Tag: three star review

BLOG TOUR: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara

BLOG TOUR: The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara

Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Meeting Point! If you’ve visited my blog before you’ll know I don’t often read adult romances, so I’m bringing you something a bit different today. There was just something about this one 

REVIEW: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

REVIEW: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton, for accepting my request to read and review The Prison Healer via NetGalley. The Prison Healer is a predictable yet gripping YA fantasy novel. This book follows Kiva, the titular 

REVIEW: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

REVIEW: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Wildfire for accepting my request to read and review this book via NetGalley.

The best way to describe The Perfect Girlfriend is ‘a wild ride’. This adult thriller novel follows a woman called Juliette, who decides to become an air hostess. One simple thing has inspired her to begin a new career: her ex-boyfriend, Nate, is one of the pilots she’ll be working with.

Juliette knows she’s the perfect girlfriend, she just needs to remind Nate of how magical their relationship was. He accused her of being too intense, so she plays it cool and doesn’t let him know that she’s working for the airline until she’s already been employed for a few months. Surely he’ll see how easy and breezy she is if she’s been working at his airline for that long without approaching him? Nate asked for space, and Juliette is giving him that.

However, Juliette has many more tricks up her sleeve to ensure that her and Nate are together forever. Becoming an air hostess is simply step one in a much bigger plan…

The first half of The Perfect Girlfriend is slow. Because Juliette is watching Nate from a distance for so long the story meanders into ruminations on their relationship, making the pace slow and giving the plot no propulsion. It’s interesting reading more about the life of an air hostess – particularly because I’ve read a review on Goodreads from someone with knowledge of the vocation who says that it’s well-researched and highly accurate – but once you’ve read about one international flight, it gets a bit repetitive.

Things take a huge turn around the 50% mark, and the second half of the novel is impossible to put down. I went from struggling to read a chapter a day to finishing the entire book in a night, despite the fact that it meant I was up until the early hours of the morning. I just couldn’t resist finding out what happened next.

Sadly, the events that occur are a bit disappointing. There’s ‘wild’, and then there’s a thriller like this one, which is so extreme it just becomes silly. It reminded me of the Sweetpea series by C.J. Skuse, so if you loved Rhiannon’s story you’ll become obsessed with Juliette, but I found those novels a bit too bizarre at times.

I won’t go into details because I don’t want to ruin this story, but I can tell you that I didn’t guess anything that happened. Normally I struggle with thrillers because I find them too predictable, but this one was completely out of left field. If the pacing had been consistent I would have rated it a bit higher, but as it is this is a solid three stars.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Perfect Girlfriend. Thank you so much for visiting The Bumbling Blogger!

See you soon,

Alyce

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SERIES REVIEW: D.I. Ray Drake by Mark Hill

SERIES REVIEW: D.I. Ray Drake by Mark Hill

It doesn’t look as though there’s going to be another D.I. Ray Drake novel for a while, so I’ve decided to tell you my thoughts about the first two books in this series in this quick series review post. I’d like to say a huge 

BOOK REVIEW: The Water Garden by Louise Soraya Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Water Garden by Louise Soraya Black

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Muswell Press for sending me an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. Louise Soraya Black’s second novel, The Water Garden, was not at all what I 

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray

To start this review, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Henry at Odyssey Books for reaching out and contacting me about reviewing this title. This has had no impact on my review, which remains fair and unbiased.

The Ruby Locket is an Australian YA dystopian following two characters called Saxon and Kerina. Saxon finds Kerina on the outskirts of town and he believes that she’s dead, but when she rouses and asks for help he finds himself dragged into her story. Kerina cannot remember anything, but she’s a rambler – an outsider – and her existence will cause Saxon no end of trouble if she’s discovered.
However, as Kerina’s memory begins to return, Saxon discovers that he might be connected to her story after all, and solving the mysteries of her past may bring him closure of his own.

The beginning of The Ruby Locket is very gripping. I couldn’t wait to find out more about Kerina, and the way that her memories come back so slowly – just a glimpse into her past returning at a time – added to the intrigue. Unfortunately, once Kerina’s memories have returned my interest in the story waned dramatically.

My main issue with The Ruby Locket is that the chapters are too short. We flip back and forth between Kerina and Saxon’s viewpoints, but some of their chapters were only a couple of pages each. They could have been combined together, reducing the amount of chapters (which numbered over 100 by the end of the book!) and fleshed out a bit further, and it would have made me feel more connected to the characters and more interested in the events that were unfolding.

However, because of the constant viewpoint switching I ended up being frustrated and bored. As soon as something interesting began to happen to one of the characters, we would suddenly move across to a less interesting event happening with the other. It should have made me want to read faster to get back to the action, and it probably would have had this effect if the technique had been used infrequently, but because it happened continually throughout the story it didn’t work very well.

Something which isn’t reflected in my rating is the fact that this book needed a bit more editing. I try not to account for that in my ratings of novels, because there are many reasons that grammatical errors can slip through the net, but at times this story veered from first person perspective to third person perspective in the same sentence, and it threw me out of the story completely. I’m hoping that these issues were only present in the review copies, but when there was a lot of action playing out it did make it hard to understand who was doing what, adding to the disjointed feeling which began with the constant viewpoint switches.

I really liked the idea of the Okodee. Melissa Wray has created a world in which a vaccine has led some people to develop superhuman strength and unnaturally fast healing. Kerina discovers she is part of these people – known as the Okodee – and that’s the reason she finds herself running from her past. I wish there had been more focus on this aspect of the story, because the focus feels much more political than personal. I would have loved a bit more exploration of how Kerina feels about her identity.

I also wanted more from this world. There genuinely is enough content in this novel to turn it into a duology, which is strange for me to say! I normally find myself feeling as though a duology could easily be compressed into a standalone with a bit more editing. However, the world of the Okodee (and the story of the Burn, which was the catalyst for the beginning of this dystopian world) deserves more exploration. Although I’m sure most readers will love this book because it’s fast-paced, it would have been a bigger hit for me if it had been slowed down and savoured a bit more. This is particularly true about the last few chapters: the action resolves with a breakneck speed, and I hadn’t expected it all to be over quite so quickly.

I’m giving The Ruby Locket 3 stars. I was tempted to leave it at 2.5 stars, but the Okodee idea really did intrigue me, and I found myself caring about the (rather large) cast of characters that Melissa Wray created, even though I did find myself getting restless at points while reading this novel.

Once again, a huge thank you to Odyssey Books for allowing me to read and review this title.

See you again soon,

Alyce

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REVIEW: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

REVIEW: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Stepsister is a brilliant fairytale continuation with a lackluster ending (and far too many chapters!). I wrongly assumed that Stepsister was going to be a fairytale retelling of Cinderella from the point of view of one of the ugly stepsisters. Instead it’s a continuation of 

REVIEW: Breathless by Jennifer Niven

REVIEW: Breathless by Jennifer Niven

First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Penguin for accepting my request to read Breathless via NetGalley. Breathless was my first Jennifer Niven read, and it didn’t live up to the hype. Following a girl called Claude as her parents 

REVIEW: Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

REVIEW: Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

I was so excited when Love & Olives popped up as one of the Riveted Lit Free Reads in December. Love & Luck is still one of my favourite YA contemporaries of all time, and I thought Love & Olives was sure to impress me just as much.

Unfortunately, I found Jenna Evans Welch’s third novel to be a bit of a struggle to get through.

Love & Olives follows a girl called Olive – sorry, Liv – who is looking forward to going away for the summer with her boyfriend before he goes to college. Her plans get quickly rearranged, though, when a postcard from her dad arrives out of the blue inviting her to spend the summer in Greece with him.

Her dad, who she hasn’t seen in almost ten years.

When Liv arrives in Greece, she is nervous about being reunited with her father and can’t imagine what it’s going to be like. She definitely doesn’t imagine being met by his (sidekick? cameraman? friend?) Theo, who is almost as gorgeous as Santorini.

It isn’t long before Liv discovers why her dad has invited her to Greece – and why Theo keeps shoving his camera in her face. They’ve been approached by National Geographic to film a documentary about the lost city of Atlantis, her dad’s lifelong obsession… And the reason that he abandoned Liv to return to Greece in the first place.

Will Liv be able to put her conflicting feelings about Atlantis behind her to help her dad make his documentary, or is this going to be the worst summer holiday ever?

My main issue with Love & Olives was that it bored me. The beautiful, sunny location of Santorini is a decadent setting, and the way that Jenna Evans Welch describes it makes me want to visit someday in the future, but it’s the kind of setting where characters are lazing around enjoying the sun and it made me feel restless.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a fair amount happening in this book… It’s just that when you get to the end of it and realise you’ve read 500 pages, you wonder how such a little amount of action stretched to such a length.

I was hooked at the beginning. I enjoyed meeting Liv, discovering why she was so against the postcards arriving from her dad and beginning to discover the list of things that he left behind. However, when she actually reunited with her dad my interest waned, and it didn’t come back in to shore.

The reason I loved Love & Luck so much was because I didn’t feel bored for a second. In my review for that book I mentioned that the story was pushed along ‘incredibly quickly’, and that was a huge selling point. That was the way things felt at the beginning of Love & Olives too, but then the pace meandered along and – sadly – that isn’t the kind of contemporary novel I enjoy.

I might have felt differently if I’d picked this up in the summer months, or had been able to read it on a beach somewhere exotic, but unfortunately I was so excited about this book that I didn’t think the cold weather would dampen my enjoyment of it. It was fun to learn more about the Greek islands and the myth of Atlantis, but Liv and Theo are not a couple who are going to stick in my mind as vibrantly as Addie and Rowan do.

If you enjoy slow-paced contemporary novels with luxurious settings, I’d highly recommend checking this one out. However, if you like reading contemporaries that you can fly through very quickly, I’d suggest trying Love & Luck instead. I still gave Love & Olives three stars because it wasn’t a bad book and I do really like Jenna Evans Welch’s writing, but it didn’t really do anything for me and I had no strong feelings towards either the characters or the plot.

At least I still have Love & Gelato to pick up at some point in the future. Fingers crossed that will impress me more than the last books in this series of companion novels!

Thank you for reading,

Alyce

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REVIEW: Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army by Alex Gardiner

REVIEW: Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army by Alex Gardiner

I read the first book in the Mossbelly Macfearsome series two years ago, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I don’t really have all that much to say about Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army. Although Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Dwarves of Doom seemed clunky