ARC Mini Reviews: The Accident Season + A Thousand Nights

ARC Mini Reviews: The Accident Season + A Thousand Nights
The Accident Season
Genres: Magic Realism, Mystery, Young Adult
Publication date: August 18th, 2015
by Kathy Dawson Books

Format: ARC

PURCHASE:

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Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.

But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.

Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.

A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

The Accident Season is a book I cannot completely make my mind about. I liked some things but other things didn’t work for me. There were also some things I liked in theory but ended up not loving.

One of the biggest issues I had was that even though I liked the characters, I didn’t feel like I could relate to them. There were so many things written between the lines about what was up with these characters and I am not sure if that worked for me. It’s not that reading between the lines was hard but because I spend so much time doing that, it was hard to really form a meaningful connection to these readers. I felt for them, I REALLY did but I felt for them the way a stranger might sympathize with a bad situation.

I DID love the way the relationships were done in this book though. There are great friendships, great relationships between parents and children and parents that aren’t portrayed as the bad guys. Relationships are so important in books and I like that there were so many positive ones in this book. It doesn’t mean that everything was happy but then again, no relationship is perfect.

I also loved the way the author brought diversity into the book. It’s done in a way that doesn’t really put much emphasis on it but rather normalizes diversity. It’s just there and readers can do whatever they want with it.

I expected a creepy element to this book and there really wasn’t one. I mean there was Elsie but she wasn’t creepy, she was just odd. This book had a certain dream like quality to it that was definitely charming and drew me in but I also just wanted to know more.

I don’t like the way things were wrapped up and was left wanting more. There seemed to be something missing. I hate that so many things were kept from readers (although it really isn’t hard to connect the dots… it’s just annoying that everything seems vague.) I like vagueness but I don’t like it when it’s done to such a degree that important issues that come up cannot even be discussed.

Overall, I don’t really regret reading The Accident Season but I sure would have liked it if some of the issues were discussed and not everything was shrouded under a layer of mystery.

3 Stars

 

ARC Mini Reviews: The Accident Season + A Thousand Nights
A Thousand Nights
by E.K. Johnston

Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Publication date: October 6th, 2015
by Disney Hyperion

Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to love this book and how disappointed I am that it didn’t sweep me away. There are SO many things I love about this book but the slowness of it became a big issue for me.

Slow books can be a hit or miss for me. A Thousand Nights was neither a hit nor a miss. I loved the beautiful lyrical writing, I loved the characters and I loved the world building. What I didn’t love was the lack of action. By now, you might know that one of my favorite things ever is action. This is partially because I am an impatient human (wait am I a human? WHAT?) but also because I become more invested in a story if there is something happening.

There isn’t a lot happening in A Thousand Nights. In fact, the most exciting stuff happens in the last 15% of the book. Do you think you can wait that long for the good stuff? Do you think that absolutely stunning writing, fantastic characters and breathtaking world building is enough to get you through almost 85% of nothing? I still don’t know the answer to this question and I already finished the book. I think what got me through those lulls was just the way Johnston built tension. There would be a slow simmer of tension and then suddenly everything would be boiling and then it would go back to a simmer.

Johnston does a fantastic job with setting up the world of this story. I felt myself transported across the centuries to this middle-eastern land. I could imagine the heat of the desert and the beauty of the palace. I could see Lo-Melkhien amongst this world suffering. The way Johnston weaves the story and brings the world to life makes it feel like you’re reading a folk tale. It makes everything seem so magical and compelling.

Overall, my main issue was that I just wanted the book to move a little more faster so that I could have been a little more invested in the story and what was happening to these characters. Also I totally wouldn’t have minded if there had been a little bit more romance.

3 Stars

 

 

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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    We felt the same way with The Accident Season, but Elsie did creep me out a bit, well, I guess not “her” but how she was represented.

    It sucks that your expectations on A Thousand Nights weren’t met. I don’t like feeling that way on books that I really wanted to read. I feel like I was betrayed and I betrayed the author as well.
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…I Woke Up. Yep, September Ended.My Profile

  2. says

    I ended up picking up The Accident Season after seeing some raving reviews about it. I am intrigued by the premise, and there’s enough positive outweighing the negative in your review, so I’m definitely going to dive in soon. HOWEVER, I haven’t been seeing the greatest things about A Thousand Nights. I’m like you, I NEEDS MY ACTION girl, so this would be a hugeeeee miss for me!
    Tika recently posted…#toddlertakover Max The Brave by Ed Vere — Blog Tour ReviewMy Profile

  3. says

    The Accident Season was a big win for me. I really loved it. I think the characters and the relationships were great. I totally get how the vagueness could turn people off but I actually liked it. I feel like I have seen a lot of the same things said about A Thousand Nights and think I may have to pass on that one. Great reviews!
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Review ~ PreschooledMy Profile

  4. says

    I’m sorry to hear that although you liked both books neither of them were loved and that you felt so disconnected with the characters from The Accident Season but glad to hear that there’s diversity and it’s treated as normal (as it should be!). No romance in A Thousand Nights might be more of a selling point for me though!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of Never Never by Brianna Shrum!!My Profile

  5. says

    Agh, I didn’t like A Thousand Nights either. *sigh* Although I liked it even less than you, hhehe. IT WAS JUST SO BORING TO ME. Like I appreciated it was written so beautifully. But, bleh, I need action. And character names!! That was so weird. >_>
    AJFDAKLFD I LOVED THE ACCIDENT SEASON THOUGH. <3 I loved the ethereal tone and how a lot was left to the imagination and just ghahhhhh beautiful. XD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Monthly Fury #57 // my puppy is 1 year old (!) I wrote a book in 9 days (!!) and 1.5K followers (!!!)My Profile

  6. says

    I’ve heard mostly positive reviews for both these books so I appreciate what a balanced perspective you bring to these titles, Rashika. I’m curious about A Thousand Nights, but also a little worried that I won’t enjoy as much as I hope because I loooved The Wrath and the Dawn, a similar re-telling. Anyhow, looks like I’ll just have to dive into these and see what I think myself! Thanks for such helpful reviews, though, dear! :)

  7. says

    Gorgeous reviews Rashika :D I’m glad you liked these books. <3 But aw, I'm sorry that neither of them were perfect. Ugh. That is never any fun. I think they both looks so so pretty, but I doubt I would love them, lol :) So thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…In My Mailbox #205My Profile

  8. says

    I’m so conflicted about both of these books. I haven’t read neither of them, but the opinions are so varied! The Accident Season sounds so intriguing with that concept, and A Thousand Nights sounds like it explores important issues, BUT I don’t want anything so slow at this moment! Still, will try both. I’m too curious.
    Vane J. recently posted…Review: The UninvitedMy Profile

  9. says

    I’ve heard that A Thousand Nights is pretty slow, and I can see that you’re affirming that. Well that’s sad. I am probably not going to read it then because I will most likely hate the pacing.

    I’ve heard good things about the Accident Season, but not enough to pick it up. It’s seems like such a weird book!

    Awesome reviews RASHIKAAAA
    Valerie recently posted…Review: The Iron QueenMy Profile

  10. says

    I like the sound of how the diversity is just weaved into accident season, but a bit weird with how there are things missing. Still not sure about Accident Season yet!

    A shame about A Thousand Nights, I have heard really iffy things abuot it and the slowness and lack of romance sounds like it drags it down. I’ll be reading it soon though regardless. Lovely reviews girl!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…BookTube Video: September Recap & October TBRMy Profile

  11. says

    I have been so disappointed by the reviews for A Thousand Nights. I also have an arc but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m less and less motivated by it every time I see a review. Plus, I didn’t know that until recently the main character doesn’t have a name. What’s up with that? (btw, your blog is so adorable! I seriously love the potato reading his book)
    Sarah K recently posted…New Site, New Look!My Profile

  12. says

    I am so looking forward to trying out The Accident Season because I have been hearing good things about it. It’s a shame that you couldn’t connect to the characters even though you liked them a lot. I had that same feeling with All the Bright Places, so I do know what you are referring to. I think I am going to pass on the book A Thousand Nights though. I just haven’t heard anything above the it’s okay kind of level.
    Olivia recently posted…The Silver Linings Playbook (Review)My Profile