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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Switch | Book Review

The Switch

Written by: A.W. Hill and Nathanael Hill
Number of pages: 282

My Rating: 3.5/5

Published: August 29th 2017
Read in August 2017

Summary According to Goodreads

Imagine that you could change your world with the flip of a switch. You might be prettier, more athletic, more popular, or even living on an exotic island, because your history - your world line - would be different. But here's the catch: you have no way of knowing if the reality on the other side of that switch will be better... or much worse. 

Jacobus Rose is a fifteen year-old who believes - as many fifteen year-olds do - that his life could use improvement. School is a numbing routine, and his parents' marriage seems to be imploding before his eyes. Lured by his best friend, Connor, into a strange little house containing nothing but empty rooms and an oversized circuit breaker, he'll discover that reality comes in a plural form, and that our choices create a continuous web of branching worlds, any of which is as "real" as another.

My Thoughts

I received an ebook copy of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion.

"I am writing this story for you, the misplaced teenagers of the world."

The plot of this novel grabbed my attention right away, as did the cover. It conveys the most important aspects of this novel, from the rustic typography, to the hand pulling the switch. This novel was unlike anything I have read before - and I have read a lot of books. There were plot twists that I didn't see coming, and ones that enhanced the overall climax of the story. Was the world completely developed? No, but it is young adult so I didn't have too high expectations. 

This was a very interesting sci-fi novel that brings readers on a journey with its characters crossing different worlds. However, I need to be honest - the characters in this novel did not meet my expectations. They are four fifteen year-olds who either acted twelve or twenty. The main characters, specifically Jacobus, were not as unique or developed as they could have been, and this really hindered my experience. We are reading about travelling between different worlds and alternate universes, but their personalities were much too flat. There were a few moments where I questioned bias and racism, but I think I might have just been looking into that too much.

I think I would have enjoyed this novel more if I had read it faster. It was nothing against the pacing of the story, just my own hectic schedule. Whenever I would pick up the book I was thrown back into the world very easily, and struggled to put it back down.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel but it will not go down as one of my favourites. I do not generally read a lot of sci-fi, so it was a good exposure to the genre for me. I would recommend this to readers a little bit younger than myself (probably best for teenagers), as it was very engaging and extremely unique! It was published yesterday, so make sure you check it out and let me know what you think!

"And it occurred to me...that nobody is ever just one thing: villain or hero, dirtbag or prince."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Attachments | Book Review


Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Number of pages: 323

Average Rating: 3.95/5 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Published April 2011
Read in August 2017

Summary According to Goodreads

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work email. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neil can't believe this is his job now - reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers - not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained and captivated by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he say...?

My Thoughts

I had been holding onto this novel for so long, but I don't read a lot of adult romance so I was a bit hesitant. To my surprise this wasn't as romantic, and instead was very simple and contemporary. It was very relatable, as are majority of her novels, but I found this one to be overly predictable. Within the first 20 pages I knew how this story was going to play out.

The characters were real but they weren't completely flushed out. I can understand how difficult it is to build well-rounded characters that you only read about through emails, but I felt like their lives blurred together and I struggled to understand their relationship. The two main women (Beth and Jennifer) didn't suck me into their lives, and they didn't seem like girls I'd want to go have a drink with. It was just a constant circle of drama or "woah is me" between their emails. There wasn't any significant growth between these women, instead the novel was focusing on Lincoln and his development - and I was NOT a fan of his. Yes his job was to read emails, but he took it too far and if I was Beth I'd be beyond freaked out.

Of the other two Rainbow Rowell novels I've read, this one had the slowest plot. It was a very quick read, which I appreciated it, but the story wasn't a gripping one. About 20% through I was considering giving it up, but next I knew I was almost halfway through. I never connected to any characters and it overall didn't blow my mind.

Did I laugh out loud a couple of times? Yes. I read it within two days, and I did end up recommending it to my mother to read. I have a feeling this novel is just a bit older than I am, and that hindered my experience. I have now read three books by this author: one I've loved, one I hated, and one I was "meh" about. I haven't decided if I'll give her another chance, but Landline likely won't be the next one. I'll wait to see what she has coming up.