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Presented by State Library Victoria

A two review collection - Grave Mercy and Unconventional

1.Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

★★ (2.3 stars)

“Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?” 

-taken from Goodreads

So… The premise of this book was interesting, with Death-serving nun assassins (assassnuns? nunassins?), romance, courtly  I N T R I G U E, and when I borrowed it I assumed the book would be filled with breakneck action, whip-smart banter and strong chemistry between the MCs.

As you can guess from the title of my post and the star rating… It was none of that.

Somehow, this book managed to take everything from the blurb, and make what seemed like a action-packed adventure into something much much less. I admit, I DNF, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I read almost half the book, and NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. For me, the first part was the most interesting, and even then, Ismae’s training, which must have taken years, is distilled into half a page. HALF A PAGE!! There was absolutely no excitement in any of the action scenes, and Ismae’s relationships with the other girls at the convent just weren’t quite fleshed out well enough.

Something else that bothered me was how Ismae managed to fluctuate so quickly between remembering the trauma from an arranged marriage with Guillo (an abusive pig farmer) and admiring Duval (pure embodiment of handsome masculine love interest). It was, frankly, disturbing, as was the speed at which she became infatuated with him.

I feel like I am being a bit harsh on this book, and I feel a little bad. However, when you have YA assassins like Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass) to compare to, this story is very much average at best.

Now moving on to…

2. Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt 
★★★ (3.2 stars)

“Lexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing…until author Aidan Green – messy haired and annoyingly arrogant – arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi’s life is thrown into disarray.

In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned. Things like falling in love…”

-again from Goodreads

First of all, shout-out to Maggie Harcourt for the pun in the title!

Now back to the review.

Unconventional was a book set mainly in the bts (behind the scenes NOT the group) of conventions. In this regard, I think the book really shone, as it was fascinating to have a behind the curtains peek at everything that goes on and the shenanigans Lexi’s friends get up to.

Unfortunately this book is first and foremost a teen romance, and Lexi and Aiden’s relationship didn’t really make sense to me. In one scene, they were flirting in a locked convention room, then in the space of a few emails and late-night conversations BOOM! They are in a relationship. Also, the fact that they only meet at conventions and their communication is scarcely relayed to the reader adds to the disjointed chemistry.

Overall, the effect of the novel was cute, but forgettable and it didn’t quite affect me enough to reach 4 stars.

 

So here ends my two-in-one disappointment collection. I’m hoping and praying that the next book I read is a 5-star 10/10 !

I guess we’ll see next time on…

* catchy theme music*

The Burning Through Books Readathon!

 

 

 

3 comments

sekhmet

I like the theme song idea...

17th Jan, 20
guppy

😂 Maybe I can try making one

17th Jan, 20
chocnmint

Me too! 🤣If you did make one it'd be cool to hear it!

17th Jan, 20