Pre-Vacation Mini-Reviews

Hello everyone! I have been so bad at blogging lately and for that I apologize. I’ve just been really busy at work and with school (summer terms are KILLER). But excuses, excuses. I’m about to head out of town this weekend, so it’s kind of a now or never thing with catching up. Here are some of the books that I’ve read recently and what I thought about them. Links are to Goodreads.

The King SlayerThe King Slayer by Virginia Boecker [ARC]
This is the second book in the series and it was pretty similar to the first book. I liked the characters pretty good and their reactions to things (even if I thought Elizabeth did some not-very-well-thought-out things…). I liked the additional characters that we got to meet and the conflict between Elizabeth and John was interesting. But again, the pacing of the plot was kind of weird. All of the sudden they were in battle and then the actual battle lasts like two chapters. I felt like since the whole book was leading up to this huge event, it should have taken more time and had more weight in the book. In the end it felt like the battle really didn’t even matter. The actual conclusion of the book was also pretty strange and I didn’t really understand exactly what happened. It seemed like the author maybe needed the book to end a certain way so she just kind of made it happen even if it left the readers a little confused. In the end it was just a little anticlimactic because of how confused I was. 3.5/5

Defending TaylorDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally [ARC]
I’ve read all of Kenneally’s books so far and I always like the intersection of sports and real life. Her books aren’t always the most realistic, but I’m usually okay with it. I don’t know if this book is basically finished or if there’s going to be another round of editing, but Taylor seemed way more annoying than any of Kenneally’s other main characters. She’s spoiled and entitled and just overall bratty. There was so much angst in this book and a lot of “but I can’t tell the truth because then my reputation will be ruined because everyone will think I’m a snitch.” GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT. Do you really think colleges are going to say, “Oh wait, we don’t want this one because she’s a snitch” over what they actually thought she did? Come on. I was also floored by the callousness of the main character’s mother. She seems completely superficial and I’m just left going, “Who is this woman?”. Overall, this book was just a big disappointment. 2/5

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
The Year We Fell ApartI believe this is the author’s debut book so it’s not a bad start, but I didn’t love it. Our main character just makes a series of bad decisions. There is A LOT of teenage drinking in this book which I always kind of roll my eyes at. Harper seems to have no understanding of the words “moderation” or “self-control” which makes her seem more immature than I think the author wants us to see her. I wished that Harper had spent more time with her family (her mom’s going through chemotherapy for goodness sake!). Also, Sadie is a terrible friend and I honestly do not know why Harper is friends with her or what even her role is in the story other than putting Harper in bad situations. The romance is nice, but then there are times when Declan doesn’t seem like the best guy either–kind of emotionally manipulative at times. And he has a role in their original breakup and that’s never addressed. In the end, there is some character growth, but not much and definitely not as much as I would have hoped for. I did like Gwen and Mackenzie though. They seemed like cool girls. 3/5

Note: ARCs were received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.