Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: The Lonesome Young by Lucy Connors

The Lonesome Young by Lucy connors
Published: April 8th, 2014 (Razorbill)
Pages: 336
Source: for review
Series: Untitled Series, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

WHAT HAPPENS when the teenage heirs of two bitterly FEUDING FAMILIES can’t stay away from each other?

The Rhodales and the Whitfields have been sworn enemies for close on a hundred years, with a whole slew of adulterous affairs, financial backstabbing, and blackmailing that’s escalated the rivalry to its current state of tense ceasefire.


And now a meth lab explosion in rural Whitfield County is set to reignite the feud more viciously than ever before. Especially when the toxic fire that results throws together two unlikely spectators—proper good girl Victoria Whitfield, exiled from boarding school after her father’s real estate business melts down in disgrace, and town motorcycle rebel Mickey Rhodale, too late as always to thwart his older brothers’ dangerous drug deals.

Victoria and Mickey are about to find out the most passionate romances are the forbidden ones.

. . . ON A POWDER KEG FULL OF PENT-UP DESIRE, risk-taking daredevilry, and the desperate actions that erupt when a generation of teens inherits nothing but hate.

Warning: this book is so frustrating, I had to vent. This review is filled with spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, click away now. 

I had so many problems with this book, it's hard not to go off on a rampage. Whenever I finish a book, I take notes of the story and what I thought of it. The list of notes I have for this book is purely negative. I've never had a book that resulted in me being unable to think of positive things whatsoever. But somehow, The Lonesome Young was able to get under my skin. Here's why.

First of all, let's look at that synopsis. Isn't that the most terrible synopsis you have ever read in the history of the synopsis? Truth be told, it's a perfect reflection of the story inside the book.

Feuding families, enemies for almost a century. Thing is, there isn't much of a feud. At all. The Whitfields and Rhodales mostly ignore eachother, so they only know who belongs to the family. They do nothing but hiss at eachother when they can see eachother. Think of it as two cats on opposite sides of a window. All hissing but no action. The only interaction between these families is a bit of bickering when a methlab is blown up, and even that doesn't appear to be really serious. Honestly, I fail to see this family feud.

Enter the next cliché: the perfect blonde good girl of one family takes a look at the dark dangerous bad boy of the second family, and they feel an instant connection (I realise this is several clichés forged into one sentence). He was wearing a helmet, for fuck's sake, and you only saw him in passing. How the hell can you feel a connection? You can barely see his eyes! You saw someone on a motorcycle, you couldn't possibly have seen more than a tiny bit of his face and yet you already feel drawn to him? What is this nonsense?! To make matters worse, the bad boy immediately turns into an overprotective softy after seeing the blonde damsel in distress while he drove past. He feels a need to protect her, even though he has no idea who she is and has never ever spoken to her. Not. A. Single. Word. What's with this territorial urge?

When the characters finally start to interact after this life-changing event of looking eachother in the eye, they talk as if they are at least 30 instead of the 17ish they're supposed to be. I'm guessing the author usually writes adult romance, because there's no way other way she thinks this is how a teenager behaves. It's not realistic and it just adds to the ridiculousness of this story. To make matters worse, every single event in the book is triggered by a bad decision one of the protagonists makes. Most of those decisions are things to 'protect' the other from the so-called family feud, but only result in making matters worse. Mind you, because of these stupid things these people do, there actually seems to be a family feud starting. Let me once again point out that letting your characters make the most ridiculous choices is not the way to make your plot work. If your plot doesn't work, change it, instead of twisting it into something that is utterly unbelievable.

Basically, this book is about a romance between two people who shouldn't be together because these families don't want them to be. This actually makes the families want to fight, resulting into an incident that happens at about 75% of the book. This is the first thing that actually happens to illustrate this 'feud'. At that point, I had already given up half a dozen times. I still don't know why I managed to read on, because the story was dragging and only had more unbelievable things in store. The characters kept repeating how they had an instant connection, how they should be together, but there was zero chemistry. If negative chemistry was a thing, they would have it. Ugh.

Leaves me to add that if you liked Beautiful Disaster, you'd probably like this one as well. There were so many similarities, it wouldn't have surprised me if this was written by the same author. The only difference was that I felt Jamie McGuire can actually write, but unfortunately I cannot say the same about this author. The story didn't make sense, it didn't read easily, the plot didn't work, the characters had no chemistry and the dialogue was awful. I can postively say that I have no good things to say about this book. I'd avoid it like the plague, if I were you. Just my 2 cents.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why I've been MIA lately

You may have noticed me being around less than usual. I've had so much going on in my life and I honestly didn't have the energy to be on Twitter or on the blog much so that's why I've been MIA. So what's going on?

Well, I used to work 40 hours a week and run the household which was hard enough for me as it was because it seriously cut into my reading time. I still have that going on, but for about a month now, I've been going to the gym three times a week and that has been killer for my free time. It was time for me to get fit and to stop being exhausted after walking two flights of stairs (honestly, it was ridiculous). I'd been walking every day for half an hour during my lunch break, but I still was so horribly out of shape.. So I took the step to get a gym membership. And I've been working out three times a week for at least an hour ever since.

I feel more energised, my clothes fit me better (well, they are getting too big) and I have more peace in my head. To top that off, I'm losing weight, so it really is a win-win-win-win situation. But I've been neglecting reading and the blog and for that I am sorry; I still enjoy reading and stuff but my progress is about 30 pages every day so I have yet to actually finish a book this month xD Oops?

Anyway, I really want to get a healthy body and mind before I dive back into blogging. Like I said, I'm still reading but I want to prioritise getting healthy right now -- so blog posts might be few and far between. But I'll be back, no worries :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On My Wishlist (68)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Expected publication date: July 8th, 2014

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Goodreads page

Obviously, this isn't a young adult novel. It is, however, a book by Rainbow Rowell, the evil genius behind Eleanor & Park which was so amazing I immediately wanted to read ALL of her books. She is able to capture the setting beautifully and I just.. ugh. There are no words for Rainbow's writing. Just know that I'll pick up anything she writes after that rollercoaster that was her debut novel.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: The Bone Season my Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Published: August 20th, 2013 (Bloomsbury)
Pages: 466
Source: bought
Series: The Bone Season, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

It has been a while since I read this book (it was our November Book Club pick) but I never found the words to write an actual review, which is why it took so long for me to type this one up. And to be honest, I'm still not sure if I can put into words what I thought of this one, so please excuse any incoherent sentences in this review. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm really not.

So. Let's talk a bit about my reading experience. When I picked it up, I was a bit daunted by its size, as it's a whopping 466 pages and the book is pretty huge. But I'm not shy of a challenge and I find that the biggest books often give me the most satisfaction when I finish reading them (I know I'm an oddball) so why not? To be fair, and also to warn everyone who is thinking of picking this book up, the first 100 or so pages are one massive case of infodump. I mean, REALLY. There's a map in front of the book, as well as a list of all known sorts of clairvoyants AND the back holds a glossary. That should tell you enough about the world the story is set in. But don't let it hold you back. Because once Shannon has introduced you properly to the world, Paige and the Rephaim, you'll slowly find yourself falling in love.

To be honest, the infodump is both the book's weakness as it is its strength. It takes you a while to figure everything out and to be able to place everything because the world is so complicated and thought out, but once you do, the book is fantastic. It's as actionpacked as it is intriguing, both the world of the clairvoyants as the world of the Rephaim. I found myself falling in love with the book from around the 120 page mark and I still found myself in that state, although maybe slightly more fangirlish, at the end of the book.

Paige is one feisty ass motherfucker. She feels real, and she's not perfect by any means. She has flaws, she makes mistakes, but she is real about it and she learns from them. She is kicking ass without being arrogant, if you know what I mean? I mean, she is still figuring stuff out after being thrown into the world of the Rephaim, but she's not afraid to give it her best shot. I admire that about her. She was a fantastic character to accompany on her journey and I loved experiencing everything with her.

And then there's Warden. Warden is in a league of his own, let's be real. From the moment he was introduced, I was curious about him. When I got to know him, I was fascinated. By the time I was halfway through The Bone Season I was shipping shit so hard it was hard to focus on all the other stuff going on. I mean, I turned into a complete fangirl. And I still am a groupie; I think I may be going through Warden withdrawal as we speak.

I loved the dark and twisty plot and all the storylines. It takes a while to kick off, partly because of you being dunked into the world with a whole shitload of facts about the world, but when it does, you seriously cannot stop reading. The plot was well put together and set up REALLY well for the sequel (WHY DID IT HAVE TO END THERE, SAMANTHA?! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!) and I feel like I've already been waiting YEARS for The Mime Order to come out, even though it's only been a couple of months. If this was only the first book, I am excited to see what Shannon has in store for us in terms of the story arc over the next books. I bet it's gonna rock my socks off!

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