Quick review for a quick read that I picked up from my library’s audio collection. Powerful and really wonderful character exploration, which is typical of Ellen Hopkins’s books. Pattyn is a young woman living in a tightly knit religious community and abusive household. She strongly laments her inability to grow as a young woman – in relationships, in asserting herself among other things – as well as watching her mother being subjected to her father’s fists. After a series of incidents in which she acts out, she’s sent to live with her aunt and begins to know what it means to have a better life for herself, including being valued in a romantic relationship with her S.O. (Ethan). In the end, she’s not prepared to return to the household that cast her out, yet she never really wanted to leave completely behind, and things only turn for the worst after that point. I’ll admit it hit me like a punch to a gut and I couldn’t shake the emotional upheaval it left within me long after turning the final page.
Quick review for a somewhat lengthy read. I’m actually asking myself in the hours after finishing the book: What on Earth did I just read?
I haven’t read many of Lisa Scottoline’s books, but admittedly it’s been a while and this is the most recent example I can go on. It’s…definitely not the first book I would recommend anyone read from this author. I feel like it was an entertaining read but also a complete waste of time. (That sounds like a contradiction in itself, but I’ll explain shortly.) So much of this book annoyed me to heck and back – mostly for how over the top and non-cohesive it was. The dialogue in some stretches is completely unrealistic and cringe-worthy. I guess the entertaining aspect of it lies in that it plays out like a soap opera – with the main character running to and fro searching for answers that absolutely no one asked, and one calamity building upon another to ramp up the action and conflict to march forcefully through its conclusion. There are times when I like this kind of story if it can poke fun at itself or just proves entertaining to watch with the characters who make the story more than the bones it stands upon. But “Come Home” was the true definition of a false advertisement of a book if I ever started one.
Initial reaction: I think my end thoughts after going through this whole novel are much more complex than I can summarize in a quick bit review, but I’ll leave you with this food for thought:
No matter what culture you come from: no individual or group wants to be labeled an “a”, an “an” or a “the.” That is just one of the many problems this book has when approaching the issue of identification and tolerance when it comes to relations with groups of many different backgrounds, and it reveals a much deeper issue when the narrative itself is so out of sync with the matter at hand that it can’t even recognize why it’s flawed down to its very execution and presentation.
I think this could’ve easily been a 250-300 page book and have gotten a better story across than 608 pages of beating a point home…which ended up being contradicted constantly by harmful reiterations.
It’s not a good fantasy novel either. 😦
In all honesty, I think “The Black Witch” could’ve been a much better novel than it was. Don’t get me wrong, long before the ending of the novel, I knew what it what its intention was, and I’m not going to say that there weren’t bit pieces of this novel that I ended up liking. But the bad parts of this novel far outweighed the good. I’m not even going to touch the diversity issues yet, because while that’s the chief issue of controversy in this novel, the other elements of bad in this novel make it that much worse.
Quick review for a somewhat quick read (at least as far as audiobooks are concerned). I honestly enjoyed “Empress of a Thousand Skies”, though it took me a while to really get started with it. The challenge for this story lies in the fact that it has multiple narrators, has a very extensive set of worldbuilding rules and jargon that may be difficult to adjust to at first, and follows different storylines that eventually converge and reveal themselves in terms of the link between characters. It also starts very sluggish with pacing and development, which to me was probably the narrative’s biggest achilles heel through the beginning of the story. However, once I found the flow with the story, I honestly couldn’t put the book down and I loved the experience. I honestly can’t wait to see where this series ultimately goes, considering the stakes established and the character relationships.
Initial reaction: That was a satisfying end to a good series overall. A few points for me had the narrative dragging but I enjoyed the journey overall.
I’ll admit I’m a little sad to be finishing this series with “Echoes of Us” for two reasons: 1. It took me a long time to pick up this final novel and 2. This is pretty much the end of the journey for Eva and Addie. I’ve spent three books following these characters and found myself invested in their fight for representation and non-erasure of hybrid souls. This book has Addie and Eva delving into an alternate identity once again by going undercover at a facility with hybrid children like themselves to expose the horrible treatment of the souls there, but it comes with a high cost.