Monday, May 19, 2014

Bits of Books: Under the Never Sky, Wentworth Hall, Pushing the Limits

I've read bad books, and great ones... but what inevitably results from this obsession is a high mortality rate, of books whose characters and plots just haven't rendered lively enough engagement with me, as a reader,  to warrant greater discussion. Still, they're books just the same, and I spent enough time reading them that they deserve to be noticed. So, here's some recent reads I'll take the time to gloss over. 

11594257UNDER THE NEVER SKY, by Veronica Rossi

A sci-fi dystopian romance, that finds pampered Reverie-dweller Aria winding up in enough trouble to warrant her expulsion to the unlivable wastelands, where she meets hunky savage Perry, and decides to strike back against the government that controls their world, to the expected degree of success in this sort of thing. 

A pretty basic YA dystopian with way too much romance and teens gifted with ridiculous getting-out-of-trouble ability, this novel just couldn't get me invested in either the lead characters or the trouble they were up against. Maybe this was an example of the hype killing off any perspective likability of a book, because the main point of decision-making for even making this Kindle purchase was how much everyone else and their mother seemed to love it... but I remained uninterested and unconvinced. Decent world-building, though. Goodreads Rating: 2.5.

12747188WENTWORTH HALL, by Abby Grahame

A period social drama following the lives of the members of the Wentworth Hall household, a.k.a. "Downton Abbey" for those lacking sense of subtlety or attention span. 

I would be a 100% liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I didn't give the explanation for this Library choice as "an Anna Godberson-esque cover and Downton Abbey references in the description" kind of decision. I could see it from a mile away that this would be a YA foray into hopping on a pop cultural bandwagon, but I had high hopes for it anyways. There were certainly interesting elements within the novel - the integration of a newspaper society satire combing through the family's deep-rooted problems for tabloid fodder, evil twins with money staying as house guests, a mysterious nanny - but none were successfully accomplished. Ended up skipping to end just to say, "Oh, duh. We all saw that coming." Goodreads Rating: 2.   

10194514PUSHING THE LIMITS, by Katie McGarry

Kind-of amnesiac and resident popular-girl-turned-social-pariah Echo Emerson finds her safe haven in the arms of foster kid and bad boy Noah Hutchins, teaches him to love. All we're missing is an unplanned pregnancy and Tori Spelling as the guidance counselor, and we could sell this to Lifetime right now. 

Once again, went in with high hopes, seeing as though most people I've heard pimping this YA romance have said it goes beyond the tropes of its kind to really drive home a message of acceptance and possibility to overcome your circumstances. I'm glad someone's finding solace in this novel, but the entire situation is not only contrived, but one of the most unlikely things I've ever read... and I do fantasy in a big way. If anything, it made me glad that I've managed to get the hell out of high school, because this one turned cafeterias into some kind of proving ground. Goodreads Rating: 3. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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