Written by: Joelle Charbonneau
Number of Pages: 352
Average Rating: 3.66 / 5 stars
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Published: March 13, 2018
Read in July 2018
Summary According to Goodreads
A congressman's daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who's tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who's done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.
They couldn't be more different, but before the morning's over, they'll all be trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they'll also be looking to one another for answers.
This novel was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, but I was quite disappointed - maybe I hyped myself up for it too much. In terms of the plot and characters I would say that this novel rates at more of a two star, but because it was such a quick read I had to bump it up.
Joelle Charbonneau is most well-known in the YA community for her "Testing" trilogy, but I am one of the few who haven't read those books. I enjoyed her writing style in this novel and found it to read very quickly, however I didn't like the way that she told the story. It felt very flat, and I never felt any rushes of adrenaline or anxiety wondering if any of them weren't going to make it out. While reading this novel I also had a fairly strong idea who the bomber was, and was not at all surprised by the ending. I think that it was because we read from all five of their perspectives that we didn't get that suspicious thrill, and instead I think having a single perspective would have made the reveal more shocking.
In novels such as this it is so important to have strong, developed, and distinct characters - which this one didn't. I felt disconnected from them all, and was more annoyed by how generic and cliché it all was. Each of these five characters was a walking stereotype, a couple of them were irrelevant to the development of the plot, and none of them displayed any type of complexity.
Overall, I appreciate the author's attempt at writing about a controversial and important subject, but this fell too flat for me. As I said earlier, I was not surprised by the reveal of the bomber, but am still confused as to their motivations. The ending was just a quick info-dump to get it over with, but there were some aspects that don't add up for me.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Books I DNF’d: 2018
We are officially halfway through the year, and looking back on my reading of these past six months I've realized there are quite a few books I've given up on! Today I'm going to share with you what those books were and why I gave up on them, but of course I mean no offence if these are some of your favourites.
• Wonderland by Stacey Derasmo
- Read 46 pages
- The writing style did not mesh well with me, it felt too forced and too heavy.
- The plot wasn’t something I usually read, and although I’d like to branch out more this wasn’t the one for me. It was boring and I couldn’t see where the plot would go.
• Dead Men Walking by Christopher Berry-Dee
- Read 40 pages / 5 cases
- I find true crime novels to be fascinating, but I just didn’t care for the authors commentary that came with the background on the cases. I was interested more in what these people did to land them on death row, and not the authors personal opinions on them.
- I am going to hold onto my copy as I do think this is something I will pick up again sometime.
• Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley
- Read 35% of the ebook, equating 130 pages
- I received an e-arc of this to review from NetGalley, and I was really hoping to love it. I couldn’t get into the writing style, or the plot.
- It was really just too many things going on at once. There weren’t smooth transitions or a consistent sequence to the perspectives. I was easily confused on where the focus was supposed to be, and wasn’t able to connect to any part of the stories or characters.
• My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
- Read 60 pages while also listening to the audiobook.
- I found this story to be insanely boring and flat. I didn’t care about the characters and got confused on who most of them were. Not my type.
• Room by Emma Donoghue
- Listened to 55 pages of the audiobook, and couldn’t handle the child narrator
- I’m very interested in the story, so I’ll likely still watch the movie since I’ve heard good things
- I really wanted to love this story, but I do also have an ebook copy on my iPad if I ever change my mind
• Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
- I was so excited to read this after loving The Long Walk, and was so disappointed in how bland this one was. I got about 140 pages into it, trying to both read it physically and listen to the audiobook, but I was never interested.
- It was not suspenseful or thrilling because we read both the detective's perspective, and the killer's (whose identity was revealed very early), and this made it very hard to get through because I was bored almost the entire time.