These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Review: Grounded

Grounded Grounded by Heather Young-Nichols
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those super rare occasions whereby I spent the entire book flickering between ratings. I can give reasons for all of the ratings between one and four stars. In the end, I settled for the three stars. I’m sure many will enjoy this much more than I did, but I flickered between ratings far too much to give it anything higher. Due to this, I’m going to try something slightly different with my review. I’m not one hundred percent sure as to how it will work out – other than lengthy, as it feels like another one of those kind of reviews – but I’ll give it a try anyway. What I’m going to try and do is explain why it was deserving of each of the four different ratings that I considered giving it.

We’ll begin at the bottom and work up, meaning we’re starting with the one star. For me, it was the romance. Anyone who has read any of my reviews about romantic books will already know what is to come. That is, I’m so picky when it comes to romance. I can think of but a handful that have managed to pull five stars from me – in the contemporary romance genre we have The Rosie Project by Don Tillman; in the romantic suspense we have Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen; in the paranormal romance we have the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor and the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness – but as I read more and more I am offering up more of the four stars that I would usually hold back on when it came to romance reads. So, whilst I’m more accepting of romance, I’m still super picky.

My issues with the romance in this story… well, there are a few.

First, we have the instalove. This is my biggest annoyance. I understand lust at first sight – I’m sure we have all encountered people where our minds have made comments we’d rather not repeat to anyone else – yet with this one, it was very clearly love. But wait, the second issue complicates things!

Second, we have the love triangle. At times, I hate this even more than I hate the instalove – with this read, though, it falls to second place. It is the most overused literary device. It seems as though every female in the written world is doomed to have two men battling it out for her. Such is true in this book, like so many others. That, however, was the least of my problems in regards to the triangle.

Third, we have the pacing of the romance. This links in with the instalove, but it continued beyond that. Things happen instantly, the romance taking centre stage. I wanted more of the story, more of the fantasy, instead of dealing with the boy trouble. We were thrown in head first, which was bad enough, but then it took far too long to be sorted out. There was no real pacing for the romance, it was as though the author simply threw it all together, allowing her to sail a ship she had created.

Of course, I’m sure many will love the romance. I’m simply extremely hard to please and I found myself unable to connect to the romance at all in this one. It bugged me every time something related to the romance happened, which was quite often. In the end, I managed to overlook things. However, whenever it started to overshadow the main story I became distracted and less than pleased all over again.

I should stop ranting about the romance now, though. This review is already growing rather lengthy and I’ve yet to move beyond my one star musing. Without further ado, the musing of the two star rating. The pacing. I sort of covered this with my final point about the romance, so I’m sure this will be a rather quick section.

For me, the pacing seemed all over the place. Well, it wasn’t so much pacing, as it was the lack of real action. In the first chapter, it seems as though things are going to be all out. We’re introduced to our main character and her actions leave you thinking that things will move at a wonderful pace. Then we reach a standstill for over a quarter of the book as we deal with the romance drama. It pulls away from what I wanted. We have very little by way of the fantasy. It is all shrouded in mystery. Whilst mystery is wonderful, I would have liked to have some kind of information as we’re reading. It’s quite late on before we receive the real information regarding the fantasy aspect of the book. Once we’re done dealing with the dragged out initial romance drama, it looks as though things are going to pick up. Whilst they do, we never had the real action that I had been hoping for. There were constant threats of action only for them to sizzle out or be over too soon. I wanted more.

Up next, we have the three star possibility. This is all relating to clich├ęs. I’ve given a few of them already. I mentioned the love triangle and instalove, but there is more than that. We have the conflict at home. We have the characters destined to be the most amazing of things since sliced bread. We have the relationship with those who are supposed to be enemies. There are some others, but then I would be giving too many spoilers. Whilst it was all thrown into a new story, it was much of the same. It was fun, but it wasn’t quite enough to stand out completely. At times, I could have been reading any book in this genre. When it came to the storyline, in short, there wasn’t really much to distinguish it from many others in the genre. It was enjoyable, but it wasn’t something new and crazy.

Finally, we have the four star potential. This comes in two parts. We have the level of addiction, and we have the creation of the fantasy aspect. I’ll cover these separately.

The story was addictive. I know I have sounded extremely negative thus far, but I was addicted. I managed to work through the book in no time at all – and that wasn’t simply due to the length. If I’m one hundred percent against a book the length does not matter, it will take me forever to finish. With this one, however, I was turning page after page. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what was to come. I was able to overlook my issues, as I needed to see where things were heading. I really wasn’t expecting to find myself so addicted, especially considering how long it took me to get into the book.

As for the creation of the new fantasy world… well, that one is easy to explain. We’re give new creatures to learn about, new ways of life. I was disappointed that more attention wasn’t given to this aspect, and I wish things had been a bit more informative from the onset, but I did enjoy how the author came up with something new to give us. It was a nice change, and there is a lot of potential for the future books in the series. There is no telling what more is to come.

Ergo, as you can see, I was a bit all over the place with this one. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I was annoyed yet I wanted more. Hence the three star rating.

Part of me wishes to continue with the series, but I’m not yet sure if I will. Part of me wants to – the ending left me wanting to see what comes next – yet another part of me has no wish to carry on. We’ll see closer to the time. Honestly, it could go either way.

As it’s a first in the series, and as it’s my first book by the author, I probably will give the next a try. If not the next, then I will at least try something else by the author. The female does have talent – the voice of the main character was more than enough to pull me in, and I love it when such a thing happens.

Plus, I’ve joined her mailing list. Which is actually how I knew this was free for a while. I’m not quite sure how I ended up on her mailing list – I have recently found myself subscribed to many I was not aware of, but I’m willing to give them all a try. As Grounded seems like something I would be interested in, I went ahead and gave it a read straight away. For a freebie, it was a decent enough read. For a first in the series, it sets things up. For my first read by the author, it left me curious to see what else she has to offer.

Despite all of this, I still couldn’t bring myself to love it as much as I had wanted to.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment