Monday, 26 October 2015

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right, a review of Vicious by V.E Schwab

 I read Vicious in three sittings. It was fast paced and entertaining, well worth the time spent reading it, but I'm not compelled to rave about it with quite as much enthusiasm as others have.

Victor and Eli were interesting nemeses, both ambitious assholes from the start, and when resurrected both lacking something that they might not really have had in the first place, that is empathy, kindness and any sense of healthy boundaries. We know from the start that this is a story about revenge as we are introduced to the characters (Victor in particular), and that these guys did some unethical science to get themselves some extra powers. In short, they became ExtraOrdinary (EO's for short). Ambition and a sort of competitive hunger drove them into this discovery, and testing it out on themselves without more than theories beforehand, and then it tore them apart. They came out on the other side of that experience different, with abilities they didn't have before and an apparent absence of kindness or empathy, that the lines of right and wrong had been erased.

I liked reading about the two men as they worked their way towards each other, trying to get the advantage, while unraveling their history and how they came to their abilities (and how they work). I was equally interested in the other EO's that showed up during the story. In the end though I was also irritated by Victor and Eli, their lack of insight into their own behaviors (it's the point, I know, but it was too much for my enjoyment, I know others think differently) and disregard for other people. I liked the sisters more, having a different kind of relationship, but similar, mirroring that of Victor and Eli to an extent (but then diverging on others). I love the depiction of close relationships that aren't healthy nor always mutually appreciated/equal (One sister trying very hard to be like the charismatic other, two roommates where one bests the other in certain ways etc). These things I like a lot.

That said the storytelling itself didn't always appeal to me, I felt no real engagement with the characters (good nor bad), I just didn't care, and while not telling everything is a great trick, I felt like I never got enough information to feel satisfied. I know there will be a sequel and I'll be reading it mostly to figure out the EO thing, and perhaps see if I can learn more about other aspects (like the police angle) etc. Not so much because I care what happens next, which would have been preferable. It is a decent story, and I liked more of it than I disliked.

- Kristine

Saturday, 24 October 2015

TBR Book Tag

I came across this tag over at It's All About the Books last weekend as I was catching up on my unread blog posts (two weeks afk! Wow that acronym dated me huh?). Anyway, I used to be all about my to be read, so I thought this would be fun.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
It's a mess, I have one physical pile (well 3) and then a bunch of lists online, I have one on goodreads, one on Scribd, as well as wishlists and unread books on amazon and other ebook services. It's a mess and outside of my physical pile it's also often changing all the time.

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?
Neither, if we're talking books I want to read, as I don't own most of them and I'll choose format by mood/price/availability when the time comes. Print dominates the list of books that I already own, primarily because I don't buy digital books unless I know I'll read them soon (there are exceptions of course, if something I'm interested shows up at a big discount). My reading statistics suggest that I read mostly digitally (this includes audio). The pie chart below contains the format of all the books (50) I've read so far this year:

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
Mood, co-reading with other people (aka a deadline), or if I'm unsure I have a TBR jar, though I don't use it very often, and I haven't updated it in a while. I also keep stuff on my nightstand when I need to or want to read it soon (borrowed books, new books etc)

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?
I have no idea, I own a lot of books that I've had for a decade, but never read, so probably one of those, but no idea which one, possibly Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. I've strated it about a million times since I was about 13, and never actually gotten past the start because everytime I start I feel like I don't have the time right then to get properly into it. I should just sit down with it next time I've got two hours of nothing ahead of me. 

 A book you recently added to your TBR?
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland. It came out oct 6 and I bought it the day before, and after that I haven't really come across anything I've wanted to read (mostly because I've been actively not looking...)

A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover?
Nope, I've definitely done that in the past, but there's nothing there right now.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
No, then I remove it, that of course, does not mean that I'll end up reading everything currently on my list.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
Not at the moment. I'm not very good at keeping on top of what is coming out. I've got plenty with what's already out there, though I know a Welcome to Nightvale novel is imminent and I'll have to get that won't I?

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I feel like I just needed to get some time between me and the hype, and I have both available to me at the moment, so I should probably get on that.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
None, people don't recommend stuff to me a lot, the exeption being Kat and I'm pretty sure I got half my TBR from her anyway.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild because it is my newest purchase, and the latest in a series that is very funt. I'm also waiting to get to Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, but right now is not the time (I'm sick and unfocused).

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?
Right now 100 (nice round number!), but it needs an update, and I've got 42 on a "maybe" shelf. And if you're reading this in the future (which you are) it's probably alread changed.

Thanks for reading! If you've done this tag leave a link below, and if you want to do it come back with the link once you've done it. It was really fun to do, and forced me to consider my TBR a little harder than usual. I've been neglecting it since I stopped with the TBR posts that I used to do (I quit a year ago, accidentally really). If anyone wants me to start them up again let me know, I just might!