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review 2017-05-28 20:17
Short Impressions: The Knife of Never Letting go (Patrick Ness)
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

First book in a YA sci-fi/urban fantasy trilogy from the author of "A Monster Calls".

 

Impressions: This was a very intense book sometimes. And so very realistic. And the writing... wow. I just wish the story wasn't so cliché at times, with the two-bit villains, and that there had been more info on certain things like Old World and its level of tech and the aliens.

But overall, I did like this a lot and I loved Todd.

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text 2017-05-22 18:27
72 of 200 (36%)
Never Eighteen - Megan Bostic

Hey, there's the classic haunted-house-cart-thing-we're-totally-gonna-kiss-but-wait-there's-the-end-of-the-ride moment. 

 

Austin's obsession with Kaylee is starting to outweigh everything else this story is supposed to be about. Also, he went to visit his friend Allie, who was raped. How do I know she was raped? Because as soon as Austin came over, she gave us a play-by-play of exact how it happened, where it happened, etc... For a girl who has supposedly closed herself off from the world, she opened up pretty fast to a guy she hasn't talked to in a long time.

 

Just... bleh. Everything about this is too convenient, too packaged, too Austin-saves-the-day. I don't like it. 

 

Also, is this day like, 100 hours long?? How did they have time to visit like, four or five different people, go to the county fair (complete with roller coasters, other rides, and food--that kind of expedition takes me about a whole day), AND drive to Seattle, eat dinner at the Sky Deck place at the Space Needle, etc... And then drive home... And now he's trying to convince Kaylee to take him somewhere else. Kaylee claims it's nine o'clock, but I don't see how that's physically possible. 

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text 2017-05-20 17:22
38 of 200 (19%)
Never Eighteen - Megan Bostic

I started this last night before bed, not quite sure what to expect. The description on my book is extremely vague, and I was immediately put off by Austin's narration. The narration itself is so vague that he sounds as though he's about to commit suicide, which puts this disgusting knot in my stomach as I read what he says, although I know he probably has some terminal disease he hasn't told anyone about.

 

The problems so far:

 

1) 38 pages and Austin has already made visits with three different people. To say goodbye? To convince them in one conversation to change their lives? I'm not quite sure what his purpose is here. So far, this book paints anyone who has experienced tragedy as hermits, unable to move on in any positive way. I guess Austin is supposed to miraculously fix them in his 30-second conversations with them. 

 

2) Austin is in love with his best friend, Kaylee. This itself does not put me off, but the fact that he's supposedly been in love with her since elementary school and he's chosen not to tell her because he loves having her as a friend. However, the way Austin thinks about Kaylee is overwhelming. He literally took a picture of her when she was sleeping. She gets out of bed in her pajamas and he keeps "that imagine in his head as he goes downstairs to wait" (10). He's constantly thinking about kissing her or touching her. He NEVER thinks about her as a friend, just some hot girl he wishes had feelings for him. Trust me, I've been in the position Austin is in. It sucks, but it's not IMPOSSIBLE to forget about having feelings for a friend long enough to just treat them like your best friend. It's just creepy. 

 

3) He also doesn't treat Kaylee very well. I get that he's going through some secret something-or-other, but he expects her to do whatever he asks her to. So far, she's literally just driving him around. Every time she asks, "Can I come in with you?" when they go to someone's house, he just gives her a look and tells her that he needs to do this by himself. She's spent the whole book waiting in the car. She serves NO PURPOSE at this point except for Austin to have his thoughts about her when they're driving and to introduce the characters he's going to see. "I want to see so-and-so." "But you haven't seen so-and-so since this tragic thing happened!"

 

4) I hate present tense writing so much. I thought maybe as I got older and read more books written in present tense, my hatred for it would ebb a little bit. Not so.

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review 2017-05-19 18:48
Everything I Never Told You
Everything I Never Told you - Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You is a slow paced book that is more a character study and lesson in life than a story. The Lee family is a mixed Chinese American family set in the 1970's. The story starts with the discovery that the middle child, Lydia, has gone missing and is soon found at the bottom of the nearby lake. Lydia was the family favorite, so the book shows how the family unravels in a variety of ways.

 

There are many things I really liked about this book. It does show the power communication can have. If any of these family members would have talked to one another, it's likely none of this would have ever happened. It shows how easy it is for people to assume we know our loved ones just because they are family and we see them every day. Especially between parents and children. It's easy for parents to assume we know what our children are feeling or what they want because we were once their age. So they must be going through the same things we went through, and many times we would do anything to keep them from experiencing the same painful moments we had to go through. And sometimes we end up doing more damage as a result.

 

However, there were a few dull spots for me. For one, I didn't really feel as though I connected with any of the characters. I didn't like the parents, Marilyn and James, and of the children, Hannah was probably the only one I felt sorry for. She's the one who is essentially ignored - the 'oops' kid that no one wanted to begin with. While I felt all the characters held realistic issues, I didn't feel they were all that realistic. For example, Hannah came across as very wise for a 10-year-old. I have a 10-year-old, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't come to the conclusion that

Jack loved Nath just because he licked the drop of water that fell from Nath's back and landed on his hand.

(spoiler show)

 

The other issues I had were along similar lines - the Lee family never talked to each other about any of their true feelings. Everything was false or left unsaid. Then, suddenly, each realizes the 'truth' of the situation (not what happened to Lydia or why, but that everything in their lives was false). It comes to them in a flash, triggered by something mundane. I can see where these instances might make them question their beliefs, but I don't see how they could suddenly be so spot on about their reality.

 

I felt another miss was that the mother never acknowledged that she made a choice in her life. She wanted to be a doctor, but fell in love and got pregnant. She could have still been a doctor but chose to pursue a family life. Granted, I know that given the setting of the story that was much more unlikely back then than it is now, so I do get that she would feel somewhat slighted. But it was still her choice to sleep with James, and apparently not use protection. The whole story we are told how much she feels she settled for what she was 'supposed' to do. Then she has an aha moment when she opens her eyes and really stops to think about the fact that her neighbor, who is a single mom, is a doctor. That's what makes her think she can still be a doctor - but what I don't get is that she leaves her family to finish her degree. Why wouldn't that moment make her realize she could still pursue the career and stay with her family, especially since she had a husband to support/help her where the other woman did not? To me she came across as a selfish one-dimensional woman who could only define happiness as anything that was the opposite of what her mother had been.

(spoiler show)
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review 2017-05-18 07:17
Never Game a Gamer
Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides) - Valerie Bowman

This is a definite win in a consistently good series. Valerie Bowman writes so charmingly, and I love that the heroine is as roguish as the hero. I like the surprises along the way and Danielle is probably going on my favorite heroines list, not because we share the name. But because she's awesome. I picture Eva Green as Danielle.

Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine http://affairedecoeurmagazine.com.

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