Monday, August 31, 2015

Netgalley: August Reviews

I am not a fan of e-books, for the most part, but I think that an e-reader is becoming more and more a necessity. I have found that a lot of authors are publishing solely in e-book format or are publishing their short stories (companion to series) in e-book only. I had previously been using my Mom's old Nook, but it died several months ago.  I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised when I received a new Nook for my 23rd birthday. The first thing I did after I set up my Nook, besides downloading all of the books I already owned, was spend the $5 credit Barnes and Noble included with the Nook. But the third thing I did was get signed up for Netgalley and request a bunch of e-ARCs! I was only able to read four of the e-ARCs this month but I plan to read more soon!

The first e-ARC I read was They're Not Like Us by Eric Stephenson.

They're Not Like Us is a graphic novel and I was first drawn to it by the cover. In fact, I was expecting a lot of things from this comic based on the cover and the description. But, I ended up being sorely let down. I did not enjoy the art style at all. In fact, it was very distracting. The story was extremely dark and I had a hard time getting into it. I can see where someone else might enjoy it (it did have potential) but I would have DNFed it if I hadn't promised to review it. I gave this graphic novel 1 out of 5 stars and I will not be continuing on with the series.
The second e-ARC I read was Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
I have been hearing about this book so much on Booktube, Twitter, and Instagram. After all of the good reviews I have heard, I just had to get my hands on a copy! Now that I've read it, I can definitely see why so many people are talking about this book; I was only 23 pages in when I was hooked! The characters are all engaging and interesting. Both of the main characters (and several of the secondary characters) undergo great personal growth and change throughout the story. There was also a plot twist, no spoilers, that I absolutely did not see coming. The only thing that I did not like was how abruptly the story ended. I feel like the main characters needed more closure than they were given: at least an epilogue, maybe even a sequel, but definitely something more! I gave this book  5 out of 5 stars because, overall, I really loved the book. I will definitely be buying a finished copy for my shelf.
The third e-ARC I read was A Bone to Pick: A Peggy Henderson Adventure by Gina McMurchy-Barber.
I didn't realize when I first started reading this book that it is actually the fourth in a series, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. The first three books are Reading the Bones, Bone Deep, and Broken Bones. At the beginning, I had really high expectations for this book. After all, Vikings and archaeology are two of my favorite subjects! In the end though, I was supremely disappointed. The plot of the story is very interesting and the writing is good. Actually, this book would get 5 stars if that were all there were to it. Unfortunately, more goes into a book than good plot; namely, the characters. There wasn't a single character in this book that I liked. Aunt Margaret was overbearing and condescending. Peggy's mom was oddly accommodating toward everyone. Robbie was a snot. But the worst character was Peggy, the main character. She was arrogant, lazy, and a know-it-all. I also feel that she was partially compared to Sigrid (at least in the beginning of the book) which I thought was badly done and just didn't fit at all. Peggy did get better towards the end of the book but that did not make up for how horrible she was in the beginning. If I hadn't promised to review this book, I would have DNFed it just because of how insufferable Peggy was.
The fact that this book is the 4th in a series is worrisome. Peggy showed some growth over the course of the book, but she was so annoying in the beginning. I would hate to see what she was like for the first three books. I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars. I'm very glad to be done with this book [and not have to read the other three] and will not be buying a copy.
The last e-ARC I read this month was Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt.
One thing that YA needs more of is well written, diverse books. Unfortunately, while this book was diverse, it was not very well written. The characters were quite bland at best and extremely negative at worst. The plot was pretty generic YA fare with love at first sight, boy gets girl, and a huge helping of teen angst. I do believe that the story raised important questions about immigration, but I think that essential aspect of the story would have been better served without the lackluster romantic trope. I also didn't like how suddenly the story ended. It felt less like an ending and more like someone had forgotten to include the last couple of pages in the ARC. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. I will not be buying a copy and am unsure if I will read a sequel (if one is ever published).
Are you looking forward to any of these books? Have you already read some of them? I'd love to know how you feel about these books!

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