Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather Reid

 

I am taking part in a new meme hosted by What's Beyond Forks? where we take a book that’s been on our TBR list and we review it! This came at a perfect time for me because I started reading The Lies About Truth a few days prior. This is a book I got last year at Courtney’s launch party and have been meaning to read, but as was talked about in the previous post I only just started reading again after almost a year. Here are my thoughts on this fantastic book.


Title: Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing #1)
Author: Heather Reid
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Source:Publisher/Netgalley

From Goodreads

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

The story opens with Quinn being tormented by demons of unknown nature. It wasn’t clear to me at the start whether or not these were actual evil forces attacking her or if she was dealing with some pretty serious mental illness. It wasn’t until we meet Aaron and his peculiar sense for always knowing when Quinn is in trouble that I realized there were real demons. The way the story played out though had me questioning it all at times. Were the demons actually there? Or was Aaron only sensing her distress and not the actual demons? And if he was only sensing her distress does that mean that the demons really could be all in her head. It was difficult to gage all of this until the very end.
The plot involved Quinn dealing with her father abandoning the family to start a new one hundreds of miles away, her absent mother who works more than she sees her daughter, the pain of watching her ex-boyfriend flaunt his relationship with resident nemesis, a boy at school showing up whenever she needs him to, and of course the demons. There’s a lot going on in Quinn’s life. There’s a lot to follow. It could seem like all of this would be too much for the story, but Reid was able to keep everything in check and make it play into the larger story quite well. It all really fit together like a puzzle.
We also got to see Aaron’s point of view as he struggled to figure out why he kept being pulled towards Quinn. Of course he starts to fall in love with her, but is only confused by the way that she reacts. (He obviously doesn’t know that her erratic behavior is caused by the demons) What I liked about all of that was it was natural. The tug of war of love is something that is natural and if he wasn’t confused at any point then it all would have been too easy.
The authenticity of their relationship was enough to make up for the sometimes over the top and awkward speech patterns by the characters. Reid sometimes uses way too many words to have her characters say something and it doesn’t come off as easy to read as she would have hoped. The best character in terms of authentic speech patterns is Marcus. I felt like all of the things that he says were things that could come out of a teenage boy’s mouth.
The ending of the book made up for any errors at the end. The end of the book came up suddenly for me. One second I was ¾ ways done with the book and next thing I knew there was no more. Up until the ending this may not have been a series I would have continued with which is unfortunate. If Reid had introduced this plot point maybe in the middle of the book instead of the end, I would have been more interested in it from the beginning. There’s a lot that she could have added to the book by changing the pace and switching where this point came into play. I really think the book could have been a lot stronger that way.
Overall this wasn’t a terrible book; it sits solidly at the three stars. If I came across the second book and had time to read it, it’s something that I would read.


Waiting on Wednesday 1

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows out June 7, 2016 by HarperTeen

From Goodreads

For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.


Ophelia Adrift by Helen Goltz

Title: Ophelia Adrift
Author: Helen Goltz
Publisher: Atlas Productions
Publication Date: July 1, 2016

From Goodreads

In her wildest dreams, Ophelia Montague never imagined she would leave the city, her friends, her school and move to a seaside village. But when her parents die in an accident, that’s just where she finds herself – ensconced in a rambling house on the beach, with her uncle Sebastian, his boarder – nineteen-year-old Adam Ferrier, and two Great Dane dogs named after shipwrecks. By the ocean’s edge she meets Jack Denham who seems to command the sea and the moon—and if he has his way—Ophelia, too

There are many feelings I have about Ophelia Adrift and unfortunately none of them are good. I was 33% into this book when I realized I didn’t like it. I was 40% into this book when I wanted to put it down. I was 50% into this book when I stopped and was going to DNF the book. At this point I set it down for a few minutes and thought about what I wanted to do. I had recently written a DNF review and I really didn’t want to do another one so close to the last so I sat down and forced myself to read this book.
There were a lot of things I really disliked about this novel, but in order to appear semi organized I will focus on the following points:

• Characters
• Story
• Writing

Characters
It’s hard to say who the main characters were in this novel. We got to see the story through the eyes of Ophelia, Adam, Jack, and Holly. Four characters. That’s a really high bar to set for this novel. Two different points of view are hard to pull off successfully and Ophelia Adrift tries to show us four.
Jack’s narration was weird and creepy the entire time. He is definitely a stalker and from the beginning you get the feeling he is also some sort of predator and murderer even if we don’t know why yet. Ophelia’s narration was lackluster and lifeless. I could not relate to her at all. Adam’s point of view was okay, but didn’t do anything to strengthen or add to his character. The only point of view that I didn’t mind reading was Holly. Holly was the only one that seemed really grounded in reality and who was relatable.
Outside of the point of view issues, I did enjoy uncle Seb, but we didn’t really get to know too much about him besides surface facts. None of the characters, even the ones that we got to see into the minds of, were fully fleshed out and developed. All of them were flat and dull and definitely forgettable.
Story
What in the world was this?!? Seriously. This was not a good story at all. Stalking was oddly romanticized and normalized in this novel. Ophelia sees someone outside her window in the middle of the night in a brand new town who is staring right at her and instead of closing the drapes she decides to go down to the sea to meet him. What? In what world is that normal? Even if you did just lose your parents and were in the middle of a huge life transition that is not normal. What’s even more not normal is the fact that she is thrilled to see him when he shows up at her high school. He shows up at her high school in the middle of the day and she isn’t in the least bit worried, in fact it’s the opposite. He loves the fact that he is there and that he found her. No! She falls in love with this guy she doesn’t even know super-fast. Seriously, even when he tells her his life story she doesn’t actually get to know him. She also just follows him into the water because she wants to see the room he built for her?!? No!
Goltz does try to write in there that each of them has a power over each other and that’s why their “romance” blossomed so quickly, but she fails to do anything other than tell us. Maybe it’s because this was an incredibly short YA novel (214 pages) but that section was just not executed well at all. There was no suspension of disbelief in this and everything felt incredibly rushed.
Writing
The speech patterns of the characters were terrible. Goltz mentioned in the book that uncle Seb talks a lot. Okay, good, that’s fine if it were just him and it was just part of his quirky personality, but it wasn’t. All of the characters in the book talk way too much and the way they speak isn’t natural. Ophelia mentioned that Jack has either an accent or his speaks very formally. If that were the case then you need to SHOW us how this is, not TELL us. That was a huge issue with this book, way too much telling and not showing.

Overall this book was really disappointing, so much so that I would say it’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Normally I like to encourage everyone to read my review and if you still want to read the book and form your own opinion, but this book is not worth the time. One star.


ANDROMEDA Review Tour July 11-15

July 11-15, 2016

Release week festivities for Meg Trotter’s ANDROMEA! This debut novel well release on July 12, 2016 and we are celebrating all week! From July 11-15 we are looking for bloggers to post honest reviews and to host a giveaway. We also ask that you email the links back to me so that we may also promote your posts. We also ask that you post your reviews to Amazon and Goodreads as well if you have accounts.

About ANDROMEDA:

For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Princess Andromeda has done what was expected of her. She consented to a political marriage to a hateful older man. She became a quiet, obedient housewife. After her husband’s death, she agreed to be united in yet another political marriage for the sake of her country’s stability.

However, when the Greek goddess of the sea disrupts this second wedding ceremony, jealous of the pomp of the celebration, she places a curse on Andromeda and her home: either sacrifice the princess to a sea beast or let the creature destroy her country. A visit to the Oracle reveals that Andromeda needs four ancient weapons of the Greek gods to fight off the beast and the goddess who controls it.

Now Andromeda must find the strength and the cunning to do what she has never done before — to fight for her own life — while keeping the well-meaning “hero” Perseus out of her way.

From Meg Trotter:

“Andromeda” is a retelling of the Greek myth of Perseus, from Princess Andromeda’s point of view. The series will follow her and several other heroines who are often portrayed as secondary to their “heroes” in each of the myths. I hope you enjoy the ride!