Monday, August 31, 2015

Shorter Review Round Up

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Goodreads Description: 
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions. 
I requested and read this one because it looked like a cute read! I liked The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I had been meaning to check out more of Jennifer E. Smith's books.
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My first impression of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was really bad. It felt clinical. As I read on, that vibe continued—and became even more than just clinical. I sensed zero chemistry between two characters that were a couple, so that mixed in with the vibe made the book feel very bland. Then there were the flashbacks. I love these when they’re done well (and when they’re well balanced with the present). There was so much emphasis on the goodbye and the past at the very beginning of the book, and not enough on the present to make it interesting. Even though I love flashbacks as a literary device, I also like living in the moment in books. That was something I didn’t think I would get from this book. That, the lack of chemistry, and the clinical vibe made me DNF the book before hitting 25 percent.

The Wanderers by Kate Ormand

Series: standalone
Genre: YA paranormal
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Goodreads Description: 
A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most? 
I liked Dark Days, Kate Ormand's debut, and I was curious about another book by her. I featured her and the book for Sophomore Spotlight in June. Doing features like that tend to make me really excited for the author's books. Plus, circuses and shapeshifters are two things I love to read about!
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Wanderers had nice, interesting ideas to it, but it didn’t blow me away. I liked the elements. The Circus setting (though there wasn’t a strong circus feel) was really cool. The characters had no roots, no real home. They were shifters (one of my favorite paranormal beings), but there was a variety. The main character was a horse shifter! There were also bears, elephants, lions, monkeys, and more. The romance was between characters that started out as best friends, so there was a strong bond in place before the book even started. The plot was also decent. I liked how the story went. It started out at the circus (which was more secure to the heroine, though she was aware of danger), then got more and more dangerous.

Despite those great elements, I didn’t form an emotional tie with the book. Events that were meant to be emotional or shocking didn’t hit hard for me. They feel flat instead. As a result, the book as a whole fell a little too short for me to love it. My other big complaint is about the family. I wish there was stronger evidence of the family and the bonds within it. I wanted more from the relationships in the small community the characters lived in. If there was more, it would’ve made certain turns of events more shocking. 

Overall, The Wanderers was decent, but it could’ve been a lot better. It was a cool read with awesome parts. All those parts weren’t put together in a way to pull me in and make me feel for the characters, though, so the book didn’t reach its full potential for me.

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge

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