This is the beginning of a big push to get caught up on my reviews. I printed out a calendar and I wrote down when my February ARCs will be published and when I want all of my reviews to go up on my blog. My husband is working a lot this weekend so I’m hoping to be able to get a lot of these reviews written and scheduled. Wish me luck!
We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I didn’t really know what to expect and I hadn’t (and still haven’t) heard anything about the two authors. I like books like this that are technically historical fiction (since it’s set in the late 80’s or early 90’s) but are still recent enough that the setting doesn’t feel completely foreign–just a little different. I liked the two main characters quite a bit. I thought they were realistic and it was easy for me to empathize with them. I thought the form of the book (an exchange of letters) was also really fun and the authors did a great job of giving us the whole story within the letters. I think it would be really easy for the reader to feel like they’re missing some information, but I didn’t feel that way at all. On the other hand, I could see where the letters might not seem natural because they’re over-explanatory or give too MUCH information for what someone would usually put in a letter, but I didn’t feel that way about this book either. Overall, I just thought it was a good balance and I really enjoyed it. 4/5
The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras
Oh gosh…I hardly remember anything about this book. In addition to NetGalley, I also received a physical ARC (so thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for that). I do remember that I didn’t particularly like the main character. I’ve never been in her exact situation and I do feel bad that she had certain sensitive pictures leaked, but she still just seemed overly whiny to me. I didn’t like her relationship with her mom (though that wasn’t ENTIRELY her fault) and I didn’t like her relationship with her best friend. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again, I hate when female friendships are jeopardized because they’re fighting over a boy. It’s just so…juvenile and a cheap way to add drama to a story in my opinion. I also thought the subplot with the main character’s dad was strange…and inconsistent at times. 3/5
The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner
Another book that pleasantly surprised me! This book is one part time travel adventure and one part mystery with one part bromance thrown in for good measure. It started out pretty shakey, but I recommend sticking with it. I really liked the main character of this book and I thought it also had a great cast of secondary characters as well. They could have been a tad more developed, but I still enjoyed them. I thought the author did a great job of weaving the two stories (past and present) together and there were some connections that I legitimately didn’t see coming (though I’m pretty sure I anticipated MOST of them). The main character’s romance was a little underdeveloped, but I didn’t find that I really minded. 4/5
All Laced Up by Erin Fletcher
This book is pretty much 100% fluff. Not the most original, but I didn’t really expect it to be. The main characters were fine. The plot was fine. The romance was fine. Of course, a large amount of angst and drama could have been avoided if the two main characters had just sat down and had a long, honest conversation. But then where would we be? I thought some of the secondary characters were interesting, but we don’t actually get to see too much of them. Overall, this book was pretty average, but an easy, mildly enjoyable read. If you like books that are similar to this, then you’ll like this one no question. It doesn’t require much thought, but sometimes that’s all I want out of a book. Nothing groundbreaking, but nothing polarizing either. 3/5
Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey
This book was so weird. That’s basically all I have to say. The premise of the Trials was really intriguing to me and I did actually enjoy that part of the book, but there was A LOT of buildup to get there. I also had a hard time with the whole “borrowing someone else’s body” thing and the double consciousnesses and all of that. It was just kind of confusing and I felt like it made it so the author could conveniently explain away some things: “Of course she didn’t have this ability, but the girl whose face she was wearing did which made it so she could do this special thing”. The whole family relationships are strange too. Overall, I think this was just a very complicated world and it wasn’t explained all the way. 3/5
Note: ARCs were provided free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.