I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. I will not discuss the plot too much in my review, to avoid spoilers for any potential readers. (Plus, the blurb does a pretty good job of this.) My main points of note are that this was simultaneously unique and rather stereotypical/cliche. That makes no sense, I know, but that’s how I felt. It’s like it was trying a little too hard to be different, you know? I can’t say I read very many books like this so I’m no expert in the genre, but still. That’s just how it came across to me. That being said, I did actually really enjoy reading it. It was easy to read, and it was pretty fun. There were moments I didn’t see coming. I’m even considering getting the sequel. One other criticism I do have, though, is that it felt a little amateurish at times. There were some typos that I noticed, but also some phrases or lines of dialogue that just felt off. While it was nothing major, I feel that little details like these can make a huge difference! My rating is between 3.5 and 4 stars. I really did enjoy it, more than I ever would have expected. But there are definitely a few areas for improvement.
This was certainly an interesting book. It begins with April May discovering a giant metal robot sculpture. As an artist herself, she appreciates how much effort this must have taken, and is appalled to find no one else paying any attention to it. So she calls her best friend, Andy, who makes videos and podcasts. They upload a video of April and the robot, which goes viral. This may seem a bit odd – it’s just a video of a sculpture, right? But it turns out there’s one of these robots in every major city on Earth, and absolutely no witnesses or footage of how they got there. Anyway, it turns out these ‘Carls’ as they come to be known are a pretty big deal. And quite possibly alien. April and Andy are caught up in all of this, inexplicably linked to the ‘alien’ robots forever. Fame and wealth overtake their lives. Their story is really quite remarkable (hah! I get the title now). The first thing I noted was that April is in her twenties, which I liked a lot. So many YA novels have younger protagonists, and I struggle to relate to them now I’m getting a bit older. I loved having a YA story full of mystery and excitement that begins after the age of twenty. (Perhaps there’s still hope for me yet, eh?) I also liked the narrative format – April is writing it as an account of the past, it seems, with some insight she would only gain from experiences later on. As with any good book, there are a ton of subplots, too. April’s relationships are extremely complicated – she messes them up on a frequent basis. She also struggles to maintain her humanity with the sudden fame she acquires, which is so often the case in these circumstances. As she is telling the story from the ‘future’, this means she is able to identify and comment on her mistakes, too. The ending was both extremely unexpected and kind of predictable. I was both refreshed and annoyed by how many things were left unresolved – especially a lot of April’s relationships. I think it’s purely a matter of personal preference as to how you take the ending of this book.
As this was an ARC, I did notice quite a lot of typos, grammatical errors and also some dodgy formatting that impacted my reading a bit. However, I assume most of these would not be present in the final publication, so won’t let them alter my final rating. Overall, I really did enjoy this. It was unique for sure, and though I didn’t actually like April all that much as a person, she was a pretty good character. 4 stars!
This is another thriller (can you tell I like them?) but I actually found it really quite unique. Seven years ago, Anne lost her daughter. She went missing at a train station: caught on CCTV climbing the steps out to the street, and then gone without a trace. But now she’s back, and Anne is happy – isn’t she? Her family is finally back together, her twins have their big sister back, and they’re going to find out who did this. But Anne isn’t happy. Everything isn’t right. There are secrets holding her back from being happy. As is often the case, everything is not as simple as it first seems. Abigail (the daughter)’s case seems to be solved; the abductor has been found, Abigail is home. But there are still so many questions to be answered, so many holes to be filled. Everyone seems to be hiding something – sometimes without even knowing. I really liked the approach of this book. Ok, it’s not the first time that the family has been hiding something. But the ‘secrets’ that come to life are… different to usual. Actually, I kind of thought it was a bit exaggerated, honestly. As in, the secrets weren’t that bad. But I won’t say too much in case I spoil it for any potential readers.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was excited to find out more, to discover the truth of what happened. 4 stars.
This was a very short book that I found through a Goodreads list, and so my review is only going to be extremely brief.
It’s written in free-verse and supposedly meant to be read in two voices, though this wasn’t overly apparent to me. It is based on the author’s experience with an eating disorder (hence why I was so attracted to this book). However, it is not overtly eating-disorder centred; it’s poetry, obviously, and quite subtly discusses the topic in my opinion. I must say I didn’t emotionally connect to it as much as I have done with other pieces of literature, but it was still very good nonetheless. 3.5 stars.