Monday, May 12, 2014

Bunch of Mini Reviews 8: Library Edition (Again)

Ah, the library. Such a wonderful place. It's also the place where I get YA books, apparently. Two of the three books in this edition are teen books and the other is the first in a series that I wasn't sure I'd like but I requested the second for review anyway!

Brooklyn Girls - Gemma Burgess (synopsis)
I had heard about this series awhile ago and was intrigued. It's about a bunch of twentysomething girls in New York City (well, Brooklyn) which is something that sounds right up my alley. This was one of my readathon reads and it was a good pick as it was easy and I was able to read it in one sitting with no problem.
I expected a story about a bunch of awesome friends - which I got. I always love reading about books where there's a strong group of girlfriends and this book was no different. Every girl was very different and I really have no idea how the five of them will be able to stay living together without someone being suffocated in their sleep. But, I guess their personality clashes will keep things interesting!
What I didn't expect was the serious undertone that went along with Pia's storyline. In a crazy, roundabout way, Pia ends up getting involved with a loan shark and, as you may expect, things got intense. I was genuinely terrified for the girls at a few points. While Pia was sometimes silly and naive, she's a smart girl and her intelligence and drive made her more interesting and made me like her more than I initially thought I would.
Technically, this is a New Adult book since the girls are 22, just out of college, and trying to make it in the "real" world. This is NA for those who are looking for something different than what's being pushed at us! I'm really looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how Pia, Julia, Coco, Madeleine, and Angie are doing!

Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige (synopsis)
I had been hearing all sorts of awesome things about this book well before the release date (the Epic Reads girls were pimping it hard) so I decided to request this one to see what it was all about. I suppose I had high hopes, even though I tried my hardest not to give into the hype, because I was left feeling disappointed with this book.
I've been trying to put my finger on why I didn't love this one. It's possible it had something to do with the fact that I'm not a huge Wizard of Oz fan. I've never read the book and I couldn't tell you the last time I watched the movie. But, I'm not uninterested in it. Am I tired of fairy tale reimaginings? Unlikely. Once Upon a Time is one of my favourite TV shows. But that might be the reason...I was reading this book as OUAT had their own Oz retelling and I didn't like the conflicting stories I had in my head. I'm sure if I had gone to see Wicked at the same time I would have felt the same way (so it's a good thing I'm not going to see it until September). I don't know for sure if too much Oz is the reason I didn't love this one, and it's not totally fair to the novel if it is, but I just couldn't find myself getting excited about the new Oz Paige created.
I felt like the novel moved slowly and I wonder if it's because it's the first in a series. Had it been one novel I imagine the pace would have been faster. That's another we really need another series out there in the reading world? I don't mind a series, don't get me wrong, but I like to see the purpose behind creating more novels to tell the whole story. I don't think this book needed to be part of a series.
OK, downer mini review. Others have loved this one so I may be in the minority but I just wasn't wowed by this book and probably won't be picking up the next one.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han (synopsis)
I'm so glad I decided to read this book. I adore a good contemporary YA novel (well, any contemporary novel, really) so when my friend Natalie at Browsing Bookshelves said she loved this one I knew I had to check it out. I haven't read any of Han's books before but I knew she's popular. I now see why. I couldn't get enough of Lara Jean's story!
I was completely invested in this novel and the characters. Han made sure all of Lara Jean's feelings came through the pages and, boy, were there a lot of feelings. High school makes for some crazy antics (teens can be so mean) and reading about Lara Jean's adventures and troubles made me think about my own high school experience. If I hadn't played sports I would have been even more like Lara Jean, a quirky homebody who didn't quite fit in anywhere. Even though I was on the fringe of the popular group, I still had a lot of the same feelings Lara Jean did. This is what made the book for me. It felt so real.
If it hadn't been for the great writing and an interesting (but not totally crazy) premise, this book would not be as well loved as it is. Sure, the love story is awesome but reading about Lara Jean and her sisters was equally, if not more, enjoyable. I'm happy this is going to be a duology but I don't know if I can handle the wait until the second book is released (P.S. I Still Love You) next year! If you're a contemporary YA fan, read this book. Right now!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad to hear that you enjoyed To All the Boys I Loved Before! I'm still on the fence about reading the Dorothy one...We'll see! And yay for library books! :)


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