Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. Those are the books that are reviewed quickly on Goodreads and then I move on. Some of those are starting to pile up so I thought I would put them all together in one post.
Here are some YA Fantasies I've read recently and my shorter musings on them.
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
I don't know what it is, but
drop me into an Epic Fantasy world and no matter how odd the names or
different the world I'm totally there. Not so much with Sci-Fi. In the
first few pages as Prince Khemri was talking about all the different
teks I was like-hubba wubba wha??? Still, I settled into the story and
really enjoyed the first half. I liked Khemri, ignorant arrogance and
all. I loved the world building and politics of the Empire. The
second half didn't work quite as well for me as I had a hard time buying
any of it. The romance. Khem's turn around. The end. I guess I wanted a
different story than the author was telling. I don't know, it just
didn't seem to fit the beginning. I was sad about that because the I was
really into the first half and that doesn't happen often for me with
books (or anything) set in space.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
love the concept of this novel, but was disappointed in the execution.
The characters and plot were too shallow for me to care about that much.
I liked Josh but found myself hoping Emma wouldn't get him in the end.
Emma was highly unlikeable. In a way there is an interesting social
commentary here, but again it is not executed well enough to pack a real
punch. I'm not sure if this is a book for modern teens or people who
were teens in the mid-90's. I graduated from high school at the time
this story was taking place and I appreciated it from that perspective,
but thought the 1996 references were a bit heavy at times, as if the
authors were trying more to reference everything they could to make
someone nostalgic than to create a realistic feel to the time period for
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I really enjoyed this one.
It was a little technical in places for me. My computer technology savvy
is just enough to get me through the day to day things required for
modern life. Also I'm not at all a gamer so this was a different sort of
world for me to step into. I loved the concept though and felt it was
executed really well. The future world represented here is one I can buy
into. It is one that could most certainly happen. Wade is a character I
felt I knew and came to care about despite feeling bogged down by his
exposition in places. I also enjoyed all the 80's pop culture references
as I was a little kid during the 80's. I think this is going to make a
most excellent movie assuming they cast it correctly.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone
is an easy, quick, enjoyable, fast paced fantasy read. It is
predictable and the characterization is weaker than I tend to like in
such books. It has a great villain though, I far preferred him to the
heroes. He, at least, was intriguing. The one unique element of this
book was its Russianesque setting. That is not typical for fantasies and
I really liked the concept. Unfortunately I had a small issue here. I
KNOW that it was not actually Russia, but a sort of Russian derivative.
BUT. Alina Starkov. The first time I read her name I subconsciously read
it the way it should be: Alina Starkova. And if that had been the only
time it was written fully I may not have noticed, but it's repeated
enough that I did. The second time I realized the "a" wasn't there and
that is just wrong. I don't know that much about Russian in general, but
I taught enough Russian immigrant students to know the girls are
fiercely protective of those "a"'s on their last names that
differentiate them from their brothers. Fiercely. As in they refused to
respond if called by their names without it. It made it rather difficult
for me to buy into all the other elements of the world and the
wrongness of it was like an alarm bell everytime I read her full name.
(Which is used frequently.)
The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
was a nice take on "The Ugly Duckling Story". It has the simplicity
typical of fairy tales. It is told well and I liked the characters. I
wasn't entirely certain why the dual first person perspective was
necessary and found that it sometimes hindered my enjoyment. I think a
third person narration would have worked better for me. WARNING: Reading
this book will make you want to eat all the chocolate.