actual examination of racism and all of its nuances. It's there solely to give Leah one shining moment of being not completely sucky. 

 

In a word, this book is superficial.

 

The first half dragged because nothing happened aside from Leah being rude, not knowing how to express herself, and constantly having brain freeze, stopped heart and flipping stomach, because that's what hormones do to seventeen-year old girls. And apparently being bisexual means you develop crushes on everyone. I couldn't take the plodding pace of non-action, so I did skim most of the second half starting around 60%. Thankfully, not much happened in that section beyond prom, Leah and her girlfriend being selfish and awful to everyone at prom, and the writer leaving a bunch of dangling threads.

 

This was a huge disappointment and read like the Ms. Albertalli just phoned it in.

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review 2018-05-08 02:08
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) (Audiobook) - DNF
The Trials of Apollo, Book Two: The Dark Prophecy - Rick Riordan,Robbie Daymond

I think I've reached my saturation point with this author. As much as I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, it was something of a struggle to get through it by the end since there's not a lot variation in the themes. I knew I needed to take a break from Riordan's writing before considering another series. I thought this would be that series, and I really enjoyed the first one.

 

But man, Apollo is an annoying self-centered brat! :P If that character type appeals to you, you'll love this series, but I just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't like Apollo, I couldn't remember any of the other characters, themes and conflicts are again getting repetitive. I was struggling to pay attention or care about anything. I even went back to the point where my attention first started wandering and tried to listen again, but it just wasn't working for me.

 

This is no fault of the narrator - or maybe in an ironic way it is. He performed wonderfully and he really got the Apollo character down pat, in all his conceited glory. :D

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review 2018-05-03 21:32
[REVIEW] Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain, Kathe Mazur

So incredibly and painfully boring. I didn't feel I learned anything new or interesting about introverts. It gave me the feeling that it was geared towards business people more than anyone else. Also, I felt this book was composed of many case studies and not that many self-help tips. It's my fault, really. I was warned that this was going to be boring and that I should stick to the Ted Talk the author gave instead. However, I needed something to listen to as I commute, something that wouldn't make me feel guilty while I ignored my many other responsibilities. The narrator spoke softly, and I did enjoy listening to her.

 

Was the book worth it? Meh. Hard to say.

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review 2018-03-25 05:56
Honestly, Ben (Openly Straight #2) (Audiobook)
Honestly Ben - Bill Konigsberg

I liked so much about this book. I liked Ben in the first book and was happy to get his POV and get to know him more intimately. He's an introvert, and has a lot of hang ups because of his fun sucker dad who is king of repression. This book really focuses on why Ben feels the need to please everyone and why he's got so many issues speaking up and taking a stand for what he believes in - or even just figuring out what those beliefs are. So all of that was good, and while some things were left open ended, it didn't feel like a cliffhanger.

 

What I didn't like as much was Ben going GFY for Rafe. I can't even really say that this improves on the GFY trope since there is extensive talk about bisexuality, but Ben is very adamant about not being bi, which would be fine if that was all that was going on here. People are free to pick their own labels. But Rafe makes jokes several times about bi just being a transition phase to gay. Even though he says at one point that he doesn't really believe that, he still mentions it again several times, and Ben's understanding of bisexuality is rather lacking as well since it doesn't address those who would fall under the twos or fives under the Kinsey scale. So yeah, still not good bi representation, and Rafe came across as kind of a jerk when he couldn't give Ben the space and time he needed to figure things out on his own.

 

I can't speak one way or another if Toby being gender fluid was handled well or not. It's not a concept I understand much at all, and I can't say that this helped educate me in any way. I guess I don't see how wearing makeup and skirts can make a male character female. Because I never wear makeup or skirts, but I'm still a woman. I don't do anything particularly feminine at all but that doesn't make me not female. So gender fluidity doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, sorry. I understand wanting to buck gender *roles* but I don't think that's quite what gender fluidity is about, but perhaps I'm wrong. I admit complete ignorance about this concept, but I'm more than open to learning or trying to learn. I did try looking for reviews on GR, hoping to find some written by gender fluid reviewers talking about that aspect, but I didn't find much of anything.

 

Oh, and there's a throwaway line by someone else saying they think Albie is ace. That's not ace representation, sorry. Zero points for that.

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