My Books. My Life.

"Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." ~Voltaire~

Review: The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray January 13, 2010

Filed under: Book Review,Young Adult — Michelle @ 6:34 am
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Title: The Sweet Far Thing
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 0440237777
Pages: 819
Year: 2008
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Source: My collection
Rating: 2/5

Plot summary (from The Book Depository):

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds. The Order–the mysterious group her mother was once part of–is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence’s burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

Plot summary (from me):

600 pages of pointlessness. 200 pages to wrap up the story. Oh, and there is some kissing. And some magic. But that’s all that sticks with me.

Other Books I’ve Read By Author: A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels (the first two books in the series).

Why I Picked Up This Book: I started it ages ago for Seriespalooza, but basically I just needed to finish the trilogy.

My thoughts:

I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike of this book while reading it.  I have no idea why this book was 820 pages long. I’m pretty sure I could have skipped the first 600 pages and been fine. I thought the first two books picked up toward the end, and so did this one, but there was just too much before any real action happened.  I was annoyed with the characters – I disliked Ann and her whining, Felicity and her selfishness. And Gemma and her “oh what should I do, what should I do” complaints all the time.

My biggest problem with the book was that I don’t think their world was explained well enough so I didn’t care about it or what happened to it.  Because Gemma is the story teller and she doesn’t know anything, I didn’t either. Perhaps I just don’t remember the first two books well enough, but I felt like it was all just made up as we went. I want my fictional worlds to be carefully crafted and make sense.

I also was annoyed by all the selfishness that happened in the book. I know they’re only teenagers and maybe I’ve just watched too many episodes of Charmed, but I’m a believer in the idea that the people who hold magic should not use it for personal gain. I was annoyed by all the scheming.

The only thing that kept me going (besides the need to finish the trilogy) was the Gemma-Kartik storyline. I did want to know what happened with them.

Memorable Passages:

“Peace is not happenstance. It is a living fire that must be fed constantly. It must be tended to with vigilance, else it dies out.” p. 301

Will I Read This Author Again?: Possibly, but I won’t go out of my way.



 

Teaser Tuesdays December 15, 2009

“I do not know how it feels to be thrown into a lake of fire. I am sure it isn’t pleasant. But I can say with all certainty that walking the length of a ballroom with a book upon one’s head and a back-board strapped to one’s back while imposioned in a tight corset, layers or petticoats, and shoes that pinch is a form of torture even Mr. Alighieri would find too hideous to document in his Inferno
– Page 7 of The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
[I cheated again this week and used more than 2 sentences.]

teasertuesdays31

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 

Seriespalooza December 13, 2009

Filed under: Challenges,Currently Reading — Michelle @ 5:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

Michelle at Galleysmith is hosting Seriespalooza this week – a week dedicated to finishing the series we’re in the middle of or starting new series we’ve been meaning to get to.  Here is what she has to say about it:

One of my very favorite things about reading is reading books in a series.  I adore getting to know characters and watching as they progress from point A to point Z over time.  But, if you are anything like me, as much as you’d like to read all the books in a particular series you also run into other obligations or constraints.Well, I’m here to tell you that now there’s going to be a time to dedicate yourself, and your reading habits, *only* to the books in a series (or multiple series).

For the week starting December 14  through December 20 I’ll be holding Seriespalooza, where participants will read only books in a series they are either currently reading or are wanting to start.  It’s a relaxed affair where you can read at your leisure so there isn’t any pressure. It’s just a great excuse to dip into the pile of books you want to read instead of those you may have scheduled to read as a result of other obligations.

As part of the fun, over the course of the week I’ll be posting exclusively about series books and authors.   Not only that but you can follow all the fun using the Twitter hashtag #seriespalooza. Oh and because no party is complete without presents I’ll also be dipping into my bag of tricks to award prizes for people who are participating!

So as soon as I finish Hate List today (a book recommended by Michelle actually), I will begin The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. It’s been bothering me that I never finished this series. I didn’t love the first two books as much as everyone else, but I do want to see what happens. This week is giving me the push I needed to finally read the third and final book.  As it’s 800+ pages, I don’t think I’ll be getting to anything else during the week but I’ll keep you updated if I do.