Book review: Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Goodreads   Amazon

It’s been a couple weeks now since I finished Long Way Down, and honestly I’m still pretty emotional. I had been looking forward to this book for months, but I scared to read it. It’s the end of an era (sort of), and there were rumors flying around that one of the main characters might die, people were speculating that something might happen to Ryke and/or Daisy, and there was generally just a feeling that something really dramatic was going to happen.

Now, let me make it clear: I trust these ladies completely. I am 110% convinced that I’ll love anything they write. But I was still scared that this book was going to break my heart.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

My heart is still whole. And it’s happy. Sure, this book has really sad parts. Terrible things happen. I cried. (More than once.) But this book is so good. It’s the perfect ending to Ryke and Daisy’s story.

That’s all I’m going to say in my review. Anything more and I run the risk of spoiling it for anybody who hasn’t read it or previous books in the series.

And I want to encourage everybody to read this series. (You can get the first book for free on Amazon.) It somehow gets better and better and better as it goes on. (You can see my ratings steadily increase, by the way.) I can’t wait for Some Kind of Perfect, Infini, and the Like Us series.

Of all the authors I first discovered in 2015, I’m most excited to have found Krista & Becca Ritchie.

 

Final rating:

★★★★★, of course.

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #22: a book that scares you.

   Goodreads   Amazon

I’m going to start off honestly: When I saw this book pop up on Netgalley, I was really intrigued and immediately requested it. Then I saw it was by Lisa Mantchev, an author who has disappointed me in the past. Last year, I read Ticker, which had a good premise but was really terribly written. I was nervous about starting this one in case the same thing happened, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. For the most part.

Here are the basics –

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, one of the bands promoted by Corporate. They tour around Cyrene, playing shows to generate the energy that powers the city. Energy is currency in Cyrene. The more of it you can generate, the happier Corporate will be. Vee is especially talented at generating energy. Her songs draw people in, to the point that she’s even been known to overload the thrum collectors.

Micah lives under the radar, running errands for the owner of a popular club. He overdosed on a powerful, illegal drug months ago, which kicked him off the grid. He sees Vee perform one night, and finds himself absolutely entranced with her. He obsesses over her for days, drags himself all over the city looking for her, and somehow this didn’t even bother me.

Vee and Micah are an indisputable case of instalove. Their eyes meet across the room. They fixate on each other. Without even knowing anything about each other, they have this connection that they just need to explore. And it’s okay. I can deal with it.

Suddenly, the story splinters off into a weird tirade against drug use. Of course I was rooting for Micah and Vee and hoping they would destroy the big bad evil drug dealer, but it didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the story. We go from fun nights at the club to helpless girls pumped full of drugs and it’s just weird.

So, overall, this book is good. The story definitely drew me in, but it had some hiccups in the plot that pulled me out, and it took some time to re-submerge myself in this world.

I’m teetering between three and four stars, but I think I have to be fair to my other four-star reads here and go with three.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

The year’s not over year, but today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is top ten best books I read in 2015.  Now, I’m not sure if I can do this justice seeing how there’s still a good two weeks of reading ahead of me, but I’ll try.  So here, as of 12/15/15, are the best books I’ve read so far this year (in no particular order):

  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.  I knew when I first started this book that it would make an impression on me.  I’ll probably be including it on best book lists for years to come.
  • The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn.  I’m not sure how this book could have possibly been so hilarious, but it was and I wish I could read it again, but for the first time.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.  My heart.  How can I care about fictional boys so much?
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  This was the first book I read in 2015, and it’s still one of the best.
  • Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie.  I’m living in constant anticipation of their next release.
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.  As usual, I loved a Libba Bray book.  I know, this is such a shock.  You can’t even believe it.
  • Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie.  This showed such a different side of Connor and Rose, and I absolutely loved it.
  • The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre. 2015: the year of Sara crying over fictional teenagers.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  I haven’t even reviewed this one yet, but I loved it.  I devoured it in one sitting.  I want to be friends with Simon.
  • Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite shows, so obviously I loved this book.

This was so hard!  I’ll be writing up an official list of my 10 (or 15, or 20, maybe even 25) favorites of 2015 in early January.  For now, these are definitely some of the best.  What are some of the best books you’ve read so far in 2015?

   Goodreads   Amazon

Poorly Drawn Lines if you aren’t aware, is a very, very popular webcomic. Reza Farazmand’s style of humor is very weird, very random, and always has a twist. Personally, I love it.

The book is a collection of comics and short stories, most of which made me smile, chuckle, or even flat-out laugh out loud. This book would be excellent as a gift or a pick-me-up. It seems a little tedious to read through all at once (you’ll start to notice the same themes repeating over and over again), but the average reader probably isn’t going to do that.

Definitely recommended for any fans of the webcomic.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating:

★★★★☆

   Goodreads   Amazon

I don’t often read collections of short stories. I probably never would have picked this book up if my 2015 reading challenge hadn’t required me to read a Pulitzer Prize winner. I couldn’t find my copy of Middlesex, and the only edition I have of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is in Spanish, so I was at a loss. I’m trying to cut down my book-buying habit, so I asked my mom if she owned any Pulitzer Prize winners. She did! This one!

I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, I’d heard good things about Lahiri. An author doesn’t get to be a Pulizer Prize winner without some amount of publicity. But I really had no idea what kind of books she wrote or what I was getting myself into. I didn’t even know this was a collection of short stories until I started reading it.

The first one, A Temporary Matter, made me sob. That’s when I knew that I was in for a good experience. Do you know how many books have made me sob over the years? No more than a handful. The story of a couple grieving their stillborn child while telling each other secrets by candlelight – easily the best of the bunch.

My next favorite was probably Sexy, the story of a mistress who, upon babysitting a strangely perceptive young boy, realizes that her lover does not actually love her.

Rounding out my top three would be Interpreter of Maladies: a hired driver tells a rich couple of his “real” job – a medical interpreter. The wife becomes enamored with the idea that the patients’ lives are in this man’s hands; after all, if he were to interpret their symptoms incorrectly, they would not get the correct treatments. Over the course of the trip, the driver falls for the wife and his perfect idea of her, only to find that she’s as imperfect and human as anybody else.

This is not the kind of book that you power through. I read one or two stories at a time, often taking a break of several hours in between. The stories stick with you. They weigh on you. They’re not happy stories; in fact, most of them have rather sad, disappointing endings. But these are not the kind of stories that would work with happy endings. For the most part, they’re brief windows into the lives of unhappy people.

My takeaway from this book? A reminder to be kind. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes in someone else’s life.

Final rating: 

★★★★☆

For my 2015 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #18: a Pulitzer Prize winner.