Forgotten Fridays: Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

Posted April 25, 2014 by Kara in book review, forgotten fridays, Kara, Lyn / 1 Comment

forgotten fridays
Welcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.

Kara: Okay. I am here, fashionably late as usual. In real life, I am never late. In blogging life, I like to make my co-bloggers wait. It’s my way of torturing them and payback. So….since Lyn made me wait until the last minute this week to discuss this book, I am going to be particularly persnickety. You have issues, take it up with HER.

What did you think of the book, Lyn???

Lyn: WHOA! I am going to defend myself here!! I wanted to meet yesterday, girl! YOU decided to wait AFTER I told you on SUNDAY what the master plan detailed! So ppttssssss!!

Kara: Psssshhhht. Details, shcmetails. SOME of us have to torture ourselves with work all day. Miss-I-love-my-job now. :P:P

Lyn: Ha! Yes, because working an 8:30 to 5:30 leaves so much time for a hobby! 😛

Anyways, this book. Wow. Good and bad. There is a lot to cover about Orleans. I am still teetering between 3 and 4 stars. What shall I start with? Good or ugly?

Kara: Hmmmmm. Start with ugly. I’m interested to see what you didn’t like because there wasn’t much for me. Well, okay. The dialogue was a bit too choppy for my taste, but other than that…not too much. So start with that. (I worked yesterday from 9:30-9:30, for the record. :D)

Lyn: The dialogue was very very tricky. So that was a huge issue. Second, the situations were so easily solved. For a majority of the time, the main character simply just walked out of a “dangerous” situation. Also, the MC had a baby that hardly cried. Very convenient. Lastly, there was a lot of loose ends to tie up. We see these awesome things happening and described, just to see them abandoned and never touched on again. There was my major issues. The book was just very loose everywhere.

Kara: I agree with you about the baby never seeming to be crying. It just wasn’t realistic. What were some of the “awesome things that you thought were abandoned?”

Lyn: Oh, I’m going to have to tread lightly here. I don’t want this spoiler studded. Well, the blood farm. That was so easily solved that it was almost a joke. We never see what was inside the abandoned house. There is a small description, and that is it. When Fen runs into someone from her past. She just ends up walking away from that, no big problems there. The fight scene near the end. No consequences, just an ultimatum. Those are the ones that jump into my head.

Kara: I see where you are coming from on all this, but honestly, I kind of love how the author left so much to the imagination. The house part that you mentioned…I like that we never learned what it was because it left it mysterious. As far as the ending goes, I actually like that it was open ended also. I am pretty sure that it ended in an unpleasant way but I’ll never know, and normally I don’t like not knowing, but in this case I do. I just feel like the way it was left is realistic. For me, in real life, there are never definite answers (or at least there usually aren’t), so I didn’t mind being left to figure it out for myself. But that is not to say that I don’t see where you are coming from, because I do. I guess I just love the unfinished style of this one.

Lyn: Now, the ending I loved. I have no issues with the ending of the story. I’m talking about the tribe fight prior to the ending. The ending was perfect. It was a good balance of sweet and sad, and it shocked the ever-loving hell out of me. There was a lot to love about the book. I liked the main character, and her relationship with the baby and Daniel. I liked that the culture was authentic and the absence of an abundance of white protagonist roles was needed, and it worked really well with the world building. I like the sharp, painful events and reality of the story. This was also an action book that balanced out showing and telling. I don’t want to seem like it was a bad book, because it wasn’t.

Kara: Okay, I get where we are having a discrepancy now. Yeah, the tribal fight. That whole thing was just weird and nonsensical. I don’t even understand really why and how she got away from that so easily. Bizarro. Yeah, I have to agree there. If there was one scene that confused me, it was that one.

I am glad that you liked it though. I didn’t feel any particular attachment to any of the characters but I am sure pleased that there was no romance. I loved (just like you said) that I feel that the characters and world-building was representative of the true population of New Orleans. I loved the brutality of the story also, even though it was hard to read at times. I guess mostly I just had trouble with the dialect. I loved Daniel’s chapters the best.

And then my other issue was with the world-building. I just feel that it was kind of hard to suspend disbelief and truly believe that these people were killing each other over blood types. Especially since the ABs seemed to be blood drinkers, and what the hell was that about? It was just confusing. Not all of it, but some of it.

Lyn: Oh, I did forget about that. It seems like the problem would be an easy solve – mass murder of a blood type. I like how racism was approached in the book by presenting prejudice based on something deeper than skin color, but it was also just not logical.

Daniel’s chapters really seemed to work the best. I like the naive POV of the true grittiness and horrors of the landscape. Scary stuff right there.

Kara: Yup. You nailed it. It is an easy solution. And I find it hard to believe that every single O+ tribe member was wiped out in the beginning. I just don’t think that is likely. It was dark and people can hide in the trees, for goodness sake.

But I do agree with you. I think the parallels with racism were amazing. And I definitely like the way all that was handled.

Overall, it was a really good book for me even though I seem to be doing some nitpicking. Maybe it’s just the mood I am in, but I did really enjoy it. If we did half star ratings (and I do think this is something we are going to have to do with the new design), I would be giving this a 3.5, But since that’s not an option with the ratings we have, it’s a 4.

Lyn: I’m going to go with 3.5. Too good for 3 stars, but just NOT quite 4 star material. If I am going to have to pick a rating, I’ll go with 4 stars. Good pick! (Please make half star ratings).

Kara: LOL well I definitely think Bekka wants them too so I think we will. I don’t particularly use them that often but there are extreme situations where they would be useful. This is one of those for me. So what are we reading next?

Lyn: According to the schedule, Dare Me by Megan Abbott.

Kara: Oooh, it’s Bekka’s pick. Well that should be interesting. The ratings on Goodreads are pretty low. But I do want to read it and see for myself. It’s not a very long book. Honestly, I am really looking forward to that one.

Lyn: I’m very curious about the reaction to the next pick. So, until next time!!
3.5 for both of us.

This book completes the “Green Cover” square for Kara’s Bookish Bingo.


One response to “Forgotten Fridays: Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

  1. Amy

    Great discussion girls. I have been wanting to read this one. It sounds like it’s a good book. I like open ended books as well. It gives you the ability to kind of decide what you think might have happened. It’s too bad that a lot of it seemed to be a bit convenient, but sometimes it’s easier that way to make the story continue to move forward at a good pace. Can’t wait to see your discussion for Dare Me. That’s another I have been wanting to read despite a lot of low ratings.

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