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Retelling

ARC Review: Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Summary

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.

Sourced from Goodreads

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Review

My rating: black3

(3.25 stars)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hey, everyone! Another day, another book to talk about! And today, I’d like to express my thoughts on Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson. Now, Lily Anderson has already written a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and Not Now, Not Ever is her second go at another retelling, this time of The Importance of Being Earnest. What really drew me into reading Not Now, Not Ever was the camp aspect of it all. I always love reading about summer camp and thought that this book would be no exception. Except it kind of was…

Now, when I say kind of, I mean that I liked some parts of the book and wasn’t much a fan of other parts. I’d have to encourage myself to read the book instead of wanting to read it on my own at times. There would be moments where nothing would happen, and then wham – the plot thickens. While those latter moments were great to read, it didn’t make up for the fact that I was previously bored and, for a good chunk of the book, wanted to  move onto something else. Then there was that ending, which left me more confused than not. The book’s conclusion just left me with more questions than answers to the point where I wasn’t at all satisfied with it.

Also, I didn’t really like the protagonist as much as I thought I would. In the beginning, I couldn’t really relate to her and the choices she makes, but I did warm up to her nearer to the middle. By the end though, I was back to square one in not understanding her decisions again. I preferred reading about other characters though, like Leigh, Jams, Hunter, Meg, even Trixie and Ben! Sure, Elliot/Ever could be really fun sometimes, but I thought she was way too rash and in the end, I didn’t witness much character development from her.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson. I know that a lot of people loved this book, but, for me, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I would recommend it for people who like retellings as there are a whole bunch of references from the book’s primary source, The Importance of Being Earnest. If you have any thoughts or questions about the book, I’ll be happy to answer them in the Comments Section below. And for those of you who are wondering, Not Now, Not Ever is released on  November 21st, 2017. Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

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My Thoughts on Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: green5

(4.75 stars, because of Calaena in the beginning, but other than that…. 😀 )

OMG! OMG! OMG! You’ve done it once again Sarah J. Maas! I’ve got a serious book hangover and probably have to wait awhile before I can enjoy another book again. So thank you!

At first, this wasn’t the case. In fact, I was so bored with Calaena’s whining that I went to read Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (which to be honest, is really good so far). But then I came back to it after I was on my kobo for a little while and decided to read it again. And that’s when the story became interesting and enjoyment began.

I think it all started with Manon’s POV. Manon is a Blackbeak witch fighting for dominance among the witches for her grandmother. In her POV, all the witches go to train with wyverns in order to become a part of the king’s army and later earn their freedom. Which sounds really ironic when I say it that way. More like win the chance to go back home once they fight for the king of Adarlan. Manon is a lot like Calaena in the way which she is trained to be the best and have total obedience to her Matron, who is coincidently her grandmother. Told that she has no heart and soul in the beginning, Manon acts the way she was made to be, but soon changes her tune and develops feelings that she doesn’t regard as feelings but we, the readers, can see them for what they truly are. I liked reading her POV, especially in the earlier chapters, if it meant getting away from Calaena.

It’s not that Calaena wasn’t great in this book; it’s just that she has to overcome a lot of self pity in order to become the person she was meant to be. And I think that was the problem. Everyone had such high expectations for her as heir to the throne that it caused her tremendous anxiety and guilt whenever she couldn’t be there for someone. She would put so much blame on herself throughout the book, calling herself useless, worthless, and many other names. I mean, there were some things that were her fault but there were many others that were out of her control. Calaena/Aelin probably thought that she didn’t deserve the sacrifices made for her, because she didn’t know what to do back then, and afterwards tries to escape it. At the end of the novel, she changes her tune about that, and instead of escaping her identity, she embraces it, every part of it.

Which is more than I can say for Chaol. At the end of Crown of Midnight, I thought they would get back together after sorting out their differences. But I didn’t notice until now that Chaol didn’t really love all of Calaena, but rather bits of her. He never really liked the dark side to her, whenever it would manifest itself. Chaol makes this apparent in Heir of Fire when talking about Calaena and their relationship. It’s like one character says: ” You do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is to decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.” I was really floored by that quote and thought that it was exactly the type of problem Chaol had. There were moments where you had to give Chaol props, too. So he’s not totally a lost cause but has some room for development, like all of them. Do I want to see him and Calaena back together? I don’t know, especially when there was an eligible candidate to pair up with Calaena in Heir of Fire. Nothing happened with them, but it seems like the author is teasing us with the potential for a relationship.

Dorian becomes more active in this book as well. From keeping secrets for others to his stance at the end of the novel, we can all see that he’s improved from someone who would just ignore the trouble surrounding him. I’m really sad about what happened to him when I finished the novel and cannot wait for the next one, Queen of Shadows. Would we see his POV in that novel? And what would it look like? Hmmmmmm……

Spoiler-Warning

Anyway, I cannot wait for my fix to come soon! I need to know if Rowan and Calaena are a possibility! At the beginning, I didn’t care much for him, but by the end, he won both my heart and Calaena’s (and possibly every other person who read this)  Or what happens to Aedion! Will Calaena rescue him in time? Will they meet again? Dorian needs to be rescued, too! And what about the King of Assassins? Calaena is planning to meet him or at least retrieve the Wrydkey from him. I wonder where he fits into all of this… Is he working for the king or does he have his own agenda when it comes to Calaena? Because he knew she was Aelin and taught her to hate herself. And what will Chaol do in Anielle? How will he help the rebellion that he’s finally aligned himself with? We’ll probably see what home is like for him after all this time, which will probably be interesting given what has been told to us by Chaol.

What were your thoughts on Heir of Fire? Excited for the release of the next book in September? Feel free to leave your comments below. Happy reading everyone!

-Sumaya

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