Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I meant to review this one last week, but since Night Owls and Summer Skies came out right when I got the eARC and I need to get the salt out of my system, I temporarily put it on hold. But worry not, here’s the review now, and it’s leagues better than the former novel! 😉 Though it wasn’t without its flaws, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was an adorable, friends-to-lovers rom-com.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Amazon.com: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss ...

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss–Amy Noelle Parks

Caleb and Evie have been friends since childhood, but while Caleb seeks a romantic relationship with her, Evie thinks she has better things to do than dating. Their paths lead them to a prestigious, math and physics oriented school, where Evie flourishes–both in her academic endeavors, and in her budding relationship with Leo, a boy from her class. But as her talents begin to be noticed, her anxiety shows its face more than ever.

Caleb, meanwhile, is desperate to win Evie over. Now that she’s dating Leo, there seems to be no chance of them getting together–even though he almost kissed her 17 separate times. Can they still remain friends, or will Caleb’s true feelings tear them apart?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Amulet Books/ABRAMS for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

🚨 THE ADORABLE SIRENS ARE GOING OFF LIKE CRAZY, FOLKS, WE HAVE AN ADORABLE RED ALERT, I REPEAT, AN ADORABLE RED ALERT 🚨

What I’m trying to say is that The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss is an incredibly sweet rom-com that’s simultaneously cute and handles some tough topics in a very genuine way.

I couldn’t help but root for all of the characters! Evie was my personal favorite–we’re very different people, to be sure (I mean, she’s going to a math-oriented school, so that’s already a major divide), but I found her to be an incredibly relatable and poignant character. And although I don’t have any experience with an anxiety disorder as she does, the representation of it seemed realistic without info-dumping or being overtly preachy. Caleb was sweet too, and he and Evie had wonderful chemistry. I’m not usually drawn to the friends-to-lovers dynamic in romance, but their relationship was incredibly well-executed.

As much as I loved the characters, there was one thing that bogged down a tiny bit of the novel…

Ladies, gentlemen and others, we’ve fallen into another love triangle trap.

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I mean…Leo was okay…but the addition of the love triangle to the story made it frustrating at times, and it was clear from the start that he and Evie weren’t meant to be. Even though it was kind of a vehicle for Caleb’s personal journey to win Evie back, I still wasn’t quite a fan of that aspect. Maybe it’s more of an “It’s not me, it’s you” problem here, since I just despise love triangles in general, but this one was at least more tolerable than most.

Other than that, my only problem about The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was the very end. I can’t quite place what made me temporarily lose interest, but the ending felt a little bit rushed for reasons I can’t place. Again, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like too much was crammed into the last 80% of the novel or so.

But all in all, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was a sweet and heartfelt romance with genuine and lovable characters. 3.5 stars!

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Release date: January 5, 2021

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Night Owls and Summer Skies

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

Ah, what a beautiful, sunny day. It’s days like these that kids like you should be ranting about bad eARCs.

Anyway, I know I posted in last week’s weekly update that I read a different eARC before this, but I figured I should probably post this review sooner, since I managed to get it the day before its release, this June 30. Plus, I need to get some feelings out, because Night Owls and Summer Skies was, for lack of better words, a complete train wreck.

Enjoy this eARC review!

Amazon.com: Night Owls and Summer Skies (9781989365250): Sullivan ...

Night Owls and Summer Skies–Rebecca Sullivan

Emma Lane is set to spend the summer with her mother, eager to try and mend their broken bond after her parents divorced. But without warning, she dumps Emma at Camp Mapplewood, the very same camp that sparked many of her long-standing anxieties that still linger to this day. Bitter and frustrated, she reconnects with Jessie, a childhood friend, and begins falling for Vivian, the young camp counselor. Will she be able to face her fears and find new love?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Wattpad Books for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Whew. There’s a lot to unpack here.

First off, the Goodreads synopsis was rather misleading; Night Owls and Summer Skies was billed as more of a coming-of-age story about facing one’s fears. However, what we got was…zero character development, toxic relationships, and sloppy handling of the topics that the book promised to touch on.

Let’s start off with these characters. First off, Emma is EXTRAORDINARILY unlikable. I feel like the author was trying to make her give off a Sassy and Sarcastic Protagonist™️ vibe, but she’s nothing but a self-centered jerk. She pushes away every attempt the other characters (namely Gwen and Jessie) have at friendship, and she’s incredibly disrespectful at every turn. Vivian is similarly problematic; Sullivan was clearly going for some sort of enemies-to-lovers romance, which I normally love, but it crashed and burned quickly. Vivian wasn’t just sarcastic, she actually derided Emma in negative ways, which we were supposed to interpret as…banter? No, no, NO. All kinds of no. That’s not humor, that’s just straight-up toxicity.

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Additionally, the antagonists had zero redeeming qualities. Lauren, the main bully in the story, was not only a cardboard, run-of-the-mill pretty/popular antagonist bent on bending the world to her will, she’s a genuine CREEP. There’s even instances where Lauren sexually harasses Emma, which, like most other aspects of the novel, was handled veeeeeeeery poorly. Not only does it not seem to have a lasting effect on Emma herself, Lauren receives no punishment for anything that she does. NOTHING that anybody did in this book has consequences. NOTHING.

And to top it all off, the writing is utterly childish. The prose–if you can even call it that–is dry and lifeless, and the dialogue is not only unrealistic, but deeply cringe-y. Every part of this book desperately needed an editor–or a better editing job, at least. Even though I ended up blowing through Night Owls and Summer Skies in about an hour and a half, it was such a pain to read all the way through.

Overall, Night Owls and Summer Skies is quite like its characters, in that there’s hardly any redeemable qualities for both. 1.5 stars.

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Release date: June 30, 2020

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Elatsoe

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

General Edelweiss+ update…so apparently, Macmillan is only accepting eARCs from Netgalley now, so that eliminated most of my requests, so…whee…

Most of my eARCs have been from more indie publishers anyway; personally, it’s probably a good thing–if it’s a good eARC, I feel great about being able to spread the word about them. Especially when they’re as good as Elatsoe.

Again, I CAN’T WAIT for this one to be released! Though there was a brief lull in the middle, Elatsoe not only boasts stellar representation, but a thrilling paranormal tale!

Enjoy this eARC review!

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe–Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe–Ellie for short–lives in an alternate America, where the beasts of myth and legend roam the world, and ghosts are not so far away. Like Kirby, the ghost of her old dog, who she has now trained to follow her wherever she goes. Ellie herself can also raise the dead, and communicate with spirits.

But her skills, as she soon finds out, will be put to the test sooner than she ever thought. When her cousin is murdered, she and her family arrive at the scene, only to find that his killer hides in a picturesque Texas town, and that he may be hiding secrets that may spell disaster for the town’s residents. Will Ellie be able to uncover the truth before town falls into supernatural ruin?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Levine Querido/Chronicle Books for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

The premise already excited me, but in all respects, Elatsoe is a fantastic, paranormal murder mystery!

First off, REPRESENTATION! Elatsoe is an incredible #OwnVoices story–both the author and the protagonist are Lipan Apache, and the protagonist is also confirmed to be asexual. I hardly ever see asexual representation in literature, and so I’m so excited to see that such stories are coming into the spotlight.

This novel strikes the perfect balance between the spooky paranormal and a murder mystery. The worldbuilding of this alternate America is absolutely stellar as well; most aspects of it are deftly explained without an excess of info-dumping. Darcie Little Badger introduces all sorts of fascinating creatures, and weaves them seamlessly into alternate America.

Going off of this, my favorite aspects–and my favorite scene–was that of the ghosts. Not only is Kirby adorable, but there’s a beautiful scene in which Ellie stumbles into a ghost sea, filled with trilobites, whales, and all manner of prehistoric creatures. The writing is lush and gorgeous, beautiful and immersive. And I’m a sucker for prehistoric critters and marine life, so of course you have my attention with the scene, even if it was fairly brief.

At times, some of the dialogue felt flat, causing a bit of a lull at the halfway mark, but I’m glad to say that it quickly picked up from there. I found myself completely immersed in the supernatural murder mystery, and after said dull spot, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Darcie Little Badger made so many creative choices that made Elatsoe all the more original, making for a supernatural story unlike any other.

All in all, a brilliant and creative #OwnVoices paranormal murder mystery. 4 stars!

guillermodltoro: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) dir… – Glamrock

Release date: August 25, 2020

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

This novel is certainly one of the better eARCs I’ve gotten in my (short, granted) time using Edelweiss. I’m so excited for it’s release–it stands out so much in the grand scheme of YA, mostly in that it’s unafraid to not take itself seriously. Delightfully bizarre and oddly poignant, The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly is one of the most unique novels I’ve read in a long time.

Enjoy this review!

The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly ...

The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly–Sybil Lamb

Eggs is a homeless girl with a unique talent; she has mastered the art of flight. Every day, she can be seen leaping from the rooftops in the ramshackle city that she calls home, never once touching solid ground. In her flights across the town, she befriends Grack, a hot dog vendor who sells every kind of hot dog imaginable, and Splendid Wren, a hippie who is willing to give Eggs a place in her home. Grack and Wren join forces to try and protect Eggs, but all of their efforts may be in vain after she gets on the wrong side of Robin, a notorious troublemaker. Will Eggs be able to find her way out of this sticky situation?

The Girl Who was Convinced Beyond all Reason that She could ...
Art by Sybil Lamb

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Arsenal Pulp Press for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Though rather short, The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly was a treat to read. Whimsical, humorous, and unique, this novel is one to look out for, a delightful romp across city rooftops.

Eggs was such a precocious character, and I loved tagging along on her adventures across the city. Grack and Wren were likewise humorous, and paired well with Eggs’ chaotic, misfit nature. Their friendship and willingness to take Eggs under their wing(s) (no pun intended…wait, would that be considered a pun? Beats me…) made for a lovely story to read.

Lamb’s writing was as unique as the characters–it had an almost matter-of-fact tone to it, while still being wonderfully whimsical and witty. I’m not sure if Sybil Lamb is British or not, but either way, the writing is packed with classic, British humor, sure to please fans of Monty Python–or to get them started on such media. Needless to say, this book got a laugh out of me several times.

There wasn’t too much “action,” per se, until the last 80% of the novel, and honestly, that perfectly fit with the story. It wasn’t meant to be a serious adventure–it’s more of a cheerful romp, than anything, a very feel-good sort of story. The ending, without spoiling anything, was bittersweet, but beautifully poignant.

The synopsis on Goodreads says that it’s suitable for ages 14+, but I’d say that it would be suitable for some younger ages (though not too young) as well; aside from the aforementioned action scene, I can only remember one mild swear, and not much else that would scar someone younger than 14. The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly could be enjoyed by preteens, young adults, and adults, in my opinion.

All in all, a delightfully odd novel that stands out in the YA genre. 4 stars!

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Expected release date: November 10, 2020

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Lyrics and Curses

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Music references. I’ve grown up in a family of music nerds, and it’s been a passion of mine for almost my whole life–almost as fervent as my love of books. So you can imagine my joy to find a paranormal romance eARC that promised lots of them. But though I liked that aspect of the novel, most of it didn’t click with me.

Enjoy this eARC review!

Lyrics & Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1) by Candace Robinson

Lyrics and Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1)–Candace Robinson

1985. Lark Espinoza longs for an escape–from her stepmother, her popular sister, and her town where nothing seems to happen. But when a mysterious, cloaked stranger appears in her workplace, she knows something’s amiss–but even more so when she realizes that no one else can seem to see him.

It turns out she isn’t the only one. Auden Ellis, the boy Lark shares notes filled with song lyrics with, has also had an unexplainable experience–out of nowhere, he sees a stranger playing a flute that nobody can see–except for him and Lark. Auden and Lark sense that there’s a link between these unexplainable events–but would could they possibly mean?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Filles Vertes Publishing for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

For a while, I was teetering between a 3 star and a 2 star rating. The second half of the book pushed it towards the 2 star end, sadly. The Goodreads blurb pegs it as Pretty in Pink meets Stranger Things–both of which I love–but Lyrics and Curses felt weak in most respects. (Also, I…really don’t see the Pretty in Pink part? Maybe that’s just me, but…)

Let’s start off with what I liked. I loved Auden and Lark’s friendship/almost relationship, even though the latter felt forced and rushed towards the end of the novel. Their shared bonding over music was something I related to, and plus, they (I mean, I guess I should be saying Candace Robinson) had great taste. Jumping off of that, I LOVED the music references–David Bowie, Talking Heads, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Queen, all the good stuff. There’s a clear love of all things 80’s, and it really shines through in Lyrics and Curses.

Legion Review: 9 Moments from the Premiere to Admire, Recap + ...

But that’s where the good aspects ended for me. Speaking of said music references…I loved them, but most of the time, much of the 80’s references felt more like namedropping, like the author was just sprinkling them in to say “OH, and DID I MENTION that this is the 80’S?!? Would you look at THAT!!! 80’S!!!!!!1!!!” The more that were piled on, the more tired and forced the setting of the novel felt. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a big fan of most 80’s content as well, but some of the references only ended up dragging the novel down, and making the historic setting less genuine.

Aside from that, the plot generally felt weak. The paranormal aspect was barely touched on until the second half of the book, and even then, it felt like there weren’t any high stakes for the characters–at least until…maybe the last 90% of the book? I wasn’t invested in Lark and Auden’s journey, and the paranormal aspect was only mildly gripping. As a result, the last half of the book felt incredibly rushed, and I ended up skimming the last 75% or so. After Lark and Auden realize the source of these paranormal occurrences, the book got *slightly* more interesting, but by that time, the book was nearly over, and there wasn’t too much time to touch on it further. I suppose that’s what a sequel is for, but I still felt that most of the beginning could have been cut out, and the paranormal aspects of the plot been expanded upon more.

All in all, a novel that showcases a nostalgic love of music and the 1980’s, but fails to deliver on most other aspects. 2 stars.

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Me 50% of the way through trying to decide if I’d give this 3 or 2 stars

Expected release date: November 10, 2020

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out today’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song. (Not 80’s, sorry…)

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Dreamwalkers

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

Now that I’ve been on Edelweiss for a little longer now, I’m starting to request and receive more eARCs. Of course, I’ve gotten declined…[ahem] several times (I found out that I got declined 4 all at once yesterday, whee…), but I have a couple more that I’ll be reviewing soon.

Me going on Edelweiss yesterday and seeing the line of declined eARCs on my homepage

I hadn’t heard of this novel before Edelweiss, and it sounded fascinating. Not only did it seem an interesting blend of the paranormal and an almost slice-of-life story in New Mexico, it features mostly Native American characters, who, even though YA has made great leaps in terms of diversity, I still don’t often see in literature today. Though it had some slips and falls, Dreamwalkers was ultimately a decent and fun novel.

Enjoy this review!

Dreamwalkers - Leslie Rush - Pre-Order - Filles Vertes Publishing, LLC

Dreamwalkers–Leslie Rush

Vivian Night Hawk leads a quiet life in New Mexico, juggling her job at her mother’s shop and taking care of her genius little brother Brian. But when she inherits a jacket that belonged to her father, who went M.I.A. when she was young, she discovers a hidden ability–the ability to dream-walk, and control and traverse through her dreams and the dreams of others.

Vivian’s newfound power comes with a price–a newcomer to her quiet, New Mexico town may not be who he says he is, and her brother, targeted for his unusual intellect, may be in grave danger. Will she be able to save her brother before her world becomes a nightmare?

Inception (2010) — Interiors : An Online Publication about ...

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Filles Vertes Publishing for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Overall, Dreamwalkers, though it certainly wasn’t without its flaws, was an interesting novel! Sort of a Stranger Things meets Inception kind of deal, and for the most part, it was fairly well-executed.

Dreamwalkers had all of the interesting elements of a paranormal sci-fi story: strange abilities, secret government programs, a bit of romance, and not to mention, a genius/comic relief sibling. Such intrigue was my favorite part of the novel–though some of it was predictable from the start, it was perfect, paranormal fun.

That being said, I felt like Rush might have played it a little safe in terms of the dreamwalking aspect of the story. There’s infinite possibilities with controlling/traveling in other people’s dreams, but the book didn’t stray quite beyond sort of normal dreams, and resurfaced childhood memories.

Additionally I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing or the dialogue. Though it had its moments of being funny/well-written, I didn’t get attached to many of the characters, and as a result, I wasn’t as invested in the story. Most of the writing was similarly flat, and at times, a bit cliched. The sibling banter between Vivian and Brian was funny, at least, and I thought Brian was kind of adorable, but other than that, those aspects were a bit weaker.

Overall, a decent paranormal novel with great Native American representation and an interesting set of concepts, but that fell flat in a few places. 3 stars!

Release date: October 6, 2020

Today’s song:

(This one gives me some serious nostalgia…)

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: Under Shifting Stars

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Out of all the eARCs I’ve received so far, this is my favorite so far! A beautiful story about sisterhood, grief, self-expression, mental illness, and exploring one’s gender identity and sexuality. A perfect read for pride month!

Under Shifting Stars–Alexandra Latos

Audrey and Clare used to be inseparable. As twin sisters, they were each other’s best friends. But the recent death of their older brother has driven a rift between them, and both sisters struggle to grapple with their inner demons.

After the shift to a school for non-neurotypical kids like herself, Audrey is determined to be seen as normal. Tired of letting her mental illness define her, she will stop at nothing to return to her twin sister’s school. But in her striving for normalcy, she realizes that being a freak isn’t as bad as the other kids have made it out to be.

Clare has always been the more popular and sociable of the twins, but lately, she has begun to question her identity and status in the school. Not only has she realized that she’s genderfluid, but she’s started to have feelings for Taylor, her new, nonbinary classmate. As social pressure grows ever higher, she must choose between her popular friend group and being true to herself.

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HMH Books for Younger Readers for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Under Shifting Stars is such a powerful novel. The whole cast of characters felt so, wonderfully real, and I found myself relating to both the main characters in some respects. Latos nails the confusing feelings of being a teenager who doesn’t fit in with their peers, for one reason or another.

First off, this representation! As I said in the summary, Clare is genderfluid, and her love interest, Taylor, is nonbinary. Audrey also has ADHD. While I can’t speak to how well they were represented, Latos made them both wonderfully relatable and well-written, human characters. And while I’m not genderfluid, one aspect of the novel that was so well done were all of Clare’s confusion in discovering her sexuality/gender identity. So A+ for Alexandra Latos in that respect!

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Other than that, Latos deftly explores so many topics, ranging from the relationships between siblings and the loss of a loved one. The reactions and growth of Audrey and Clare were both wonderfully written, believable, and poignant to read. No matter your background, you’re sure to get attached to both characters, and feel their struggles along with them.

All in all, a beautiful and touching novel about grief, sisterhood, and so much more. 4 stars!

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Release date: September 29, 2020

Since I’ve already posted once today, check out this week’s Goodreads Monday for today’s song.

That’s it for this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

This was my second eARC from Edelweiss+. I hadn’t heard of it beforehand, and it sounded like a cute rom-com. But while it delivered on some aspects, it ultimately fell incredibly flat for me.

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Enjoy this eARC review!

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life–Dani Jansen

High school senior Alison Green is desperate for the title of valedictorian of her class, and this year, she’ll do anything to take the top spot. What she didn’t anticipate was her teacher’s offering for her to direct the yearly play–this year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From the beginning, the play is a disaster, with a limited budget, drama between the cast members, and her hopeless crush on the girl playing Queen Titania. Will she be able to pull together all the elements and make the play work?

⭐︎

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Second Story Press for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Let’s start out with the good portions. First off, representation! Alison (protagonist) is a lesbian, her love interest is pansexual, there’s several gay side characters, and another side character is Korean-American. So props to Jansen for making an effortlessly diverse cast.

And on that subject, an aspect of the book I quite liked was the romance…while it lasted. Alison and Charlotte were ADORABLE together, and even though, without spoiling anything, things don’t go according to plan, it was still cute for a short while.

Now, for the rest of the book…

YIKES.

Right off the bat, all of the characters are flat, as is their dialogue. They were all but cardboard, unrealistic caricatures of what human beings are supposed to be like. As a result, there’s almost no way to connect with any of the characters. All the attempts at tackling certain issues ended up being weak and flat, and anything but thought-provoking.

Aside from this, The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life didn’t seem to have any sort of resolution. There wasn’t any real moment of learning from one’s mistakes on Alison’s part, which would have given the book far more meaning. In short, she failed (several times), but she didn’t do anything about it. There was pretty much no character development. At all. None.

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And other than that, I felt that Alison was so, needlessly self-destructive. What with her learning from none of her past faults, there are COUNTLESS moments where she pushes away her loved ones, and is surprised when they’re mad about it. Whether it’s the play, her family relationships, her actions toward her best friend, or her budding relationship with Charlotte, there is a BOATLOAD of selfishness and self-destruction. I get it, there’s usually some element of it in many rom-coms, but there was so much of it here that it only served to drag down the plot and make Alison all the more unlikable of a character.

All in all, rom-com that had some positive aspects, but ultimately was nearly as disastrous as the play adaptation in the novel. 2 stars.

Release date: September 22, 2020

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews

eARC Review: The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I recently signed up for Edelweiss, and I’ve gotten a few eARCs from them since. (Other than this one, I’ve been approved for 2 and declined 1.) So, this is my very first eARC review!

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After reading and enjoying The Great Gatsby in my English class last year, I was so interested to see what a graphic novel adaptation would hold. Though it didn’t quite live up to the source material, it was certainly an enjoyable and colorful interpretation of the graphic novel.

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by F. Scott ...

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation–F. Scott Fitzgerald and K. Woodman-Maynard

Blurb from Goodreads:

From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel–among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud.

This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage students. With its timeless critique of class, power, and obsession, The Great Gatsby Graphic Novel captures the energy of an era and the enduring resonance of one of the world’s most beloved books.

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⭐︎Thank you to Edelweiss and Candlewick Press for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!⭐︎

This was an interesting adaptation of the classic novel! Personally, something about it didn’t quite live up to the glory of the source material, but it certainly came close.

The art style was cute, simple and stylized, but not overtly so. The interpretations of the characters and their thoughts were certainly faithful. I especially liked how Daisy and Tom were drawn; Daisy was as dollish as she appears in the novel, and Tom is especially imposing and stubborn. Daisy even has her own style of speech balloons that curve out at the edges when she spoke, which was a detail I loved.

I loved the watercolors that were used to color the graphic novel. The shifting color schemes were especially deft when it came to conveying the different moods of the scenes.

However, with that being said, I don’t completely feel like it was the right art style to adapt The Great Gatsby. Although I loved the watercolor and simple style, it failed to depict some of the lavish imagery (ex. with Gatsby’s parties) as well as the novel did. A bit more coloring and definition might have done the trick.

All in all, this was an inventive adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was certainly enjoyable to read and explore. 3.5 stars! (I rated the original novel 4 stars.)

EXPECTED PUBLICATION: January 5, 2021

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!