Series: Air Awakens: Vortex Visions #2
**I received an e-ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**
DNF at 30%
I just can’t do it with this series. The original series, Air Awakens, was amazing and I would recommend it to any fantasy lover, but this spin-off sequel series just falls short in every form of the word. I did the majority of my complaining in my review of the first book, but when I started reading the first few chapters of this one I realized just how much I really couldn’t continue with this series. Maybe it isn’t fair of me to rate this without reading the full text, but I’m pretty confident that this is how I’ll feel. The integration of stereotypical fantasy aspects such as elfin and using a different language for magic (both of which were not in the original series) are such a turn-off and feels like an attempt to pander to the audience. Even the characters seem flat and like they’re attempting to be more than they really are. I don’t see myself returning to this series, which is a shame considering the first series was so great.
Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi
**I received an Advanced Readers’ Copy of this book from the publisher (PenguinTeen) in order to participate in the blog tour and to give an honest review**
This is one of those books where I went in thinking it would go a completely different direction than it actually did. The premise is essentially that the main character, Opal Hopper, enters a contest to try and face the man that saw her father last, just before he disappeared. But when Opal ends up going viral, she ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for. This book touches on some very interesting aspects including lying, fame, and nostalgia. In this near future, there is a group of people known as “Luds” that essentially hate technology. Opal notices that, even though everyone else claims that technology is the best thing, there is still some deep set nostalgia for the little things in life. After all, cooking a steak doesn’t have the same feel and smell when it’s in VR. Girl Gone Viral basically voiced everything I’ve heard or thought about regarding the truth, people, and technology and even brought in sexual harassment to show just how different people behave when they’re online. It also shows just how obsessed we become with our image and how absorbed we as consumers can become invested in the lives of others. There were so many directions that this book could have taken and during the last hundred pages or so I was wracking by brain to figure out what was going to happen, but the ending was what fell short for me. After such a fabulous beginning and a nail-biting plot points throughout the story, I turned past the last page absolutely certain I was missing the last chapter or that this was going to end up being a series. Overall, I definitely recommend giving this a read, but I wouldn’t set high expectations for the ending.
Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie
Villains are awesome. They’re usually the type that I gravitate to no matter what the genre is, but this was such a snore. Not only do I absolutely hate the Booktuber portions (I don’t have anything against the Booktubers themselves, I just think they were weak chapters). I didn’t really like any of the stories either. They had weak concepts like Jack and the Beanstock and The Little Mermaid as a siren. A lot of them felt strained and like each author just didn’t know what to write for their given prompt. If you like retellings you might enjoy a few stories in this, but overall I was just really disappointed especially with some of the bigger name authors that wrote books I love.