Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reshelved (5)

Welcome to Reshelved! This is the fifth installment of books I didn't finish. I don't like to do full posts because it's not fair to the book for me to not like it and review it if I didn't finish it. So these just weren't for me, but I still want to give them publicity because maybe you all read them and thought differently or they sound spectacular to you. Let's discuss in the comments what you thought about these if you've read them, or why they sound good to you!

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 300
Keywords: revenge, high school
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Other Books Reviewed: Taste Test
DNF at: 35%
Goodreads | Book Depository
Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson. 
Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. 
While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?
Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.
I was skeptical about this one even though I adored Kelly's first book, Taste Test. I felt like the cover didn't really look professional, and it looked like it was trying too hard. But, since I loved her debut, I still kept it on my radar, and a lot of positive reviews started coming in, so I decided to give it a go. But from the very beginning, it didn't go well. It was all extremely circumstantial and incredibly opportunistic. The point of view changes with each chapter, which isn't my favorite, but I can deal with it if it's done well. And if a book was going to revolve around movies, I wanted it to be big monumental classic movies. Not Pitch Perfect. I mean, it's a fun movie, and I really like it, but really? Titanic was in there, but that was it up until then, and then the girls start setting up this whole scheme and it got to be so ridiculous and unbelievable that it wasn't even fun to read about anymore. I just got bored and irritated.

The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Athenum
Pages: 448
Keywords: Russia, royalty, war
Format Read: hardcover via publisher
DNF at: page 60
Goodreads | Book Depository
Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand--first headstrong Olga; then Tatiana, the tallest; Maria the most hopeful for a ring; and Anastasia, the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are each on the brink of starting their own lives, at the mercy of royal matchmakers. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together--sisters that link arms and laugh, sisters that share their dreams and worries, and flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.
But in a gunshot the future changes for these sisters and for Russia.
I've been stuck on this one for a long time, and just recently I've decided that I need to decide. I've got a stack of books started that just didn't appeal to me, and this is one of them. However, I do want to iterate that this is mostly of an "it's me, not you" case. What I read was beautiful, it just read more like a history book than a work of fiction. It was very detailed, very expository, and so much information to process in only a few pages. And it's not a small book either. The story alternates points of view between all the sisters, and I constantly was forgetting who was narrating what chapter because their voices weren't different. It was clear Miller worked hard on this book and researched her ass off, and I totally respect her for that. It's got a lot of excellent reviews on Goodreads, and I think if you're a hardcore historical fiction reader, this one may be right up your alley. I used to be, but I've shifted from that a while ago, and it was way too heavy for me to process in my post-college brain state.

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