Another post about books and I just know that you’re all exclaiming, ‘Oh, how exciting! I cannot wait for Eleanor to tell me about books!’, but today is not about trying to convince you to go read a book. Nah, instead, I want to talk about book reviews. More specifically, two reviews that I have written for books and just to make it that much more exciting, it’s one good and one bad review.
Righty-ho, here we go – writing reviews are DIFFICULT and especially when you’re a seventeen year old girl who really doesn’t feel like she has that much authority in writing reviews. This is why, ladies and gentlemen, I have never given a book less than three stars because, a) I don’t want to completely upset the author because WRITING IS HARD – this is a subject I made a blog post on a while back and b) Although I’m considered to be in the right age range for a lot of books I’m sent/asked to review (aka all those teen flicks), I still feel like I cannot judge at seventeen. (Come June though I’ll be eighteen and an ‘adult’ so I can start by going crazy and giving a book a rating of two stars or something)
ONTO THE REVIEWS – I’ll start with my ‘good’ one first. I was given an ARC of the book ‘Strange Love’ by Lisa Lenzo to review through edelweiss and I actually really enjoyed it! Here you are:
Strange Love is one of those books which you know from the blurb is going to good and everything about it demonstrates the skill Lenzo has at writing. I loved all of the characters and especially the mother-daughter dynamic. The structure of the novel as several short stories really appealed to me and seemed to give the novel even more charm. The humour works perfectly and Lenzo is really able to pull on the sympathy strings with these beautifully written stories – everything about this book will hold you until the very last page.
‘I’m not sure I want to hook a man; what I want, rather, is one who will swim along beside me’
And there you have it – it’s not brilliant, but hopefully it’s not too awful. I don’t want to sit down for two hours to write a review which sounds so completely unlike me due to the amount of times I look up synonyms to sound more eloquent. I wrote this review as soon as I finished ‘Strange Love’, hoping that I could convey exactly what I felt about this book.
Now, onto the review people will find more interesting to read. Entitled ‘Fearless’, this book has 73 five star reviews. I apparently go against the majority and I’m sorry if you find it offensive that my opinion of this certain novel differs to yours but, hey, here you go:
Let’s go with the positives first:
I decided to read this book because a) all the great reviews and b) Really nice price and 49p! I liked the concept of the storyline – not that it’s 100% original, but what is these days? – and decided to give it a go.
Overall, I liked the storyline. It was fun, sweet and had a few nice features. I loved her friends and thought the concept overall was really good.
Now here come the BUTs.
Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book. As I was reading it, all I wanted to do was find out what happens so I could stop reading it. This genre is one that I read ALL the time so, although I’m no expert, at this point I do realise what I think works and does not. For starters, I like to see what names authors choose and, I’m sorry, but having your main guy called ‘Adonis’ and the gay best friend ‘Romeo’ just really did NOT appeal to me. I can see the humour in it, but it was bordering more on ridiculous than realistic. On the plus side, this does add to the fun, idealistic charm that is perfect for a cheap flick.
Next of all: the language. I’m a teenage girl about to go to university/college and let me just tell you one thing: I know NO ONE my age or anyone at college who uses words like ‘yummylicious’. COME ON, now, how old are we? I seriously disliked the language Samantha uses because it just make me cringe and groan in embarrassment.
Finally: Samantha. I love a great female lead and Samantha had an interesting background. She had something emotional happen in her past which gave her a complex personality and I thought that the whole thing with Taylor was well done. What I did not like was her crazy mood swings which just didn’t seem realistic. I know I sound like I’m being completely unreasonable, but there were several moments – and one in particular which REALLY didn’t work – when she suddenly shut down and ran away (literally). I know several people who have had to deal with really awful things in their lives so I can completely sympathise with the ‘shut-down/hide’ element, but Sam acts like a complete b*tch to ‘Adonis’ and then leaves, but then the next time together it’s all rainbows and unicorns, all hunky-dory, no problemo here.
This is why I give this book a 3 stars. I feel 2 stars is just a bit too mean for me and 3 stars definitely boasts the fun charm the book has and the interesting plot line. However, Samantha’s portrayal, the childish language and the unrealistic names just don’t work for me.
Let me know what you think about how reviews should be and what you think of mine! In the meantime, I hope you have a lovely week ~Eleanor