Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mini Review Round Up ~ Your Voice is All I Hear, Walk on Earth a Stranger, and His Work of Art

Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Sheier

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Goodreads Description
I was the one he trusted. I was the one he loved, the only one who believed him, even when his own mother had locked him up and thrown away the key.

And now, I was going to pass down the white tiled hallway, knock on his doctor’s office door, slam his secret notebook on her desk and make her read it, make her understand what he was hiding, make her see what only I had seen.


April won’t let Jonah go without a fight.

He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head? 
I became interested in it because of the cover, but the description made it sound like a book I would really like reading.
Source: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm going to keep this short because I honestly have no idea how to review Your Voice is All I Hear. It took me a really, really long time to power through this one (about a month). Throughout the entire time I was reading it, I was in a please-get-all-sad-books-away-from-me reading mood (and just a sad mood in general). That time affected how connected I was to the story, but it didn't affect the impact it had on me. This contemporary was both incredibly heartbreaking and eye opening . Part of it had to do with the fact that I had never read a book with such a big focus on schizophrenia. The effects it had on Jonah and every single person in his life kinda just . . . punched me in the gut. The other part had to do with April. She was so young and fell so deeply for Jonah so quickly. She held on very tightly to him and the idea of their relationship--it felt like too desperate of a grasp that she was trying to keep on their relationship. It took her a long time to understand what was going on and to loosen that grasp a little. I don't really understand why, but characters that go through all that make me unbearably sad. Between both of those parts (the schizophrenia focus and April), this book was sure tough to get through during a time when the only books I was in the mood for were ones that made me escape reality.

Overall, Your Voice is All I Hear is a definitely must read for readers that like to read books featuring mental illness. If you intend to read this one, prepare for an emotional, eye opening read.

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

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Series: The Gold Seer #1
Genre: YA historical fiction/fantasy
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Goodreads Description: 
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research. 
I thought this one looked really cool. Plus, I've heard really good things about Rae Carson's books.
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Walk on Earth a Stranger was a slower historical fiction with some fantasy elements. A lot of features a lot of travel and struggles of the journey to California during the Gold Rush. There was sickness, hunger, heat, heavy loads, injuries, hunting, missing people, religion, different ethnicities, family, childbirth, death—there was constantly a new issue popping up. The main character (Leah/Lee) faced a lot of personal struggles, too. She didn’t want to feel like a piece of property—something to be owned—but hated having to lie about her identity. Her character was my favorite thing about this book. Not much else (besides the struggles of the travel) stood out to me. I don’t have much to say, which is disappointing. I still liked what I read as a whole, but as for specifics like character growth, other characters, themes, plot, etc. . . . I just wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. Overall, Walk on Earth a Stranger was okay. I’ll probably read the sequel because I’m curious, but I don’t feel like I absolutely MUST read the rest of the series.


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

His Work of Art by Shannyn Shroeder

Series: Hot & Nerdy #4
Genre: NA contemporary
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Goodreads Description: 
Reese Carter is definitely not your average college girl. She'd prefer to spend Saturday nights playing Hero's Crusade than attending a wild frat party on campus. When she bands together with Adam, fellow comic enthusiast and illustrator, it appears that Reese has formed a dream team sure to propel her writing into the comic hall of fame.

Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She's sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can't see why she'd choose DC over Marvel. He's thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But. this relationship is strictly professional. Or so he tells himself. When the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned; they never expected to develop a steamy romantic sub-plot of their own...
It looked like a really cute novella, and when I requested it on Netgalley, I was looking for great looking New Adult books to read.
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm conflicted. I'm a sucker for romance, so the great chemistry the two characters had when lust was involved (or when they were in the middle of an argument) was a big plus for me. It makes me reluctant to say I didn't like this novella, but it really was the only good part. (That's a lie. I liked that the characters were working on a comic, but that could've been done so much better.)The rest of the story was so flat--so underdeveloped--so the few good scenes (the romantic/lust filled ones) didn't seem to fit in. The plot was weak and cliche. There seemed to be more attention given to getting through the events than building great characters and bonds, so they ended up falling short. The idea of the story was entertaining, but it didn't turn out that way. And lastly, there didn't seem to be much of any real emotion. Other than the moments of lust or anger, which only happened a couple times, the characters didn't seem to be feeling much of anything. That especially was very disappointing.


Overall, His Work of Art is a sweet looking novella that could've been executed so much better. If you're looking for an outstanding NA novella, I suggest looking for a different one to read.


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

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