Mini-Reviews: July

MiniReviews

Lately there have been some books that I’ve read and wanted to review but didn’t want to write regular-size reviews for, so I decided to do a monthly roundup of mini-reviews. I may change what I post for each book later on, but for now I’m just going to have the cover, which will be linked to the Goodreads page, and the review.

MadnessUnderneathI read the first book in this series probably last year and, while I certainly wasn’t blown away by it, I thought it was a decent enough book and start to a paranormal series. However, once I finally got the sequel and started reading it, I had trouble actually reading it.

It wasn’t that it was a bad book, I just didn’t want to read it. It wasn’t interesting me and the main character and her current relationship seemed more annoying than I remembered. There’s another guy who I figure she’s going to end up with, especially with how lukewarm she gets toward her quasi-boyfriend after a few days. Also, what is Maureen Johnson’s obsession with her main characters having random makeout buddies? I feel like I can’t judge this common trait without sounding like I’m slutshaming, but that’s not what I’m doing. It just seems out of character for her many less-than-outgoing protagonists (well, this MC seemed a bit more outgoing) having little experience in the romance department yet have had at least one makeout session (always refered to as a makeout session, not just kissing, if I remember correctly) platonic male friend or non-love interest classmate. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just seems out of character for mostly-shy characters.

In this case, MC (can’t remember her name – that’s how little an impression this book left) likes making out with quasi-boyfriend but doesn’t see it as something more. And I guess I can’t complain – a book that portrays the girl positively just for expressing her sexuality rather than only dating guys she loves and will marry and have babies with and will have a happily ever after. I guess it was just something that annoyed me.

So, I ended up DNF-ing this book just because I was bored. It wasn’t bad, I just couldn’t contemplate picking it up again. Not the book for me. Also, maybe I should have just written a full review for this. Oh well.

2.5stars

WanderloveI’ve heard all good things about this book, but I just had trouble getting into it. This was yet another case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I didn’t find anything actually wrong with this book or its characters, I just took forever to read it and finally decided that I had books I would actually want to read and should move on.

Bria was a good enough protagonist, but she didn’t seem too different from many protagonists in YA books, especially contemporary. Just got out of a bad relationship (which the book kept talking about in vague terms that force you to keep reading to figure out what happened between them), in the mood for no-strings-attached relationships, pretty shy and comfortable in her comfort zone yet has various friends who are very outgoing. Sure, it takes place in a different country, but it still didn’t seem all that new.

And the love interest just didn’t catch my attention. Again, not a bad guy, but not interesting enough to keep me reading for the romance either. His sister was entertaining, so about the time she left the story for a while is the point when I gave up on this book.

I ended up skimming the rest of the book (mostly to see the illustrations – definitely a plus for this book!) and didn’t feel that I missed out on much, even when I would randomly start reading a page or two, so this is definitely a case of “not the book for me.”

2.5stars

TigerLilyThis is a book that I actually finished! It was one of the many books I read during my family’s weeklong vacation/car ride, and it was the first book I finished, which makes it easier to forget in the huge rush of books. This was an enjoyable but slightly forgetable book in the swell of books.

I was quite surprised (and a bit happy) to see that the narrator was actually Tinkerbell, a character I’ve always liked from the Peter Pan movie (I should probably check out the actual book). Tiger Lily is still very much the main character, but we see things from a slightly unreliable narrator, which makes things interesting.

I am a bit unsure about the POC aspect of this, however. When I was reading it, I thought it portrayed Native Americans (well, I guess they’re Native Neverlands in this case) well, but I’m not Native American and therefore I don’t think I’m the best judge. It left me a tad bit conflicted and confused and worried that I wasn’t seeing that it was very offensive or I was seeing problems where there were none. I recently read a review that pointed out that the book had the potentional to do great things by having a POC, especially a POC that’s normally overlooked in the Peter Pan universe, yet had a white (well, Tinkerbell is normally portrayed as white as far as I know) narrator who couldn’t quite get into the head of an actual POC.

So, overall this was a nice book to pass some time with, but it wasn’t perfect.

4stars

SecondHelpingsIf you read my review of Sloppy Firsts, then you know that I was less-than-impressed by a book that most people in the YA book blogging universe love. This sequel improved upon the first book, at least for me, but I’m still not a big Jessica Darling fan.

Jessica continues to be too judgmental and prone to slutshaming and general girlshaming for me to really like. This book also further emphasizes the fact that Jessica is a Very Smart Girl Who Doesn’t Have To Try (I feel like that deserved bold and all caps). Sure, it’s nice seeing smart characters in YA, but Jessica seemed a bit too sure of herself and her intelligence in a way that came off pretty vain. She also went back to hating and dissing and shaming people that she seemed to be getting better relationships with at the end of the last book.

Why did I like this book slightly better? Because this time I actually liked the main love interest, Marcus Flutie. I’ve seen so much gushing about Marcus but he just didn’t impress me in the first book. In this book, though, he seemed like the mostly-amazing guy that everyone seems to rave about.

So, this book improved upon the first book but still has plenty of problems, namely the very judgmental and shaming protagonist. I’m not saying that no one is allowed to like these books nor am I judging those fans, but this book is just not a great book for me. Yet I’m still reading the third book…

3stars

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