Ninja Cows! I picked up this book on July 4th because I was reading a book set in the UK at the time, and that just would NOT do on that particular day. 😀 And I’m glad I got to have some fun with this book, because it takes Center out of her more usual tale and brings her into a bit of a less serious while still dealing with serious things kind of tale, which allows both her as the author and us as the readers to have more fun and still enjoy the work of a great storyteller. There is enough drama here to be compelling without overwhelming, enough comedy to keep things light and fresh without being distracting, and ultimately a solid love tale of an unconventional couple in a fake relationship. And yes, ninja cows. Seriously, the only negative of this book is that the ninja cows should have had more screen time. 🙂 Very much recommended.
For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that starts a bit generically before diving into a surreal fever dream with the kind of abrupt ending that works here but that some have problems with. For this blog tour we’re looking at Fan Club by Erin Mayer.
Twenty Something Angst Turned Fever Dream. This is a book that you can largely pluck the *exact* details out and have a version of pretty well every single angsty twentysomething “My life sucks and this pointless job is draining my very soul” tale out there. At least through the first third ish. Then our lead character allows herself to be drawn into an obsessive and honestly creepy “fan club” of a singer (consisting of exactly four other members). Around the 50% mark, some feature of the narration or possibly just a lack of editing turns the tale into more of a fever dream, where all of a sudden we’re sporadically getting the perspective of the very singer the narrator is now obsessed with. At this stage, the book becomes much harder to follow in any logical form, and the reader just has to adapt to diving into the crazy and holding on to whatever shred of sanity ties you into the “real” (ie, the reader’s own) world, because with the combination of knocks to her head, illicit drugs, and other factors… it becomes truly less clear for a bit what is real and what isn’t, in-story. But then we come out of that for the ending, which is one of those abrupt ambiguous types that many other readers have problems with and I personally rarely do. (Nor do I here.) Ultimately I’m chalking up the weirdness of the back half to a lack of editing rather than a functional error in storytelling, which preserves the five stars for the overall book. Recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book, followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social/ web links, and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Fan Club by Erin Mayer”
This week we’re returning to a world I said just last year that the author could spend the rest of her career in and I would not be disappointed. This week we’re looking at No Place Too Far by Kay Bratt.
On the less-good front, my writer’s block for these posts is continuing. On the not-so-bad front, at least I was (hopefully) able to convey how I truly feel about this book in the Goodreads level review. Basically, I truly love this world and want much more of it.
Amazing Follow-up. I wrote last year of the first book in this series that Bratt could spend the rest of her career in this world, and that I would not be disappointed. Here, she comes back to the world ostensibly to give best friend Maggie her story… that Quinn plays an even larger part in than Maggie played in Quinn’s own story (where Maggie was present enough to be the obvious target of a direct sequel, but otherwise truly a secondary character). Bratt does a solid job of juggling both ladies, it just seems at times here that too much is being condensed into one book. To me, the tale here could have been told over three, maybe four, books rather than one and been more on par with the overall pacing and impact of True To Me. Going into specifics might get a bit too much into spoiler territory, so I’ll simply say that to me, the division is this: Quinn gets a dedicated sequel. Maggie’s story here gets its own dedicated book where Quinn becomes more of a secondary character rather than the co-lead she is here, and Maggie’s own story is then broken up into effectively the first and second halves of the story here.
I know, I know. I’ve complained in other reviews about books being cut in half in almost blatantly obvious cash grabs, but I don’t think Bratt would have done that in the above scenario. I think more time in each of these situations would have brought out much more of the depth of emotion that True To Me had, vs the constant “swinging for the fences” here.
But do not get me wrong: This is still truly an excellent book, one I am very proud to have read, and again, I want to come back to this world many, many more times. This is just me expressing my quibbles over pacing of a truly excellent book that to my mind *just* missed the “I can’t stop crying and my mind is blown” level of amazement that True To Me brought. Truly a great book, and very much recommended.