Tag Archives: Non-Review

A Non-Review: Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) – Leigh Bardugo

A Non-Review: Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) – Leigh BardugoTitle: Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publishing Info: September 29, 2015 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 9, 2015
Related Posts: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Grisha Novellas: The Witch of Duva (The Grisha #0.5), The Taylor (The Grisha #1.5), The Too-Clever Fox (The Grisha #2.5), Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1), Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2), Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3), Grisha Novellas: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha #0.1) & Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha # 0.1), Little Knife (The Grisha #2.6), Six of Crows (The Dregs #1), , Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone.…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.

The “non-review” isn’t really something I intended to be a regular thing when I first posted it as my thoughts on REBEL by Amy Tintera but it felt appropriate to bring back for my thoughts about my SIX OF CROWS re-read. A “non-review” is less of a review of the actual book and more thoughts, feelings, and a bit of discussion based on how my reading experience went. I thought it would be a good thing to use for my SIX OF CROWS re-read feedback since I had quite a tumultuous time trying to write my original review.

Leigh Bardugo is one of my all-time favorite authors. I obsessively collect anything Grisha-related and just fell in love with her writing throughout the whole Grisha Trilogy. Naturally, SIX OF CROWS was one of my most-anticipated books like, ever so I was so disappointed to feel like it just wasn’t a five-star read for me (I mean, it was four stars so it’s not like I didn’t enjoy it). I read SIX OF CROWS several months before it released, immediately after I obtained a copy at BEA 2015 back in June. Since I had so many mixed feelings on how the book sat with me that pre-ordered the audiobook version so I could start it as soon as the book was released on sale to the public.

My experience with the audiobook was fantastic. It’s a cast of narrators, a different one for each point of view in the book and they pretty much all kill it. I had so much fun listening to the book and I really felt like that helped me connect to each voice even more which was something that I noted on my first read. I felt like I was left wanting more backstory and development of each character, something to pull at my heartstrings a little bit more since this crew of criminals is so hardened and tough and I really think being able to hear those voices brought a new level of connection to each one for me. I also really think that just re-reading the book helped a lot since I didn’t need to focus on the basics as much and I could shift to the details, personalities, and nuances.

Honestly, I think my biggest “struggle” with my original read of SIX OF CROWS was that I was just too excited. I’m usually complaining about the hype of a popular book that kills it for me (which really is just impossible to avoid when a community is so large and so excited), but how do you prevent your OWN hype from letting you down? SIX OF CROWS was honestly a fantastic book. I did bump up my rating from around four stars to four and a half (still not QUITE five for me yet) but I had to ask myself, what was really missing that I didn’t feel like I could give it a perfect rating? It had everything that I loved, everything was amazing… and I figured it out it was ME. I think I had just hyped the book up so much in my head (“omg a new book by my favorite author!”) that I had set it up to just totally blow my mind without even knowing how the book would feel. I spent time imagining how it would go, what it would be about, who the characters would be, etc that I essentially had an idea in my head of what the book would be and that turned out to be pretty far off. That’s not a bad thing at all — I mean, the book was GREAT and honestly better that it didn’t go the way I imagined! But I did have an expectation that just led me in a different direction and SIGH. It was my own damn fault.

The terrible thing about it all is how impossible it is to avoid hype. Whether it’s from the community or from yourself, there’s only so much you can do to avoid excitement and speculation. SIX OF CROWS wasn’t the only book to suffer from this self-inflicted hype either. It’s happened to me with more than one series conclusion this fall and I think that’s because I’m just SO excited for these books by my favorite authors that I’m just hyping it up too much for my own good.

The other dilemma I have here is that if a book is good, it’s good. If it’s hyped up and deserves the hype, you’ll still love it. It’s undeniable that QUEEN OF SHADOWS had some immense hype surrounding it and I still savored, adored, and absolutely fell in love with that book. I think I had the same amount of anticipation for QUEEN OF SHADOWS as I did for some other incredibly popular books lately, so that makes me even question if this is a valid reason or if I’m making this excuse because I just don’t want to say that I didn’t love these books from an author whose work I’ve obsessed over. I suppose it could be a mixture of both. Maybe I was okay with QUEEN OF SHADOWS because I really did have an idea of how it might happen and my expectations were closer to actuality. Maybe it was because things were still on the same track as the first three books (same characters, following the same plot, etc) whereas with SIX OF CROWS, I met all new characters, it was a different time and place, and I had a hard time adjusting to the same world but in a totally different aspect.

I’m not quite sure what the “right” answer is, but it if is me hyping up books too much for my own good, I hope I’m able to corral that a bit and quickly. I’ve still enjoyed all of these books but I do feel a sense of “that wasn’t quite what I thought it would be” and I don’t really know how to handle that. I’m not sure there is a way to avoid getting too excited for a book because that’s also what I love about being a reader! Books are a gloriously fun thing to be passionate about and it’s impossible not to catch on to that excitement and let it spread throughout the community to help support your favorite authors and push books into the hands of other people.

What do you guys think? Have you ever hyped a book up too much for yourself? Do you struggle with expectations changing your opinion of a book??

 

A Non-Review: Rebel (Reboot #2) – Amy Tintera

A Non-Review: Rebel (Reboot #2) – Amy TinteraTitle: Rebel (Reboot #2) by Amy Tintera
Publishing Info: May 13, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss, Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Zombies, Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 3, 2015
Related Posts: Reboot (Reboot #1)

Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.
Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.
With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...
It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

One of my blog policies is that I will write a review for every single book I finish, no matter what my final opinion was. I’ve been growing a bit more lax with holding myself to reviewing but I still feel the draw to review almost every book, simply because I enjoy sharing my feelings about what I read and how I felt when I read it… but when it came time to review REBEL by Amy Tintera, I was at a total loss for words.

REBEL became victim of several unfortunate reading decisions that ended up with a sadly unfortunate overall impression of the book. I read REBOOT back when it first came out — no, before it first came out because I read it as an eARC — back in the spring of 2013. And yes, if you do that math, you’ll see that means that I didn’t get to REBEL until two and a half years later. Sometimes that gap is okay if I’m reading a big, epic fantasy series that I’m already invested in and may not even have the book available to read until a few years later (*cough*A Song of Ice and Fire*cough*) but I really screwed myself and any hopes I may have had of enjoying REBEL as much as I did REBOOT by waiting so long to read it. That’s just too many years to put in between the first and last books of a duology and by the time I read REBEL, not only had I forgotten a ton but my reading tastes had even changed a bit. I knew that I enjoyed REBOOT so I didn’t want to kick REBEL to the curb but I think I lost that prime reading opportunity about a year and a half ago.

This is one of the many hardships of being an avid reader and/or book blogger. (First world problems, I know.) There are just so many good books and series out there that it’s just so hard to pick what book I want to read next and perfectly good books/series tend to sit on my shelves while I start new ones. Then I put it off because I’m not in the mood for that genre or I have a book I need to read for a deadline or I need to catch up on ARCs and shove my backlist books to the side. This isn’t the first time this has happened to a series and I’m sure that sadly, it won’t be the last.

I tried to get back into REBEL by reading the Recaptains recap of REBOOT and everything sounded familiar all right but that feeling and connection to the characters was close to gone by the time I got to book two. I wanted to enjoy the book as much as I had enjoyed the first and it was really easy to read but that connection just wasn’t there. It could be that I just wasn’t into the book but I think most of it was that I waited too long.

This poor, poor book also didn’t stand a chance because it was the last book I read before I picked up QUEEN OF SHADOWS. I had the choice to read one more book before starting the latest in this epic fantasy series from Sarah J. Maas or I could just wait patiently and you know, wait. But any time that I could be reading and am NOT feels wasted so I grabbed REBEL off the shelf to try and finally finish this series and put another check mark on the never-ending list of series that I need to complete. Bad, bad move. I started REBEL and then didn’t have enough time to read before QUEEN OF SHADOWS arrived and before you knew it, the precious was in my hands and I was still reading a book all the while staring at this new pretty. So, shame on me, I ended up rushing through REBEL to finish so I could start a different book and continue on in one of my favorite series. That made me feel even more detached and I felt the pressure and was anxiously trying to finish so I could start reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS before the spoilers started hitting Goodreads. Poor, poor REBEL.

I tried to come up with some thoughts once I finished and I felt… Ambivalent. The book was okay. The writing was okay. The plot, romance, action, and characters were all okay. And “okay” doesn’t really make for a great review. When it comes down to it, it could have just been a middle-of-the-road book but I also think I did it an injustice by waiting too long to read it and then on the flip side, rushing through it. I know there are cases where a book can be better or worse depending on your mood (*raises hand as a mood reader*) and that a book may be better for you at one time in your life versus another but this is something that I’ll never know! I may have rated it higher had circumstances been different but the fact is that this is how my read went and all I can do is reflect on what I did read and how it made me feel at the time. And there you have the non-review.