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Search tags: you-want-crackers-with-that-cheese
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review 2014-03-11 18:44
Strange Sweet Song
Strange Sweet Song - Adi Rule

Oh man. You guys have no idea how disappointed I am that Strange Sweet Song was such a letdown for me.  I featured this as a Waiting on Wednesday pick back when we were still doing them, and that was a while ago. I hate that I didn't really like it, but there were just so many missed opportunities. I think I'll just list them off and then go into further detail after that is done. 

1. The protagonist is HORRID, from the beginning to the end. 

2. The narrative is stilted, disjointed, and in some places VERY hard to follow.
(Though some of this may be due to poor formatting. I am not sure.)

3. This is almost purely a romance. I would have liked the music element to be stronger. I would have liked there to be more of a focus on the paranormal. It doesn't help that the characters are cardboard and I couldn't care less about any of them. 

Okay, so let's start with #1. The protagonist. Her name is Sing, you guys. I should have known based on the naming of the main character that this book was not going to be a good one. I thought I could get past it, but her stupid name yanked me out of the narrative on multiple occasions. 

She's also a HUGE jerk. The author tries to redeem her in the end, but I just spent 300 pages hating this girl and wanting to strangle her. I am not going to be that forgiving. She is a snob. She is stuck on herself and arrogant. She is mean to everyone around her for no good reason. I brought some quotes with me today to show you what I mean.

Here is the setup. Sing is in a classroom learning about birdsongs. (I wish I was kidding.) The teacher is asking where baby birds learn how to sing.

"Listen to their parents?" Goatee says.
"Exactly! Most songbirds learn their songs from their parents, the way you and I learn language--and, for many of us here, music."
Was that a glance in Sing's direction? It better not have been.
So she has a complete lack of respect for her teachers. CHECK.
"Sing, aren't you taking that? I thought I saw you head over to Durand after drama."
Sing shrugs. Was that a dig, because she's not taking The Artist's Life? At least she doesn't have to take functional piano!
She's also nasty to her friends. Demeaning and condescending too. Lovely.
Ryan laughs, reaches across the table to pat her hand--thank goodness she --had her hand resting there!--and says, "It's not bad, really. You don't have to do anything if you don't want to. You could just say, 'My cheeseburger was really good,' or something. He won't pick you early, since you're new, so just watch everyone else and decide."
And there is inspired writing like that. First of all, she is so incredibly happy this douchey guy (and I mean douchey) just touched her with his hand. OMG let me piss myself with excitement. Secondly, that writing is awful. We are just getting started.
Oh, this one is good. About the same douchey guy too.
Remain calm, Sing thinks. A gorgeous rehearsal pianist has his arm around you and is protecting you from the weather with his own umbrella. Don't screw this up!
photo Gif2_zpsee49503c.gif
Isn't her inner voice just charming? I would prefer Anastasia Steele, to be honest. And it's obvious that it's his OWN umbrella. You didn't need to include that word. One too many pronouns there since you already said HIS!! I can't with this writing and this nauseating grossmance.
If he were in Hud with the other students, he probably would have walked her all the way to her room. It doesn't matter that Lori might have seen them. He definitely wasn't trying to hide their new relationship from Lori. Definitely.

photo gif1-34.gif
Sweetie. Honey, no. You are not seriously that desperate, pathetic, and naive all rolled into one. Ugh.
I have other examples of just how bad the writing is, but I will spare you the agony. There are also lots of passages early on that showcase just how awful Sing is. I am not kidding you, she is probably one of the nastiest protagonists I have read in years. She hates and judges all the girls around her, including her friends. She disrespects all her elders. The girl is just miserable. She pines over guys that were not worth pining over and obsesses about them until I wanted to vomit. She even takes a very important role from another girl to get herself ahead. And her main reason for doing this is because the girl is her rival. For singing and douchey guy, who's named Ryan. But Sing doesn't even like Ryan that much so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 
I could go on forever, but this book to me, is not worth your time. I finished it because it was so hilariously bad that I couldn't NOT finish. Plus, you know, the book had an interesting concept. I wanted to see how it ended up being executed. Not well, I might add. I don't even want to go into details about that because the rest is just so horrifying that it's not worth pushing yourself through to a payoff that is not even close to worth it.
Remember way back when when I reviewed Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black? 

photo gif7_zps4596baed.gif

This is just about as bad as that. In short? I do not recommend it. 
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review 2014-01-08 03:10
Racing Savannah
Racing Savannah - Miranda Kenneally

Racing Savannah is a cute and cuddly contemporary that touches on some serious issues like poverty, class differences, pregnancy, and animal abuse. Miranda Kenneally's stories have an easy to relate to quality that I love and have a hard time finding elsewhere, but somehow I expected more from this one. I'm not even sure I am going to be able to explain why, exactly, this book didn't blow me away like it did so many of my friends, but you should know that I read it all in one sitting so there IS a lot of good here. But.


It's something about the writing. I don't know what it is, but it doesn't flow right. Most of the sentences are choppy, simple, and there is a lack of imagery in the writing which is something that I prefer. It's hard to explain because I don't believe I had this issue with Catching Jordan, but with this one I feel like there was too much summarizing and telling but not enough storytelling. Clearly I am one of the few that feel this way, and the writing is not nearly bad enough for me to not read this author again, but it was enough for me to get a bit frustrated from time to time. It's also a bit predictable and some of the dialogue is super cheesy. 


What we have here is a story about a girl that grows up with a dad who is a horse groom and he doesn't make very much. Her mom died from cancer at a very young age and the family is still struggling to pay her medical bills and make ends meet. Her dad takes a better job at a horse farm in Tennessee and brings Savannah and his pregnant girlfriend (soon to be wife) along. Savannah gets a job as an exercise rider, but is soon found out to be the only person who can relate to a very difficult horse. (Note: This is the part of the story I enjoyed most, because the romance was overly sappy for me some of the time.) She also meets Jack, the owner's son, and obviously he is very rich and comes from a privileged background. 


It's a decent story and the characterizations are pretty well done. There are also some cute cameos from past characters which I found SUPER cheesy but I also kind of loved. This is definitely fluff fiction at its heart, which is not a bad thing, and it made me smile, but there's also not a lot of depth. If you are looking for a book to make you feel good and let you escape from the mundanity of life for a few hours, this is definitely the book for you. But if you are looking for fiction excellence, this is not the book I would personally recommend. 


So to recap: mediocre writing, decent storytelling and characterization, predictable, but also big on heart. It's your call whether or not it's the perfect book for you. For me, I look for a little bit more. 


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