By Andrew Smith
Rate: 3.5 / 5 stars
What I Thought:
This book was a doozy.
So it was definitely far from perfect. At times the main character annoyed the ever living shit out of me, and the story in itself just seemed totally unbelievable. To be honest, the whole novel was like a mediocre version of John Green’s Looking for Alaska. The plot line felt unbalanced, the most of the characters were bothersome, and the story just had no drive.
I did manage to read the 400+ page book in about 24 hours. I absolutely fell in love with Joey. Even the main character Ryan Dean won me over by the end. Actually, the ending saved the entire book for me. I found myself attached to the story enough to cry at the end, and I even did that book hug thing where you just sit and grieve while clutching the book to your body for like five minutes after finishing it.
I just wish that some of the magic that I loved at the end was more evident throughout the entire novel. It did feel like it was being written by an immature 14 year old, and although I guess that was what Smith was going for, it was a bit of a turn off for me. Regardless, I made it through to the end mildly amused, and ended up liking the book and appreciating the ending.
So there you have it: nothing spectacular from this one, but likable enough.
P.S. We’re just not going to talk about how long ago my last post on this blog was. You get it. Life is hard.
Rate: 3/5 stars
This book was nothing fantastic. It did its job, which was basically filling the space between the expositionary debut novel and the conclusion in the last novel. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t phenomenal or anything.
It took me a while to really get into the book, despite that I already knew all the characters and everything. The writing just wasn’t drawing me in. The dynamic between all the characters just seemed really off to me and it was throwing me out of the book. I did, however, find that the individual characters were written really well. The character growth seen in the main character Ember was one of the saving graces of the novel.
What bothered me the most in this book was probably the execution of the action scenes. They were just excruciatingly hard to follow, and once again, I found myself getting thrown out of the book a lot. You know when you’re imagining a room and then the author includes something that makes you have to rearrange the entire scene in your head? Well that happened multiple times with literally every action scene. Things weren’t set up and explained well and it really screwed with the experience.
The plot was pretty good, especially the ending. This book left me wanting more story, so I’ll definitely be reading the next book, the writing just left something to be desired. I did find myself having an emotional attachment. I was most engrossed in the book during like the middle 200 pages. And I did cry a bit at the end. (I cry at everything though… like literally every book I will at shed at least one tear.) So yeah, not fantastic, but definitely not terrible. I’m still looking forward to the next installment.