It is the day of the low starred review (technically, I read both of these in the middle of the month but whatever.) Anyway, I couldn’t take photos, since these went back to the library, but hey, they didn’t deserve photos anyway (yes. I am mean).
#1- This Is Where the World Ends- 1 star
My basic feeling toward this book is confusion. In a bad way. I spent the first half of the book being like ‘what is happening’ because of our unreliable narrator Micah with memory loss and Janie, who basically just pranced around like ‘I’m cool and Micah loves me so I can do whatever I want, because we’ll end up together anyway.’
JUST NO. The basic idea is Janie and Micah were friends, then something happens and Micah wakes up with issues (which I never really got why) and who knows what happened to Janie. I HATED Janie because she was so freaking stupid, even if bad things happened to her she shouldn’t have been so stupid. I liked the ‘old’ Micah before the event, but he seemed to decide that just because ‘something’ (which I still don’t understand) happened to him he could drink a lot, leave school, and engage in stupid risky behaviour. But Because of the switching perspective/format, I didn’t really get a sense of what either of the MCs were actually like, nor did I see any characterisation.
I was very confused. But the ending wasn’t really that interesting, and from about the middle of the book it was really obvious, and I disliked all of the characters so much that I wasn’t really invested, at all. And also there were all these random details, like Metaphor (a pile of rocks), some wings, and some English teacher’s ‘secret to life’ which I didn’t care about. EITHER MAKE IT RELEVANT OR LEAVE IT OUT, HONESTLY.
BUT the language was beautiful, even though it was super confusing. And it’s discussion of sexual abuse was raw and heartbreaking. BUT STILL. CONFUSING AND POINTLESS. I can’t remember how I felt about Falling Into Place. But I know how I feel about this one, and it’s not good.
#2-Isla and the Happily Ever After- 2 stars
Unlike This Is Where The World Ends, I don’t really know how to define why I didn’t like this book. I really liked Anna and the French Kiss, and Lola and the Boy Next Door, but Isla?… not so much. So I’m going to question myself about various story elements and find out why I disliked it so much.
Basic premise? Again, this is mainly set at the american school in Paris, but a few years after Anna and Etienne. It involves a girl called Isla and one of St. Clair’s friends, Josh, and they obviously fall in love.
Plot? Firstly, unlike the other two, where the plot centres around the couple getting together, Josh and Isla get together pretty early in the book, and the rest of the plot basically revolves around romantic tension, which I am just not a fan of.
Characters? I didn’t really connect to either of the main characters (except when Isla decided to be nice to her sister Hattie, because that was a good moment). I felt like I knew a lot about both of them, but I didn’t really understand either of them really. And I also really didn’t ship them at all together. And also, I disagreed with so many decisions they made (like gallivanting around Europe illegally and having sex. Just why??) BUT. I LOVED Kurt (Isla’s best friend who is just basically the bestest and amazingist, loves making maps, is autistic, and who Isla just abandons when Josh comes along) so that was a bonus.
Setting? Actually, I really liked the setting of Paris/New York/Spain, especially since I’ve been to Barcelona. And especially that moment toward the end with the Notre Dam and Etienne and Anna. OH MAN.
Language? It was easy to understand but not really stellar or beautiful or easy to connect to.
Have you read either of these books? How did you feel about them? What’s one book you read recently that you loved/hated? How do you feel about stupid characters and excessive romantic tension?