Friday, December 23, 2011

Mini Reviews: The Iron King, Pretties, The Vast Fields of Ordinary, 24 Girls in 7 Days

Another batch of mini reviews, as my reading list fluctuates. I need to stop starting new books when I'm still reading a bunch of others, it's kind of a problem.

The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
Rating: ✮✮✮
Book Depository | Goodreads

I've been getting into lots of fae-related books lately (two books from my last library trip are fae stories), and I really enjoyed The Iron King. It's a great romp through well-known fairy tales with a dash of wonderland thrown in, and I especially loved the sorta steampunk addition in the iron fae. At times I felt the story went a little too fast, at the expense of our heroine Meghan. She does some selfless things (going to save her brother, making deals to make sure she can), but ultimately the book ends up being cycle after cycle of Meghan stumbles into danger, someone bails her out. I enjoyed Robin Goodfellow (though I prefer Rob Thurman's much more adult take on the puck) and Grimalkin, similar to the well known Cheshire Cat. What I didn't particularly care for, and what bothers me in most genre YA, is the romance being slotted into the book. It felt out of place for Meghan suddenly falling for someone in the span of, what, two days? Three? (I lost track with all the action going on.)

There's enough good about The Iron King to make up for the issues I have with it. I'm not particularly rushed to get the next book in the series, but I'll eventually pick it up because I did enjoy the world Julie Kagawa has built.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary, by Nick Burd
Rating: Didn't Finish
Book Depository | Goodreads

I have a low tolerance for angst without reason, and The Vast Fields of Ordinary hit that button repeatedly. Dade's crappy job, his parents divorcing, his borderline emotionally and physically abusive, secretive gay relationship and his apathy about life did not speak to me. There were so many things Dade could have done -- don't sit with the homophobic jocks when they accuse you of being gay, don't be an asshole and continue to talk to your sort-of boyfriend, tell the girl who has a crush on you that you don't like her that way instead of just running away like she's got cooties -- that it makes his angst about his life feel manufactured. I couldn't relate to him at all.

Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld
Rating: Didn't Finish
Book Depository | Goodreads

I really loved Uglies. It was in the first wave of books I read when I began to read dystopian YA in earnest, and I was completely sucked into Tally's world. She was interesting, I loved the world building, I wanted to know more about all the secondary characters she met along the way. We even got to interview Scott Westerfeld about the manga accompaniment to Uglies at Girls Read Comics Too, and I'm excited to read it. So, when I finally cracked into Pretties, I was crushed at how much I didn't enjoy it. It makes sense that Tally would be a bit changed after going through the pretty surgery, but it was just so jarring -- she wasn't the same girl I'd come to love. On top of it all, the increased pretty-talk really got to me, and I had to stop reading before I saw another "bubbly" and punched myself in the face like a "crim" until I was "brain-less." Maybe I'll give it another chance some day, now that I know what I'm getting into. I just knew that when it was time to take it back to the library and I hadn't finished it yet, I didn't care enough to get the book renewed.

24 Girls in 7 Days, by Alex Bradley
Rating: Didn't Finish
Book Depository | Goodreads

24 Girls started out strong, but as I reached the half way point, I realized that I'd slowly begun to care less and less what happened to our hero. It's a really interesting premise, where a likeable guy's best friends post a joke ad for a prom date and he gets a list of possible girls, all of whom are not right in some way because he's been talking to someone called FancyPants online and we all know where that's heading. As much as I enjoyed the opening, it lost steam after the first third and I really didn't care anymore. I skimmed the last part of the book just to find out who FancyPants was.

2 comments:

  1. The more I have to deal with my preteen cousin, the more I realize I have a very low tolerance for angst without reason, too! *shudders*

    Excellent mini reviews, Chantaal. I appreciate your candor. I don't have any interest in the latter titles, though I did enjoy TIK, and thanks to your MBB post, I already have Rob Thurman on my wishlist. :)

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  2. Hahaha, until she hit 18 last year, my little sister seemed to be permanently stuck in that pre-teen state. It drove me insane.

    Thank you! And yay, I'll be excited when you get to Rob Thurman's books. :D

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