When I first started this book, I listened to the audio version, I was excited. The prologue was full of action and intrigue and made me want to continue on and learn more about the characters.
And then the actual story started.
First off, I noticed that the prologue was in third-person and the rest of the story was in first-person. That threw me off. I thought that there was maybe something wrong with the audiobook. I was really excited for the storyline to continue through from the prologue, but it almost instantly took a different turn.
It took over half of the book to figure out what had happened to the main character, Malory, through segmented flashbacks. The flashbacks connected to the prologue, which was good and bad. Good because there was a connection between the actual story and the very beginning. Bad because the flashbacks were choppy and incomplete, a contrast to the straightforwardness of the prologue. It should not take over half of a book to understand why the protagonist is the way they are. I wanted to know far sooner.
I was also looking forward to this being a coming of age story that came full circle. That did not happen. It was rather slow and turned into a love story and I don’t think it ever came full circle. I feel like half of the book could have been cut out and it would have been the same story, that’s how excessive and slow it was.
Overall, the beginning was great and super intriguing, but the slowness and the falling back into typical love story YA cliches ruined the book for me.
I have wanted to read this book since the second I discovered it was coming out. And I was not let down.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ shows a different Diana and Themyscira than the one that Patty Jenkins showed us in the movie. We see more of this ‘Cult Island,’ as it is called, and we learn more about the Amazon way of life, rules, and regulations. The Amazons and their culture is more developed than in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing Diana in this light, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t develop that any further.
In ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Diana is innocent. But she is also a kid; seventeen to be exact. She fights being the youngest of her people and being a teenager in modern day New York. That is something that I really enjoyed about the read, Diana was relatable in a way that isn’t really relatable. She doesn’t know how to work a smartphone, has never seen anything plastic, and has never flown in an airplane…but the way she feels about all of these new things is so relatable because we’ve all been there and experienced new things.
The ending was a twist that even I wasn’t expecting, and I’m pretty good at expecting twists. And that’s exactly what brought this book to five stars. The writing was well done, the characters well developed, which I enjoyed. But the twist ending worked. It didn’t seem far-fetched and fit character personalities. The twist ending was a real make it or break it moment; depending on how Leigh Bardugo handled the situation it could have gone off the rails and ruined the entire novel. But it didn’t. It tied it together really well and mended my heart (that had shattered a few pages beforehand).
Over 5/5 stars for a well-written ending that knew it’s characters.
For the first thirteen pages, I complained after every other sentence. I think that Stephenie Meyer literally went through her Word document that was Twilight and changed Bella to Beau and Edward to Edythe. I felt like I was reading her own version of fanfiction–for her own work! It seemed like such a money grab that I felt dirty reading it at points. And the title? Boring. There was no imagination whatsoever that went into naming Life and Death.
When I forgot what I was reading, though, it felt a lot more natural for the genders to be switched. Now, I haven’t read Twilight in about four or five years, so I don’t know if that impacts how I read this book. But I am a much bigger fan of Edythe and Beau than Bella and Edward.
The storyline felt sloppy, and maybe if I reread Twilight now I would say the same thing. There was hardly a story until the last half of the book, only two people unhealthily obsessed with each other. When Beau finally discovers what Edythe is, that’s when the storyline starts to pick up. And when the antagonists of the story appear (for about the last fifty or so pages) that’s when the action starts to happen. It seems that Meyer missed the first day of her creative writing class: in order to have a story, there has to be something happening…
The end at least was exciting. I don’t want to include any spoilers, but the way the story ended felt natural and not too forced. I wish Twilight had ended that way. If Meyer had continued “rewriting” and had the same ending, it would have begged for more books about Edythe and Beau, which do not need to be written. The wrap-up was well concluded and doesn’t seem to leave anything out.
I think the biggest reason why I’m most frustrated with Life and Death is because Meyer had the incredible opportunity to expand the universe she created and she ignored it. She could have done something similar to J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts. She could have moved the entire story to Maine or Europe and developed different (yet similar) characters and expanded this world and her franchise. And she blew it! I just don’t understand why she wasted this opportunity.
All in all, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Life and Death.
Now, I don’t just give out five-star ratings. But I absorbed this book. I first spotted it about a month and a half ago at a bookstore and finally purchased it yesterday. I read the first three chapters last night before bed and finished it just a few moments ago, in only twenty-five hours.
Instantly gripping and constantly compelling, this book was a rollercoaster of a ride. At first, I was a little bit frustrated because there were parts that were a mystery and all I wanted to know was the answer. As I continued to read I was transfixed (it’s cram-before-exams week in college, to give up any time is a rarity, so you know this is an honest review). I fell for all of the characters, even those who aren’t protagonists.
I felt that the depiction of high school was a bit exaggerated, but the language and thought process of the characters seemed incredibly accurate. McGinnis did an incredible job making me care about the characters so much so that I cried at the end; she painted villains as heroes and did a good chunk of storytelling through dialogue. Though the topics of the book are a bit on the heavy side, and some passages can be triggering to some audiences, The Female of the Species is a pretty easy read, the longest chapter wasn’t more than five pages.
McGinnis did justice to the split point of view narration, developing each protagonist in their own way and making sure that none of their personalities blurred together. While reading, I never felt like any part of the book was over the top or unbelievable and writing something like this could have easily gone that way.
So, thanks to lottelikesbooks’ Instagram, I found this cool little list titled Meet the Reader. As a writer, I’m naturally a reader and I thought that I’d fill this out and pass it along for those who want to get to know me.
(a) How many books can you read at once?
Probably 3 or four, depending on what the books are.
(b) What’s your favorite reading drink?
I don’t tend to drink anything when I’m reading simply because I’m likely to spill it all over my book and I find that tragic. If I do have a drink though, it’s probably some sort of tea, the best bet being green tea.
(c) What’s your favorite reading snack?
Same as above, I don’t usually eat anything because then I get food-covered fingerprints all over the pages or crumbs in the binding, but if I do eat anything, it’s either chocolate chips or a snack food like goldfish/Cheez-Itz.
(d) How is your bookshelf organized?
I usually have it organized in alphabetical order, but I had too many books so I had to organize it by size so I could fit more books in.
(e) Hardcover or paperback? [Why?]
Paperback, they’re cheaper, more flexible, and cozier.
Scrolling through Tumblr (I follow the #amwriting) I found a post that I think would help writers, including myself. Thank you, Kira Martin, for your wonderful advice!
Hello! I am a writer that is fairly new to the game. I realized I wanted to write full time a few ago. Since then, I’ve been working on a book, that I consider to be my baby; the masterpiece that will create my overall brand. However, I struggle with the discipline of it all. I have such a hard time getting myself to just sit down and finish! I’m currently working on my 23rd chapter but I know I still have so much to go. Working 40 hours a week isn’t necessarily helping either. Advice?
[asked by Anonomous]
What you’re experiencing is what a lot of aspiring/newbie writers go through–you need to sit yourself down and come up with a plan of action. And because it’s my style, here’s a list to help with that plan of action:
1. Find your motivation. What inspires you? Why do you want to finish your book? Why do you want to write? Once you find your motivation, surround yourself with it. Realizing that you will never be a career writer unless you write your book is a good kick in the ass.
2. Make writing a habit. The way to form habits is to do them daily. Put aside an hour every day to focus on your manuscript—you can even set an alert in your phone. Be very clear to everyone that if they interrupt you during this time that their deaths are on their hands. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes natural (the writing, not the interruption murders).
3. Set goals. Find what works for you. A page a day? 700 words? Set you goals as your phone’s lock screen. Put sticky notes on your mirror. Do a goal thermometer and scribble out a notch for each chapter/page you complete. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it every day.
4. Create a ritual. What I’ve always done is play some music, open my document, and read what I last wrote. By now, when the music comes on, I know it’s time to get to business. Combined with my habit of listening to the same song on repeat for days, I once accidently conditioned myself to open my doc when I heard a certain song. Find whatever works for you.
5. Consider your future. How serious are you about being a writer? For any sort of dream, there are risks/stresses/extra work required for them to come into fruition. If you can’t find time to write, you need to think about what that means for the future. In five years where will you be if you continue down this path? Where do you want to be? What are sacrifices (time/energy/money) you might need to get there?