Time to take a bite out of the bitesize reviews again! Here are another 4 books that I read that likely won’t get their own full reviews! One of the books has a little bit mroe than a bitesize review, but I couldn’t help it…I was angry.
Echo after Echo by Amy Rose Capetta – 1.5/5 stars
Eh. Not really my sort of thing. I’m not against the premise – a f/f romance set in a theatre that’s getting ready for opening night, but people are dying. Is it a curse or is there a murderer amongst the cast and crew?
Sounds good right? Well…that’s where all the good stuff ends…the premise.
The writing is repetative at times- I get that our main character is SUPER into her art and shit, but jeez girl – there’s more to life. It got a little bit pretentious at times, and just the kind where you wanna eyeroll so hard you’ll be able to see your memories in the back of your mind.
The pacing was all over the place and the tension was few and far between. We get some deaths quite quickly, and then sod all until the end of the book. Unless you count the relationship drama. Whcih I’m not here for. I couldn’t stand it.
Meh, nothing I’ll re-read ever again, but I can see how people may really like this – especially if they are theatre lovers.
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal – 0.5/5 stars
I really don’t want to have to waste any more of my time on this book. But I’ll power through it for the review in case it helps anyone.
Ok – first thing: I WANTED to like this book. The premise (two girls who are pretty much polar opposites must work together to survive an adverse situation) sounded really good. AND I really like the cover (I know, shouldn’t judge a book by its blah, blah, blah). But after about 3 chapters I realised I wouldn’t like it. So why did I keep reading? Well, it’s a shit…ahem…SHORT book, I have a goodreads reading goal to achieve after all, and I wanted to see JUST how many things I wouldn’t like.
So let’s get into it. Here are my top 5 reasons why I didn’t like this book.
1 – The writing. The terrible, TERRIBLE writing. Even between the 2 POV’s of Lena and Campbell, it was just…awful.
2 – The dialogue. Imagine ANY and EVERY stereotypical thing you’ve ever heard a black girl and a white girl say in those crappy teen spoof movies. That’s how these characters spoke. 100% unbelievable and borderline offensive.
3 – The plot. All over the place, and UNREALISTIC. If these girls were this irresponsible and dumb in real life they’d probably be dead.
4 – The characters. As mentioned in the dialogue section, these girls were BOTH stereotypes at best and flat out racist depictions at worst. Which you choose will depend on your sensibilities. I also didn’t like EITHER of them. The little that I got to know of them didn’t make me give a shit, but in all honesty, we weren’t given time to know them outside of their stereotypes. And Lena is a dumbass for chasing after Black (her boyfriend – yes that’s his name) the whole time. He clearly doesn’t care….get a grip.
5 – The racism. Ok, yes, the inciting incident to the plot of this book was a riot caused by a white guy being genuinely racist to a black guy (he called him a monkey) – it’s appalling, BUT I get it – it’s in there for a reason, we are supposed to agree that it’s appalling and racist and not ok. But this isn’t the racism I’m talking about. It’s all the bits peppered throughout the book I’ve got a problem with. Such as Campbell AND Lena’s treatment of homeless people, Campbell’s prejudices that she gives weak explanations for, and Lena…urgh. Parts of her language bothered me the most. The biggest issue I had was the ‘Becky’ issue. Lena called Campbell ‘Becky’ a LOT – simply because Campbell is white. Eventually she called her by her name (kinda, she called her Campbell Soup after that) but her default was ‘Becky’ based on her skin colour. And it wasn’t just Lena, Lena’s black friends also called Campbell ‘Becky’ by default until told otherwise – and that was IF she was even given a name. Sometimes it was just ‘white girl’.
Urgh. I get that books surrounding race relations and racial tensions (from all view points) can be powerful, nuanced and potentially life and thought changing – but this book isn’t it.
I don’t know what it was trying to accomplish either – all the characters were in the EXACT same emotional and mental state by the end of it as they were when they started. Nothing was changed.
Character Arcs? don’t know her…who’s she? Try other books!
Urgh. I’m so mad about this book – and that my dumbass continued with it – that it gives me energy.
I genuinely hate to hate on a book so hard, but I can’t help it with this one. If someone else reads it and gets something positive out of it, I’m happy for them, we all read the same books differently – but I just couldn’t find anything redeeming about this. Except the premise and the cover.
The Alcazar by Amy Ewing – 3.5/5 stars
I didn’t get DNF vibes from The Alcazar like I did with The Cerulean but I do think that what this book had, the other lacked and vice versa.
I’m both happy and annoyed at this book. I’m really happy that it ended up being a pretty much ok and satisfying duology – but I’m annoyed that it was just ok.
Leela is a welcome breath of fresh air. She and her story arc was what was missing in The Cerulean – all the Cerulean-ness. And the human-cerulean conflict was what was missing in The Alcazar.
I have to admit that as much as I liked Sera, I was WAY more into Leela’s story arc all the way through – because she was what I wanted out of The Cerulean. I honestly would have been SO happy to have the whole duology focused on and around the Cerulean race with no human contact.
Let’s look at what’s going on behind-the-scenes with the Cerulean! I was so happy with that part of the book.
Ultimately, it was an ok book, and ok duology. I’m not mad that I’ve read it. I just think it could have been better. I’ll keep reading the authors work, and I am still living for the covers of this duology!
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano – 1.5/5 stars
Here’s my big problem with this book – this is a romance poorly disguised as a fantasy. And this seems to be happening a lot in the genre. And it’s irritating.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind elements of romance, or even a romance itself, in a fantasy (or other genre) as long as it’s not the main aspect if it’s not been sold to us as that. If you’re trying to be a fantasy, BE a fantasy.
This was a romance with flimsy fantasy features thrown in to disguise it.
I really enjoyed the Midas Touch idea that was going on here, a girl (princess) who can turn anything living into gemstones? Hell yeah. Unfortunately, that really wasn’t as important to the plot/author as the romance was. *eyeroll*
Adding to the flimsy fantasy features (I’m using that phrase again because I like it) is the crappy world building. I have no idea what kind of setting we’re in other than ‘kings and queens’ era. That could literally be anytime. Plus, we’ve got old-timey clothing with futuristic items like the data goggles (urgh) that Will (our MC) uses…what even is this?
Wanna know the rotten cherry on top? The real kick in the teeth? I picked up on ZERO chemistry for the romance. AFTER ALL THAT the romance wasn’t even good!
Urgh, but the extra bit of a star is for some of the dialogue that came out of the 1 dimensional characters.
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