I've been absent from posting this past week... and I apologize for that. I started reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark and I just can not to get into it. This book has been on my "To Read" list for over 3 years- It was recommended to me because I loved The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The summary of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell sounds interesting and definitely something I would enjoy but I just can't seem to want to read it (or put forth the effort to read it- it is over 1,000 pages). I don't know if its because I am worried I won't like it or if I'm just not in the mindset to read adult literature (I've been reading YA for the past few months) or if I just really don't like it. Its such a dilemma- do I push through and attempt to read it or do I give up and move onto something else... what to do, what to do.
I just finished reading The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall this weekend. Books should come with warning labels:
"WARNING: This book may cause your pulse to rise"
"WARNING: This book is the first in a series- don't get too attached. The next one doesn't come out for YEAR"
Yep. You read that right. This is the first book in a series and the second one doesn't get published till 2016. I guess I should be prepared for things like this to happen- especially in YA but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. Getting to the end of the book and realizing that there are sooo many unanswered questions is the worst. WHYY do authors do this to us- torturing the poor reader?!
Anyway. Onto the review (contains spoilers).
The premise of this novel is a teenage girl (Avery) who moves around constantly (think military-brat) finds out that her long lost family is part of a powerful and dangerous secret society searching for "The One"- a person who will lead them to great treasure and invincibility. Avery must search for and locate clues that will lead her to "The One" in order to save her life and the lives of her family. There are, of course, two "bad, mysterious, secretive" boys assisting her in the search for lost power. It could be said that this is a Da Vinci Code for teens- traveling across Europe to locate clues in order to prevent world wide disaster.
I enjoyed this book (I am a big fan of transcontinental plots), The love triangle is over done in all YA but once you overlook that aspect, the story and characters are engaging and exciting. The plot is fast paced and leaves you anxious for the next one. There are times when the reader realizes things before the narrator (Avery's moms' kidnapping or her father NOT being dead like she was previously told), that make it an occasionally frustrating read. Avery, as a narrator, seems a tad whiny- always complaining about never having any friends or people to count on- but I guess being uprooted every few months can be frustrating when it comes to making friends (even so, its a tad annoying every time she mentions "The Plan" or not allowing herself to form personal attachments). This novel doesn't fit into one genre (but does any book, really?) Mystery, suspense, romance, thriller- The Conspiracy of Us falls into each category.
I never hate books. Hate is such a strong word- it implies intense dislike, frustration, anger, and rage- all directed toward words on a page. No I don't hate specific books, I just don't enjoy them.
Perhaps I was not the intended audience- maybe the book was published for young adults and I just didn't understand the teenage angst.
Perhaps the intended audience was middle-aged men and I just don't understand the mid-life-crisis.
Perhaps the intended audience were science buffs and, unfortunately, science is not my forte.
No matter what or who the intended audience is for a book, I never hate any book I read. I know how hard it is to write, edit, write, edit and eventually publish a book. It's a looooong process that takes months, years to complete. I understand all the hard work and emotions that are put into writing and publishing a book. Published works are the writers babies. They created them and watched them grow and change- writers are very protective when it comes to their work. I always feel bad when I give a book a low rating or a bad review....
But with that being said... Here is my review of Bree Despain's The Dark Divine.
I read her newest book, Into the Dark #1: The Shadow Prince, and loved it. So I decided to read her other series.
Boy am I glad I read The Shadow Prince first. Had I read The Dark Divine first- I wouldn't have bothered to read her newest series. The concept for The Dark Divine is a good- Grace, a strong Christian, falls in love with her brother's ex-best friend, the bad boy with a dark secret.
FYI: I am notoriously known for ruining the endings of TV shows and books for my family and friends- I will try to not give anything away.
Before I started this book, I thought the good/bad concept was going to be angels vs demons- Christian girl and "dark secret" crush seemed like the perfect set up. But nope. It was another werewolf/vampire/forbidden love/teenage angst book. I am a big fan of YA but I also know that I am not the "intended audience" so perhaps I'm just too old (gasp) to get the appeal of vampires/werewolves. The main character, Grace, is whiny and bland- there is no development or change what-so-ever. She spends most of the novel trying to figure out why her brothers ex-best friend is his ex-best friend. All she knows is that James showed up covered in blood one night and Daniel disappeared the next day. I thought when this secret was revealed there would be a big "ah-ha" moment or something that would shock or surprise me. But nope. I guessed the big "secret" about 1/4th of the way into the book. The entire book felt like Twilight but with a religious Bella and no love triangle (yet),
Overall Rating: 2/5
Someone asked me recently why I love books so much, why I chose to make books my career (or rather a major part of my career).
Simple, easy to answer? Not really.
The answer I always give (and seems to be widely accepted) is because I love to learn. Books allow you to do this without having to leave the comfort of your own home (which for someone with social anxiety- is a great thing).
But. That's not the answer I want to give.
The real answer is so much more than just my love of learning.
Books are essential to who I am (cheesy, I know). I walk into a book store or library and I know that I am home. I could spend hours wandering the shelves and isles Books give me a sense of peace- when I am reading or spending time in a library I know that I am doing something I love. I open a book and get lost in the words, characters, pages, settings, and feelings (even if I dislike the book, I still love the time I spend with it). I get to travel to far-off places, places that don't exist, past events, potential future events, current events. I get to feel love, anger, hate, revenge, sadness, fear, jealously, and every emotion in between. All because of words on a page.
Short and Sweet
I am a Reference Librarian at a community college and an avid reader. These are my thoughts, reviews, ideas, comments, and everyday musings.