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Shorter Musings: YA Fantasy

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts 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 MG Fantasy books I have read recently with my thoughts.

I downright hated the end of two of these books and they filled me with quite a bit of rage.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Honestly if I were rating purely on liking the book this would be a 1 star for me. But I also take into consideration author craft and Johnson wrote the heck out of this book. It is well plotted and paced. Fans of The Name of the Star will find the same thriller-mystery goodness we got in that book. (Which I really enjoyed.) BUT. The end. I know there were people who found it devastating, but could go with it. I am not one of them. I suspected what she was going to do, but was still bitterly disappointed when she did it. I have some major issues with the choices made and the direction the story is going in. So I'm done. I won't be reading book three. Not everyone will have this same issue.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
I've read The Island of Doctor Moreau, and I was pretty excited to read a reworking of it. I wanted a tale that was chilling and horror filled, like the original. One that subtly asked questions about life and science. There is plenty of the former and a little of the latter. But. My problems with the book started with not liking any of the characters. Not because they are wholly unlikable but because I felt their motivations were being twisted for the plot in ways that were contradictory. Also they were just pretty unlikable. I was okay though because I did like the descriptions of the island, and the suspense and horror elements were good. Though most of my urgency while reading was due to my desire to have the characters realize what was up faster than they were. And then there was all the long monologuing. But it was entertaining enough. Until the last page. I couldn't deal with how this book ended for reasons that are spoilers, but it nearly sent it soaring across the room. Probably would have if it hadn't been on my Nook.

 Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
For a book where serial killings are a major part of the plot this was kind of boring. Yovanaff is one of those writers really good at conveying mood and doing atmosphere and setting, but those are elements I don't care so much about personally. The plot was slow and most of the book has a bleak and empty feel to it. The characters were hard for me to access and get to know. I think the writing is decent and those who like this sort of book will eat it up. It just wasn't for me. 


Oh I totally get what you mean about the ending of The Madman's Daughter! Although I quite liked the book overall, I'm still not if I want to continue with the series now. And I haven't tried anything by Maureen Johnson before, but she's quite a character on Twitter. Don't think I'm interested yet though... Thanks for sharing!
April said…
Well, now I'm curious. I might have to get you to tell me the ending...I don't have time to read books I won't like (since we have similar taste, I am assuming I won't haha)
Brandy said…
I love reading Maureen Johnson's tweets. Her books are usually just okay for me though I really did enjoy The Name of the Star. I just don't like where she went with the story in the sequel, though there are plenty of other people who do.
Brandy said…
Go look at my Goodreads reviews. I put my issues under spoiler cuts there. :)

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