I have such… non-feelings about these, honestly. I told Cait @ Paper Fury, on her post about how writing reviews is hard, that I wanted to say “I nothinged these books” and call it a day. Guess I can’t really do that, but this might be close. Let me be clear: I didn’t dislike them. I just… meh. So here are some March Mediocrities.
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
So I was responding to Amber @ Du Livre’s review of this book as I was trying to write my own review. And for awhile, I felt like the black sheep- I’ve seen tons of positive, glowing reviews, and I figured maybe I was missing something? But she felt very similarly, so I said in response: “I am trying (in vain, tbh) to write my review of this right now, and I just… I have NOTHING. Like it was fine, I guess. I have no feelings about it, really. The romance was okay, but not like, swoon-worthy. The story was fine, but I mean, I’ve heard it before haha. Maybe this is what my review will actually SAY 😉 ”
So there you have it. I just really didn’t have strong feelings about this book. Yeva was a fine character, though I didn’t feel particularly connected to her. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading, hoping to find out what happened. But I also felt as though I knew what would happen, it felt quite predictable, and maybe that is just because it is a retelling? I am not sure.
The romance was… there. Look, I knew that “Beauty” (Yeva’s nickname from her dad) and Beast were going to end up together because… hello, it’s the whole original story, right? So I never felt a real sense of urgency there, nor a ton of chemistry. Especially since for a long part of it, he was her captor and I think he wasn’t even actually human, so there’s that. Val @ The Innocent Smiley did a whole post on the captor-captive relationship in regards to this book, if you’re interested in that angle!
I think I was actually more interested in it when she was with her sisters and such, and not so much when she was hanging out alone with Beast, but this could be me missing the point. I did enjoy the Russian part though. That was probably my favorite thing about the book. And that Yeva was a pretty tough MC who was willing to do anything for her family.
Bottom Line: By no means a bad book, just a bit underwhelming for me. Yeva was a strong character, the book was readable enough, I just didn’t feel that “something special”.
100 Hours by Rachel Vincent
Series: 100 Hours #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 28th 2017
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss, ALAMW
Goodreads• Amazon • Book Depository
A decadent spring break getaway on an exotic beach becomes a terrifying survival story when six Miami teens are kidnapped and ransomed.
Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.
While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.
But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.
Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.
This is a book that I also felt a bit “meh” about, but for completely different reasons. Reasons that I can actually put into words, oh happy day! We shall start with the things that made this book enjoyable.
What I Liked:
- The setting was fabulous. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be reading about a Colombian beach and jungle and such? I don’t think I have ever read a book set in Colombia before, maybe even anywhere in South America, so this was fun! And the atmosphere was written quite convincingly, too.
- The adventure piece of the book was definitely exciting. I was very curious as to what was going to happen, who was going to survive. I love a survival book, and this one definitely delivered to that end.
- It was fast-paced (it took place in the span of 100 hours, after all!) and was definitely compulsively readable, from an entertainment standpoint.
- There were some twists that I absolutely did not see coming. And I liked that aspect of it- especially toward the end of the book, when the suspense was at a high point.
What I Didn’t:
- Oh, these characters are complete asshats. Most of them, anyway. Spoiled, rude, rich, completely selfish asshats. And I don’t think I am even adequately describing them, but I am trying to keep the profanities to a minimum? Trust that I yelled tons at them while I read the book. Along with a lot of “why are you all the actual worst people ever?” And look, I get that sometimes characters are not the best, and maybe that is part of the story, but they were hard to stomach. And even harder to care about the fate of. I did have some feelings for Maddie. She was less… rude than the rest, though she was still kind of judgmental. But then, so I was I, so could I blame Maddie? No.
- Which brings me to my next gripe: If you are in the middle of a hostage situation in a damn foreign jungle, maybe you cool it with the drama? I understand that they are teens but… I was also a teen. And I promise, I would not be worried about who was hooking up with who at what bar if I were a hostage. I would be 100% concerned with not getting shot. Hookups can come later. If there was a later. Because I would be a hostage.
- Some of the outcomes seemed a little… convenient. Or unbelievable. Some were both. Still entertaining, but required some suspension of disbelief that I wasn’t always able to muster.
Will I Continue the Series? Possibly. I am moderately curious to see what happens, and hoping for some character growth. I won’t be sprinting to get it, but yeah, I’d give it another shot.
Bottom Line: While it was definitely exciting and entertaining, it was hard to overlook all the issues I had.
Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland, Michael Miller
Series: Kaitan Chronicles #1
Published by Delacorte Press on March 21st 2017
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
Goodreads• Amazon • Book Depository
"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.
Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.
As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.
But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.
Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.
Ah, this is the one I am most conflicted about- and also the one I liked the most. I think. Rather, this had the most things I liked in it? The characters, especially Qole and the others on the Kaitan, were pretty great. A diverse and extremely loyal, strong-willed group, they made me root for them immediately. Nev was more hit or miss for me, though I did grow to like him quite a bit more by the end; in the beginning he really grated on my nerves.
The space adventure was certainly fun, and I liked learning about the Shadow, and the power- and destruction- it had over the people of space. The book was a bit slow to start, but then I became invested in the characters, the plot, even the politics of the universe. But then the excitement started to fade a bit again for me. There was a lot of unnecessary information, and I often found myself skimming a bit and not really missing anything. I felt like the pace could have been picked up, certain scenes could have been cut shorter or eliminated, and the story would have been the same- and more readable, certainly.
Will I Continue the Series? Maybe. I did like the characters enough to want to know what happens next, but I also don’t know if I can deal with another long-winded book.
Bottom Line: While I enjoyed the characters and the story, I often found myself succumbing to periods of boredom.