GENRE: Romance, Paranormal
This novel was tough to rate if i am being quite honest. It started off really solid. I liked Jillian a lot. She was nerdy and she was a writer and she was falling for a ghost (Danny). Really cool premise. There were quite a few issues with this novel, and are the reason I will not be recommending this read. Firstly, there is sort of this allusion to her being plus size. She’s always talking about herself being curvy and honestly even the way she talks about herself, you think… maybe just maybe I am getting some representation here… but that is not the case. Even on the cover she is thin, not even curvy one bit and the novel never really gives a direct answer but more a few hints. That in itself was not a good enough reason for me to give the novel such a poor rating - i know, but just wait.
Jillian is also VERY two dimensional… all she talks about is Star Trek. Seriously, I am a Star Wars, Disney and Marvel girly (including tattoos) and I have OTHER INTERESTS TOO! She was way too simple. I am honestly just baffled that this was published… Also… She refers to herself as a “Trekker” when most people call themselves “Trekkie”. It really pulled me out of the book as someone who grew up in the comic book/sci-fi universe. This is me being nitpicky because this book got on my nerves already.
Before I really get into the hate rant, I did want to mention something I really liked about this novel before I hate on it. I absolutely loved the storyline about Jillian and Michael. It was probably the most real and the most beautiful part of the novel. Jillian looses her best friend Michael to suicide… and how this has affected her is just wow. That aspect was so beautifully written it almost feels like this should have been the primary story of the novel. Not the ghost romance. The emotions were raw and real and relatable. I really felt and understood Jillian here… but only in that instance.
So at first they think that Daniel is dead. Which makes a lot of sense because he is a ghost. Then when Daniel’s ghost disappears and Jillian sees him IRL she thinks maybe its him dying in the future and his ghost coming into the past? So here is where they start to loose me. Now science wise suuuuure maybe but even in how the dialogue is presented between Jillian and her Science bestie it is soooo farfetched (even for a paranormal type story) its like they didn’t even try to make it make sense. Now at this point Daniel doesn’t recognize Jillian or the times they spent together (or the ghost sex because… yeah there was ghost sex) because it technically hasn’t happened yet (?). So, like the rational person she is because she “knows him” and “loves him” she starts disrespecting his boundaries and STALKING him like that is a totally normal and justifiable thing because “she fell for him when he was a ghost”.
Oh not part of the main plot or anything, but two co-workers who have never dated, kissed or fucked get married on a whim at the end of the novel and it really just made the whole dumpster fire of a novel so goddamn worst.
Avoid this book. You’re welcome.
RECEIVED THIS BOOK FOR FREE ON NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
RATING: -1000000 / 5
GENRE: Erotic Fiction, Science Fiction, Dinosaur Erotica????
I absolutely hated this book. I am so open to reading really weird books, including weird sex books. I am book reviewer, it is what I do! And other than not promoting or sharing content about problematic authors, I try to read everything I can (within reason).
For the most part, if the story is good, I can accept the writing to be lacking. Some storytellers aren’t the best at writing, but that is a skill that improves and honestly I love a good story. When it comes to this monstrosity, not only is the story HORRENDOUS but the writing is so bad, that if you were looking to hate read something this summer this could be a great contender.
I wasn’t in the mood for a HATE-READ session… So this was not it for me, and likely I will never revisit this author or this book.
**I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
WATCH MY REVIEW BELOW:
GENRE: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+, Dystopian
“What am I supposed to do?”
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao was an great read. I normally do not read YA anymore, but let’s be real, this book is more New Adult with its very dark tones and subject matter. I had such a great time participating in the Tandem Collective’s Read-a-Long for this novel, being able to participate in discussions with other Canadian readers, reading the same book with me was just so much fun and a wonderful experience.
Now back to my review! I just want to say, I really think Iron Widow is what Suzanne Collins wishes The Hunger Games was. Not to bash The Hunger Games, that is not the point, it is just that this novel surpasses it incredibly with its nuance and darkness. For a novel that was labeled YA, the subject matter was incredibly diverse and created fruitful discussion. I particularly enjoyed the female anger depicted in the story, in contrast to the MC’s (Zetian) lack of bigger picture view. Without giving spoilers, while Zetian knows she has been wronged and mistreated for being a girl, she doesn’t notice that her mother also suffered in that system, and feels anger towards her. She notices that her family is only pretending to care about her now that she will be the one to bring money home, but doesn’t make the connection that perhaps that is the only reason they gave her elder sister any attention before. Zetian as a narrator isn’t perfect and I absolutely loved it!
I also want to mention Xiran Hay Zhao’s writing style, I personally do not tend to enjoy first person novels, especially in this genre and without a mixed perspective being present, but their writing is so well done, and paced so well, that in moments of anger, or anxiety, I felt that way along with Zetian.
I for one, cannot wait to pick up the second novel, and continue on with this SAGA. There are other aspects of the novel such as the presence of a poly relationship which I was so pleasantly surprised to find considering the genre!