Book Review… Turtles All The Way Down by John Greene

Title: Turtles All The Way Down

Author: John Green

Length: 289 pages

Publisher: Penguin

⭐️/5

I should start by saying I’m not the biggest John Green fan, whilst I loved ‘The Fault in our Stars’, I haven’t enjoyed the rest. However I know readers love his books, so I was willing to give this one a go.

Sixteen-year-old Aza is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend and a good student. She’s also trying to track down fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, who has vanished without a trace. Alongside her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, Asa sets off in pursuit of the truth – and a $100,000 reward. The trail leads them to Pickett’s son, Davis, a sometime friend of Aza’s who might have the clues they need. But as her compulsive thought spirals take an ever-tighter grip on her mind, Aza finds herself struggling to keep her investigations – and her life – from falling apart.

Firstly the plot, it’s terrible. There’s no other way for me to say it. In the synopsis of this book, it mentions how the main character is trying to track down a fugitive billionaire and I have no idea why. It’s barely mentioned. It’s like author added this storyline as a after thought and it doesn’t work. The conclusion to this story line (the only reason I kept reading) was dull. The plot is predictable, unrealistic and quite frankly boring.

The main character (Aza) is unlikeable. Whilst I do applaud the book for talking about mental health, that’s all this character is reduced. It could’ve been a great opportunity to show that someone can be more than their mental health but the author totally missed the mark. The character wasn’t fleshed out, to be honest when reading it felt like Aza was being used to get the writers opinions across and nothing else. The supporting characters are all cliche and dull.

The writing is so pretentious. It tries to be quirky and charming and totally misses the mark. It feels like John Green was just adding things to the book that ya readers like but it doesn’t work. Also, throughout the novel, other books and writers are mentioned and it’s such a pet peeve of mine, it just reminds me that I could be reading better, well written books. And that’s never been more true than with this book.

Overall I would say don’t read this book. But if you have (or will) comment and let me know what you thought.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone Trilogy

Length: 3 Books

Publisher: Orion

These are the first books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo, I had high hopes for them and unfortunately they just didn’t live up to my expectations. Maybe I would’ve enjoyed them if there wasn’t such hype around them, who knows? I was looking forward to reading Six of Crows bur this series has made me question whether I want too.

Alina Starkov is a solider. When her regiment is attacked whilst crossing the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters- Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift. But as Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

‘The Darkling slumped back in his chair. “Fine” he said with a weary shrug. Make me your villian.’

The series stared off well with the first book. It was interesting with a good plot that I enjoyed. The universe is such a complex world and you get drawn into it immediately. The descriptions are fantastic. There was also a twist that I didn’t see coming and made me excited to read the rest. It started to lose momentum towards the end, but I was still intrigued enough to read the second novel. The Grisha plot in the first half of the first book is so interesting, learning about it all, but by the end of book one it already becomes tedious and then you’ve got two more books to suffer through it.

It’s when you start book two, that’s when things really start to go downhill. The plot becomes too long and drawn out. It gets even more drawn out in the third book, to the point where it comes boring. It’s obvious where the plot is heading through the third book, towards a big battle at the end which is also underwhelming. When the plot did finally did something unpredictable it ended up predictable again. There is a twist in third book that did surprise me, but made absolutely no sense. It was like the author just plucked it out of thin air and never even decided to explain it. It felt like it was just there for shock value, not to compliment the story.

Whilst the main character Alina was our portal to the Grisha Universe, she was completely unlikeable, I just wasn’t invested in her journey and I didn’t care what happens to her. She only gets more irritating as the story progresses. It felt like the writer tried to make her complex but still keep her heading towards a happy ending, when really it just made her whiny. There was a romance throughout the three novels that was lacklustre. It just dragged the plot along. Adding nothing to the story. There was no passion, no heart to it. It just seemed obvious to pair them together, so that was why it happened. There was an attempt at a love triangle, which just made the is series unnecessarily longer. My favourite characters were the Darkling and Nickolia. They were complex and actually interesting. I could of read books about both of those characters. The relationship between the Darkling and Baghra (another good character) was the best part of the last book.

Most of the time when I read a book, I get this feeling in my stomach and that’s my indication if its good or not. Whether it’s if two characters finally falling in love, if there’s a shocking twist or there’s an ending that is unforgettable. I didn’t get that once with these books. The Shadow and Bone Series almost put me in a reading slump to be honest.

The Young Adult world is so wonderful with complex, diverse, suspenseful, interesting stories and this series just isn’t one of them. Like I said, I hope Six of Crows is better! Comment and let me know what you think.

This is my review of the month for the review collection on lovelyaudiobooks.com

Until the next review

JTH

Book Review: The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh

Title: The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh

Author: Jess Moore

Length: 321 pages

Publisher: NineStar Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5

This is a fantastic book by Jess More. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Jeremy Warsh has been in off-mode ever since his Grandpas death a couple of years ago. He set aside the shared passion, comic art, and hasn’t looked back. As an introvert from the other side of town, he fully expects to spend his boring life bagging groceries until, maybe one day, he’s promoted to store manager. Yet, his two best friend, Kasey and Stuart, are differently. They’re not afraid to demand more out of everyone. When Kasey comes out, Jeremy’s inspired. He picks up his coloured pencils and starts drawing comics again, creating a, no-nonsense, straight talking character named Penny Kind. Who speaks to him. Literally. The friend-group sets in motion Stuart’s plan for a huge homecoming prank, and if they can get Penny’s comic trending, they might be able to pull it off. Could this a stepping-stone to a future Jeremy’s only dreamed of? And after he kisses a boy at a college party, will Jeremy finally face what he’s been hiding from?

‘I’m tired of seeing the same plain faced kid in the mirror and wondering why he’s allowed to take up so much space. I want to recognise what makes me, me.’

Jess More really is a fantastic writer. Just read that quote above, haven’t we all felt like that? Jeremy’s journey is written so delicately, subtlety and yet intricately that you truly go on a journey with him. Jess’s writing is really emotive. It’s a book that deals with, first romances, grief, friendship, family, coming out and it all blends together seamlessly. Is that not a testament to great writing?

The plot moves along nicely too. You can see where Jeremy’s story is going, but it’s such a nice ride along the way. You can’t help but want to get to finish the book to see if the prank comes off, to see how the romance blooms (this is done in such a realistic way, I love it). There was also a bit towards the end that made me really emotional. I honestly feel like I could read a second book of these characters to see where the story could continue.

Not only is this an excellent young adult book, I think it’s a really important book for young LBGTQIA+ to read. It deals with not only romance, but finding yourself. Which is important for all queer people to do. And it does in such a realistic, heartfelt and positive way. So if your a fan of young adult, m/m romances or a good book. This is definitely one for you. Comment and let me know.

I also have to thank NineStar Press and Netgalley for an ARC copy in return for an honest review. The book comes out today (26th November). Check it out guys.

Until the next review

JTH