Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mini Reviews: Timeless, Bunheads, Breadcrumbs, When She Woke, Everneath

Timeless, by Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #5
Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

The Parasol Protectorate is one of my favorite series to date, so I was super excited for Timeless for so long. I love Alexia, Conall is one of my favorite book boyfriends, and the entire cast of characters, including the Maccon family's new addition, are wonderful. I love the change in scenery to Egypt, while keeping the action at home in London fresh and moving forward by splitting the POV with Biffy. Biffy! Wonderful, cravat wearing, fashion conscious Biffy. He really made the book for me, and was lovely to follow as Alexia's adventures in Egypt took a turn for the crazy. (As they tend to do.) The main plot itself didn't feel as though it was totally thought out, but as always, Alexia and the cast of characters I've grown to love make up for it.

Bunheads, by Sophie Flack
Rating: ✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

Bunheads is a surprisingly slow, calm story. We follow the life of Hannah, a dancer in the prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company and all that entails. For a novel about ballet dancers, it's obvious Sophie Flack knows what she's talking about with all the little details, the emotional highs and lows, the pressure and ambition. Thing start to falter a little when it turns out that the entire novel is based around Hannah's growing realization that there might be more to life outside the ballet. It's a decent character growth novel, but ultimately, Hannah didn't seem to be a strong enough character for that to be all it is.

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

I very rarely give out five stars, but Breadcrumbs earns every single one of them. A novel that straddles that strange time between childhood and the start of the journey toward adulthood, it was so delightful to read Hazel's journey. The juxtaposition of reality versus the fantastical journey Hazel takes is wonderful, and there are so many themes woven along the way; what friendship is and how it changes, how adulthood can change us, and that the cold, stark reality of being alone is something that will always be there. How you deal with it is what matters. I haven't been struck this hard by a book since I read Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls. Something about translating adult emotions and matters for middle-grade readers without being condescending produces some amazing work out of authors. I love it.

When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan
Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

Set in a future where church and state are the same thing and changing someone's DNA to change the pigmentation of their skin is a crime deterrent, we follow the story of Hannah, a woman (girl, really) who is convicted of murder after she has an abortion. Though it sounded like everything that would get my blood boiling (separation of church and state and women's rights being hot button topics for me), I thought Hillary Jordan handled this really well. Hannah's journey is a slow moving but interesting one, and I felt for her every step of the way. The writing wasn't as strong as it could have been, but I really appreciated that while the novel takes religion head on, it also makes a point to have Hannah's faith stay strong and point out that there is a good and bad to belief, just as there is in every other aspect of life.

Everneath, by Brodi Ashton
Rating: ✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

I was really looking forward to this since I first heard about it, and boy, was I disappointed. The way Brodi Ashton retells the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, as well as her take on the Underworld is great, but the execution doesn't live up to the idea at all. I knew going in that it would involve a lot of true love, but I wasn't expecting 300 pages of our main character, Nikki, moping about and trying to figure out a way to say goodbye to her loved ones by doing absolutely nothing. Everything that happens to her is due to outside forces -- and by forces, I mean Cole and Jack, the boys in her life. Nikki doesn't do much but do some sleuthing and a lot of knitting. I did enjoy Jack, and the last 20 pages of the book picked things up considerably, but that didn't make up for the rest of it.

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