Reviews: Two Can Keep a Secret, Shades of Magic Vol. 1, & Marvel Powers of a Girl

Today, I’m bringing some of my reviews from last month’s Women’s Month themed readathon. Let’s not waste a second further since I might have gone a little overboard in what I thought was a mini review.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

38225791Sha warned me that I was not going to have an enjoyable time with this one, but do you ever just have such a craving for a novel that you just have to read it despite all the warning signs? No? Just me and my weird theme park obsessed self that can’t resist a YA mystery? Kk, cool, cool. I got this.

The beginning was far superior to the latter half of the novel. There were a few disjointed things, but it was an intriguing setup for a murder mystery. I was thinking it would probs be a 3 crown read, and this girl could call it a day. However, the latter half was such a jumbled mess that I forgot all the okay things and was just so focused on the terrible. Now that I have had a few days, I do remember the okay things, and I can’t sum up the full amount of energy to truly dislike it for a full one crown read. But it totally teeters on that edge.

The characters = basicccccccc. I didn’t care for them at all. They were just kind of shells? Like, Ellery and Malcom just were there. I felt like Ellery’s only characterization was obsession with murder mysteries. The side characters were devices for mystery and thrillers, and their personalities were hazy in order to keep us guessing if it was them that could be the killer/bad person. I did enjoy the twin relationship between Ellery and Ezra. That was well done, and I wished I could have seen more of it. And the romance? Eh, it wasn’t bad, but I had no investment in the two main characters.

My biggest issue was the mystery itself…which is, you know, the entire focus of the novel. I felt like things were literally just thrown into the novel with no real thought or clear indication of why it matters. By the end of the novel, it made sense, but things were placed into the novel, clearly alerted as being important, but I had no background knowledge on why it was important other than being told by the main character. It didn’t allow me to pick up on any clues or have my own thoughts, because I was told this is important, but I legit didn’t connect it to anything else.

The two big reveals? One of them came after just a conversation between the two main characters on a couch that gave us all the pieces, and kind of did a huge logic leap. I had actually forgotten about the murder that they were referring to, because it wasn’t even mentioned for literally 20 chapters. The second big reveal – and the most crucial one – was legit put together in one chapter. There were honestly NO clues given until the chapter before, and I’m like, oh, sure, kk, I guess. And then the killer INSTANTLY gave it up and explained it all in the most cliche way ever.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS WITHOUT NAMING THE KILLER BUT AFTER THE FACT: So, like the killer tries to kill Ellery and Malcolm, and they are failing at escaping from said killer, but SOMEHOW Ellery managed to get a text of one letter of the first name of the killer off to a cop, and that cop INSTANTLY knew what that meant and had actually figured out the killer on his own at the exact same time so he knew to rush over and save them JUST IN TIME. omg please. plus there was this dramatic mention of a paper clip, and i can’t.

I had actually thought about bumping it up to 2 crowns, but just thinking about the above paragraph brought me back down. 1.5 crowns and a Merida rating!

Marvel Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink

40537277This was a lot of fun, but I feel like you have to have a pretty good level of knowledge of Marvel to fully enjoy/understand instead of being a more casual fan. I absolutely loved diving in deeper with this fierce fantastic Marvel heroines, and I now have a list of comics that I need to check out because these ladies’ stories sound amazinggggggg. However, with some of the stories, Cink left out a bit of the background knowledge needed to fully understand it. There were references that went over my head and a lot of things kind of got rushed together so it was too brief to explain everything. I would have loved to read so much more about certain people. The graphics were lovely as well. Summary: amazing content but just needed more room to expand on background and more of the heroine’s story. 3 crowns and a Belle rating!

Shades of Magic Vol. 1 by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

43404416This was a bit of a weird one for me. For the most part, I really couldn’t figure out what was going on? There were items that I got, but for the most part, things weren’t making sense. I think it was the art? I liked the art, especially the items with the bone magician, but there were a lot of scenes that I had a hard time distinguishing things – people, what was happening (like a fight scene), etc. – and I just ended up with a general aura of confusion. I didn’t get what was really happening and the magic system, despite the ease of understanding it in the original series. As I said, I liked the art for the most part, and there were some intriguing moments, but I could never fully enjoy since I just couldn’t understand what was going on.

What do you think? Have you read some of these? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


9 thoughts on “Reviews: Two Can Keep a Secret, Shades of Magic Vol. 1, & Marvel Powers of a Girl

  1. Oh I’m sorry these were not that great! I think it makes sense for one to need some good Marvel knowledge to enjoy their books, especially a collection like that. I sometimes struggle with them myself, but I’ve been a semi-casual fan over the years so now know a lot more than before (which comes in handy)
    What a disappointment TCKAS was! I never felt all that interested in the author’s books despite the hype, since they’re not my go-to genre, but I have to admit I was intrigued. I might go in with low expectations, though.
    I want to check out The Steel Prince real bad!! I want to dive back into the SOM world… But I might start by reading the second book first hahaha
    Great post, Mandy 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sophie! 🙂 And yes! I thought as a casual Movie fan and the occasional more extensive knowledge, I would be able ot handle more, but I definitely kind of failed. XD
      And YES. It was not the goodness. I definitely recommend low expectations, and it might be good because I constantly compared to her other book too.
      And ahahaha yes. That would come in handy. XD
      Thanks again, Sophie! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I really really enjoyed that one. I think they might even be coming out with a companion novel to it. I definitely think that Two Can Keep a Secret didn’t compare with it at all, and might have been where I went wrong with constantly comparing it.

      Liked by 1 person

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