I’m doing something a little different with the circle graphics, which I made with some help from Kelly’s tutorial on Pretty Little Reader!
I was really enjoying this book at the beginning, which made me really happy because I was reading it the same time as another book that I was really enjoying – so, it was extra disappointing when I got to this big reveal in the last third or so of the book and it kind of derailed things. It was almost like I was reading a novella in the middle of the book. It had some interesting insights for sure, but I just didn’t care that much, which made it difficult to force myself through it. I think that was the main reason that I didn’t end up loving this book as much as I initially was, and that was a real shame after my high enjoyment level for the first half or so. I finished the book, but not nearly as enthusiastically (especially after another big reveal at the end that made me mad).
I talked about some of this book’s issues in my review of it, but I was mostly complimentary because I really did enjoy the book. Of course, at the beginning of the book, I didn’t know that I was going to end up looking back fondly on this book – instead, I was stuck with a very judgmental protagonist and drama that wrecked what seemed like a genuine and good friendship, which can be unfortunately rare in YA. I definitely wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going with the book after the first few chapters, but I ignored those feelings and I’m glad I did because I really did enjoy the book, despite its shortcomings – and I really am looking forward to the sequel, which comes out this month or next!
I didn’t end up reading the sequel to this book, but that wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it. By the end of the book, I really was a fan of this book, but it was the middle-ish part that made me unsure if I would even be able to finish it. I hadn’t been a huge fan of Willem to begin with, so when protagonist Allyson basically fell apart because he left her after that one night in France, I wasn’t too sympathetic toward her. I wanted to slap her and give her a wake-up call. When she finally began turning things around, I was cheering for her! Well, I wasn’t cheering for her to try and find Willem, but as long as she was over her moping, I was so happy, and I’m definitely glad I stuck it out even when she was being annoying.
If you’ve read my review of this book, you know that it affected me on a few personal levels, and that even without the personal touch, I really did enjoy this book. That wasn’t clear from the beginning, though – I have some rocky experience with Sarah Ockler’s books (i.e. I’ve only really enjoyed one book from her before this one, and it was her least-known one), so this was kind of my last chance for her, which means I came in quite critical. When I was introduced to the protagonist, I really didn’t care for her much. I didn’t care about her friend drama, and I thought it was a bit silly to be so adamant about not dating a certain boy simply because his brothers broke her much older sisters’ hearts. But I kept with it and I ended up really, really liking this book – which means I’m probably going to have to give every Ockler book a chance now, but if they’re all like this, then that’s not a problem at all!
I wasn’t a huge fan of Bindy at the beginning of this very long book that definitely felt long as I was reading it. I wasn’t too sympathetic of her, so that made the beginning a bit difficult to get through. She was too pretentious and full of herself for me to really care. I had read the first two books, though, and I was going to finish this book no matter how long it took – and I’m really glad that I stuck around for the end, because it was entertaining and over the top and quite unrealistic and just so entertaining that it deserves to have that adjective applied to it twice!
This book didn’t really capture my attention right away and the main character annoyed me, so there were definitely times that I thought about setting is aside simply because I wasn’t that interested in it. However, I decided to stick it out – things got better, but the book didn’t wow me or anything. However, I loved the second book, Stealing Parker, so I’m so glad that I didn’t put down the first book and possibly miss out on the adorableness and emotions of its companion book.
Since I read this book’s sequel about a month, month and a half ago, I’ve mentioned a few times that the first book was a surprise hit for me. Well, part of the reason it was a surprise was because I was seriously contemplating putting it down at first. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t catching my attention, and I remembered that Victoria Schwab’s first book was one that I had a little trouble connecting to at first. Luckily, I kept going and things began to pick up and I read the last portion of it quickly, needing to know what would happen.
8. Stay (Deb Caletti)
This wasn’t a book that I was actually thinking about DNFing, but I did have to return it to the library soon after I started it, which meant I had to decide if it was worth it to try getting it again. I probably only made it 30 or 40 pages into the book, so not much had happened, which meant that there was a lot of pressure on the beginning – was it interesting enough for me to keep thinking about it and wanting to finish it, or would it make it clear that it was easy to forget about this book and move on? Well, luckily for me, I decided that it was interesting enough to finish, and ended up loving it so much that I just had to buy it – no more worrying about it being on hold at the library!
By the end of the story, I had figured out that I really liked the story but didn’t care for the two main characters at all, but at the beginning I just knew that something was off and I just wasn’t connecting with the story. This was a fairly lengthy book, over 400 pages if I remember correctly, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to force myself through the whole book at the beginning if I really didn’t care. Obviously, I decided to keep going and I am ultimately glad that I did, but I’m sad that I never really connected with the two protagonists, especially when I felt a connection with some of the secondary characters way more.
I knew going in that this book would be emotional. Even if I hadn’t read all the reviews repeating how much the reviewer cried, the summary definitely implied some sadness going on in this book. So, I set into it ready for my emotions to be toyed with and destroyed and (hopefully) put back together by the end. When I started to book, though, I was a bit surprised (and disappointed) to see that I really didn’t feel a connection with the protagonist. There was also some friendship and romantic drama that I really didn’t care about, which made it difficult to keep reading. Luckily, the emotions-wrecking family drama slowly began to take the forefront, which is what I had wanted from this book and will always love about this book. I really do think it’s worth it to sit through some unnecessary drama just to get the last 50-100 pages or so.