‘Tis the season of mini reviews!
Actually tis the season for salt, so I’m squashing my salty reviews together to save irritating rants. But as a permanently continual reminder — my reviews aren’t tell you what to do…they’re just to introduce a book and if it piques your interest, GO FOR IT. I also flail like a wild mushroom over one of these books so, exciting.
Thanks to Hot Keys, Allen and Unwin, Bloomsbury, and Netgalley for the review-copies!
Also RANDOM but Society6 is having 25% off which is kind of freaking amazing!??! I have tons of designs up including writerly ones so you should 100% pre-reward yourself since NaNoWriMo is in 36 days.
Mug in the above photo is one of my designs!
OKAY I’M DONE. ONTO REVIEWS.
published June ||| ★★☆☆☆
Despite being about cool alternate-histories and queens this really…didn’t work for me. I don’t mesh with period-dramas. I just dooooon’t. And when a book stars a self-confessed BORING and PLAIN and AVERAGE girl then when am I supposed to care?! I have more emotions about cereal. Because I can eat it.
It basically follows the story of eleven-year-old princess Victoria who gets a playmate, Miss V. Miss V has the personality of a spoon and literally nothing happens in this book except talking, tea, a few carriage rides, everyone being subtly awful. I’m enthralled. Also over half the book is when Miss V is eleven, although she finishes up at 18, but the tone was really really young.
However the alternate-reality twists were cool! No spoilers, but it was a mind-bending ending. Although I have 0% what was real and what was alternate?!? I assume marrying your cousin was the real part.
Why must humans be like this.
VERDICT: A good book for people who enjoy period dramas with not a lot of drama but very nicely placed grammatical periods.
published October ||| ★★☆☆☆
It’s time for some MURDER, JOHN. This is the sequel to The Amateurs which I read last year and promptly forgot 100% of what it was about. But this has a very satisfying summary on page (THANK THE BOOK HEAVENS) so I could keep up. However I rated the first book 2 stars and this was also…no. I find them too predictable and the stakes weirdly low or maybe I’ve watched too much Sherlock.
I also feel weird when these teens are tracking a suPER BAD MURDERER but they’re also worried about romance and being friendzoned. You know what you’re going to get? GRAVEZONED IF YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION.
SMOL LIST OF DISGRUNTLED THINGS:
- there are so many characters and my brain maxes out at two people and this is why I’ve lost track of my family
- there are FIVE NARRATORS in a freaking 270pg book
- Madison and Aerin literally have no point to their chapters
- two characters are named MADISON and MADDOX and if you think I don’t get freaking confused then you are wrong, sir
- why are the police so incompetent in YA mysteries <— the true mystery
- where are the parents
- why doesn’t anyone eat
- the book is 90% tell tell tell and I was so detached due to all these info-dump conversations instead of actually witnessing ACTION.
However I liked getting more of the psychopath’s POV because that was interesting. Yes, shh, I’m a fine and normal person. And I confess I’m VERY interested to know what the psychopath’s endgame is and if these teenagers will die in the next book because no one is very competent. So very hooky.
published May ||| ★☆☆☆☆
I confess I’d rather eat a bucket than watch reality TV so this one didn’t work for me. (Might work for those who love reality TV though?!) And 100% thought the book was called ROLLS ROYCE because I am functional. #GoCait
WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME:
- It’s a satire. So, like, yes let’s make fun of reality TV…but I don’t understand satires. If you like reality TV wouldn’t you find this offensive??? And if you hate it WHY ARE YOU READING THE BOOK? (oh wait…me)
- Didn’t really care about the characters. They’re also all named after cars. I couldn’t tell anyone apart.
- The two starring characters are Bent and Bach. Oh look, Cait can’t tell characters apart. AGAIN.
- They’re trying to get a S6 of their show. But what the heck did they put in the first 5 seasons?? These people don’t even do anything and none of them are remotely exciting. Just dramatic and OTT.
- Too many italics. When the books written with so many little emphasises, it just gets a little irritating after a while.
- So confused at the ending. I still…what.
- It was very slow. To the point where the first 100pgs is just them waiting to see if their show is renewed.
- And everyone was horrible. So maybe that was the point but I just fell out a window, goodbye.
published September ||| ★★☆☆☆
This was just too flippant about suicide to be an enjoyable thriller. It’s a companion to Burning, but you can read it as a standalone. And it’s like…a baording school with a dash of SCI FI or PARANORMAL and who knows what else. It’s as surprise for us all.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME:
- Oh a rich kids prep school? All the girls are going to be HORRIBLE AND HATE EACH OTHER. Obviously.
- The main character is so nice and unassuming. She calls herself boring I mean???? I obviously believe her and now am turned off?? WHY DO BOOKS DO THIS.
- Probably because she is Elle Fanning. I mean, look at that cover.
- The boarding school cliches were in abundance. We gotcha class full of random sociopaths and conspiracy theories and creepy teachers and THAT ONE SINGLE BOY EVERYONE LOVES and suicide for the “shock” and a dark woods were they all go get drunk.
- Lots of heavy topics = all glazed over. I am very unhappy with how the suicide theme was handled. Suicide is a huge, scary and complex topic and this is YA for freaking sakes. Please don’t treat it so flippantly and for “shocks”.
- Random animal cruelty.
- Again, no one eats. Why. I mean the tagline is “what makes this girl a monster” and I’m here like LOW BLOOD SUGAR PROBABLY?????
However I DO approve that it was proud to be feminine! And there was competitive fencing. Like with swords and not, um, fences to keep cows in or whatever. And I think a lot of the reason I was bored is that I’ve read a LOT and this felt overdone to me. I’ll just eat a bark chip here and sulk.
published March ||| ★☆☆☆☆
This was super problematic and depressing. I’m genuinely shocked/outraged at the storyline too??
I don’t think it was “unrealistic” but it used a lot of hugely bad tropes and I can’t SEE THE POINT OF THIS BOOK.
WHAT I’M FURIOUS ABOUT
- The language is super offensive. It’s set in the ’90s so I get it…but when you even have the protagonist justifying her problematic language because “she likes it and doesn’t see why it’s a problem” THEN YOU HAVE A NO FROM ME. (Ex. derogatory use of words like “schizo” and a sheer ton of slanderous names against lgbtqia+ people.)
- I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone on the lgbtqia+ spectrum. Which is ridiculous because it’s ABOUT that minority. It basically kills off, ends badly, or reduces every. single. lgbtqia+ character to a tragedy story. It’s about AIDS and while the deaths might not have been unrealistic, it is completely unnecessary to do this to 100% of a minority in your book. Seriously, if this book was about black people and everyone got shot in police violence, or about depression where every single mentally ill character committed suicide = IT WOULD NOT BE OKAY. It’s harmful and not appropriate.
- This is basically a queer tragedy for straight people. The levels of wrong, wow.
- Gemma cares about prom. Nothing else. I found it very hard not to stab her with a pincushion.
- It was also very slow. Not a lot happened except tragedy for all the minorities.
Now I got bawled out on Goodreads for this review so again: I’m not saying “this stuff doesn’t happen”. I’m saying the way it was WRITTEN was harmful and problematic. I felt so depressed finishing it and I actually cared a lot about some of the secondary characters so I found the book hard to put down. But like??? I wish I’d not picked it up.
published April ||| ★★★★★
I’ve been so so depressing in this post so QUICK LOOK AT THIS BOOK THAT IS ABSOLUTELY UNFATHOMABLY AMAZING!!! This is one of my favourites of the year!!!! It’s about depression and it is like 10/10 accurate and respectful and bitter and funny and beautiful!
I think my heart just E X P L O D E D with good feelings for this book!!
It’s actually a really honestly brutal view of depression. Depression is different for everyone, but this was pretty relatable to me so that was special. It’s pretty gut-punching though because it deals with people who think depression is fake (“just be happier! you’ll feel better!”) and there’s no romanticised picnic here. But it’s also HOPEFUL and this is the kind of book we need, OK?? Also no “love cures all.” #Bless #This #Book
I adored both Snake and Reggie. They’re both bitter and pretentious and funny and sweet with hearts of gold underneath it. They are perfectly flawed???? And I love this??? There is a love triangle but it was so well done and AMAZING and I don’t even know myself anymore.
I totally didn’t expect to love this one so much. Pain. FEELS. Laugh-out-loud wit. It’s a really brittle and sometimes caustic view of depression and sometimes it’s a bit overly philosophical, but it was heckin’ special. I love this book OK go read it.