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review 2017-06-18 17:29
Bad Girl Gone
Bad Girl Gone: A Novel - Temple Mathews

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This ended up being a very uneventful read for me. The premise felt really cool: a girl finds herself in a creepy orphanage, realises it’s actually a kind of purgatory for murdered kids, and tries to find out who killed her so that she can move on. The beginning was intriguing, especially since, like other ghosts in the orphanage, Echo first has to piece together memories of her death—reliving the trauma at once would be too shocking—, and investigating why you’re in an orphanage when last you knew your parents were definitely alive, well, that’s tricky.

The problem lied mainly in how all this was executed. Not particularly thrilling, for starters. Echo has a couple of culprits in mind, so she and the other kids go to ‘haunt’ them and see if they’re going to wield under pressure, or are actually innocent, but… it wasn’t anything scary or memorable, more like pranks, not like the really creepy kind of haunting you could get when adding children/teenagers to the mix (in general, I find kid ghosts scarier than adult ones). The mystery itself—finding the murdered—wasn’t exciting either, nor were the murderer’s reactions. Perhaps this was partly due to Echo’s power as a ghost: entering living people’s bodies in order to perceive their thoughts. The investigation part, in turn, was more about vaguely picking a maybe-potential culprit, scaring them, popping in their mind, then be gone. Then the story. And then Echo’s past as a ‘bad girl’ was revealed, and it turned out it wasn’t so much bad as introduced without much taste.

Definitely cringeworthy was the drama-addled romance. Echo’s living boyfriend, Andy, is all about moping and wanting to kill himself over her death, and… well, call me hard-hearted and callous, but you’re 16 and that kind of relationship is by far NOT the first one you’re going to experience in life, so pegging everything on it always feels contrived to me. Then there’s cute ghost boy Cole, who’s not about murdering the hypotenuse (thanks goodness), yet was strange, considering Andy is not aware of his presence, and so the triangle is… incomplete? (Its attempts at becoming a square later didn’t help either.) Also contains examples of stupid Twue Wuv/The One/soulmate 4evah/Doormat Extraordinaire. Such as Echo being so happy that her corpse was dressed in her favourite dress at her funeral… Favourite because her boyfriend Andy liked it. I still have no idea if Echo herself liked the pattern or colour or whatever. In any case, these are the kind of tropes I dislike in novels in general, and in YA even more. Why always make it look like couple love is the ultimate end, as if nobody (whether girl or boy) couldn’t have a good life in different ways?

In fact, I was more interested in the orphanage’s headmistress (whose back story plays a part for a chapter or so) and other inmates, all with their own murders to solve. These I would’ve liked to see interact more than just as Echo’s sidekicks. But we don’t get to learn much about them, apart from how they died. Too bad.

Conclusion: Nope

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review 2017-03-18 00:55
Good Girl Gone, Seekers Mystery, Sam Berretti
Good Girl Gone (Seekers Mystery Book 2) ... Good Girl Gone (Seekers Mystery Book 2) - Sam Berretti

I received this mystery for free and I voluntarily choose to review it. I've given it a 4.5* rating. This mystery had a lot in it. It had a little romance, a lot of action, some humor. and adventure. It was very hard to put down, just wanted to know what happened next. Because of the sex and the violence, it is not suitable for the under 18 readers. I really like Doris, the heroine in the story. Between her ex military training and her brain, she ends up getting the job done. I really enjoyed this series so far.

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review 2017-02-17 02:07
Nope, going to abandon this.
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

So, in my quest to update my reviews, here is another abandoned, one star book. Why didn't I enjoy it as much as the majority?
I actually made two attempts to read this, for two separate book groups - that's how popular this book was when it came out, five years ago. I was surprised to find I wasn't the only one for whom this book just didn't work, there were others in my book groups who also struggled with it and this is reflected in its average star rating.

I only managed 10% and everyone's watched the film, so I won't rehash the story. As I remember from so long ago, there were two things that I disliked about the book. Firstly, I found the writing pretentious and whiny. I was still kind of going with it at this stage, but when the woman's voice came in, with her awful language, well, life is too short for such a book, in my opinion. Then, when I heard that after struggling through it, the ending would be a let-down, I officially put it into the 'abandoned' pile.
I'd be curious to see the film, perhaps, just to complete the cycle, maybe...

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text 2017-02-14 21:23
Nope, going to abandon this.
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

So, in my quest to update my reviews, here is another abandoned, one star book. Why didn't I enjoy it as much as the majority?

I actually made two attempts to read this, for two separate book groups - that's how popular this book was when it came out, five years ago. I was surprised to find I wasn't the only one for whom this book just didn't work, there were others in my book groups who also struggled with it and this is reflected in its average star rating.

 

I only managed 10% and everyone's watched the film, so I won't rehash the story. As I remember from so long ago, there were two things that I disliked about the book. Firstly, I found the writing pretentious and whiny. I was still kind of going with it at this stage, but when the woman's voice came in, with her awful language, well, life is too short for such a book, in my opinion. Then, when I heard that after struggling through it, the ending would be a let-down, I officially put it into the 'abandoned' pile.

I'd be curious to see the film, perhaps, just to complete the cycle, maybe...

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review 2017-01-26 16:18
Review: Long Gone Girl by Amy Rose Bennett
Long Gone Girl - Amy Rose Bennett

Romance Bingo square - Second Chances

 

This book had so much potential and it squandered all of it. It took me two days to read a 95 page e-book, it was so boring. The couple (Ginny and Jett) are the kind of characters you find in a modern contemporary romance, just stuck with 1950s wall paper. Ginny is home from the Korea War where she served as a MASH surgical nurse and a widow (her husband serving as a doctor on the front lines). YES - FINALLY we get a heroine who served in the military!!! It seems us female service members often are overlooked as potential mates in romance. Ginny is living at home with her parents and working a tireless job as a nurse at the county hospital when she gets a couple of days off and heads to the Point Pleasant (one of the many stops along the Jersey shore). She also has an interview with a prestigious hospital in NYC, which will hopefully land her a job with a future different from Jersey roots.

Jett is a fighter pilot who served in Korea as well and is working off the last months of his commission before settling down to a life as a long-haul airline pilot and a wife and kids deal. Again, back story with a lot of potential. He also takes off for a few days at the shore, meeting up with Ginny for the first time since he broke her heart at prom, nine years ago.

Ginny can hold a grudge, Jett explains his side of the story, she forgives him, they have sex - the weekend is done. Boring weekend with predictable side character to bring in a reminder of the conflict which led to the grudge in the first place. Back in their hometown, Jett gives it one more shot and Ginny folds like a house of cards. It is a HFN type of ending. This read more like a contemporary New Adult than a historical set in the 1950s. It was also very shallow in terms of emotional development. Just overall disappointed in what was a potential winner.

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