Hiatus Announcement

hi everyone! This is a really hard post for me to write….

As most of you know, I just got to college for my freshman year.  Right now, I’m going through orientation stuff and life is crazy, and I’m not sure when it’s going to get any easier to balance.

Because of that, I’m taking a hiatus from blogging.  I’m not sure when I’ll be back.  I REALLY want to spend more time here, and I love blogging and all of you, but as of right now it’s impossible to find the time.

I hope to be back soon (and by the end of September at the latest) but when I do I’ll probably only post 2x/week from now on, since the 3 has obviously been a struggle for a while now.  I’m so so sorry guys!

Best of luck with all of your blogging and see you in a month or so!!

joce-sign-off

Advertisements

Discussion: Why Are YA Characters So Young

I just read Strange The Dreamer (or rather, listened, but that’s not the point) and I was so shocked by the fact that Lazlo was 20 YEARS OLD.  He wasn’t a teenager, even though it was a YA book.  And it made me so freakin happy.  I mean, I’m so used to reading books about 14-16 year olds saving the world, so it was a nice change to have someone that was older than me as the protagonist.  When you’re working on your fictional crush list and realize most of the guys are years younger than you, it’s a bit disappointing.  That’s why today I wanted to talk about a problem that I only just recently realized was a problem: young characters in YA.

Obviously, young adult books are meant for teens, so it makes sense that the protagonists are teenagers themselves.  But I don’t understand why there aren’t many upper teens, or 17-21, which is still of an age that teenagers would be able to relate, but is perhaps more realistic to, say VENTURING OFF ALONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.

At 14, I wouldn’t have been able to cook myself dinner, never mind run away (I can’t even drive a car?) in order to spend weeks with the love of my life saving the world.  Speaking of, the romance is also WAY TOO SERIOUS.  Nobody Not many people finds the love of their lives in high school.  So why do all fictional characters find theirs? It also sets up unrealistic expectations for what you will find in high school.  Very unrealistic.  And I think that’s probably bad for kids 11-15 who are reading this and expecting their life to be that grand when they get just a little bit older.

Also, isn’t college still sort of YA? I mean people aren’t a real adult when they’re in college, I know I’m certainly not.  So there should either be more college characters in YA, or a new “fake adult” genre should be started, asap.  Because it’s not fair for those of us who are faking adulthood by going to college to be forced to read about young high schoolers or old adults.  (I’m planning a protest, who’s in?!)

Obviously, the books wouldn’t be as interesting if they weren’t so unrealistically exciting, so maybe there isn’t a problem at all.  I don’t know. I’m having trouble putting this into words, so I apologize for the super short post.

Basically, I just wanted to write about how excited I was to have a fictional boyfriend that’s older than me, and I turned it into a fancy shmancy discussion post to hopefully get more replies and find out about other people’s opinions!!!

so

Edit: I’ve heard that Strange is actually an adult fantasy novel, so oops for mentioning it in the content of YA.  It read a lot like  a YA novel in general, so I assumed.  Also, I realize “YA” is supposed to be 13-19, but there’s no market for 19-25 year olds at all, and since they are still young adults I thought that they should be contained in the YA genre

halfway (47)

Do you think YA should have older characters? Did books give you unrealistic expectations for what your high school experience would hold? Are all of your fictional boyfriends (or girlfriends) wayyy younger than you?

joce-sign-off


Check out my Social Media:

Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Email | Goodreads | FictionPress

~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

The New Disney Princess Tag

I got tagged in the Disney Princess Tag by Tavleen @ Travelling Through Words!!!! I love Disney, and princesses, and so I could not be more excited to do this and get to relive all of my childhood memories.  Thank you so much to Tavleen for tagging me, it means a lot!!!!!

halfway (72)

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you because that’s always good fun
  • Tag Book Princess Reviews and Zuky with our posts so we can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Mine is this link and Zuky’s is here)
  • Play a game of tag at the end!

Snow White

snow-white

This book (like the movie) started it all

Favorite Debut Book From an Author

I’m going with Girl out of Water for this one because I adore Laura Silverman and I feel like she deserves it SO MUCH especially because she’s been such a wonderful online presence throughout all of the shit that’s been going down in our country over the past few months (and probably earlier but I just started following her).  Also, Girl Out of Water is amazing and although she hasn’t published anything more yet, I know it’s going to be the start of something great.

Cinderella

A diamond in the rough

Just Like Cinderella, You Either Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But Turned Out to Be a Total Jem

hmmmm this one is really hard… I have a tendency to have very high expectations for all books and they always meet them… I’m going to go with Smugglers and Scones, because I got this book from the author and I knew it was indie, so I wasn’t expecting a ton, but it was SO FREAKIN CUTE I fell in love with the characters and story instantly.

Aurora

aurora

Sleeping beauty

A Book That Makes You Sleepy or Just Could Not Hold Your Attention

This is so easy because I JUST DNFed IT BECAUSE I COULDN’T ANYMORE.  Not The Only Sky was filled with quirky cool characters but the plot made me want to dieeeee and I nearly completely stopped reading because it made me so extraordinarily bored, so I’m glad I set it aside.

Ariel

ariel-tag

Under the sea

A Book With a Water/Ocean Setting

what? That’s the description that they’re using for Ariel?? They could have done so much better TBH but oh well we’ll roll with it and go with…. In the Heart of the Sea!!  This was nonfiction but a really good story at the same time, and so I would recommend.

Belle

belle-tag

Beauty and the beast

Name a Book With the Best Bookworm/Book Lover

ahhhhhhhh it’s time for me to FANGIRL ASDFGHJKL I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!! Strange the Dreamer was just so so so so so so so so sos sos so sososososoosoooo good!!!! Lazlo Strange was GREAT and the most adorable creature that I’ve ever met, not to mention the fact that he’s a total book lover, and I have such a big fictional crush on him.  Like SO BIG.  AAAAAHHHH (also I love the fact that he’s 20 instead of the usual fantasy 15, because it makes me feel way better about being in love with him)

Jasmine

jasmine

The thief and the princess

Name Book with an Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance or a Book You Didn’t Expect to Love So Much)

I’m not going to say much about The Bone Witch, because there are possible spoilers, but I didn’t see this at all? Like why was it a thing? No.  Just no.

Pocahontas

poch

The real life princess

Name a Book that is Based on a Real Life Person You Want to Read/Have Read

Anna Kendrick is basically my idol.  She is so incredible and her acting is great and I love all of her movies, and reading her nonfiction memoir just amplified that.  She’s great. Just great.  plus the book was super funny, which is always a bonus.

Mulan

mulan

The princess that saved her country

Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know

LOLA!! I just read that book and she was the most badass gang member that I’ve ever met (oops I don’t mean met).  I loved how she totally just overrode all these giant men to get her way, and became one of the most respected women in her whole neighborhood.  Not only was she strong, but she stood up to a lot of men who were used to being in charge, so in her particular situation it made her strength even more important.

Tiana

tiana-tag

The princess with the coolest and  most diverse crew

Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like Tiana’s group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and more) or just diverse in general

I have to go with THUG on this one because I’m reading it right now and it is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.  I cannot rave enough about amazing the characters are in this book, how real they are, and what an important message this shares with everyone.  It should be on all schools required reading lists.

Rapunzel

rapunzel

Let your longggg hair down

Name the Longest Book You’ve Ever Read

Hmmmm….. *heads over to goodreads to check*

I think the longest ASOIAF book was A Storm of Swords at 973 pages!

Merida

merida

I determine my own fate

A Book Where There is No Love Story/Interest or Isn’t Needed

The Clan of the Cave Bear.  I hear that later in the series there might be some romance, but as far as this first book goes, Ayla doesn’t need any men to survive, she’s badass and can take over the world without them, just like Merida.

Anna/Elsa

Image result for anna and elsa

Frozen hearts

A Book in a Winter/Cold Setting

I actually don’t have one for this, surprisingly.  I feel like most books where I know the seasons are always summertime, or there’s just no description of seasons at all that I register.

Moana

moana-head

How far I’ll go

A Character That Goes on a Journey

Literally every dystopian/fantasy/YA book ever?? I suppose if I have to narrow it down I’ll go with The Bone Witch, since I haven’t mentioned that yet I don’t think (although tbh I could be wrong, I have a VERY short term memory)… EDIT: I DID ALREADY MENTION THIS OMG OOPS I’M SO DUMB

Tags

I’m going to tag some of my new followers/people I’ve interacted with recently that I think deserve to be mentioned!!

The Girl with Ironwings

RedheadedBookLover

Ravishing Tales

Two Book Thieves

Writing Penguin Blog

Share your links once you write the post because I’d love to hear your recommendations!

joce-sign-off


Check out my Social Media:

Twitter Bloglovin’ | Email | Goodreads | FictionPress

~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

 

 

Review: The Glass Castle (A Powerful Memoir NOW IN THEATERS)

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.24

Genre: Memoir

Publication Date: January 17th 2006

Format Read: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing–a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.

halfway (48)

THIS CAME OUT AS A MOVIE LAST WEEK!!! IT’S OFFICIALLY IN THEATERS!!! TALK ABOUT GOOD TIMING, JOCE!!! (please excuse me as I give myself a pat on the back for being amazing)

In all seriousness, I planned reading this book so that I’d be able to watch the movie when it came out, and I could not be more happy that I did.  It’s been on my mom’s display shelf for years, and I was a little reluctant because it felt like it could be super boring (I mean, it’s NONFICTION).  But there was nothing not to like about this book.  It was SUPER GOOD, SUPER INTERESTING.  Jeannette’s story is so inspirational and beautiful, and the way it was written kept my interest the entire time.  Even if you’re not normally into nonfiction, I would recommend this one.

halfway (49)

I know there’s really no such thing as “characters” in this book, because they are all real people, but I’m going to do this section anyways.  You felt for every single person in this book, especially Jeannette, and I think they were fantastically well developed so that you could see each side of them– the one she saw as a little kid, and how that perspective developed as she got older.  I felt like not only did I know the characters, I WAS Jeannette the entire time I read it, and I understood exactly WHY she felt the way she did towards her father and mother.  It was powerfully done and I think made the story.

halfway (50)

This was non-fiction!?!?!?!

I keep asking myself this question over and over again because it seems too painful to be true, and yet the details are too precise and heart wrenching for it to be anything but.

The Glass Castle takes you through Jeannette’s entire life up to this point, starting from her first memory.  Her life is absolutely insane, because her parents were essentially impoverished nomads who were poor simply because they chose not to do anything about it.  This led to a very unique perspective on life for all of the Walls children, and that comes through in her writing.

I’m really reluctant to say anything more because I’m afraid of spoiling the “shock factor” which made this book so powerful to me.  But it’s incredible.  Genuinely emotionally shockingly beautifully powerful.  Read it and you’ll understand.

halfway (70)

I mean, this is really sort of hard.  It’s sort of told in terms of short stories, because obviously the author is writing over a really long period of time, and so she has to skip the “less important” parts in order to fit it all into the fairly skinny little book.  Her writing style was detailed and yet informative, and extremely emotion-evoking.  Like it left me sobbing multiple times.

halfway (71).png

I LOVED THE CASTING FOR THIS MOVIE!!! I mean, Brie and Woody were both PERFECT in their roles, and the other girls that played Jeannette were equally as incredible, I couldn’t believe that they were CHILDREN because they were so impressive.

Although the movie didn’t follow the true events exactly, or show all of the parts of the book, it did a really good job and I thought it captured the true essence of the story.  I would 10/10 recommend.

halfway (56)

This book was SO SO SO GOOD PLEASE READ IT.  I am so overwhelmed by this entire story, the beautifulness of it, and the way it was written.  I think it deserves to be read just because it makes you appreciate your own life so much more, and gives you such a great appreciation for what other people go through.  Plus, honestly it’s a true pleasure read, you can really enjoy it and feel like it’s a novel. So what are you waiting for! Buy it already!

View on Goodreads

Buy on Amazon

halfway (47)

Have you read Glass Castle? Watched it? Are you looking forward to it? What did you think!!?!?!


joce-sign-off


Check out my Social Media:

Twitter Tumblr | Bloglovin’ | Email | Goodreads | FictionPress

~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

6 Hot August 2017 Book Releases

I know this post is really late, and so about half of these are already published, but I wanted to make sure I gave all of the August books a chance at fame*.  So, halfway through the month, we’re going to celebrate all of the August releases.  I have to admit, I’m VERY excited about all of these books even though I haven’t read a single one!

*ha, I’m assuming that my blog would help a book sell

Young Adult

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Wonder Woman, by Leigh Bardugo—  I’ve heard A LOT of hype about this book, and after watching the Wonder Woman movie, I really want to hear this take.  Obviously it’s not quite the same story, but it sounds amazing, and I’ve heard it’s a must read for DC fans!

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

All Things NewAll Things New, by Lauren Miller– This book sounds TOUGH but really good at the same time.  It could definitely go either way but I feel like it’ll be emotional wreck of a book that I can’t put down.

Jessa has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn’t help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and visible scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels. 

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, where she meets Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Adult Contemporary

The One That Got Away

The One that Got Away, by Melissa Pimentel— This SOUNDS ADORABLE and perfectly romantically fun.  I love “one that got away” stories, and this literally has that title, so why wouldn’t I read it?!?!? It seems like a perfect light read and I’m looking forward to seeing what other people think.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . . The Burning GirlThe Burning Girl, by Claire Messud— I can’t quite tell if this is adult or YA, but Goodreads is telling me adult so we’ll go with it.  Apparently Messud is an amazing author, and this book sounds really emotional and profound which I love.

Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship.

Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.

Thriller

Emma in the Night

Emma In The Night, by Wendy Walker— aaaaah you can’t even understand how good this sounds. Dysfunctional family thrillers are my absolute favorite because they’re so twisted and messed up and exciting.  Plus it’s about girls and doesn’t have girl in the title so BONUS POINTS FOR CREATIVITY, WENDY!

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

The Readymade ThiefThe Readymade Thief, by Augustus Rose— This sounds hecka good, and has a super unique plot, which is something that you don’t find very often in a thriller.  I love the whole idea of it, and the female protag thing is always a bonus for me (although apparently that’s become a bit of a readily repeated trope now that people hate, but ROLL WITH ME HERE)…. and it looks like it’s set up for ROMANCE!

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, she finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle, but the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. They believe Lee holds the key to it all.

Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families, but the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.

halfway (47)

What books are you looking forward to for this month? Have you read any of the ones I talked about? 

joce-sign-off


Check out my Social Media:

Twitter Tumblr | Bloglovin’ | Email | Goodreads | FictionPress

~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

Guest Post: Really Reading, by THE Elm

I CAN’T EVEN STOP SMILING RIGHT NOW.  I have Elm, THE Elm, on my blog today.  I’m still not sure that this is really happening.  Since I first found her about a year ago, she has been one of my biggest blogging idols, and now her writing is going to be on MY blog! Elm is a 17 year old blind lifestyle blogger, self proclaimed rebel, singer, writer, talker (I hope lol) and, most importantly today, reader.  It may seem strange to some people, a blind reader, which is exactly why the post that you’re about to read is so special.


“Reading”, by Elm

As a child, I was a voracious reader. Similarly to any other bookworm, I was lost in the stories and characters of authors who spun their tales to be understandable to a younger audience. I’d spend hours pouring over a good book, delighted and enthralled in equal measure. That feeling sounds familiar to anyone who loves to read.

However, I have never read a paperback or hardback book. I have never browsed the shelves, looking for a good title in my local library. Why, you may ask? I’m visually impaired, registered as blind; I read in braille or through audio books. It’s all I’ve ever known or will know: does that mean my experience is somehow separate, apart from those who read so-called “conventional” or paper books?

Braille books are, ordinarily, huge. I used to get them from the RNIB Library in bags, 3-5 volumes for each book. As a little girl, I could sometimes barely lift them: I’d heave them onto my knee and whenever they came in the post, I’d shriek with excitement. I used to sit in a little chair beside the CD player, listening to my favourite books that I got from the limited selection in my local library or, for my birthday or Christmas, bought from Waterstones. That, instead of computers or the TV, was what truly interested me. It was different, yet it was my world.

Now, instead of ordering from the library, I read eBooks – either by connecting a Braille display to my phone or by using the text-to-speech technology on my phone. I prefer the former because it lets me feel more connected but when I don’t have as much energy, I use the speech. As I’ve been blogging and now have more online friends who read, I’ve realised that my childhood experiences – even the way I read now – is quite simply separate from how people who can easily pick up a book can read.

I sometimes come across the argument that to read an eBook, or maybe even an audiobook, is not as enriching or is not the same as reading a book from the library or from a bookshop. To tackle this, you have to ask yourself: “What is reading?” Is it the ability to rest in the quiet spaces of a library, head bent over a book until nothing exists but the characters and stories? If so, I have not had that experience; then I haven’t truly read. However, I know that I have absorbed just as much as any other person. I’m not dissatisfied without the weight of a supposed “real” book in my hands – real being in quotation marks – and I am no worse off. I feel absolutely no sadness that I’ve never been able to see words on a page. Listening to an audiobook, for me, is still reading as it was how I could connect with such beloved characters.

It isn’t “a shame” that I can’t experience the wonder of print on a page. The methods by which I read are different – I may read differently – but the emotions I feel are the same. I’m still able to cry over books – which I do often – and I can still feel utter fury at what a character does. It neither decreases my enjoyment nor makes me feel somehow worse off. When I was little, it never crossed my mind that I was at a disadvantage.

This is just my story. There are a myriad of other people who, for whatever reason, cannot read print books. Some may not be able to afford to buy the books they would like in paperback or hardback; some books may not be available in their country; they may not have a library or good bookshop near them.  For some, ⠑⠠⠃⠕⠕⠅⠎ may be a “last resort” but it doesn’t mean that they are somehow less. I don’t know their stories and so I won’t try and speak for them. If others can’t access the same materials as some people, there are so many other ways to read than the traditional.

Reading can be subjective. In the same way that human thoughts and behaviour can’t be assigned to different boxes, the way that people read and react to what they read can’t be categorised so easily. Some people, for instance, will prefer eBooks to Print books and vice versa; nobody should be shamed for that. However, those that can’t access one or the other aren’t necessarily unhappy with it, in the case of myself. Just because an idea is different doesn’t mean it’s somehow less.

If information is subject to interpretations in books, surely the way in which it can be read can also be different? To that effect, if different interpretations are as valid as each other, can’t that be applied to the way people read?

What do you think – what is reading to you? Is there a definition of “reading”, or may that idea be up to the reader who interprets the words?


Love this post? Make sure you go visit Elm @ Just Call me Elm or Something and jump into her world.

 

Review: The Darkest Lies (Annoying Characters and Little Plot)

By Barbara Copperthwaite

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publication Date: May 12th 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook via Netgalley

Goodreads Summary: A mother desperate for the truth. A daughter hiding a terrible secret.

Melanie Oak appeared to have the perfect life. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Jacob, the couple live with their beautiful, loving, teenage daughter, Beth, in a pretty village.

Nothing can shake her happiness – until the day that Beth goes missing and is discovered beaten almost to the point of death, her broken body lying in a freezing creek on the marshes near their home.

Consumed with grief, Melanie is determined to find her daughter’s attacker. Someone in the village must have seen something. Why won’t they talk?

As Melanie tries to piece together what happened to Beth, she discovers that her innocent teenager has been harbouring some dark secrets of her own. The truth may lie closer to home and put Melanie’s life in terrible danger…

A completely gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

halfway (48)

It took all of my strength to keep reading this book.  I got bored just as short way through, thrown off by the 2nd person POV and the fact that the plot was not very interesting, but I kept reading, something which I’m fairly glad of.  The last 20% of the book was incredible, and bumped my rating up a star.  The first 80%, however, didn’t hold my interest at all.  

The basic concept is that a young teenager, Beth, goes missing, and the book is told from the perspective of the mother telling the story of her DIY detective work to her daughter.  There were also perspectives from Beth (from the night she goes missing) and a mysterious individual mixed in.  

Bottom line is that nothing in this book got me super attached.  The plotline wasn’t intriguing, I hated Melanie (the MC, aka Beth’s mother), her partner in solving crime seemed like the biggest stock character I’ve ever met, and all of the “villagers” had 0 dimension.  They were all flat.  The only one I liked is the husband, and I felt like even he did a thing that didn’t seem to fit with the rest of his character ,at all.

Luckily the ending was good.  Well, one of the endings.  The major storyline that everything was working towards fell flat for me, but in the last 20% Copperthwaite had a side story line that she had been progressing and made it the center stage, and for me THAT was the only intriguing part of the novel.  

halfway (49)

Beth is the girl who goes missing.  You really only hear about her from her mother’s POV, and occasionally from her own, but she’s a dynamic, interesting girl, and I liked her and wished the best for her.  That’s probably the only reason I didn’t DNF.  I HAD to know what happened to Beth.

Melanie, the MC, is Beth’s mother, but she just MAKES ME SO MAD I CAN’T EXPLAIN.  She’s not that good of a person, although she thinks she is, and she’s super self absorbed and can’t see the world around her.  It was painful, and I found myself looking forward to the short, one page segments that were not from her point of view just so that I didn’t have to listen to the whining drunk anymore.

Glenn, her partner in solving the crime, is a figure from her childhood who she was not exceptionally close with, but happens to waltz into her life and “just want to help”.  Mel bought it.  So he’s around for the entire novel, and despite this fact, he has ZERO DIMENSION.  I don’t understand how I can read a whole book with him at center stage and still not really KNOW him aside from the one central fact (it’s a spoiler so I won’t say).  It’s weird.

The husband, Jacob? (I think, we’ll go with it), was my favorite character, but the author made him do something so completely out of character with everything else we saw that he started to feel fake as well.

halfway (50)

The plot was very, very slow.  This 433 page book could have easily been condensed into 200 pages and you would not have lost any of the red herrings, dramatic moments, etc, because there was so much WASTED SPACE SPENT DOING NOTHING.  

Of course, that changed slightly in the last bit, where there was action, character development, a big reveal, an oh shit moment where you realized what was really going on, and an overall good pace.  But that doesn’t happen soon enough.  

I know books won’t have action the whole way through, but something needs to be happening, or at least characters being developed, for it to be interesting.

And the whole “why won’t the village talk” thing that propelled the entire plot felt fake and strange to me, their motivation not really that good.

halfway (52).png

  • Beth
  • The Ending
  • Laughing at MC’s stupidity and lack of awareness for the world around her

halfway (53).png

  • Melanie, her stupidity, and her lack of awareness for the world around her
  • Slow Plot
  • Poor writing style– there was nothing remotely extraordinary about her writing, the whole thing was very simple and told straightforwardly.
  • OBVIOUS display of clues– there was never any clue that I looked back on later and was like, ooooh I missed that… It was all shoved aggressively in your face.

halfway (54)

None.  There’s one character who may or may not be gay but that’s all.  And he’s in the story for like 5 minutes and accused of hurting Beth.

halfway (55)

SPOILERS ABOUND, ALTHOUGH NONE ARE THAT BIG.

  • A child is brutalized and left to die
  • Child is raped
  • Drinking problem to deal with other problems
  • Drugs abound

halfway (56).png

This book was a 2 star read all the way through, but the ending was 4 or 5 stars, so I adjusted accordingly with a 3.  I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody, but if you already have it, you might as well read it and see where it goes, it wasn’t so bad as to warrant you not reading it at all.

I’d love to know what other people think of the character development, because for me nobody except Beth felt real.

Buy on Amazon

Add on Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

halfway (47)

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read anything else by Barbara Copperthwaite?

joce-sign-off


Check out my Social Media:

Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Email | Goodreads | FictionPress

~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~