Posts Tagged: ARC
Perri Klass – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: Kendall, New Jersey
A few years ago I fell in love with a TV show called Friday Night Lights which on the surface is a total not me kind of show. FNL, as its often refered as, was a show that revolved around the coach of a Texas football team and various players. If you know me then you know I’m not a huge sports fanatic. I like all the New England sports teams I should and I like to go to live games but I’m not one to just sit on my couch and watch a game. I tend to call myself a social fan in that I’m more into a game when in a social setting among friends. So the fact that I watch and liked this football-centric show was an abnormality.
But love it I did and when I read the description for Second Impact by David and Perri Klass I was hoping for a book that would recapture some of that same magic that I found in FNL. What I wasn’t expecting was for this entire book to be told in a dual POV using blog posts and emails to tell the story. As you know I love multiple POV stories and I am even a champion of stories told in non-traditional ways. So I settled in and expected to love this book it had all the right qualities to be a huge success with me.
Second Impact never quite lived up to its promise though. It lacked the heart and emotion that exuded every episode of FNL. The blog format is normally something that I love but in this case it just added a crazy amount of distance between the reader and the characters. I never connected with them. There was just a wall between the story being told and what I read. And while this story didn’t take long to read I never cared about anything that was going on.
There was also supposed to be this big crazy background story involving Jerry and while we get it told to us in bits and pieces you realize that he never faced any severe consequences for what he did. This story feeds into the philosophy that start sports players can pretty much get away with anything and still come out smelling like roses and I didn’t like that message. Kendall was also this whiny girl who meant well and she faced more consequences when trying to highlight a serious issue in her school than Jerry did and what he did was far worse. And while I know things like this happen in American high schools every day it doesn’t make it any more right.
Second Impact was a book with a message and its one that the authors used Kendall to preach about and try to brow beat into the reader. I don’t mind message books but this one was a bit over the top and seemed to follow a personal agenda and not highlight any big world issues. I wasn’t thrilled with this book but I did read it until the end. I kept hoping that there would be some bigger message or that the story would miraculously turn good. But that never happened. If you want a great football story then watch Friday Night Lights as this is not a book that I can recommend.
People who liked this book better than I did
Books in the Moonlight – “I thoroughly enjoyed Second Impact. I enjoyed it for the story and for the characters. You don’t need to be a football fan to appreciate this book. It’s definitely one of the best YA books I’ve read this year.”
Growing up I didn’t go to summer camp often, there was always so many fun activities going on in the community that I grew up in that it seemed silly to go away somewhere to do the same things. Plus the the kids that were in my neighborhood may not have always been the ones that I hung out with at school for various reasons. But when I did go to summer camp there was always something magical about it and so I’ve always enjoyed reading books that deal with the subject. Five Summers by Una LaMarche is the newest summer camp book that is told from the points of view of the four best friends (Emma, Maddie, Skylar, and Johanna) over their five summers at camp.
The girls all come from different areas and home lives and they reinvent themselves in different ways at camp. Each summer they come together grow and bond and then they go home for the winter and wait until the next summer. Eventually they grow too old to attend the camp as campers and while some return as counselors the girls mostly drift apart. That is until the annual reunion weekend comes and the girls reunite. Over the course of the book you learn what brings the girls together, what drives them apart, and what bonds them all over again.
Five Summers is a tale of friendship at its best and while there is romance in the story it doesn’t dominate it. In some ways, Five Summers reminded me a little of Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer (my review). Although it was lacking some of the magic that I found in that book. While I enjoyed Five Summers I wish that it had a bit more depth to it. The whole story was a bit predictable and superficial and while part of me was glad the romance wasn’t the focus I also wish that there was more of it.
Five Summers is a book about camp. If you’ve ever been to camp or dreamed of going to camp then it should bring up some fond memories. Five Summers is a book about summer and its lazy days. Its a book about friendships and first loves. Its a quick read and would be a great book to bring with you to read at the beach. Its what I would call a brain candy book in which its fun to read but doesn’t tax the brain too much. To be a brain candy book isn’t a bad thing, sometimes you need those light books to distract yourself from the world. The sort of book that is like an episode of Full House where everything is resolved in 30 minutes and everyone is happy and smiling at the end.
This was Una LaMarche’s first book and while it didn’t wow me as some other debuts I did like it enough to know that I will be looking out for her next book. She may not focus on romance but she does know how to write about friendships. She also writes a pretty entertaining blog so you should check that out after you finish reading her book. If you are a fan of Morgan Matson then you might enjoy this book as well. LaMarche and Matson have a similar style and I look forward to seeing LaMarche’s writing grow over future books.
The Author on the Web:
Ever have one of those books that you just don’t know how to review? Ones that you’ve read a while back and keep meaning to write something about but keep putting it off because there was nothing super memorable about the story? Well, that’s how Hysteria by Megan Miranda was for me. This was a book that first attracted me to it by its cover and creepy sounding premise. I liked the idea Mallory might be an unreliable narrator and the idea that she might be a serial killer in the making.
I expected Hysteria to be a creepy story but for me it was anything but. And for someone that scares easily that is saying a lot. The main plot line hinted at in this story never materialized until near the end of the book. Then events were just rushed through and resolved before I could even say WTF. Not that this was a WTF story but it just all happened so fast and then blink it was over. Which was a bit of a let down since the set up was so very long in the making.
As a character Mallory was a bit blah and whiny and I really wasn’t all that impressed with her. Nor did I really care for any of the characters. As I mentioned about the plot was drawn out and rushed at the same time and I’m not sure how I managed to finish this one. I guess I just kept expecting something amazing to happen based on the description and how excited people were for this story.
Hysteria was a meh read for me that in the end wasn’t very memorable. I had to skim through the book in order to remember basic events in the book. Normally I have a really good memory when it comes to stories so the fact that this one is vague means that its not one that I can recommend. As for reading other books by Megan Miranda I am on the fence. This one left me a bit underwhelmed and so I’m in no hurry to check out her other works.
*I jest…not really…yes yes…I do 😉
Title: Wrecked (Goodreads)
Book 3: Wrecked
Title: ‘Til the World Ends (Goodreads)
Series or Standalone: Series / Standalone
The Authors on the Web:
First Line(s): In the summer of my twenty-third year, the Red Lung virus began its spread across the eastern United States
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This story is a prequel to Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series and takes place a s**t was just starting to hit the fan. Rabids have just broken out of the labs and are quickly working their way through decimating society as we know it. The main protagonists are Kylie, a young doctor in training and Ben Archer who was inadvertently among those who created Red Lung. You might also recognize the name Archer from a certain family met in The Immortal Rules. I enjoyed the quick pace of this story and I loved seeing some of the history of how Red Lung came to be. I enjoyed the main characters and learning the early history of the Archer compound. There were some scenes that were a bit hokey for me while others made me jump. I read this alone, at night, in the quiet, and my apartment faces the woods…so I scared myself a few times. I thought the ending was a bit quick and would love to see more from these early days of the compound to see how they got to where they are in The Immortal Rules.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
At first I thought this was going to be a prequel to Aquirre’s Razorland series and was disappointed when I realized it was a whole new story. It took a bit to get past that before I was able to fully immerse myself into this story. Once I did I really enjoyed it and it was my favorite of the lot. I liked the main characters and the overall story arc. It was fact paced, gritty, and real. My only real complaint is that it ended too quickly and felt unfinished. I would love to see a full length story come about as a result of this short story.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Words can’t describe how much I disliked this story. I almost called it a DNF on several occasions but pushed through it as it was just a short story. My first thought when reading about the effects of the solar flares was this story reminded me an awful lot like an Outer Limits episode. And once that thought hit my brain it was hard to dislodge it. It also didn’t help that I hated the characters and felt that it started off slow and then the ending was super rushed. I was so happy to see this one end. As I wasn’t a fan of the writing style either I’m not sure that I’ll try anything else by Karen Duvall.
OVERALL RATING: 2.5 stars
Title: How Beauty Saved the Beast (Goodreads)
Series or Standalone: Series
The Author on the Web:
Tales of the Underlight Series Order
Book 3: How Beauty Loved the Beast
Book 2 – Untitled (~Spring 2014)
I also wasn’t a fan of the cliff hanger ending but as with the love triangle it could have been far worse than it was. I hate being forced to read the next book in a series just to find out what happens next. And so many cliff hangers seem so forced and take away from the realism of the story. In The 5th Wave the slight cliff hanger ending felt very natural and real. It kept up with the slow burn nature of this book and does what cliff hangers are meant to do. It makes me want to continue reading this series. I want to know what happens next. But its also sort of an open ended sort of ending so that if there never were any books in this series the reader wouldn’t be totally let down. There is an ending to this book that ties up several of the plot points raised in the story. But its also a beginning setting the stage for what is to come.
As a whole I really enjoyed this book and I wish that I had its sequel in my hands right now. The waiting is hard but I think it will be worth it. This is a story that I think will appeal to many people regardless of their preferred reading genre as well as span age groups. It was really well written and I think that I will be checking out some of Rick Yancey’s other books as I wait for The 5th Wave’s sequel.