(Inspired by Hyper Parfait's Triple Delights feature)
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith - I could not get into Eternal. (Hence the short paragraph—I could say more, give it a fully fleshed out review, but I didn’t care enough about this story to bother.) Which sucks because this whole star-crossed lovers premise is totally my thing, and bi-racial vampire girl! But I couldn’t do it. I didn’t care about any of the characters, least of all Zachary and Miranda, and hence I couldn’t invest myself in the plot or the romance. (Actually the romance was probably my least favourite aspect of this novel, surprisingly enough.) I’ll be honest: if I didn’t buy this and instead borrowed it from the library I probably would have stopped halfway through the novel, max. Sometimes the writing is snappy enough to make things interesting but most of the time the writing felt trite and dragged on for me. But the fandom references were amusing, I’ll give it that. (This was probably the only thing I can say I liked with no reserves about this novel.) Just to put it out there, I didn’t hate this novel. I just found myself really distant and meh towards it. (lol if I truly hate it I’d be really obvious and mean about it.) I guess, to sum things up, this really wasn’t the novel for me. I’ll be passing on the rest of the books in this series.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - When it comes down to it, I just had plain good fun reading this novel. It’s fun and fast and I love the action and the dialogue. Also, the illustrations are beautiful. I’m reserving opinions on how well this alternate version of WWI is done until I get to the third book to see how this divergence will play out. Also, this has been marketed as a kind of Romeo and Juliet romance, so I’m crossing my arms and waiting for it to happen. I hope it delivers on the Tragic Love aspect all the way to the end. ♥ So basically, it’s a book full of potential. Perhaps when the trilogy is over I can make a proper assessment on how well the story pans out.
The Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez - A YA high school drama novel—this time with the school population being ethnically diverse. I never really became fond of our protagonist. Possibly because the way her powers were handled. (Was the whole animals bowing to her really necessary?! And if you want tips on handling magic in a realistic slice-of-life fashion, watch Natsume Yuujinchou or read Give Up the Ghost or something. Don’t just like, have it sit there and put us readers through her constant whining about her ~*freaky powers*~. It just makes her annoying.) Also, this was one of those many novels where I got attached to the one side character that everyone is supposed to hate aka the evil queen bee Jessica Nguyen. This book, while parading around to be full of Diversity and what not, our author sure doesn’t have any qualms about reinforcing Asian stereotypes. (Valdes-Rodriguez is better with other ethnic groups, btw.) The whole evil robotic Asian person out to get you, all math and no emotions? All there, without any attempts at subversion. I think I should be happy that an Asian girl even gets a prominent role with lines and stuff, but I can’t really find it in myself to be charitable. So instead I ended up rooting for the nemesis and constantly reimagine everything from Jessica’s point-of-view. That was how I managed to finish the whole novel and while I did enjoy the novel, I er, didn’t enjoy it for the “right” reasons.
Disappointing 2016 Reads
12 hours ago