Time for some MINI REVIEWS. HUZZAH. Well, a subdued huzzah because as is usually the case with my mini-reviews, I had trouble with these books. Cue sadness on my part. I really want to love all the books I read! STILL. As I always say…if these books snabble your interest, you should totally try them. Just because I had a grumpy time doesn’t mean you will too.
\\ Thank you to Walker Books and Simon & Schuster for these review copies //
THE POTION DIARIES by Amy Alward
Thank you Simon & Schuster! Published July, 2015.
You know that awkward moment when a book just DOESN’T work for you? I just had that moment. The Potion Diaries and I felt off the entire time. Plus it has the horrific pitch of “The Hunger Games meets The Princess Diaries.” Princess Diaries? Maybe, yes. (I’ve only seen the movie.) But The Hunger Games?! PLEASE STOP. This has absolutely zero similarities. Eghhhhh.
It’s about a poisoned princess and the alchemist societies having a race to find a cure for her. I really loathed the setting. It’s set in the 21st century…buuut, with potions and princesses and unicorns. It’s ridiculous. I think it’s supposed to be?! Light hearted romantic comedic fantasy?? But that’s just SO not for me, okay?! (I’m 100% aware that this is personal preference. It’s me, not you, so if you think this book looks good: go read it!) The the princess is “poisoned” because…she took a love potion and fell in love with herself. HERSELF. She basically kisses the mirror and goes absolutely ballistic whenever she can’t see herself. I found it really dumb. I could totally see this as a middle-grade story, but they’re all 18 (at least the princess is) and the characters have adult attitudes. It’s just the plot is juvenile.
It’s a…cute and lighthearted story. The writing felt kind of bland to me, overly dramatic and never realistic. (Like the part where a girl got gored by a unicorn, so her BFF dug the unicorn horn shards out of her shoulder in a toilet cubicle. Don’t worry. No blood. No pain. Gotta love these unicorns.) There’s lots of potion mixing and weird ingredients. I’m sure Snape would approve. Or else he’d smite them all. WHO KNOWS. You can guess which I’m hoping for.
REMIX by NON PRATT
Thank you Walker Books! Publishes August, 2015.
This was 2% music, and 98% having sex and cheating with your ex. Hmm. Not my kind of book.
It’s dual narrated by Ruby and Kaz. This is cool, I like dual narrations, BUT. They literally change POV ever few pages. You barely get one page from Kaz, before we flip to Ruby. I couldn’t connect with either because I felt so thrown around. Plus I found them both to be whiny and unlikeable. And immature/naive.I’m not even kidding, but 90% of the reason they wanted to go to this music festival WAS FOR SEX WITH ALL THE THINGS.
Plus so. much. cheating. So both Kaz and Ruby have exs who are going to be at this music festival. Both are SO NOT OVER their exs. (Nuuuuungh.) When Kaz finds her ex, Tom, they end up having sex, despite the fact that Tom has a new girlfriend AT THE FESTIVAL. And after Tom and Kaz cheat together, Tom has to dash off so he’s all, “Hey, Kaz, babysit my girlfriend, will ya?” Please tell me this is a joke before I wither and die. Kaz then hangs out with Tom’s girlfriend and they become BFFs. Despite, you know, the fact that KAZ IS A HORRIBLE PERSON. And so is Tom. They are all horrible. EVERYONE IS HORRIBLE.
Everyone needs to get lives and sense and perhaps take up NICE hobbies such as skydiving or decoupage or baking onions.
ALL MY SECRETS by Sophie McKenzie
Thank you Simon & Schuster! Published July, 2015.
When I read (and I read a lot), the biggest thing I want from books is a) characters I care about, and b) a logical plot line. TWO THINGS. I DON’T ASK MUCH. This book was like drowning in a whirlpool of WHAT THE HECK moments with immature, unlikeable characters. I’m dead. I just am dead right now. It’s a “mystery”, but maybe I watch too many crime shows…but it involved the WORST crime reveal in. the. world.
The basic premise is Evie randomly discovers her parents aren’t her own, and so she hates their guts, and so they send her to a boot camp. What is it with the you-are-not-my-real-mum-I-hate-you plot line?!!!
The uncle and the parents ship Evie off to this boot camp that HAS NO POINT WHATSOEVER. It’s not like they teach the kids anything! They just make them build walls out of rocks, and peel vegetables, and have no technology or comfort objects, and they have to go to bed while it’s still sunlight. OH AND DO YOGA. But seriously, that’s it?!! If it’s supposed to help them develop “discipline”, I smell absolute ludicrous rubbish here. At least there’s plenty of time for the 3 boys and 3 girls to match off and sneak around kissing.
And then there’s the “mystery” aspect. But since it’s technically a spiler, I shall put it in tags for you. Open at own risk.
The plot left me so twitchy, and the characters were so beyond redemption that I just didn’t enjoy this book at all. I do read a lot of books so I have a high standard. BUT! Apparently this author is a bestseller so HEY. MAYBE MY QUIBBLES ARE JUST ME! I loathe being a raincloud, but…today I’m the raincloud. I just cannot stand plots where everyone is stupid, heroes and villains alike.
All I can say is — this is how I feel right now: