Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Second on the Right review + swag

2014 seems to be the year of classic fairytales. They seem to be appearing everywhere, from TV programmes like Once Upon a Time to literature. I’m seeing the stories of mermaids and Peter Pan and Snow White just about everywhere. I’m not sure if it was Frozen that got everyone into the spirit or if it’s just another switch in literature.

Second on the Right, by Elizabeth Los, provides a unique twist to the original stories of Neverland. I can’t say too much on the plot without giving it away, but I’ve never seen anything like it before. It is told from multiple perspectives and constantly switches between the 17th and 21st centuries. Folklore? You got it. Time Travel? You got it. It’s an interesting mix.

The overall plot of this book was interesting. I haven’t seen this exact type of story before, which is extremely rare for me. It was difficult to skim simply because there was so much happening. I had started to drift off while reading (mostly because it was around midnight) and when I came back into focus, I had no clue what was going on. This is definitely a book you need to be at least somewhat conscious to read.

I have recently stumbled into the world of not-so-impressive writing skills, so this was a nice change from that. The book is grammatically correct and didn’t make me want to claw my eyes out. The vocab wasn’t overly impressive, but Los successfully developed the pirate jargon and kept it consistent throughout the book.

While the overall plot may have been good, there were a few things that weren’t so good. The first is that for the first half of the book, I was in a state of confusion and boredom. It took about halfway through the book for things to start to pick up, and even then, I was still pretty confused as to what was going on.

Romance was also a large portion of the book, which I hadn’t been expecting. I won’t say that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I certainly didn’t expect it. What was bad about the romance, though, was that it was very... sudden. In the words of Queen Elsa from Frozen, “you can’t marry a man you just met.” While there was no marrying at first sight, I felt like some of the romance moved too quickly. Also, there was a heavy importance placed on being married that honestly just made me cringe. Parts of the book were like a bad Hallmark film.

Characterisation is an important aspect of this book. One of the main characters, Eileen, started off very dull and dry and weak to the point where I nearly wanted to stab my eyes out. Her character did improve throughout the book, though the underlying personality was still painful to read through certain parts. James, a character who bored me out of my mind for the first half of the book, also rounded out by the end of the book.

Overall, the book was okay. There were definitely some parts that I enjoyed in it, but there were also a lot of parts that I didn’t. A quick warning is that there are some slightly sexual themes in the book, and while I don’t consider it to be a big thing, there is also considerable alcohol consumption. I’m not sure if this book is young adult or not, which if it’s not, the warnings are definitely not much of anything.

You can find the book in both paperback and ebook form on Amazon here

Now time for the giveaway! You'll have a chance to win some really cool stuff, including some items mentioned in the book as well as a copy of the book in ebook format!

Sending out a HUGE thank you to Bit’N Tours and author Elizabeth Los for giving me the opportunity to read this book.