“After You” by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)(Author: Jojo Moyes) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)


Review:

So… here’s the thing: at the time I read Me Before You, I did not like it. Mostly because of the choices the characters made. Because I thought Will was selfish, because I thought this can’t be it for his life and their relationship, etc. etc.

However, I think my view of the world has changed since then. Maybe I have become somewhat bitter about relationships? Or less trusting of the complete dedication of people to each other? Well, anyway, now I think I would have liked Me Before You more in my current mindset.

So eventually, I decided to read the sequel and see what will happen.

The thing is… Louisa can’t carry the weight of the book for me. She is not really a full character. She lacks her own incentive, her own opinions and her own purpose. What she has the most of are emotions. Outside of that, she really needs other people to push her story forward.

That’s what After You was all about, as well. Without spoiling it, I would say that the young girl Louisa takes care of is basically the thing that makes the story of this book. This story though… It was a bit out there. To me, it felt very strange and off-putting to read about Lily’s past and her as a person and all of that.

And then there was the fact that although Will died, this story was all about him, too. At some point, I started thinking about how briefly Louisa knew him and how deeply he impacted her life. Of course, I think that it’s possible someone you knew for a short time to change your life, but the thing is, whomever she knew, it was not even Will as he was for the biggest part of his life. It was some version of him that existed only for a short period of time and only because it had to, and not because Will actually wanted to change. Time and again Louisa thinks and talks about how much she could talk to Will about, how much she could share with him and so on, but that’s a rather exaggerated version of what actually went on in Me Before You.

Basically, this entire book felt off. It felt wrong and awkward and forced. I don’t think I will be reading the next installment unless a couple of years pass and I start re-thinking my life choices again.

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“Deadpool, Vol. 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Volume 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly(Author: Brian Posehn) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)


Review:

It took me a while to write this review, huh?! As in, I read the book 3 months ago.

I don’t think I want to continue with Deadpool. I’ve generally kind of given up on superhero comic books, and if I did continue, I don’t think he would be the one that I would choose.

Deadpool just makes me very confused. I always thought the Deadpool books were supposed to be funny, but in reality, they are just depressing and sad. Deadpool is a totally underrated human being and I can’t fathom the reasons for that. I know that sometime in his past he did bad things, but all that I’ve read about him says otherwise. He’s not really purposefully bad, he just kind of doesn’t have the constant dilemma of “Should I or shouldn’t I hurt bad guys”, which I, personally, think would be helpful for all superheroes. If you have the power to stop evil for good, why not do it? Oh, right, so that I can come back after 3 volumes and kill more people.

This volume was the most sad and depressing one out of the three that I read. And that was due to obvious reasons, that I shall not mention because of the large amount of spoilers. Nevertheless, I felt like even after learning Deadpool’s deepest, saddest secrets, the other heroes weren’t all that moved. Which made me believe Deadpool is considered an asshole for the sake of the existence of an asshole superhero and for no other reason.

“Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies” by Greg Rucka

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies(Author: Greg Rucka) + (Year: 2017) + (Goodreads)


Review:

So… this was kind of mediocre. I had high hopes because I’ve started liking Wonder Woman a lot lately, but this comic book was nothing special at all, to be honest.

First of all, I think that there was an over-saturation of Wonder Woman this year, because this is the second of three things about her that came out that I personally know of, the movie, this comic book, and the Leigh Bardugo novel from the DC Icons series.

And what I don’t like about this fact is that they all kind of start the same and continue with minor differences.

Of course, the medium of all three is different, and yet, I started feeling the repetitiveness.

Out of this volume, I mostly enjoyed the origin story of Wonder Woman, which I was more or less familiar with, but I was confused by the other parts of the volume, which had no background whatsoever, so I felt kind of lost at certain points. This made me think it would have been better if we saw more of Wonder Woman’s near past, instead of the Themyscira story again and again.

The art… Well… not my cup of tea. Not that it was not pretty or anything, but it was not what I usually like. Sure enough, it had this superhero comic book style that to me seems kind of rushed and like not enough was invested in it. Wonder Woman herself looked very manly and not her usual beautiful self. And it also struck me that while Black Magick and Wonder Woman (both by Rucka), have different illustrators, all the female characters kind of look the same, despite the fact that the art is generally different.

While I feel on the fence about reading the next volumes, I have this feeling that I will not.

 

“Let It Bleed” by Ian Rankin

Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)(Author: Ian Rankin) + (Year: 1995) + (Goodreads)

(Around the World: Scotland)


Review:

Another book from my world challenge and, unfortunately, not a very good choice.

I can’t really say I enjoyed Let it Bleed. Despite it being only 360-something pages, it felt like 800. The story was dark, dreary and slow, and it had next to no emotional pull. I realized rather late that it’s one of those money-machine series with tens of novels, each the same as the previous one, and full of flat, uninteresting characters.

Inspector Rebus was a very unpleasant main character, he lacked charisma, he lacked compassion, he was terrible to his daughter, disrespected authority and personal rights and only kept going with the investigation because he had decided so and no one was going to stop him.

There were many characters in this book and not a single one was developed more than the generic background story. Even the villains had next to no motive for the crimes they committed. I’m pretty sure even Rebus himself mentioned that.

Not to mention that the entire solving of the crime was a hot mess of useless and meaningless details and conversations, and little pieces of information which, through Rebus’ far-fetched deductions, lead to him solving the crime thanks more to guesswork, rather than evidence.

I admit that I am not generally a fan of detective novels, for many of the reasons that lead me to not liking Let It Bleed, as well, but even as far as those go, this is one of the worse ones I’ve read.

“Sofia Wizards” by Martin Kolev

Софийски магьосници(Author: Martin Kolev) + (Year: 2017) + (Goodreads)

(Around the World: Bulgaria)


Review:

After a whirlwind of a year and after moving away from Bulgaria, I ended up nearly finishing 2017 with a Bulgarian book. And what a book it was.

While I was eager to start Sofia Wizards (I got the translation from the author’s Facebook page. Alternatively, I would think Wizards of Sofia would sound better), I didn’t have very big expectations. The friend I borrowed the book from told me that it’s basically Bulgarian Harry Potter, which was more or less scary, because no book would live up to that name.

It turned out that while they had many similarities, including a first chapter almost identical to the main points of the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the book was not a rip-off. That is not to say that it didn’t borrow many ideas, like the hidden streets (similar to Diagon Alley), or the magical pubs, etc., but it was not done in a blatant way.

Kolev actually brought a lot of little things to the book that I quite enjoyed, such as the quest games in which you actually physically get sucked in, or the schools of magic which are separated by abilities, rather than personality traits and preferences (nature magic, mirror magic, fire magic).

Something that I really loved about the book was the alternative look on Sofia. Having made the decision to leave Bulgaria, I didn’t think I would miss it very much. But while reading Sofia Wizards, I did remember fondly the streets and places mentioned, as well as imagine this other Sofia that I would have liked to be a part of, if it existed.

Overall, a very enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to the next installments in the series (as I saw the author mentioned on his Facebook page that there will be others).