Wintersong by S Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S Jae-JonesTitleWintersong

Author: S Jae-Jones

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

Page Count: 368

 

Synopsis

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen, Liesl feels that her childhood dreams are slipping away. And when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. But with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.

Review

Wintersong was chosen by Emma-Louise for the February TSG Bookclub Box. I’d heard a few good reviews about it before I got around to reading it. Unfortunately I didn’t fall in love with it.

The book is a retelling of the film Labyrinth (which I love) and bears similarities to a poem by Christina Rosetti called The Goblin Market. So far so good.

I loved the descriptive world building and beautiful writing. For a debut novel the writing was impeccable. It’s a well written fantasy and I can understand the 5 star reviews and the hype. It just didn’t cut it for me – I didn’t connect with the characters very much or fall in love with their story.

So why didn’t I love it?

The romance was all over the place. One minute they’re all over each other, the next they can’t even bear to be in the same room. Also for a YA novel the content is a little more ‘mature’ than I would have expected at times, definitely not for the younger age of the proposed demographic. I’m not sure I missed the point, but I also feel like the reader is being given the wrong ideas surrounding the sex as Liesl is expecting it to fix her.

Although the Goblin King was the one character I actually liked for the most part it felt like he was secondary character in the story a lot of the time. I understand the story focuses on Liesl but it also about her connection with the Goblin King and I didn’t really see that.

I struggled to keep up with the plot and where the story was going. Just when I got a handle on things, the goalposts moved and we switched direction leaving me bewildered.

My final disappointment was the ending. It was so anticlimactic. Don’t get me wrong, I was anticipating the majority of what was going to happen, but I expected a little more in the way of consequences.

There was no explanation. What happened to everyone afterwards? How did it happen before? There are too many aspects of the story that are thrown at the reader and then left unresolved.

I’d like to hope that there was a reason for the ending – a second book maybe? If that’s the case then it would make a little more sense and hopefully answer all my questions.

Despite all my disappointments I would recommend this book purely down to the writing. Wintersong is beautifully written and extremely descriptive. Fingers crossed for book two.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

TitleFangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Young Adult

Page Count: 460

 

Synopsis

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google.)

Review

Fangirl is a book by another new to me author. I’d read loads of reviews and the majority of people have raved about it. All I can say is I don’t think they were my kind of people.

I definitely had high expectations about this book and to be honest, at best it was OK. I’m not the within the target demographic of the book so this may go some way to explaining my disappointment.

There is no real plot to speak and the ending is somewhat abrupt. I would have preferred a little more if I’m honest. It felt as if I was reading about a small snapshot of Cath’s life without a beginning or an end.

I really didn’t like the references to Harry Potter or the fanfiction scattered through the book. If I’m honest I skimmed over the whole Simon/Baz fan fiction as I found I didn’t care in the slightest about it. Did it affect my reading pleasure? No, I don’t actually think it did, in fact I didn’t actually see the point of it.

So what kept me reading? Most definitely the relationships between the characters. I especially loved the growing relationship between Cath and Reagan. At times I actually found myself caring about the characters and truly wanted to know how things worked out between everyone.

I don’t regret reading Fangirl, but I may think twice before picking up any of Rainbow Rowell’s young adult books in future – they just aren’t for me.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x