Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Miniviews #29: You & Blackhearts

You by Caroline Kepnes

Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Pages: 422
Series: You #1
Source: Purchased
Rating: 2.5/5
Well, something I quickly discovered about myself well reading, You is that I don't have anywhere near enough patience to become a proper stalker. So you're welcome world. Another thing I found out is that a lot of readers are just as confused as I am for finding someone as messed up as Joe as utterly compelling and charming. Joe is the driving force behind this novel. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to like him well feeling disgusted with yourself for liking a murderer with a pretty serious stalking problem. Joe knows how to be who he needs to be to get what he wants. His witty thoughts are exactly what most of us are thinking. Beyond that, he's fucking hilarious, especially when he's doing those illegal things. Whatever, it's fiction and I'm allowed to like him. So Joe was great, but I cannot say that about everything else. Beck(the girl Joe is stalking) is a fake, pretentious screwed up moron. I loathe her. Every single email she sent(that Joe would read like a good stalker) to her friends, every single time she called Joe, anything that had her and Joe connected actually had me feeling bad for the guy because she was using him; playing him. And what! He's stalking her, it should be the other way around. Nope, I actually felt that Beck was a worse person than Joe. And really Joe could have picked someone so much better to stalk and love.
The pacing was my biggest issue. A third of the pages could have been cut out. It was way too long. So of course, that makes the book drag. And I lose interest and patience; which comes back to not having the patience Joe shows through many a pages. The second person narrative was different. But I never had that unsettling or creeped out feeling that it should have given me, and that was just a let down as that's the whole idea behind You being in second person; feeling like Joe is in your face.
I can see the hype behind You. I get it. Joe makes you route for an ultimately bad person. But he just wasn't enough to make me need to tear through the book.

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher **I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Rating: 4/5
Well, this is truly a Blackbeard origin story. I knew that going in. Just not to the degree of Blackbeard not being known as Blackbeard, or to not even be at sea. But there you have it, Blackhearts is a love story that eventually produced one of the most notorious pirates. Well, Castroman's take on that bit of history. So getting over that hump of no pirates and sea adventures, Blackhearts turned out to be a pretty good historical romance. That's how I ended up reading it anyhow. It definitely has all the scandal and intrigue that comes with a historical romance backdrop. Edward is returning home to his wealthy merchant father and his "chosen" betrothed. Anne is the maid holding a big secret well trying to escape to freedom. Any relationship that develops just screams recipe for disaster. I mean it's already spelled out with the name of Blackbeard's/Edward's future ship. I like how their relationship started off on a mutual annoyance to realizing that they both craved freedom(which the open sea provides). Anne has a natural sassy-ness. Edward is naturally protective with an underlying darker side.
What I thought added a great layer to the story is Anne being of mixed ethnicity. Which is obviously something you would never see back then. Castroman could have made Anne just another poor white girl and based on the time period I know I would have thought nothing of it. But by not, there was more to Anne and her surroundings; how people reacted to her, whether just staring, being disgusted or the few that didn't notice.
The setting of Bristol drew me right in. Not only am I sucker for a seaside town, but I also have family roots there. So you know, it's close to my heart.
As you might imagine Edward and Anne are not in for an easy love. Blackhearts can definitely stand alone, as I believe it's meant to. But we were just getting to the good stuff, adventure and piracy, so I can only hope there's more to come on the horizon.

Happy reading!


1 comment:

  1. I've been on the fence about You but you've just added it to my TBR with all it's messed up-ness. I don't think I have the patience or follow through to become a stalker either. Plus I kind of like staying home with my books and tv and other stuff so I think stalking someone would interfere with that! I had never heard of Blackhearts but I'm so in! It sounds amazing and I love pirates! Great reviews! I'm adding both to my TBR.