Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Woah. WOAH. And what?! Because the ending. the ending. the ending! and then all those missed opportunities as well! plus all those things left unsaid all because she thought-he thought-she said-he said but really because she wouldn't say and he kept on thinking...things.

Complaints for the first hold true for this a lot of the intrigue is rooted on what they become for each other, yet unlike Curse, Crime is less finding love; here's there's tension itself  in  should have's and could have's that brought on frustration, confusion, dislike, then a need in me.

That last mentioned need is one centered on the question of what's next as well as why were any of them doing what they were! And yet  it's for being a little like the first that's elevated this sequel. It still centers a little bit onthe romance at first, specifically as to who they were/ were becoming/ could have become.  Yet here it's that same thing which furthers a lot of the political and scheming and plotting and fouling up someone or other's or their plans. and i enjoyed all that... at least when it didn't frustrate me so.

primarily because the emperor is bad ass in the most authentic villainy sense that kestrel's previously much tauted military prowess remained absent;  what we have instead is a heroine certain of what she'd jumped into and totally aware of the costs but also alone in that awareness. it's said isolation that made things.... more in every respect.

Good. No, impressive follow up.
thank you, ng!

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

MagoniaMagonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We've all seen those deep, deep profound quotes people have posted, yet it's this line "You've never seen surprise until you've looked into the eyes of an ascending bovine." upon which I could declare Magonia all kinds of wonderful.

Bits of this had me thinking Going Bovine, then Ava Lavender, and then a little bit of Stardust (perhaps on account of that blurb, but not really) But really it's everything in this that has me... happy. First there's the random quirk present because of two leads who are not quite the usual. Two, for what's heartfelt between her and him, her and them, and then her and the rest. Then... then those biting, honest moments of Aza as to how she viewed her goings-on. (It's this last that's reframed my perception of Little Women' Beth, my grade four fancies to that end have been shot down.)

Though this is not perfect --Jason reads too dork-perfect to be true -- most everything else felt right.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why and Spectacular Now, All the Bright Places' Theodore Finch has won my heart then broken it, while Violet Markey has reminded me that some things can be lovely and then not.

Their story begins with both lost then shifts to them navigating their less than perfect realities, as they work through what is acceptable and not in definitions of who they are/were/could be from his  Freak to her Survivor, his Son to her Sister, then stranger, friend, and finally more...

Every aspect of this resonates. For him, it's his undefined nature, his need to be felt,  and his want to matter--- all the while speaking truth that's not once rendered unlikely with the too-profound.  And while that last is likewise present, its still his TRUTH I take with me, for there's possibility in his manner and honesty  in his everything else.

Then for her, it's the notion of not- knowing who she is, where she's headed, as well as what really counts. 

So that it's his presence that seems to change things for her (and her in his as well,) but such is an oversimplification as nothing really changes until they do and in this case those push, no shove us toward an end that... that breaks your heart for one of them but leaves you hopeful for the other.

This is at all once thoughtful, truthful, heart breaking.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isla and her HEA is not about the where but about the who. It's Isla then it's Josh and then it's Isla AND Josh.

Isla is undefined but ready to be. In her we have somebody living an almost insulated life with her as yet determined goal. Contrast her to Josh who is clear on where he's going; thus, simply biding his time till he could get started, then in other instances, merely going through the motions of what's expected without thought, effort, or consideration. In them is a pair of people about to embark on beginnings of adulthood where emotions (theirs and mine) ran the gamut of messy and complicated then sweet and pitch-perfect romancewise.  And it was lovely in doing so.

For Josh is a far from the ideal, as he holds himself apart from what the rest are up to; whereas Isla is wholly in the process of moving through young adulthood. It's them finding each other when they do that sets them and their story apart because this is not just a pair and a meet cute pulled suddenly progressing into a 'them' then apart by  some situation/issue/drama and then pulled together again.

No, for their making is a slow one, a sweet one, but mostly, a plausible one. The last is particularly true as both learn to navigate through the other's past, as both come into this as more than the individuals they are; the relationships they are/were in, their (non) goals, the experiences they carry define a part of them; it's the recognition this last is allowed that mark things true because they aren't each others only's but could be.

More than them, this is Isla figuring out what it means to be her, opening herself to choosing a something not because it's what's expected or is what's done, but simply because she could. And this is also Josh, and seeing matters not defined by the way things were or the way things no longer are,  instead seeing things as they could become. All these shifts and realizations, then choices and decisions make for a messy, sometimes hard yet definitely real and heart felt experience.

I LOVED this.


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Never Never (Never Never, #1) by Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher

Never Never (Never Never, #1)Never Never by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This feels like I have just finished a needlessly long introduction. Worse yet, when things stared picking up, we're dealt with another tepid non-ending. This had me thinking of 50 First Dates, minus the cute of Barrymore, but plus ten of the confounding.

Nothing is explained and we're only left with questions. WHILE I could say the leads are so imperfect they read plausible, honestly, each discovery about the other then their respective selves had me asking how there was a past them to begin with.

Will I be reading the next one? MAYBE. And that's what I take from this... it's chock full maybe and perhaps. Perhaps, there's more to Charlie; perhaps, Silas is not quite the douche he's coming across as. And perhaps, I'm still going to read the next. Who knows? 

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