Mini-reviews: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; The Falconer by Elizabeth May; and The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay

attachmentsTitle: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Plume
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
Number of pages: 323

Goodreads blurb: “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

I adored Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, so decided I should read Rainbow Rowell’s first novel. I loved it, too. It’s a little different, because it’s not written for a YA audience, but it still has the same feel as her other work. The characters are quirky and weird enough to be real people, people you’d find in your home or workplace. I love that. I love that her characters are representative of normal people. I like the idea of a guy falling in love with a girl purely based on her e-mails to her best friend. Yes, it’s an invasion of privacy, but you get the REAL person, an open and honest picture of who she is. Because honestly, aren’t we all more real to our best friends than to anyone else in our life – except maybe our spouse? Anyway, I don’t have much more to say except that if you haven’t read Rowell yet, you should really get on that.

falconerTitle: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Genre: YA fantasy, steampunk
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
Number of pages: 378
First line: I’ve memorized their every accusation: Murderess. She did it. She was crouched over her mother’s body, covered in blood.

Goodreads blurb: Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

WHAM! That is the sound of my copy of The Falconer hitting the wall after I read the final pages. Argh! If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: make me want to read book two because the writing is good and the characters are memorable; don’t emotionally blackmail me into reading book two because you ended book one on the equivalent of a chapter ending rather than a book ending. This was a solid four-star work of fantasy/steampunk. I loved the era, the writing, the characters. But the ending was not one. And book two doesn’t come out until some time in 2015. And so now I’m pissed. Really, people, quit doing this to your readers!

otherstoryTitle: The Other Story
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program
Audiobook reader: Simon Vance
Audiobook length: 10 hours and 3 minutes
First line: When Nicolas arrived at the Gallo Nero, he felt as if this was not a hotel, but someone’s home, a long ocher house with a dark red roof and green shutters.

Goodreads blurb: Vacationing at a luxurious Tuscan island resort, Nicolas Duhamel is hopeful that the ghosts of his past have finally been put to rest… Now a bestselling author, when he was twenty-four years old, he stumbled upon a troubling secret about his family – a secret that was carefully concealed. In shock, Nicholas embarked on a journey to uncover the truth that took him from the Basque coast to St. Petersburg – but the answers wouldn’t come easily.

In the process of digging into his past, something else happened. Nicolas began writing a novel that was met with phenomenal success, skyrocketing him to literary fame whether he was ready for it or not – and convincing him that he had put his family’s history firmly behind him. But now, years later, Nicolas must reexamine everything he thought he knew, as he learns that, however deeply buried, the secrets of the past always find a way out.

This book was horrible. Really, truly awful. I would have rated it one star, except that it was narrated by the luscious Simon Vance. But even his velvety voice couldn’t pull this book out of the “simply mediocre” category. If you like books about vain, self-centered people engaging in extensive naval-gazing, then by all means, pick this up. But if narcissistic men who treat women as only sexual objects and who view the whole world as meant to revolve around them are your cup of tea, then this is one you might enjoy. I really hoped that the end might redeem the story and the character, but the final chapter was a case of too little too late. I already hated Nicolas and couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to spend a minute in his presence.

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6 Responses to Mini-reviews: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; The Falconer by Elizabeth May; and The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    Ha! You were definitely in good form with these mini-reviews! I adored Attachments on audio, even though I don’t think it was as good as Fangirl or E&P, but still adorable. I just read her new one, Landline, and while it entertained me, it wasn’t up to the standards of the first three (sad face). And thanks but no thanks, don’t want to be manipulated yet again by a cliffhanging first installment. As readers, we just need to rebel against that BS. We will not be held hostage! And Tatiana de Rosnay…hmmm. I’ve heard similar comments about this book from other people. I’ve only read Sarah’s Key, but even though that one is so beloved in our world, I only liked it because of Sarah. The rest of it annoyed the hell out of me. Oh yeah, I also listened to The House I Loved…it was OK.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I’m looking forward to Landline, but it’s nice to be forewarned not to set my expectations too high. :)

  2. Michelle says:

    Crap. I have the new de Rosnay book from LibraryThing. I was not a fan of her two previous books but I listened to them on audio and frankly, Simon Vance’s voice puts me to sleep. It’s a gorgeous voice but knocks me out cold every single time. I was hoping that by reading one of her books in print, I might enjoy them. Your reaction is telling me no. Maybe I skim it?

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Michelle – I’m sorry; I’m sure you’re now dreading reading it. Maybe you won’t hate it as much as I did?….

      • Michelle says:

        Hopefully not. Since it was a LT Early Readers selection, I feel obligated to read it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it isn’t SO bad.

  3. I guess I’d better give Rainbow Rowell a try. Does anyone not like her books? LOL Attachments actually is the most appealing of the books she’s written based on the subject matter, so that may be the best place to start.

    It sounds like if I plan to read The Falconer, I’d best wait until the next book comes out. I don’t mind cliffhangers if I am expecting them.

    I don’t think I’d like The Other Story either. Thanks for the warning!