Big Kid Books | Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

Extraordinary AdventuresExtraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Socially awkward semi-hermit wins a trip of a life time, but the catch is that to redeem his vacation prize he must bring a companion with him! And so begins the Extraordinary Adventures as Edsel goes out of his comfort zone to find the girl of his dreams…or at least a girl to bring on vacation with him. Sounds interesting right? Well…sadly this was me for much of the novel.

I had high hopes for this romantic comedy. The blurb had me hoping for something along the lines of The Rosie Project, you know socially awkward guy searches for love and finds it in equally weird but perfect girl for him. Unfortunately this just felt like the poor mans Rosie Project.

The main character Edsel, was always just slightly too odd to be realistically whimsical and quirksome. I feel like there has been this trend lately, with socially awkward characters becoming very popular (I think the popularity of Sheldon Cooper is what ignited this trend). However not every author can find the right balance between quirky and serial killer creepy. The main character in Extraordinary Adventures straddled that line rather precariously.

The novel started off strong in my opinion. With Edsel being a somewhat relatable character with a bit of a boring existence, which was levied with strong side characters. However it quickly teetered to the unbelievable when we got to the love interest…or I suppose I should say love interests. Which in itself was a bit unbelievable as well, since Edsel was far from a catch. And while his inner monologue was at times interesting, all these other women certainly were not aware of it. I just find it hard to believe that three women would be giving googly eyes to a watered down Don Tillman (The hero of The Rosie Project).

Maybe it is unfair of me to compare this so much to the Rosie Project but I can’t help but recognize so many knock offs of the same variety that have been released since its debut. The love interest herself was so annoying that I had trouble enjoying any aspect of this. The moment when the awkward nerdy guy with a heart of gold finally meets the one special woman that really “sees” him is a trope that I am a true sucker for. But this only works if the love interest is actually worthy of such love.

Sheila was intended to be this cardboard cutout of the popular manic pixie dream girl, but she turned out to be more of a (view spoiler) The annoying part is that if she wasn’t so hot no one would consider putting up with this shit! Guess its like Barney Stinson Says…

Overall while just interesting enough to keep me reading, I can’t in good faith recommend this book. There is just so much better writing out there. Extraordinary Adventures is a decent time killer, but not much more than that.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD…
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

My Musings:Rather disappointing sequel to the much loved A Promise of Fire. I was shocked by how much of a slog I found this to get through.

It felt as though the novel simply flitted from one boring and repetitive sex scene to the next. There was no tension or passion. It was as if the sex was a filler for the lack of plot.

I believe it was around 65% before I felt that anything truly worthwhile happened in the story, and then only in the last 15-20% where I was actually enjoying myself.

The ending was very action packed and interesting, and the only thing about this sequel that reminded me of what I loved about the first book. Unfortunately by the time the action started it was just too little too late for me.

Unsure if I will continue with this series. What a colossal letdown. 1.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | The Heartfix: An Online Dating Diary by Stella Grey

The Heartfix: An Online Dating DiaryThe Heartfix: An Online Dating Diary by Stella Grey

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Stella Grey is a fifty something divorcee who is ready to start dating again. Warily she ventures into online dating. This book chronicles her three year long experience. The premise caught my eye right away, I am always interested in books about online relationships and I was curious how online experiences differ by age.

However what I did not consider was how online experiences would differ by personality. Here is where I had a hard time relating to the author, and indeed in a book with a premise such as this it is important that the author be at least a little relatable and sympathetic. It was hard to “ be in her corner” when she came across as so many cliches that are found in online dating, and what many men are accused of labeling online women as…bitter, angry, snobby, obsessive.

I think a small amount of each of these is understandable considering her situation, especially in the beginning of her experience. But the large amount of these qualities tainted the story for me. It was hard to agree that every guy was a classless jerk when in all fairness she herself displayed a lot of unlikable qualities.

There were also a lot of contradictions, for example she complains about one line greetings from men but then she herself does it. She also complains about clinginess in an admirer even though earlier she had practically stalked a man and went on and on about how daily communication was important to her….Of course nobody is perfect, but I have never had much patience for hypocrites. 1.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff

A Song to Take the World ApartA Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb: What if you could make someone love you back, just by singing to them? Fans of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun and Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender will be captivated by this contemporary love story with hints of magical realism.

Hanging out with Chris was supposed to make Lorelei’s life normal. He’s cooler, he’s older, and he’s in a band, which means he can teach her about the music that was forbidden in her house growing up. Her grandmother told her when she was little that she was never allowed to sing, but listening to someone else do it is probably harmless— right?

The more she listens, though, the more keenly she can feel her own voice locked up
in her throat, and how she longs to use it. And as she starts exploring the power her grandmother never wanted her to discover, influencing Chris and everyone around her, the foundations of Lorelei’s life start to crumble. There’s a reason the women in her family never want to talk about what their voices can do.

And a reason Lorelei can’t seem to stop herself from singing anyway. Continue reading

Between Two Fires by Mark Noce

Between Two FiresBetween Two Fires by Mark Noce

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Reminiscent of classics like The Mists of Avalon and A Game of Thrones, and newer popular titles like Hild, Branwen’s story combines elements of mystery and romance with Noce’s gift for storytelling. Continue reading

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

GlitterGlitter by Aprilynne Pike

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.
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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

raGoodreads Blurb: Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
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