Hello my loves,
I feel like this month I kinda…went in on the books that I read so I feel like these reviews sound harsher than usual – apparently I fancied being critical this month – here’s December’s reviews!
The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One – Amanda Lovelace
I said this in my book haul but considering I don’t really rate Amanda Lovelace or her poetry I’ve no idea why I keep buying it – in the hopes that maybe it’ll get better, I suppose. Anyway, spoiler alert – it didn’t. Bearable, but just the same old same old. I think I’m officially done with this series and this type of poetry now. Please God just help me find a good poetry collection soon.
Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi
So, this is the second book in the Shatter Me trilogy. I read the first book when I was 16/17 (so a fat minute ago) but I’d always really liked it since then and wanted to finish the series when I had the chance so, 5 years later I finally got around to reading the second book.
Let’s just say, things sure have changed.
When I was 16 I was impacted by things (books) that as a 21 year old do not have the same effect on me, because I’m older now. I feel like this book / series is definitely one of them. When I read the first book I really, really enjoyed it and thought everything was really interesting and just generally good, but at 21…
Not the case.
And spoiler alert here because, I need to rant.
This book is supposed to be about fantasy, fighting, trying to battle evil etc. but literally all it is is our main protagonist Juliette fangirling over her vanilla boyfriend, Adam.
Adam Adam Adam Adam. 90% of this book is her internal monologue about how attractive she finds Adam, and the other 10% is a mixture of her feeling sorry for herself and more internal monologue about how attractive she finds the evil guy that she shouldn’t be cheating on Adam with but spoiler alert, she is.
That’s literally it. I was ready to just bang my head at every single thing. It only got good around the end when things actually started happening because before that it was just he was so beautiful I couldn’t breathe it felt like my lungs were about to explode and the galaxy was going to fall into stardust around me I could not stop looking at his tight shirt stretched over his beautiful muscles I had lost the ability to speak I could not even remember my own name all of the air had been sucked out of my lungs I felt like I was going to melt into a puddle and die on the spot.
And that was it, for the whole book. That’s all it was. Whenever something did actually happen we had to listen to 5 pages of internal monologue beforehand about her feelings towards Adam and the evil guy and how sorry she felt for herself and how she’s sO bRoKeN and it was just so incredibly long and painful. I don’t know if Mafi was intending to make Juliette so unlikeable but if she was then she did a great job because she really highly irritates me. The whole time I just wanted her to get over herself and shut up.
I hate books that do this and it reminded me of Throne of Glass all too much (the stories are basically identical) but these series are set up as being fantasy, kick-ass novels and they’re not. They’re just about shitty love triangles and the hopeless pretty girl who needs to get a grip and feels all too sorry for herself because she can’t choose between them.
Every page was about how attractive Juliette was and how attractive everyone else found her and then it was about how attractive Juliette found Adam and then about how attractive Adam found Juliette and then about how attractive the evil guy found Juliette and then about how attractive Juliette found the evil guy and then about how broken Juliette was and how sorry she felt for herself and then it was back to everyone finding her attractive and the cycle repeats until the end of the book.
I was honestly just waiting for someone to die. I was waiting for something to happen. I’m rooting for the evil guy because he’s the only one that seems to have any interesting action in this book. It literally didn’t start getting good until the last quarter. Also, they’re all supposed to have magic powers but the powers aren’t really explained until they’re actually being used, if that makes sense. It’s like Mafi forgets she gave them powers and then randomly remembers again and it’s all just really ambiguous and confusing because you’re not sure who can do what or why.
So Chloe, if you have this many bad things to say about the book, why are you still giving it 3 stars?
Because I’m at the wrong age to be reading it so I feel like it’s unfair for me to be so down on it when I’m not the target audience. At 21 I can see how mediocre it is but at 16 I thought it was really good ‘cause I guess I wanted to read about love triangles and not being able to choose between two guys and yada yada. Now I’m like…this is seriously a bunch of teenage twaddle. But, I’m not a teenager anymore and this book isn’t targeted at me anymore so, my opinion is kind of irrelevant.
Which is what I wish a lot of people would realise when they badly review books that are clearly not targeted at them – of course you’re not going to like it, because it wasn’t written for you (!!)
Something I did like about this book was how short the chapters were, literally just a few pages each time and then it would move onto the next chapter and segment which made it a really easy and quick read and despite everything I’ve said I do plan on reading the third and final book in the series at some point just to close it off – I’ve read worse books, but I’ve definitely read better, too.
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
So, this book basically sounds and has the same plotline as every other fantasy novel I’ve ever read however, I’m trying not to give a bad review based on that as I realise it’s not Victoria Aveyard’s fault that I read other fantasy novels before I read hers. The difference with this novel though, is that Aveyard can actually write. I think this is the first fantasy novel I’ve read where there’s actually…good writing. I didn’t want to rip my hair out at every page, I didn’t hate the main character because of how stupidly she’d been written, the cliché romances didn’t make me want to throw the book out of the window. Aveyard knows how to write! I was pleasantly surprised. It was like…getting to read a novel with the same plotline I’d heard a million times before but this time I actually got to enjoy it a whole lot more because it had been written by someone who actually knew what they were doing. I liked how fast paced the book was, it really got to the point straight away without having to trawl through hundreds of pages of seemingly useless information (*cough* Throne of Glass series *cough*) but one thing I will say is that sometimes it was a little too fast paced for my liking – sometimes things would quickly happen but there’d be no context or background behind them and therefore it didn’t really make much sense or hold the amount of impact I’m sure Aveyard intended it to, however, there was a Q&A with her at the end of the book and one of the things she said was that if she could have written the book again she definitely would’ve done more research and spent time going over things to expand them more so again, I can’t really mark her down for that because she recognised it straight away. Considering this was her debut novel I think she did a really good job and her acknowledging things like that again just shows that she knows what she’s doing.
As I said before, the story was something I’d heard a million times already but the difference is that Aveyard actually wrote it properly and executed it in the way it should’ve been the first hundred times it was done. Usually I hate the main protagonists in these types of stories because they’re just written so stupidly but Aveyard did a really good job of it and I ended up really liking our main character – I actually cared about what she was doing and what happened to her, you know? The love triangle in this was also extremely bearable and didn’t make me want to throw myself out of a window at the stupidity of it all – it was way more realistic this time and things didn’t happen so ridiculously easily, it was well paced, believable and also unpredictable which made it even better. Normally authors try to make their readers fall in love and therefore choose between the two main love interests to pick which side they’re on and Aveyard didn’t do this – she realistically wrote it and allowed the readers to make their own minds up, as it feels as though the love interests were written for the purpose of the story and the book itself, rather than for the benefit of the readers.
Overall a good read and I’m glad to have finally found someone that actually knows what they’re doing when it comes to writing fantasy novels – all praise Victoria Aveyard.
And there we have it loves – let me know if you like / have read any of these!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna