this post was inspired by paperbackdreams, where Sha first saw the concept
On the Block Today
Each of these books received five stars and HIGH praise from Mandy and I. Now we’re going to brave the 2-star and below reviews on Goodreads to see what the flip side to our book love. *disclaimer* we aren’t here to shame opinions opposite our own, just scream in agony about them.
This was genuinely one of the most boring books I’ve ever read.
We all know White’s books tend to be dark and lacking in humor but this one was just filled with so much unnecessary negativity. Elizabeth’s feelings ranged from anxious to miserable, which wouldn’t have been a problem if she wasn’t the main character and only narrator of the story.
The only thing I enjoyed is the epilogue. Sad really.
SHA: I do tend to try and find ways to agree with all reviews I see. Even when an opinion is the opposite of mine, I’ll be like, “Okay, I can see that.” Which is why, yes, I understand how Dark Descent can be perceived as boring to some. It’s character-driven and a psychological thriller (instead of horror-thriller, like it was advertised). If you’re not invested in Elizabeth’s emotional journey, this book will be super dull. But “unnecessary negativity”??? UM, we are reading a book with MURDER and also EVERYONE IS LYING and MANIPULATING. It’s going to be negative. That’s sort of the intended tone. I must protest!
MANDY: Depending on if you’re a lover of action packed novels or character driven stories, I can see where boring might come into play. This novel really does dive deep into the psychology and characterization – which was so brilliant – that it didn’t matter if action came into play. However, some might see it as boring. But I really was invested, and I think I devoured this book so very quickly. And honestly, I think I liked the epilogue the least of the story, lol. Sorry unknown reviewer – I was opposite on every account!!
Six of Crows as a whole: story soaked too thoroughly in boredom, too much half baked romance, too many forced sassy dialogues, decent writing but with hardly any emotion beyond it, too much European-sounding words that make little to no sense, nonexistent tension, the sparkles and excitement has been stretched too far and few in between throughout the story.
Kaz? He’s no monster. I wouldn’t even call him amoral. And some reviewers even called him outright evil. The best comparison I can make between what I expected (and what Bardugo was leading me to believe) and what Kaz actually was is a lot like being promised a juicy orange but getting a fruit snack. He’s just a cocky, OH SO HANDSOME suave criminal.
The entire plot is just unbelievable, predictable and eyerolling.
MANDY: Omg, I just love the reference of the fruit snack. I need to get more creative in my reviews with my metaphors. Tbh, it feels like forever since I read Six of Crows. I wouldn’t say that I found it predictable, and I definitely didn’t do any eyerolling. While I did enjoy Kaz as a character, perhaps he was a bit more sugar and gumdrops instead of the dark villainous character that everyone praises him to be. I still find him a morally complex and murky gray than most YA characters out there. I enjoy his moody and broody self.
SHA: My five stars on Six of Crows was kind of a lie (which I did explain in my review). I enjoyed the book, but found it very formulaic. Kind of like these negative reviews say…? In the end, I chose to go with five stars because the technical aspect of the book was flawless—there was just no emotional connection. *shrug*
The kind of book where you make it 15 pages till the end, only to discover you have zero interest in how it will finally end.
As I was reading I found myself mumbling “are you kidding me?” And “whatever” throughout. It is such a tall tale.
Out of the Easy missed nearly every mark and lacked all the heartbreaking finesse we found in her first novel.
SHA: Are YOU kidding me? This was such a heartbreaking novel of a girl finding her own place in the world. For sure Out of the Easy didn’t hit the same marks as Sepetys’ previous works that focused on a genocide and a sea disaster. (!!) The characters in this novel are some of my absolute faves to date! (Cokie!!)
MANDY: Tbh, I barely remember any of this book besides the fact that I loved? This book does have a bit of a slower pacing, and it is true historical fiction. As I mentioned in the first book we tackled. I can see where some people might find it boring if you’re looking for a SOC action packed novel. While perhaps it doesn’t have heartbreak like Sepetys other novels, it is an emotionally rich and complex story with an amazingly strong heroine with a sweet romance that had me captivated throughout. A reread is a must ASAP!
However, the romance was the main player in this book and it was the kind that sprang up immediately and left our heroine instantly breathless every time she saw Mr Duval after their first meeting. I prefer a book that is about more than a bit of romancing.
Why did I hate it? I have two big-assed reasons. One, it’s shit boring. Two, it’s an Assassin’s Creed rip-off. And a really bad and boring (did I mention boring?) one.
But NO, “Grave Mercy” is still too shallow and pedestrian for my taste.
MANDY: *eye twitching HARD* This so much. MY LOVE. DISHONOR ON YOUR COW. Lol, jk (or really jk?? hard to tell). Yes, this is a large text of a book. Boring? Sure, I skimmed a few passages (only because I’ve read this book like 4 times), but each passage is full of emotional and physical journeys. Each character and storyline brings intrigue and growth. The romance? I really can’t call it instalove – my body literally won’t let me. Yes, it is a large focus in the book – but it never eclipses or overshadows the other main plotlines in the story – despite my forever want since I love Duval and Ismae together so much. *forever crying*
SHA: These negative comments smacked harder than expected. Part of me is reading to drop a ten-point list arguing the strengths of Grave Mercy. I definitely saw a division on the role of romance in the book though. Many negative reviews called out Ismae and Duval’s relationship as a “main player” but positive reviews say it was slowly introduced. (Guess where Mandy and I fall.) Also, IDK anything about Assassin’s Creed other than the terrible movie adaptation which wasn’t similar.
and now … *clutches heart* at “shallow and pedestrian” I mEAN go oFF
Which negative review broke your book-loving heart?