January 22, 2016

Mini-Reviews | Breaking hearts, demons, and thoughts on how we treat people

Since I do not have a Time-Turner, a TARDIS, or a cloning machine, I just do not have time to write a full review for all of the books that I read. So, I have decided to write mini-reviews to discuss the books that I do not have as much to say about. That does not mean that I did not like these books, but sometimes, as creative and amazing as my brain is, I just cannot think of that much to write about a book. 

Today, I am discussing how Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between broke my heart, how The Demon King gave me hope for books with multiple perspectives, and how You are Mine's unique premise was not enough to make me love the story.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in BetweenHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
By Jennifer E. Smith
Published on September 1, 2015
246 pages

I knew that this book would break my heart before I even opened the cover. Even the title shows that this book is just a crying session in the making. I will admit that I am not the strongest person was it comes to sappy, sad novels but it is not often that I finish them with tears running down my face. At the end of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, there were a few drops of moisture that refused to stay in my eyes. 

I have always enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's novels, but I was hesitant to read this one. But I really had nothing to worry about, since it was fantastic. It realistically put the whole leaving for college thing into perspective, which I have not really seen in any other books.

The book was more than a couple of flashbacks though. There were problems that needed to be solved, and I loved how the mix of flashbacks and current troubles enhanced the plot. 

The main characters were complex and the secondary characters also got their turn in the spotlight too. This book took all of its 250 pages and used everyone wisely. I finished the book completely satisfied, which does not happen often with short books for me. 

If you are looking for a sweet and nostalgic book that just might make your eyes a little wet, I recommend Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between.

The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)
The Demon King

by Cinda Williams Chima
Seven Realms #1
Published on October 2016
506 pages

I have a soft spot for fantasy novels, especially ones with multiple perspectives, and The Demon King did not disappoint. There was an equal mix of romance, political messes, and adventure. 

I loved how the perspectives all enhanced the story and added their own storylines and opinions. One of my biggest pet peeves with books with multiple perspectives is when the different people are just telling the same story twice. You do not have to worry about that in The Demon king though. The perspectives were also amazing because of the diverse and complex characters. There was a rebellious princess, a morally confused thief, an evil magician, and a steadfast soldier. I personally would never be able to imagine a story to flawlessly connect all of these characters, but Chima succeeded. All of the characters were extremely different from each other, so I loved seeing their own stories being combined.

There was also a focus on moral gray areas in The Demon King, which I enjoyed. The story, and definitely the characters, make me think about what it really means to be a demon. If you are oppressed, hurt, and persecuted and react violently, are you are the demon or are the people who hurt you in the first place? If you are a thief, but for a good reason, are you automatically a bad person? I love when books challenge my view on good and bad, which The Demon King certainly did.

I do wish that there was more magic in this book though. It was emphasized more toward the end of the novel, but I missed the magic in the first half of the book. There were a few spells here and there, but for the most part, the magical abilities of the characters were glossed over. 

The multiple perspectives and the amazing, complex characters that told their stories through them created an amazing novel full of romance, action, and even a little mystery that left me wanting more.

You Are Mine (Mine, #1)You are Mine
by Janeal Falor
Mine #1
Published on May 6, 2013
370 pages

This book frustrated me in the best way and worst way possible. I started this book a tad skeptical of the premise, but willing to try it out. At first, I did not think that any of it was realistic and was totally outlandish. But then I started seeing similarities to our world and the way, not just women, but people in general are treated. This book shows the frustrations and injustices in our world through a seemingly outlandish environment where women are practically slaves to the warlocks, who all just happen to be men. The women are sold according to their breeding pedigree and treated like cattle. I was in awe of the way women, and just anyone who was not a warlock, were treated like trash. 

In our world, we do the same thing. And even on the same level sometimes. We might not want to admit it, but human trafficking is a thing. People are forced into labor, abused, and treated as if they are worthless everyday. Yet most of us ignore it, choosing to live our own, warlock lives. 

I loved how this book got me thinking. The world was different in a good way, but not overly unique. The main character was a head-strong girl who was equally rebellious and terrified. I loved the balance that Serena had. She was not completely stupid and reckless like some "daring" female leads. She had fears, confusions, and questions just like anyone else. 

Unfortunately, the plot and the writing were not up to par. It was rather simplistic and a tad too predictable for my tastes. Once the world-building was over, the novel sank into a slow pit where my interest in the novel died. Nothing really surprised me or left me on the edge of my seat. I just plodded through the book, hoping for something more but never getting it.

In the end, the unique premise did not equal a unique and interesting story.

Even though You are Mine got me thinking about the situations in our world today, the poor writing and the bland plot spoiled my enjoyment.

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