It’s not you, it’s me: Book Breakups (2)

Posted 23 April, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 7 Comments

Not every book is for everyone. Sometimes, for whatever reason, there are books that readers don’t connect with. It’s especially difficult when you’ve just read a fantastic book and are still on that reader’s high and the next book just doesn’t measure up (poor book!). Sadly, I’ve had a couple book breakups recently.

YA Paranormal Western (I think…)
336 pages, hardcover
Available June 5, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord … but who would want an undead army? And why?

First off, I was confused as to the genre. I think it’s supposed to be young adult and it’s definitely a western plus there are zombies so that throws in a paranormal element and Honoria seems to be an inventor who creates steampunk-like items… It’s a busy book with lots going on.

Then there are three characters who all seem to be the main character(s). Told in third person omniscient, there wasn’t a focus on one character’s story. Now, normally this wouldn’t be a problem–I’ve read books with multiple main characters and loved them–but there was just too much going on and no real connection between them except that they were all loners traveling across the West. 

Finally, the language seemed a bit stilted. It just didn’t fit, like someone trying on a coat that’s just a shade too tight in the shoulders. Thus ended my time with this story.

Available for pre-order on Amazon | IndieBound
Urban Fantasy
416 pages, paperback
Available June 26, 2012 
Publisher: Del Rey
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.

As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.

Now this one’s probably my fault. I didn’t read the prior books in the series and, because of it, just couldn’t get into this character. Chess seems like a powerful witch but she’s a serious drug addict and the first part of this book was all about her getting her freak on. I think I didn’t have the connection with her to get past her addictions, which made me rather uncomfortable (call me a prude, if you will. I’m fine with that.).
I know this is a really popular series so I think I’m going to try again but with the first book. As a serious urban fantasy fan, I do hope I’ll feel the magic if I start at the beginning and meet Chess all over again.
Available on Amazon | IndieBound

YA Pre- and Post-Apocalyptic
281 pages, ebook
Available now (March 2012)
Publisher: NLA Digital
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice–between her family–and Chris Parker, the boy she’d given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he’s the only thing on her mind.

All Chris “Chase” Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed–breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk…and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost–all while attempting to save what’s left of the human race?

The premise was intriguing and I’m still into post-apocalyptic stories but this one just didn’t snag my attention for a couple of reasons. First, this felt like I’d read it before. There’s a terrible apocalypse which turns people into ugly, zombie-like creatures that want braaaains (well, anything human, actually. Tastes like chicken.). Our girl survives because of a doomsday-prepping dad who builds a secure fallout shelter. Then there’s the boy she really likes who–surprise, surprise–is still alive when she steps out into the changed world. Interesting but not unusual.
I think I would have kept reading if every other chapter wasn’t a flashback to the time before the apocalypse. Maybe I’m too linear but I really like a story to progress without throwing me back in time over and over. I wanted to know what happened after the apocalypse more than what happened before. Sadly, too many flashbacks and a too-similar plotline (good writing, though!) made me close the chapter on this one.
Available on Amazon

Book Breakups is inspired by Lori at Pure Imagination, who’s had her own breakups and understands the pain.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

7 Responses to “It’s not you, it’s me: Book Breakups (2)”

  1. Yeah, you definitely need to read the first 3 books in Stacia Kane’s series to really get a handle on Chess. She’s an extremely dark and difficult character and she repeatedly does things that you wish she didn’t, but she and Terrible definitely won me over in book three:) I’d be interested to see what you thought if you went back and tried book 1!

  2. I got Tomorrow Land from Netgalley too and I don’t think that I’ll be picking it up. I read the first few chapters and the flashbacks became annoying. Dead Reckoning looks very…interesting. It sounds like a ton of stuff is going on! 🙂

  3. I have heard that you need to read the Stacia Kane books in order. I haven’t read them yet either but will give them a whirl someday 🙂

    I broke up with the house of night series about 3 books ago—-I am waiting for the last one to come out so I can read the last few chapters to see how it all turned out LOL

  4. Oh, book breakups! It sad when it happens but unavoidable 🙁
    I’ve had it happen a few times, like with the Secrets of My Hollywood Life Series and The Luxe, and with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 😛
    It makes me sad when I can’t get back into series I used to like but meh, too many books too little time.

  5. LOL! Mary. I’m sorry, but that first book sounds like a hot mess with how over ambitious it’s trying to be. Western, steampunk, zombies, and WHAT? LOL

    I’ve hear Chess is a hard character to accept, but I think she might be one that would be worth the challenge.

    I love this topic. There are so many series I’m this close to breaking up with if they don’t get their act together.