For What It's Worth

Monday, March 26, 2018

monday minis: Pitch Dark & White Rabbit



Hey there! I’m still in some weird blogging/reading limbo – not quite a slump – but I’m reading reeeealy sloooow (for me) and blogging sporadically.

I also hurt my wrist so I'm a little slow in commenting on your blogs but I'm getting there!

I am making some real progress on my physical TBR pile though! I haven’t counted, so I don’t know the #'s. but it feels like I’m clearing out quite a few books and there are shelves that are empty! Of course, new ones come in (I have gotten an influx of unsolicited arc’s for some reason) but overall I’m happy and feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. I actually think that lack of pressure is what's changing how I read and I might talk about that in a post soon.

In the meantime - here are a few mini reviews for books I enjoyed!


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Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Sci-fi/horror - YA

Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.


Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.
Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.


In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear. ~
Goodreads

Source: arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Thoughts: Pitch Dark dives right in and doesn’t let go. That’s both a pro and a con. For almost 1/3 of the book, I was completely lost when it came to some of the slang (for example, one of the characters says *wedge me* instead of swearing – like when BSG uses frak instead of fuck) and it just seemed like such a silly term it kept distracting me. Tuck said *bruh* a lot and no. just no. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader and a lot of the technical aspect went right over my head.

However, the characters are are tough as nails, adaptive and snarky, the action unrelenting and gruesome with an eerie sense of terror looming around every corner. There’s a slight romance between Laura (pronounced Lao-ra) and Tuck but it’s not overbearing – they’ve got shit to do – like fighting off creepy af monsters.

Pros: strong characters, sci-fi/horror mash-up while touching on values, privilege, eco-terrorism and family, with lots of gory action (I’ve read gorier but this was pretty good for YA – think Aliens level gore)

Cons: not a lot of answers or explanations for things, a lot of terminology and phrases that were confusing at times until you got used to the writing.

Despite a few quibbles, I really enjoyed this one and finished it in just a few hours.

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Thriller/Mystery/LGBQT, YA

Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. 

Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get much worse, right?

But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying. ~
Goodreads

Source: arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts: Even though I’m not a fan of thriller/mysteries, I loved Roehrig’s debut YA novel – Last Seen Leaving – and couldn’t wait to read White Rabbit. While the mystery aspect didn’t work quite as well for me here as it did in LSL, I love the way the author writes his characters and how he manages to interweave seemingly unrelated threads – like romance, first love, coming out, and issues of class and bullying – with an overarching mystery and impending danger. Themes that were present in both of his novels thus far.

The reason Rufus and his ex- Sebastian are investigating a series of murders rather than going to the police is a tad flimsy but there’s a good enough explanation that I bought into it. But after questioning the suspects and realizing their answers are being given piecemeal, I grew a little wary and bored going back to the same witnesses multiple times, only to get an abrupt ending.

Same as above: despite a few quibbles, I really love Roehrig’s voice, realistic characters, dialogue and all their relatable issues and look forward to reading whatever he comes up with next. I would LOVE for him to write a straight up contemporary! 

27 comments:

  1. I wonder if "wedge me" is an homage to Lara Croft since this is supposed to be Lara Croft in space.

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    1. Oh, that's interesting. I don't know much about LC so I wouldn't know. Laura is a shipraider but honestly, they're wasn't much of that. It had more of an Alien vibe to me.

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  2. Girlfriend! What did you do to your wrist? Also which ARCs did you get? I'm nosy. I think I'll pick up Pitch Dark, I love snarky characters but I would get pretty frustrated not having terminology explained would stress me tf out.

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    1. You probably saw them on Instagram but Emergency Contact, The a Final Six, Olivia Twist, Deep Dark Blue. They might even be out now or at least soon-ish since a few were finished copies.

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  3. Lol, 'Wedge me'... Oh god, I can't stop laughing... At least with BSG Frak was pretty instinctual for what they were swapping it in for, lol.

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    1. Yeah, it's such an awkward term to me. Maybe it's my age showing and that's what all the kids are saying?? lol

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  4. Sorry about your wrist :-/ I would be annoyed by the "bruh" thing too, haha. But the characters sound pretty great, and the premise sounds good! I don't normally read horror, but I do sometimes read horror genre mash-ups, so this actually sounds like something I might enjoy.

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    1. I know people say bruh but it sounds so douchey lol I immediately hated the kid until I got to know him more (& he stopped saying bruh)

      It was a really cool mashup Kristen. I think you might like it. Some things go unanswered but if you just wan trip roaring fun - it works.

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  5. I am a fan of LSL as well, and am glad to hear you liked White Rabbit. I am looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Hope you like it! I didn't think the mystery was as strong but I adore his writing style.

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  6. Oh no. You're the 3rd blogger I've run across today that's got bits not cooperating with them. Hope your wrist is feeling better soon :)

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    1. #readerproblems. I hurt it on my kindle lol

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  7. I'm sorry about your wrist! I hope that feels better soon. I cannot wait to read White Rabbit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I think he'd write a really awesome straight up contemporary novel too. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  8. I've kind of seen a lot of the same reviews for White Rabbit. I liked his last book so much I will probably still try it.

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    1. I still really love his characters so I'll keep reading even if the mysteries fall a little flat.

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  9. Ugh, sorry to hear you're still semi-slumpy. And ouch on the hurt wrist. Hope it's nothing serious. I've seen a lot of good feedback on White Rabbit. I'm intrigued!

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    1. Too much Kindle reading hurt my wrist lol

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  10. Pitch Dark sounds fun, although I always roll my eyes at made- up "future slang". It always seems forced. "Wedge me"- ugh. But it does sound tense and a nailbiter. I've wondered about it, it looks like it'd be scary. :)

    White Rabbit has me REALLY curious, ever since I saw that cover. Sounds like it's not bad, although I sometimes struggle with that too- going back to the same witnesses/ suspects, slowly piecing it together somehow w/o the police. I think you're right though, sounds like he's write a GREAT contemp!

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    1. PD is a fun book!

      I'm horribly impatient with mysteries so I don't know if I'm the best judge of how well he pulled it off. But I adore his characters.

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  11. I'm glad you are working well with your physical copies Karen, unfortunately for me, they're still intact haha. And ohh, I just learned a new not-so-bad slang word hihi

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  12. Hope your wrist gets better soon!! I think that top book my hubby might actually enjoy. I should check if they have an audio since I know he won't read an actual ebook/paperback lol

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    1. I think my husband would like it too. Aliens is his favorite movie ever.

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  13. Hmmm I was really interested in Pitch Dark but now I don't know! That kind of sci-fi slang always throws me off. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It gets less as it goes on which helped. I still recommend it Tracy!

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