24 March 2016

Bite Sized Books // Those Books I Enjoyed But Didn’t Have Enough to Say On Them

 photo bite sized books_zpsqsbhuspk.png
6
Published: 9th February 2016
Source: Bought
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
My Rating:
“Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!” raves bestselling author Cora Carmack, and this steamy, upbeat modern romance about connecting in all the best ways proves it once again.

Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almostgot caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.
The concept of this book is perfect. Two strangers accidently switch phones and find themselves chatting with one another before they ever meet. They have a connection no one could have predicted and they decide to meet, the only issue is Clementine has not been completely honest with Justin and after a past misfortune finds herself unable to be completely comfortable with this new man she knows nothing about. Their fast connection leads to her having doubts and the story takes some interesting turns.

I didn’t realise this was more a novella length when I started reading it, but I enjoyed it regardless. I think I would have preferred it to be a full length 350+ pages though because I felt the story was a bit rushed in places. I loved every second of it whilst reading, but looking back I can’t help but think that some of the story was never fully developed. Everything felt a bit rushed as it was attempted to fit in the few pages of the book.

I can safely say it was short but sweet, it only felt rushed when looking back on it. At the time of reading I was utterly enchanted with this book. My only other complaint, though, is that the book was too nice. It was a nice romance with nice characters and it was just a bit too pleasant. I liked it, though. I can’t claim I’d read it again, but I enjoyed it and could say most people who enjoy a good romance will enjoy this too.
18667779
Published: 15th May 2014
Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:
A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.


A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.
I’m going to begin by saying there was quite a shallow reason for me wanting to read this book and that was the cover. It’s such a pretty cover which completely fits the book within. You can imagine my excitement, though, when I discovered the writing was not plain black after getting the book. Instead, the writing is a metallic purple that appears black in certain lights. I love subtle things like that on a cover, and it’s another way in which it fits the book, because this book is very much about the little things and subtleties in life.

Luckily, this books cover does contain a fantastic book within it’s pages. It was a beautifully written story, it was almost a delicate read in as much as any book could be called delicate. I loved the characters and the story was fantastic. This book contained just enough mystery to keep you reading, if the story itself doesn’t intrigue you enough. I have to say, I’ve never wanted to buy furniture and decorate a home as much as when I was reading this book. The way set design is talked about and the detail gone into for a single piece of furniture was amazing. You will think twice when watching a film, I’ll tell you that.

I was annoyed that the book began with the usual absentee parents issue which haunts YA books, but it was explained in an unusual way. I liked that it was at least acknowledged, something a lot of books struggle with.

I have to say, this is a prime example of diversity done well in a book. It’s not even diversity done well for YA, but just done well. It was in no way an issue book about sexuality or race, but instead it was just stated as a fact about characters. One thing which really stood out for me in this book was the fact that Emi acknowledges that coming out was not a thing she had to do just once, but had to do repeatedly through her life to all the new people she meets. It was something I had never considered and that really struck me as significant.

Basically, I adored this book. I adored the relationship between Emi and Ava. I adored her friendship with Charlotte. I adored her relationship with her brother. I enjoyed the small sense of mystery within the book and the connections between the characters. It was such a beautifully written book and it included diversity done right. This is simply a perfectly well-written book which was enjoyable to read. I cannot recommend it enough.

10
Published: 23rd April 2013
Source: Bought
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
My Rating:
If you were bewitched by The Night Circus…
If you were mesmerised by A Discovery of Witches…
If you were enthralled by Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell…
You will be enchanted by
THE GOLEM & THE DJINNI
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem & The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
This is a review of a book which I can acknowledge was well-written and interesting, but still just wasn’t for me. I liked the concept, but in practise I could not find myself rating it highly. I think it may have been a case of high expectations, I was wanting so much from this book that it was difficult for it to deliver.

As I said, I understand why people rate this book so highly. I liked so many elements of it. The New York setting was perfect for these mythological beings that appear completely out of place from their actual origins in the past. The story itself was utterly original, I could not claim it be otherwise. The characters were intriguing with levels of other-worldliness and likability which lead you to care about them. For some reason, though, this didn’t combine to make a book I loved.

I think where it all went wrong for me was the multiple viewpoints. I can get distracted very easily, and when you have multiple narrators you are at great risk of alienating me because I tend to grow attached to one or two characters storylines and get bored when I read the rest of them. I know they al link up to create the actual overarching storyline, but until they link together I just have certain favourite characters and I’m wanting to skip the parts of everyone else. That, unfortunately, was the case for me in this book. It’s always a difficult keeping my attention at the best of times and unfortunately for this book it didn’t succeed.

This is a book which is very well-written, I had rating it so low but it wasn’t for me. I know this and I’m upset that I didn’t like it more, but that’s the way it goes.

13
Published: 10th April 2014
Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
My Rating:
My breath caught and I dropped the letter, scuttling back on the bed. Heart racing, I closed my eyes, but I could still see the words…

Samantha Franco has the perfect life. Until, that is, she and her best friend Cassie disappear and only Samantha resurfaces… with no knowledge of what happened.

And Cassie stays missing. Gradually, Samantha begins to piece together her memories of that night. If she can do that, she may yet be able to save her friend. And, little by little, something begins to emerge…

Then she gets the note.

Don't look back. You won't like what you find.
I have been a fan of Armentrout for a long time. Her writing tends to have a lot of predictability to it, though. She employs the same elements in a lot of her books that can lead to you getting bored. In a lot of her paranormal romances she puts her characters in similar roles and you find yourself getting bored of her predictable storylines. She employs a lot of the usual tropes and it can get boring, although her New Adult books are a lot better than her paranormal ones in my opinion. This book is different to all her other ones, though. I think this is the Armentrout book to read if you don’t know her writing and it’s the book to read if you’re a bit bored of her other books. It’s different and I liked it.

One of the key reasons for me coming back to Armentrout’s writing is the simple fact that I really like the dialogue she writes and it’s in this book too. I know, witty banter is often a bit unrealistic, no-one is that on the ball and funny all the time, but it’s nice to read.

She also managed to successfully avoid the usual love triangle. There are a couple of love interests, but it’s more a struggle for Samantha between her past and her future and figuring out who she is as opposed to two boys being in love with her.

The big thing which bothered me in this book was the whole idea that Samantha’s personality completely changed. Whilst a lot of out personality is based upon experience and memory, something she doesn’t have, I don’t think it would alter as drastically as it did in the book. I think I would have liked it if certain elements of her old personality broke through, to show she was still the same person. Everyone seemed to claim she changed when she became friends with Cassie, but I don’t believe she changed quite that much. It’s a small issue in the book, but it bothered me.

Overall, this was a good book. It’s easy to like Armentrout’s writing when it comes to this book as opposed to her paranormal romances, which appear formulaic. It has a good mystery for a YA book, a few things were glaringly obvious to me, but the writing and story made up for any predictability and it could be easy attributed to the fact you have a naïve protagonist with amnesia.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? And have you ever found yourself having a complete different opinion than you expected?

No comments:

Post a Comment