Review: Long Time Coming

Long Time ComingLong Time Coming by Edie Claire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a good change of pace for me when it comes to romance/YA. It is one of the better books I have read recently.The main characters seemed mature (well, they were in their mid-thirties, so maybe that should be kind of expected), had their insecurities figured out bit better and overall likeable. The plot was good too. I enjoyed the writing style, especially all the spooky parts. I liked the supernatural element woven into the plot. It wasn’t the central theme but it helped in keeping it interesting.
Although it isn’t without flaws. The two things that annoyed me the most were that eighteen years seemed a bit of a stretch to still not be over the death of a close friend and the fact that Joy had practically no recollection of the events surrounding the incident and how she was dealing with it. I am no psychologist and I had to make peace with it. And the amount of build up to get to the part of what really happened was too dragged and not fully worth all the wait.

Overall, the book was nice light evening read.

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Review: The Mind Readers

The Mind Readers
The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would give 3.5. This is one of the better written YAs that I have read. The story was gripping, although a bit dragged at times, but still good enough pace to keep it interesting.

I liked Cameron, a 17-year old for being a 17 year old. Yes, she was immature many a times, made wrong decisions and was vulnerable. But she was also courageous, strong, kind and moralistic. She was a lot more realistic character(minus the mind-reading) than what I would expect in YA novels. The author delves very well into the psyche of a girl who has too much of contradicting information being thrown at her and who has been dealing with mysteries and unanswered questions all her life. I could feel her confusions and dilemmas.

Lewis, on the other hand, turned out to be a brain-washed kid. I almost felt sorry for him. More points to Cameron, for deciding to not to be with him anymore as their beliefs don’t match.

Characters were well-sketched. Each was given enough depth to expose their flaws as well as their good qualities. Although, I still want to know what are Caroline’s powers ūüôā

At times, the plot was a bit silly and predictable but overall it was a good, fun read.

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Review: Hooked on the Game

Hooked on the Game
Hooked on the Game by C.M. Owens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Got it as a free ebook from Amazon. It is pretty much the poor-girl-meets-rich-handsome-guy-falls-for-him story. But the writing was good and interesting. There were some funny moments and the author did a good job in keeping the reader hooked. Raya is likeable and relatable.
Kade’s character developed with sudden twists which felt too cliched. But I can live with it because the story is Raya’s POV and Kade is shown from her perspective. But Kade, except for two instances of jealousy and possessiveness, was a little too good to be true. But then, this is fiction ūüôā

Overall a good easy read.

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Review: Coming Together

Coming Together
Coming Together by Naya Nikki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice plot and likable main characters. The only *eye-rolling* moment I had was that even though Tina was a minor character, I found it unnecessary for her to be the stereotypical blonde bimbo. (I just have a slight aversion to stereotypes). But overall, cute short story.

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Review: Two Years At A Time

Two Years At A Time
Two Years At A Time by Naya Nikki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a sweet and simple love story. The storyline develops very nicely all the way through and keeps the reader hooked on to it. Although, I could guess what’s going on, but it still was very exciting and gripping. The emotions were explored in just the right amounts for all the characters. This makes a pleasurable read.

Nice job Naya Nikki ūüôā

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Review: The Fury and Dark Reunion

The Fury and Dark Reunion
The Fury and Dark Reunion by L.J. Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wasn’t impressed with the first book (review here) and seriously hoped things would pick up in the second one. Well, I was briefly glad that they did.

Elena seemed to have grown up. She started looking at things beyond her own self-interests. Her plans sounded less dumber. And for the first time, I did not hate Elena. But too bad, she died just when she developed into a rightful heroine. Stefan was pretty much the same. Still weak, refusing to take human-blood (at times, I found that pretty annoying!) and madly in love with Elena. Damon evolved a bit into someone who had kindness but shielded it with tough unremorseful exterior. And Damon and Elena never happened ūüė¶ I wish there was more of Damon. He started to look like a side-kick in these last two books.

The writing picked up as well and some scenes were quite thrilling and built up a lot of excitement. But then the plot would plummet. This happened a few times. I was unable to understand Katherine, once she made an appearance. Her reasons, motives sounded way too immature for a 500 year old creature. Looks like time does not teach some people! I still gave her the benefit of doubt that maybe she was turned into pure evil by Klaus and she saw others as toys she could play with as she pleased. No rhyme or reason necessary.

And then enter Klaus. Equally irrational character with no depth in his motives either. It was like just offer some fodder to the main characters to keep them occupied. Doesn’t matter what and who. And I probably missed something in the book because Katherine mentioned she had killed Klaus but then what was he doing in the fourth book all “alive” and kicking?!

I liked Matt and his dilemmas and how he emerged from them. Meredith and Bonnie were likable as well. It was almost funny to see how Bonnie felt drawn to Stefan, Damon, Matt turn by turn. I felt sorry for Vickie. Poor girl could never come out of her delirium.

In the end, Elena comes back alive. Again, I did not get why. Why was she special to come back from death but Sue and Vickie were not?

Overall, I can give 2.5 stars for improved writing and character development. I could relate to the characters more than the previous books. But still not very pleased with the whole experience.

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Am I Over YA Fiction?

 

In the past few years, I have read a few Young Adult (YA) novels. I enjoyed some of them.¬†Many have a similar plot. Shy/timid/clumsy/not-so-pretty/innocent/if-pretty-doesn’t-know-she-is-pretty-girl falls for the¬†most good-looking new guy at¬†school/work. The boy falls for her too either right away or eventually. Then there are some plot twists. And all ends well in the end.¬†A decent plot which is mostly ¬†well-written works for me.¬†Usually these stories incline towards being fairy-tale romances and for a while, it feels good to immerse in that world on a lazy evening.

But lately, I have started finding these stories a bit lame. Pardon my generalization. Some of them are really good and make sense. But for most, ¬†I feel the need for a bit more depth with the feelings and emotions. Why did the characters fall in love? What did they see in each other that they thought he/she is the one? It NEEDS to be more than “The guy is so good-looking that I could just kill myself” and “he has a chiseled face, sharp deep blue eyes that cause butterflies the size of elephants in my stomach¬†and a killer smile that melts away the ground beneath my feet”.

I don’t deny the role of attraction, passion and chemistry between the characters. That is definitely required and makes it romantic and out of the world. But it cannot and should not stop there. What made them fall for each other, other than the initial attraction? What are their redeeming qualities? Some¬†might say why would you¬†need such philosophical complications for light readings like YA fiction. But I think, since it is YA fiction, it is all the more important to sketch the characters beyond just their good looks. It is essential to lay proper emphasis on their good and bad qualities, nature and if possible, even habits in the storyline.

Why you ask? One prime reason is that¬†a good chunk of the¬†audience is teenage girls. They¬†need to know and understand that a good-looking guy is not what love and life is all about. And heck, character of a person is much more important than just the good-looks. Many girls dream of a prince-charming, a knight in a shining armor. And many YA novels bolster this belief that a perfect love story means a¬†damsel in distress¬†being¬†saved by a beautiful handsome stranger. It just begins and ends there.¬†And this is what has started bothering me. I yearn for something more and yet want the stories to retain the teenage fun, problems and light-heartedness. (Maybe I have grown too old? Okay, I don’t want to go there right now ūüôā )

Overall, I think little more character depth will take the stories and the readers a long way. I still love the “good looking rich handsome young men who set the pulses racing”. I just want to know them a bit more than that.