These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas, Narrated by Heather Wilds- a 1/5 Star Review

 

Please note: A AudioCD copy of this book was generously provided for free through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman-a 1/5 Review!

Irene was born into the Librarian life. Her parents were librarians and she strives to rise in the ranks despite not being able to see her parents often. Kai is an apprentice of The Library, and has been involved for 5 years but has yet become an official Librarian. A former petty criminal, he fell into the Library and has since decided to dedicate his life. On one special mission Kai is assigned to train under Irene. Two different personalities from two very different backgrounds, can they work together to complete the mission?

DNF at 34%. I did not care for this book because it would be somewhat engaging then it would snap back into something boring. An example of this is the whole section where Kai is explained the workings of The Library and it felt like the book stalled just to explain everything instead of throwing in bits and pieces as they go along. There was a lot of detail defining chaos although I did not feel like I fully understood it.

Another reason why I did not finish the book is because I felt like it threw too many concepts into one plot. For example: there is a scene where Irene and Kai are one-upping each other on how many sexual partners they have had as they debate whether or not the two of them should have sex. It felt flat and shallow as it was just something to add to exist in the story and not something of importance.

It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that there was something off about a “helpful” character. Since I have not read the rest of the book, I will leave it at that as I do not want to accidentally spoil anything.

I did not enjoy this book, however, I could see fans who love time travel and steampunk liking it. It did not stir any emotions in me and felt like a chore to read so I am putting it down. This was a selection for a book club that I am in and I picked it up from the library. I hope whoever gets it next has a better experience with it than I did!

The Marriage Pact: A Novel by Michelle Richmond-a 1/5 Star Review

Jake and Alice are a recently married couple who receive a unique gift from a new friend. This gift was an invitation to The Pact. An exclusive society that values marriage and strives to maintain the sanctity of it. It is not to be discussed with people outside of The Pact and the rules get more outrageous from there. Basically, it’s Stepford Wives meets Fight Club. Obnoxious.

For the record, I only managed to get 18% into the book before crying out “Oh for the LOVE of GOD I DON’T CAAAAAARE”, which may also be considered obnoxious to some.

Each percent was a chapter so I did get 18 chapters in, however, when it is 18 out of 100ish chapters, it’s not that big of a feat. It was told from Jake’s perspective up until that point which made it seem like Jake was obsessed with his wife, Alice. But Alice’s responses tended to be passive in terms of big events. For example, when he proposed, she simply said “Ok”. Another example is when they decided to join The Pact, her response was “why not?”. Because it’s obviously a cult, that’s why not.

Alice is an overworked lawyer and Jake is a therapist, yet their communication seemed to be lacking and a lawyer read the terms and conditions of The Pact and decided to go through with it because “Why not?” just did not seem realistic to me. Furthermore, Jake’s thoughts on things relied on what Alice thought of them. Which caused flat sentences such as “Alice does not like ___” and “Alice likes ____”. It made him seem like a doormat. It reached a breaking point for me when they were at a work social for Alice and there was a co-worker that went up to Jake (allegedly unaware that he was the husband of Alice) and they talked about the bet that went on at the office that she wouldn’t marry ‘the therapist'”. It seemed immature and pointless.

Last rant: I could not stand Vivian. She reminded me of Dolores Umbridge and I am sure she is supposed to be the villain so I am not supposed to like her. However, she was irritating at best.

Clearly, I was not a fan of this book and I would only recommend it to readers who are fans of cults.

However, many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me free access to the book in exchange for an honest review.

 

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott-a 1/5 Star Review

Devon Knox had an accident as a young child that resulted in the amputation of a few toes on her foot. But that has not stopped her from being the rising star in gymnastics. She trains for hours every day on top of keeping up good grades. She is determined to be in the elite, then on to the Olympics. Her parents are buried in debt but they are taking the risk for the chance of their daughter to be an Olympian. They fear the puberty that could come any day, the high risk that everything could be ruined by one tiny mistake in a routine, and that one small mistake could cause an injury that can’t be bounced back from. But they face it all to make Devon a household name.

But one night, something goes terribly wrong in their small gymnastics community and it is another name that is spoken in every household.

It took me over 2 weeks to read this book because I dreaded picking it back up. The characters lacked depth and I could not establish any kind of connection with any of them. The parents, Eric and Katie, were immature, narcissistic, and oblivious. They consistently ignored their son, Drew, in order to focus on themselves or mostly on their oldest daughter, Devon. Drew, however, was written to not mind being ignored and to be very laid back. He “understood” the attention that had to go to Devon and “never had a problem with it”. Not only did it come across as very unrealistic but it also came across as useless. Devon did not demand attention outside of the gymnastics gym, rather she kept to herself and kept secrets. Devon clearly favored her father and (in somewhat of a juvenile retaliation) her mother, Katie, stuck to Drew. Poor Drew developed Scarlet Fever and still received little attention from his family.  His mother even left him alone in the car and then revealed that it was not the first time she had done that.  She had left him in the car because she had forgotten he was even in there when he was much younger.  They put Devon into a fellow gymnast’s home (read: mansion) so she wouldn’t catch what Drew had.  The fellow gymnast whose mother footed the bill for the renovations to the gymnastics training center. This mother, Gwen, footed the bill after much wining and dining with Devon’s father, Eric, so that his daughter could improve with better equipment. Oh, and Gwen’s daughter, Lacey, could also improve. But no one would ever be as good as Devon!

Not only were the characters a disappointment but the writing was also hard to appreciate, in my opinion. The plot did not flow well, neither did the chapters. There were snippets of paragraphs that seemed to be copied and pasted to piece together a chapter rather than being more fluid. There were even paragraphs that could have been “pasted” together and it would have flowed better. It was jagged and frustrating to read. Furthermore, there was a lot of repetition for minor details that came across as redundant to me. Katie’s ringtone being the same song that Devon has a floor routine to, saying “I love him so much!”, are just two examples. I have heard many great things about Megan Abbott and, as a result, had looked forward to receiving an ARC of this book. I cannot say that I would have that same excitement in the future.

I would not recommend this book. I think I have made that very clear. Furthermore, I would certainly not recommend this book for those who may be sensitive to foul language, violence, tumultuous relationships, murder, manipulation, parental neglect, and sexually suggestive scenarios.

Please note: an advance reader copy of this book was generously provided electronically by the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.