ARC Review: Outrun the Wind

Are you my book_(2)

***I received a free e-ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

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OUTRUN THE WIND

by Elizabeth Tammi

Release Date: November 27th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology retelling

Publisher: Flux (an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc.)

 

Yikes, I really, really wanted to like this book, but alas I found myself extremely disappointed. This f/f romance Greek mythology retelling held great promise, but it completely missed the mark. Now, according to the e-copy I was supplied with, I read an uncorrected advance proof, so I’m aware that the book will go through additional editing/revisions, but the critiques I hold of this book are overarching problems that I believe will still be relevant to the final version.

Outrun the Wind follows two perspectives: that of Kahina’s and Atalanta’s. Kahina is a huntress of Artemis, who one day disobeys the goddess by killing the Calydonian Boar in order to save Atalanta. Atalanta is a legendary huntress and warrior running from her past and struggling to find where she belongs. In order for Kahina to redeem herself to Artemis, she’s sent on a mission that causes her to once again cross paths with Atalanta. As the women are forced to work together to overcome obstacles, they find their initial dislike of each other blooming into something more.

Of course, I loved the ideas that this novel was built upon: a Greek mythology retelling, a f/f romance, and two badass women protagonists. Additionally, the romance was combined with one of my favorite tropes: hate-to-love! But while this book had a great premise, its execution was quite lacking.

One of the first warning signs that I noticed about this book was the writing. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was blatantly amateur. It was very straightforward writing and there wasn’t much flourish to the phrasing. Additionally, the writing was inconsistent. The first two chapters portrayed the Calydonian Boar Hunt from Atalanta’s perspective and then Kahinas’s. Yet in Kahina’s perspective, the order of events wasn’t quite the same. It was a small detail (when the group split up and when Atalanta shot the boar in the leg), so I’m hoping it will be caught before the final version is released.

Going along with inconsistent writing, a lot of Atalanta’s badassery was told, not shown. The author tells us Atalanta is this legendary huntress known throughout the land, but we’re never told why? What did she do to get this rep? I understand that Atalanta is a Greek heroine, but I didn’t know about her until I read this story, so if there were events that happened prior that the author expected me to know, I obviously didn’t (I honestly believe this story could have benefitted from starting earlier along the plotline). When we see Atalanta through Kahina’s perspective, she does appear to be pretty badass and intimidating, but as soon as were put in Atalanta’s head, she suddenly becomes this unsure, confused, and emotional teenager. All of her hardcore huntress edge just dissipated.

Alongside that, I felt that a lot of the character’s goals and motivations where unclear. Why Kahina knowingly disobeys Artemis to save Atalanta (who is a stranger at the time) is never made clear. Atalanta wanders around aimlessly for the first half of the book before finally gaining a central goal. And then the main antagonist’s actions are written without motivation or justification. He’s a very much a one dimensional villain who’s evil just to be evil. In all honesty, all the characters felt cardboard-like. Yes, Kahina and Atalanta have dark pasts, but they felt like they were put there as a poor attempt at character depth.

And my final critique is that a decent chunk of the plot felt very unnecessary. Deaths came out of nowhere and did little to aid the plot. Details were given in a weak attempt to flesh out characters but in actuality had no impact on their personality (aka Kahina’s upbringing).

Overall, Outrun the Wind was a weak attempt at a Greek mythology YA story. I struggled through the first half and the second half was only slightly more interesting because I just wanted to know how it ended. I wouldn’t really recommend this book, but if you’re enraptured by the synopsis, I say give it a try since everyone has different preferences (but definitely bail if you don’t like the beginning).

Rating: 2 stars

“…so, are you my book?”

“Heck no, go find a better Greek mythology retelling.”

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Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach” with a side note that said: “This can also serve as your summer TBR” and since I don’t read a lot of beach-y, fluffy contemporaries, I’m going with the summer TBR route for this post! Not to mention that writing TBR lists is SO MUCH FUN (even tho my track record with them is pretty iffy, whoops).

Of course there are way more than 10 books I want to read this summer, but neither of us want to be stuck here on a post with an endless scroll 😛 , so I’m just going to share the books I want am determined to read before I return to college at the end of August!

Also, in case you were wondering: Yes, I did list these books in the order I plan to read them! (No one was wondering that, Keri)


For those of you who don’t know:

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

(This quote comes directly from the blog, That Artsy Reader Girl)


MY SUMMER TBR:

1. Leah on the Offbeat

leah on the offbeat cover

A Goodreads group that I’m in is reading this book for June, so of course I’m going to join in! After reading Simon vs. in March and The Upside of Unrequited last month, I can’t wait to return to the Simonverse!

2. Wonder Woman: Warbringer

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My aunt (who is a hardcore Wonder Woman fan) loaned me this book and I still need to read it. Random spiel here, but I love that I’ve gotten my aunt into reading YA books. Back in 2012 she gave me Throne of Glass for Christmas and this year I bought her her own copy (and promptly got her hooked on the series 😀 ) while she was recovering from surgery. I can’t wait to give her the Wonder Woman book sleeve I got her for her birthday…

3. Ace of Shades

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I just got this in from the library! There’s nothing more satisfying than being the first person to check out a book recently acquired at the library. I can’t wait to start this book!

4. Reign the Earth

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I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK AND MY LIBRARY DOESN’T HAVE IT. What a bummer, guess I’ll have to go out and buy it…

5-7. The Remnant Chronicles

Lol, I’ve actually read the first two books in this series TWICE. This summer though, I am determined to reread them for the final time and then get through the final book (I got half way through a couple years ago before falling into a reading slump). I really want to get this series read before Mary E. Pearson’s newest book, Dance of Thieves, releases in August (because it’s set in the same world and I don’t want spoilers).

8. The Darkest Minds

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I’ve actually already read this book, but it was years ago. I remember little about it, so in light of the movie adaptation releasing in August, I wanted to make sure I’ve reread this book beforehand. (And maybe then I’ll get the motivation to continue on with the series this time?)

9. Catwoman: Soul Stealer

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Release Date: August 7th, 2018

I haven’t pre-ordered this yet, but I will be soon (despite the ugly cover, smh). Sarah J. Maas is an auto-buy author for me and since this book releases before my fall semester starts, you better bet I’m going to read this right away.

10. The Kiss Quotient

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It seems like everyone on Goodreads is obsessing over this book and I want to join! Like, a romance starring a mathematical genius? Count me the frick in! I’m 26th in line to get it in at the library though….so hopefully I’ll get it by the end of summer?

 


What books are you hoping to read this summer? Have you read any of these books?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below, I would love to read them!

ARC Review: Grace and Fury

Are you my book_(2)

Release Date: July 31st, 2018

***I received a free e-ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

grace and fury coverAhhh, how is this book already over? I need to the sequel now. Grace and Fury is a strong and enthralling tale, that despite a few tropes, is well worthy of adoration. Any time I stepped away from this book, the protagonists consumed my thoughts. I could not get this book out of my head.

Grace and Fury follows the perspectives of sisters Nomi and Serina. Serina has trained her whole life to be a Grace, one of many women who are essentially mistresses to the Superior and now his heir. Nomi’s plan was to always stay by her sister’s side as a handmaiden, but when Nomi is chosen as a Grace instead of Serina and shortly after Serina takes the fall for an illegal act that Nomi commits, the sisters find themselves separated. Now, with Nomi caged in the palace and Serina struggling to survive on a prison island, they must find a way to save and reunite with one another.

One of my favorite part of this novel is the strong sister relationship. Despite all the trials and tribulations Nomi and Serina undergo, they never lose sight of trying to return to each other. They continuously pop up in each other’s thoughts and they frequently dedicate their actions to one another. I loved this relationship in the novel. We need more books with strong sister (or any sibling really) bonds!

In addition to that, I loved how Nomi and Serina mirror each other. Nomi is a rebellious, headstrong woman who must learn how to be a pleasing and obedient Grace. Serina is a polished and submissive woman who must break all expectations for women in order to survive the island. This is a great parallel in which each sister is fighting their own type of battle. This aspect really increased my love for the characters.

Another one of my favorite things about this book was simply how addicting it was. As I mentioned above: this book consumed me and I had trouble putting it down. Written in alternating perspective chapters where each sister has their own equally interesting struggles and mini cliffhangers at the end of the chapters, I found myself flying through the pages.

I will say that despite all these wonderful qualities, I was disappointed there was a very cliché plot twist at the end that I saw coming a mile away. It actually reminded me a lot of the ending of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This was really irritating and there were so many times I wanted to go into the book and shake Nomi by the shoulders to knock some sense into her.

Though it did add to my accelerated interest in the book, another thing that bugged me was the rushed beginning. Readers are instantly thrust into the scene where Serina is selected to represent her city as a potential Grace for the heir and then in the next scene Nomi & Serina are traveling to the palace. The readers never get a chance to experience their “ordinary life”. Sure, the protagonists reflected on their life before from time to time, but personally I prefer to be shown, not told.

Another quality that didn’t sit well me was Nomi’s beliefs. Right away from the beginning, you can tell she’s a hardcore feminist—which is great—but there’s no explanation for it. In a world where women are raised as submissive, lower human beings, Nomi had no one in her life to show her that women should have equal rights. So where did these beliefs come from? There’s no expectations or growth in her opinions; they’re stubbornly present right from the beginning. Maybe it’s just me being picky, but this felt unrealistic?

Alongside with these complaints, there were events/plots & a romance towards the end that seemed to come about too easily and that really tested my suspense of disbelief. I also wish that Malachi’s (the heir) character had been developed more (fingers crossed this will be more prevalent in the sequel).

So I know I listed a bunch of flaws for this book, so you’re probably wondering why I still gave this book a 4 star rating. Well, despite my multitude of picky complaints, they did little to take away from how immensely I enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to YA fantasy readers or anyone at all intrigued by the synopsis. Now, did I mention how hype I already am for the sequel? With a title like Queen of Ruin, July 11th, 2019 can’t come fast enough.

Rating: 4 stars

“…so, are you my book?”

“I’m not perfect, but I’m well worthy of a spot on your bookshelf.”

WWW Wednesday: June 13th, 2018

WWW Wednesday

Since it’s about the middle of the month, I thought I’d update you guys on how my reading is going with a WWW Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know: WWW Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer 3 ‘what’ questions about your reading.

I also wanted to let you guys know that my job has kept me pretty busy, so I’m going to stay on a blogging schedule of posting every 3-5 days.

I wish I had something interesting to say/ more of an intro to this post, but I can’t think of anything and I wanna go sleep now, so let’s get into the post! 😛


What are you currently reading?

  • Grace and Fury- OMG, I’m loving this book! I love both Nomi and Serina as protagonists and I can’t wait to see where they’ll go. I’m fully invested and by the time that this post goes up I probably will have already finished it. 😀
  • Siege & Storm- Finally continuing my reread of the Grishaverse Trilogy that I started back in December! (whoops)
  • Celtic Tales- Still making my way through this fairy tale collection!

 


What did you recently finish reading?

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This was just fricking weird. I’ve been wanting to read more Octavia Butler (prior to this I had only read Kindred and Parable of the Sower by her) and I finally got around to it. But this book…it was just bizarre. I didn’t mind Anyanwu as a protagonist but I freaking HATED Doro (the child needed a character arc).


What do you think you’ll read next?

Hmm, I actually don’t know? I had been hoping to get to Leah on the Offbeat because I requested at the library a couple weeks ago, but they still don’t have any physical copies :(. So I guess I’m thinking either A World Without Princes (what is this title?), The Waking Land (but I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews for it so I’m nervous), or My Lady Jane. Ahhh, I don’t know what I’m in the mood for, any suggestions on what I should pick up next?


Have you read any of these books? How’s your reading going this month? Any recommendations on what I should read next?