Book Review: The Sea Queen – Jovee Winters


Title: The Sea Queen (2015)
Author: Jovee Winters
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Erotica
Extent: 182 pages
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Review: There are some books that manage to be so, so damn good that they smash your expectations and throw them out of the window entirely. This book, unfortunately for me, is worlds too far from being one of them, I just have to share my reading experience to the world.

The story is simple: Calypso, the Greek goddess of the sea, thinks Hades, god of the underground, is super hot. When Hades gets into major trouble with the Big Guys (Zeus and the like), she swoops in and saves him–with a condition: he must live with her as a prisoner in her lair. Sex ensues.

When I read the blurb and look at the book cover, it really sounds right up my alley. Greek mythology? Check. Women who take action? Check. Interesting-ish plot? Suuuure. The Sea Queen, however, took all of those things and somehow turned them into negative things.

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Book Review: The Night We Said Yes – Lauren Gibaldi

The Night We Said Yes | She Latitude

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Title: The Night We Said Yes (2015)
Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 304 pages
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Review: The Night We Said Yes is the story of two separate nights told from Ella’s perspective: the ‘Then’, the night she first met Matt, and the ‘Now’, which is the night he comes back, one year after abruptly leaving her and all of their best friends. Although Ella’s not sure he’s worth a second chance, she agrees when he asks her to relive the night that brought them together.

Sounds nifty, right? I thought so, but this is an example of a book with a somewhat interesting idea but with a frustrating execution. A note of caution: this review has some spoilers as I wanted to go a little deeper to justify the rating I’m giving it.

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Mini Reviews Monday: The Leveller (Julia Durango) + Hello, I Love You (Katie Stout)


Welcome to Mini Reviews Monday, a She Latitude weekly feature! This is for those books that don’t really require a full-fledged review and is a way for me to really just take note and keep track of all the books I’m reading. Today we start with two books I read all the way back in June: The Leveller by Julia Durango and Hello, I Love You by Katie Stout.

The LevellerThe Leveller | Julia Durango (2015)
Young Adult, Science Fiction | 256 pages | ★★☆☆☆

What it’s about: Unlike ordinary, average teenagers out there, Nixy Bauer has a certified cool part-time job—one that involves dragging kids out of MEEP, a virtual reality game, and back to their parents in the real world. When Wyn, the son of MEEP’s billionaire developer, disappears in the game, it’s up to Nixy to retrieve him. This time, though, there’s real danger in her mission…

What’s good: It’s fast-paced, therefore really quick to read, and Nixy is quite likeable as far as YA protagonists go. It’s not so complicated that you have to reread the descriptions twice to understand how the game actually works, which is great when you want something light and easy. Plus, I have a soft spot for virtual reality games and quite enjoyed some aspects of it.

What’s bad: The world (well, the game world) is undeveloped. It’s supposedly single-player, and yet Nixy could come into other people’s games, which means that it’s actually multi-player. There are tons of other loopholes in the book, some of which never get resolved, and the ending is abrupt, leaving way too many things that need to be said unsaid. The romance is unconvincing and unsatisfying.

Verdict: Fun and uncomplicated, but overly so at many places. I’d probably read it again, if only to immerse myself in the virtual reality aspect of it.

Katie Stout - Hello I Love YouHello, I Love You | Katie Stout (2015)
Young Adult, Contemporary | 304 pages | ★☆☆☆☆

What it’s about: In the wake of a family situation, Grace Wilde escapes to South Korea, attends boarding school there, and falls in love with a Korean pop star. Mother issues and drama queens make an appearance.

What’s good: It situates itself in a non-Western country, and I appreciate books that try to be different in this way. Some of the cultural elements do shine through quite authentically, and for me, that’s good enough as far as settings go.

What’s bad: There are many times in the book where I wish the ground could swallow me up for secondhand embarrassment. Grace is irritating, frustrating, and worse than that, she doesn’t even really try. Instead she’s judgmental, rude, and culturally intolerant. Not only that, I found her relationship with Jason, the pop star, completely unsatisfying and Jason himself completely unremarkable. They were on and off all the time and I just wish they’d get it over with. I’m also not in love with any of the side characters.

Verdict: Reading this makes me feel like I’m watching a k-drama (my favourite pastime when I was fifteen), but not in a good way. Not a fan, unfortunately.