posted at Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 at 8:00 AM | Mini Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Published by Roaring Brook Press on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction
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This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.
With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
The Square Root of Summer was a complete and total surprise to me. I requested
almost entirely for that cover because I thought it looked like it would be a math nerd fluff romance. Then I learned that apparently it was very much not a fluffy book and I had regrets. Regrets which proved unfounded because this book was awesome.
It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the voice of The Square Root of Summer. Gottie’s STEM-oriented, and I’m so very not. There’s also some interesting stuff happening with time and Margot’s only about half in her life because she’s so deeply mired in grief. Once I settled in to the cast of characters, the narrative, and the voice, I couldn’t put The Square Root of Summer down.
This is one of those books that I can’t really explain, partially because it straddles the line between science fiction and contemporary, and tbh I totally do not understand the science. I mean, I love it, the wormholes and stuff, but I do not get it at all. But, while that could have been frustrating as a reader, it just made the story magical. If you don’t understand science, it can be pretty fucking magical, ya know? Does it make any actual scientific sense? I could not even begin to fucking tell you, but it made a really cool book.
Margot’s character arc to acceptance is pretty excellently done. The romance is sweet. Friends and family are decently well-developed, not just Margot. There could perhaps be a bit more of Grey, so I could fully feel how much he meant to her through more than just the degree of her grieving.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Published by NAL on July 7, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Alternate History, Dystopian
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In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
Ink and Bone runs right up any book nerd’s alley, set in a world the Parks and Rec crew would fear more than any other: one where the Library rules.
The world is pretty damn cool, an alternate history that’s obviously gone in a very different direction and that has magic (alchemy but come on). Obviously, I deeply enjoyed the literally kickass librarians, but the world building was on the minimal side. I mean, the Welsh and the British are fighting this war for reasons I don’t know, even though it’s a major plot point. Also, despite the library being all-powerful, the librarians aren’t given the safe passage they’re due in the war zone, and there are no reprisals for those countries.
The characters are also fairly solid. They don’t feel real, but they’re interesting nonetheless. I’m not on board either of the current ships, though, which is unfortunate. Jess should get with Khalila instead, but that’s obviously not going to happen, despite Khalila being the best character and the only POC teen to actually last through the novel. The diversity really could have been stronger considering that the book is set primarily in Alexandria and the librarians come from all over. They’re still mostly from Europe. I’m somewhat indifferent to Jess, but he’s okay.
While I didn’t love Ink and Bone like I hoped, I do think I’ll probably enjoy this series. I just hope the characterization improves with Paper and Fire.
The One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Published by HarperTeen on May 6, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
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The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.
While The Selection and The Elite were shitty books, they were crack fun, and I rather enjoyed them. The One, however, is torturous, terrible, and somehow totally misses that crack element. It’s a flaming pile of dog turds.
I’ve read a lot of horrible books in my time and The One may be #1 shittiest. This series is so sexist, and I’m pretty sure Maxon is a serial killer grandpa based on his creepy wall and stalking habits. He and America have zero chemistry and don’t get along. Cass thinks they banter because she uses the word “playful” any time they interact, until they start fighting. They actually have a worse relationship than Four and Tris, who at least don’t get married at the end.
The writing is beyond abominable. It’s clear that the editor gave up at some point. There was even a sentence that began with a lowercase letter. I mean. As an example of how awful the writing is, because I do not have the energy to go over this in detail, I want to talk about the word “happy.” Cass clearly isn’t aware of shades of emotion or aware of the many words that exist to discuss them. The word “happy” pops up over and over, generally describing a person who, with any amount of sanity, would not describe themselves as happy at that moment. Like, you know, America at home for a funeral of someone she supposedly loved who died unexpectedly. The word “happy” is used so many times in the funeral section that I really can’t even.
I just can’t. I cannot waste any more mental energy on this. Do not read these. Spare your sanity.