Welcome to another edition of Better Late Than Never: Reviews of eARCs/ARCs for the Lazy!
Do you have review copies piling up? Do you have eARCs that you requested but never got to because you got overwhelmed by life? Or did you just bite off more than you can chew? (That’s me.) At some point I was still hoping I could review these books (even though my review wouldn’t really be of use to the publisher anymore) because it would be still useful to readers, and also to me, because the pile-up was giving me anxiety every time I thought about it. So I decided to start attacking that stack with the promise that if I didn’t like what I was reading, I could DNF at any time and write short reviews if I needed too. I am trying my best to read through these quickly, so I am most definitely going to miss subtle details. And that’s how this blog feature was born.
After a few of these posts, I’ve decided to include ARCs as well. I try to read all the ARCs publishers send me, and I usually do, but sometimes I get them unsolicited and don’t have time to fit them into my schedule. I’ve also been to several book conferences, and unfortunately I’ve picked up quite a few ARCs there that I haven’t been able to get to. I’ve started attacking them though. Slowly, but I am trying. That said, I can’t and won’t write full reviews for all of these books. So I’m adding them here.
To see my last post of Better Late Than Never, go here!
Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten
Published by Simon Pulse on October 31st 2017
Genres: young adult, mystery-thriller
Buy on Amazon
From the New York Times bestselling author of Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls comes a stylish thriller about the darkness that lurks inside all of us.
When I looked up, his smile was wide and real. “Ready?” he said.I faked a smile back. I had gotten so good at faking things.I thought: You brought this on yourself, Sasha. You will have to pretend forever now.He squeezed my hand again. He couldn’t begin to imagine what this actually was. He had no idea what I’d done. What any of us had.
When Sasha’s best friend Xavier gets back together with his cheating ex, Ivy, Sasha knows she needs to protect him. So she poses as a guy online to lure Ivy away.
But Sasha’s plan goes sickeningly wrong. And she soon learns to be careful of who you pretend to be because you might be surprised by who you become…
Told in multiple points of view, Bad Girls with Perfect Faces is sexy and twisted with shocks at every turn.
There are so many positive reviews for Bad Girls with Perfect Faces, and though it wasn’t the worst thing ever, I was underwhelmed. For the record, my ARC had really bad formatting. I’m not sure it affected my enjoyment of the book, but it could have.
This is a typical thriller with a twist. Two girls want the same guy, and they are vindictive and will do anything to be the winner in the end. Neither of them are characters to root for which is sort of a problem if you need that in your fiction, but I’m in the process of learning to love books with characters I dislike. That said, I still need something awesome to keep me reading if the characters aren’t all that. In this case, I was just kind of not that into the story. I wasn’t engaged. It’s definitely a personal thing, and you might love it, so I’m not going to say don’t read it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Series: Nevermoor #1
on October 31st 2017
Genres: middle grade, fantasy
Buy on Amazon
A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world--but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Yep, I need to start reading more middle grade. I’ve slowed down on it a lot, mostly because the blurbs haven’t really been grabbing me lately, but reading this book was just so. much damn fun! I’ve read a lot of buzz about this book on my Goodreads feed, and people have been raving about it. I didn’t think it was THAT good, but it was charming, engaging, and imaginative.
Morrigan is a cursed child, and cursed children ALWAYS die on Eventide, the last day of the calendar. At the last minute though, an enigmatic man shows up to save her, and takes her to the Hotel Deucalion in Nevermoor, saving her from a certain fate. The hotel is a strange place, but it’s also really fun, with rooms that host random activities, like a smoky lounge that pipes different colored, scented smoke in like aromatherapy. Jupiter brings her to the hotel because he has bid on her and she is his patron, now in apprenticeship to him. She is to be trained to participate in the trials to compete for a place in The Wondrous Society.
The reason why this was not a five star book for me though has something to do with the hotel, and some of the other things that occur in the book. For me to truly enjoy a book, I have to understand the motivations of the characters, and why they are making decisions, and doing the things that they are doing. For instance, WHY did Jupiter own a hotel if he was hardly ever there and rarely engaging with his customers? What really was Wunder, and why are Wundersmiths necessary? Is it basically just electricity, and are Wundersmiths just conduits, and if so why did the author change it? Because it seems just like a lazy stand-in with no good reason for why this was the choice she made. These, and more, are questions I am hoping are answered in the next installment. Because, though the book was not perfect for me, I loved the characters and ideas and world. Unlike most middle grade settings, Nevermoor is a place I would enjoy visiting.