These two books have absolutely nothing in common other than they are YA and deal with the concept of time. One is about teenage vampires, the other about reincarnation, destinies and love. One I highly, highly enjoyed, and the other was underwhelming.
So why am I lumping them together? I don’t know! Okay, I do know: it’s because these released in September and I am behind on my reviews.
So let’s get into them!
For All Time by Shanna Miles
“Tamar, it doesn’t matter how bad you want it. Some things you are never gonna get.” What kinda thing is that to tell your baby girl? I could see the buns; I could smell them; I even had the money. All that separated me from my heart’s desire was just a tiny pane of glass, and I couldn’t get there.
Tamar and Fayard. Fayard and Tamar. Across history and lifetimes, the two have met and fallen in love over and over and over. But their story always ends in tragedy: one or both die, and their story ends too soon. And then repeats, across a millennia. But this time, this time, Tamar and Fayard might have a chance to change the cycle. This time, they might find a way to be together and end the tragedy.
“You don’t let go of the things you love. You hold ’em tighter.”
I don’t even know how to begin to describe this book, aside from the fact that the comp titles of Outlander meets Cloud Atlas with a healthy dash of science fantasy and a load of wtf is even happening in that final third act.
However, I really, really enjoyed this one, although I wanted more resolution at the end (although the actual ending is just fine). There were some timelines I wanted to explore more of, and I enjoyed the bouncing between 14th century Mali, 1924 America, the 23rd century, and a five-minutes-into-the-future present day. The level of research and Black history and hints of other lives lived is encompassing and so well done, all wrapped into a love story arcing across a millennium (or more!).
“I don’t consider people useless. Every person has value.”
At first it was a little hard to follow, because even though Fay and Tamar *technically* stay the same, they are not the same people, and their families, friends and environments shape them as they are—although there are some elements that remain constant: Tamar’s ability with music, Fay’s constant hustling, and the immediate chemistry that sparks and spits between the two until there is nothing left but their consuming love.
And that ending! (And that breathtaking cover!)
Anywho, definitely a book to pick up. It’s well worth a read!
“Tamar, I may not be able to lay the moon at your feet, but please allow me to give you the stars.”
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl
Over the years, I acquired a taste for the pampered frat boys, bored with a life of endlessly being told yes. The kind of guys who thought they deserved more than all they’d been given.
Holly’s afterlife was supposed to be exciting. It was supposed to be encased in neverending love for the vampire who turned her. But after 34 years of moving from city to city, scrounging for a living, Holly finds herself tossed to the wayside—forever 16, with crimped hair, bad posture and zero prospects beyond closing shift at Taco Bell. Holly thought she was the first and only girl Elton had turned, but when her two predecessors contact her, she realizes she’s just the latest in a long line of girls used and discarded by an immortal boy who won’t stop making vampires. And he’s already got another mark. Someone has to stop him, and Holly and her two new friends are the only ones who can do it.
“You have two seconds to leave,” I said. I always gave them a chance to run.
Enjoyable, and it took some vampire tropes and twisted them in a way that was pretty fun. Overall, however, it was underwhelming.
I enjoyed the girl gang teaming up to destroy their asshole maker, but despite the constant reiterations that Holly was stuck in a 16 year old’s body with a 16 year old’s mind, I couldn’t get past the fact that she still had an extra 34 years of existence on top of those 16 lived years. Yes, she was stuck living as a 16 year old, but in her mind she was ancient and it still didn’t quite get over the ick factor as she courted an 18 year old (who yes, technically is an adult but still the kid’s in high school).
There were some timing inconsistencies as well, but I imagine those will be cleaned up by the time of publication.
I did really enjoy Stacy and Holly’s relationship, and I wanted more of their reconciliation! And I wanted more personality from Ida and Rosa, aside from one’s quirky artistic inclinations and the other’s cleaning tendencies (of all of the characters, I liked Rosa most of all). I also wanted to know how Holly kept getting library cards without a parent’s signature/presence or an address. And how they could kill so many people and get away with it without really taking a lot of effort to dump the bodies (wouldn’t there be a media uproar over missing people—even missing undesirables? Because that many missing teenagers…).
As for the feminist overtones and the rah-rah sisterhood…it was kinda meh? The whole vampires don’t care about humans because who cares about their food lost steam with Holly’s fascination with Parker and the weird fast food goth kid enterprise thing.
Anywho, this had a really fascinating premise but I was underwhelmed by the characterizations, the writing and I’m just tired overall by the immortal teenager trope. I felt like it had a lot of potential to be amazing (particularly with the underlying theme of forgotten kids and adults who give a damn about them), but didn’t follow through as much as I would have liked.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review