September 4, 2019

Friends With ARCs | She's the Worst + The Girl the Sea Gave Back

pub 9/3/19 by Simon & Schuster
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received e-ARC from pub for review
She’s the Worst is a messy, complex story about sisters, April and Jenn, who haven’t been in close in years. But when April notices that Jenn seems sad about staying home for college, she plans a day filled with visiting places that are significant to them both. The book alternates between the sisters and the entire outing soon dissolves into a comedy of errors, except probably less funny to the girls. It’s clear their memories of the past and what each consider “significant” differ and I thought it was a great way to highlight their different personalities and the whole little/older sister dynamic. Ultimately though, I didn’t connect to either girl or the choices they were making. Both came across as extremely selfish and while I get that miscommunication was meant to be the main conflict, everything got wrapped up too neatly at the 11th hour when I felt there was so much more to explore about their family lives (their parents are a doozy) and the relationship between the two sisters. I would've liked to see more time spent allowing April and Jenn to get to know one another and bond in the present. Because we saw very little of this until the end, the book didn't resonate with me in any way.

What are three places in NYC you consider significant to us? | Alexa and I have been friends for 6 (!) years so we’ve had a lot of adventures and local outings in the city. Which means.. this is hard! But I’d probably say: Books of Wonder (where we met), Lincoln Center (ballet!) and Kaylee’s Creamery (I knew I wanted to pick an ice cream spot but it was hard to choose one!).

pub 9/3/19 by Wednesday Books
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub for review
Sky in the Deep was the young adult Viking book I didn't know I needed and I was excited to see what its companion novel, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, would add to the world Adrienne Young created. And basically the plot is nearly the same. Warring clans, girl and boy on opposite sides are drawn to one another and how much blood will be shed before they can find peace. (Sound familiar, right?) The difference in the two novels ultimately came down to the two protagonists, Tova and Halvard (our boy is all grown up!), who are nothing like their predecessors. Tova washed up on the shores of the Svell clan as a child and the only reason why they "keep" her is because she's a Truthtongue. She can cast stones to see the future. But despite her hard upbringing, she's compassionate, fierce, and searching for who she is. On the other hand, there's Halvard, who got to grow up during a time of peace and in a home filled with love. I loved his character as a child in the first book so I enjoyed seeing him come into his own. Plus with Halvard comes a few more familiar faces (Eelyn + Fiske!). Ultimately though, I felt the first book was the stronger and better of the two. The writing here was still fantastic and I didn't even mind the plot being similar but the ending was abrupt and too open. Not enough time was spent on Tova and Halvard together for me to truly buy into their connection. Without that, I just couldn't fall in love with this story the way I had with Eelyn and Fisk's in Sky in the Deep.


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Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


1 comment

  1. I enjoyed She's the Worst, just because I thought the portrayal of sisters and their complicated relationship was done really well. I do think it could have been a little longer though, but it worked for what it was! And I also enjoyed The Girl the Sea Gave Back, even though its similarities to Sky made it fall a little bit short for me.

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