Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Mini-Review Roundup

  Mini-Review Roundup

Solid "nice." I enjoyed reading it, but I don't feel compelled to read the sequel. Chapters are short and it's easy to read quickly, even if the pacing of the plot isn't breakneck. There's also a little bit of the "glimpse into the past" which is a writing approach I usually find makes me want to read more and become more invested in finding out how the past and present connect, and that worked here too. 

The messages are sweet and the relationship between the characters is also sweet. There's just enough depth and nuance to both the characters and the plot to make this book stand out and stand on its own. It's also a sweet book. 

But, it's also kind of a downer book. The main character is likable and endearing, but she's also insecure, afraid, and kind of sad. This cast a bit of a shadow on my reading experience and leaves me with a vague feeling off glumness. So, I liked the book and I'm glad I read it, but I don't love the feeling it's left me with.


I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. I almost decided to give it away unread, but finally figured I'd give it a shot since I can't find an e-book version. I ended up liking it so much I decided to keep my hardcover copy and added the companion book to my TBR. 

I was expecting a preachy book for kids that would be surface level and not terribly historical. Instead, I got a book with nuance and realistic history and a set of characters I enjoyed reading about. It even made me curious enough to do some light Internet research after I finished, which I always consider a good sign.

Chapters are very short so it was easy to zip through. The plot also moved at a brisk pace, even jumping ahead in time, but in a way that never felt gripping and fast but also kept things from dragging needlessly. There were scenes that stood out and felt real and I got a good sense of time and place. I wasn't sure at first about the supernatural element, but I thought it was done well. Even with those elements, this felt much more "straight historical" than "historical fantasy." Recommended.


Oh, I had such high hopes for this book but I did not like it. The writing seemed forced-funny, and I didn't find it funny. The characters felt forced-likable and I did not like them. The approach to storytelling with all of these random people telling bits and pieces of the story felt gimmicky and unnecessary. The plot felt overly long and pointless. The action scenes felt like something from a comic book, complete with forced "Kapow" moments to tell me what I should be feeling but the writing isn't evoking. I'm left feeling mildly irritated, unimpressed, and like I want to say, "I just spent my time for that??

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