The Alright, the Middling & the Awful // Three Mini-Reviews //

The Alright, the Middling & the Awful // Three Mini-Reviews //

Not all books can be beautiful treasures you love forever, right?

I’ve read 15 books in the last 6 weeks, and a couple of those books were ARCs. Now, for a reckoning because I have to write reviews. *hides*

Here’s 3 reviews today. Three not fantastic, maybe terrible, alright books. Two of them are ARC reviews, and the other is just a regular #mini-review. OK, mini -review status may be in question because it’s kind of long?

to kill a kingdom review

to kill a kingdom cover

3 stars // Published March 6, 2018  

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

It took me a long time to start enjoying this book. I like the idea of the story, but I felt it was choppily executed. I kept reading because I hate not finishing a book. And because it was sirens. Ok?

First, the descriptions were really, really bizarre. It was hard to picture everything being described, the mermaids, the sirens, the mermen. Mixes of jelly-legged creatures, slack jaws, siren beauty. While I never was quite able to picture the mermaids, I did figure out they were supposed to be ugly.
Also, ugly mermaids??? That was weird.

TROPES GALORE.

So many, many different tropes. Hate-to-love relationships, treasure hunts, pirate crews, human heart vs sirens lack of hearts.
Some of the tropes worked, ok? Some of them didn’t. If I’m rolling my eyes, that’s not exactly a good sign.

I liked the build-up to the ending, but then it just ended. And I felt like there was a bunch more to explore. Another chapter or two would have been nice.

The best thing going for this book? It’s a stand alone. It’s harder and harder to find stand alones in fantasy these days and I’m pleased this book ended.

I received an advanced review copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

everless review

everless

3.5 stars // Published January 2018

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

First, this story isn’t terrible.

It’s not great either. It’s a setup. A bunch of words just to get us all ready for the next book in a series. Just make this a prequel, ok? Becuase I hate investing over 300 pages into a story that barely get’s going.

Also, the hype? Guys, this much hype and I’m expecting AMAZING. So maybe dashed expectations play a bit into this review? 

The action is very slow, and the pacing makes me want to leave the book. I had to force myself to keep reading.

^Me, waiting for the story to pick up the pace^

I actually really, really liked the premise. Blood turned into time and the idea of selling your time. That premise is super interesting and initially really hooks me into the story.
Problem? We don’t go through with this premise. This book has very little action and the suspense feels forced. Most of the book is going in circles with a muddled plot.
Which leads me to my next point.

Now about the Characters.

Ahem, the narrator is unreliable. Do I mind unreliable narrators? Not exactly. But this girl makes no attempt to be reliable. Jules just takes life at face value, and even when she knows she’s wrong, there’s no real pursuit of truth. I don’t really know what she’s doing & her motives are mixed up.

The relationship with her dad is intense and I LOVED it. But then things fell apart. Characters are introduced only to die or be thrown out of the story way too soon. There’s very little emotional impact.

I think at least 3 characters die? Did I care about a single death? No, I didn’t. I feel guilty that I didn’t care. I wanted to, I really did. But the development was boring, and the deaths felt tacked on.

Another question – Do the tropes work? Some readers really like the tropes in this story. I just didn’t. They felt forced, also tacked on. And instead of growing the character, I felt like the tropes took away from the story.
This felt like the classic example of a great story, with an interesting plot. But instead of growing us, and leading us with the story, the author just throws out tropes. Can’t find a way to get to this point in the story? We’ll just use a trope.
Tropes are supposed to work. Except when the tropes are overused.

Everless saves itself from completely overusing tropes by twisting them around. This doesn’t happen with all the tropes, but just enough to keep the readers on our toes. I wish Sara Holland had just not used any tropish elements. It would have strengthened the story a whole bunch.

Another thing that really annoys me with this book is the lack of communication. If people just talked to each other, so many problems would have been avoided. I talk about so much stuff with my friends & the people I love. I don’t understand how people are able to keep secrets for years and years. Not accidentally giving away anything.

I mean, are all characters as amazing secret keepers as Ned Stark?

I just don’t think the idea of layers of secrets and total lack of communication is very realistic.

Most of the story I was slightly annoyed. It wasn’t until things started picking up in the last quarter, that I grew slightly interested in the actual story. The final plot twists were actually incredible. I think the next book will be very interesting, if the story continues like the last 5 chapters.

Also, can we talk about how Liam is basically Mr. Darcy?

“I’m Liam Gerling, I shan’t talk to anyone at this party. Clearly, my time is better spent sulking in a corner…”

I’m definitely reading the next book just for Liam.

2 Stars // Published February 2018

pretty boy must dieSo, if you’re wondering what book counts as the awful book in this review, it’s this one. Sorry! But the marketing for this book ruined it. Prettyboy is being sold as YA, but the writing is very middle grade. Juvenile and a little outlandish.

Now, this story had a lot of potential. Rogue CIA agents and espionage, and POC main characters. But the main character is kind of a jerk? And the story just unraveled and wasn’t very realistic.

I have a mini-rant – discounting girls just because they’re girls is sexist. I don’t care how old your character is, it just doesn’t work. Blatant sexism within the first couple of chapters, and I was pretty much done with the story.

I know there’s a lot of chatter about how crazy the plot for this book is, so I won’t go into the multiple plot holes. You know when you want to read a book, but your brain won’t shut up? Protesting that the plot is just a bit too farfetched? That’s what it was like reading #Prettyboy Must Die

I received an advanced review copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Do you know how hard it is to write blog posts and watch the Olympics? It’s borderline impossible, in case you’re wondering.

But I still managed to get these book reviews published! Even though that was certainly interrupted with lots of screaming & cheering. Because Red Gerard & Adam Rippon!!!

lets chat

What are you reading this month?

Are you watching the Olympics? Who are you cheering for? Favorite Olympic sport? 

Ok, back to books… have you read Everless? Thoughts? Are you fan of action books? 

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  • Ah, congrats on reading so many books! I’ve been sick, so no reading for me; just binging lots of shows and rewatching fave movies!

    I’m hoping to read Everless this month, so I can see how I feel about it because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while! I wasn’t interested in To Kill A Kingdom or #PrettyBoyMustDie. I like thrillers, but it sounded ridiculous, and everyone seems to be confirming my suspicions. 😂

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      Kind of wish I had some chill time to watch some shows. I read while at work and in-between classes, but there’s hardly any time to watch tv. Though I’ve surprised myself by dropping EVERYTHING to watch the Olympics.
      Sorry you’ve been sick! The flu’s been so evil this year!
      Looking forward to your thoughts on Everless!

  • Jennifer Garey

    You’ve read so many books! I haven’t read Everless yet, but I still have it on my TBR. I hate when the hype doesn’t live up to the book and that it was a slow read for you. I hope you enjoyed the other books you read this month!

  • Ohhhh no I was so excited for Prettyboy…although I’ve heard twice now that it’s really bleh and the sexism is a HUGE turn off for me. 😒😒 How am I supposed to care/respect a book if it doesn’t respect women?! And I did like Everless but some of the tropes were a little cliche and annoying. 😂 If people COMMUNICATED they would have such less trouble ah hahaha.

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      I think I first heard about Prettyboy on Paperfury, actually! So disappointed it wasn’t that great 😧
      And yes, people in books need to learn how to talk to each other!

  • Wait, ugly mermaids? That is weird.
    Oh my, I love the premise of. Everless too! I would be interested even if the plot doesn’t really go anywhere but nope to unreliable narrators and the lack of communication.
    Oof yikes, Prettyboy does not sounds good.
    Watching the Olympics and blogging? That is some talented multitasking you’ve got going over there.
    I haven’t been watching, but I have heard about Chloe Kim and the young boy snowboarder and the married figure skaters! What’s your favorite sport to watch?