Book Reviews

Mini Reviews: White Stag, How to Experience Death for Beginners & In Paris With You

Today I wanted to bring you three reviews that normally wouldn’t warrant their own reviews. These three books were books I didn’t really enjoy that I would normally just review on Goodreads. But I collected them all to do mini reviews of them today.

White Stag

White Stag was a combination case of, “It’s not you, it’s me” and me not being able to connect to the story. This book had a lot more romance than I was expecting, especially for a book that was supposed to be about dark goblins.

Summary

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

That isn’t the full synopsis, I think that little paragraph does it justice though. And for those who are craving a dark fantasy with more romance, this might just be up your alley. But it is dark. Trigger warnings for: rape, torture, abuse, and mutilation. For me White Stag was a book I never felt like I had to finish. I couldn’t really connect with Janneke, the main character and a lot of the book was devoted to talking about how she and Soren were special snowflakes. Janneke because she was able to even live amongst goblins for so long. And Soren because while the rest of the goblins are truly awful, Soren isn’t so bad.

That being said, I did enjoy that Janneke is made to wonder exactly when we become monsters. Is it our actions, our DNA, what makes us into monsters.

In Paris With You

In Paris With You is an intensely character driven book. It is a study of both love and our two main characters. Starting with the present, and a re-connection, the story then takes us back to the love story. Where it all begun. But the narration style was pretty abstract and stream of consciousness. We were pulled from thought to thought and having read 25% I wasn’t sure I really liked the characters, nor felt drawn to finish.

Summary

Eugene and Tatiana had fallen in love that summer ten years ago. But certain events stopped them from getting to truly know each other and they separated never knowing what could have been.

But one busy morning on the Paris metro, Eugene and Tatiana meet again, no longer the same teenagers they once were.

What happened during that summer? Does meeting again now change everything? With their lives ahead of them, can Eugene and Tatiana find a way to be together after everything?

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Not to mention that there were some problematic elements which is mentioned in some other Goodreads reviews which I found just in the bits I read – the main character pretends to be pregnant on the metro, but then makes up a backstory where she has a baby with down syndrome and then jokes about it, or their careless approach to depression/suicide. And that’s just what I encountered so far.

How to Experience Death for Beginners

And for How to Experience Death for Beginners just left me feeling uncomfortable. I think the major red flag for me was how this book dealt with self harm. Trigger warnings for self-harm, suicide attempt, murder.

Summary

A clairvoyant introvert can enter the minds of people at their moment of death. When a serial killer emerges in her small town, she receives audacious advances from an enigmatic newcomer. While dodging detectives and falling in love, she joins forces with the FBI to take down the killer.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Our clairvoyant main character encounters someone in her life who engages in self-harm and while her concern for him results in her wanting to help, all she really does it make him promise not to do it again. I thought this portrayal both of his and her reactions were poorly written for teens. Our MC looks at the act of self harm, but not the causes and doesn’t really encourage help through therapy. Not only does promising not to harm oneself again not solve the problem, it is portrayed like this connection can help this character not harm himself again. I felt like it bordered on the idea that love can solve this problem and I think that could be a dangerous message for teens to read about.

Besides this, the other elements in the book were not fabulous. There wasn’t anything terribly wrong with them, I just didn’t really enjoy them because this conflict is brought up somewhat early within the book. There are many twists and turns, so it certainly was more of a mystery book. Additionally towards the end there is a layer of paranormal, but it just wasn’t enough for me.

Discussion

Do you often DNF a book?


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