Friends – happy Tuesday! Because it’s a Tuesday. Uh, huh. Yep.
Anyways, today I have a double review post, since I have two review books today. 😉
The two books are Unfolding (a mystery standalone) by Jonathan Friesen, and Eleanor (a … some kind of contemporary … magical realism, maybe?) by Jason Gurley.
Jonah wishes he could get the girl, but he’s an outcast and she’s the most perfect girl he knows.
And their futures seemed destined to fork apart: Jonah’s physical condition is debilitating, and epileptic seizures fill his life with frustration. Whereas Stormi is seemingly carefree, and navigates life by sensing things before they happen. And her most recent premonition is urging her to leave town.
When Stormi begs Jonah for help, he finds himself swept into a dark mystery his small town has been keeping for years. And the answers Stormi needs about her own past could possibly destroy everything Jonah has ever known—including his growing relationship with Stormi herself.
What I liked:
From the first sentence, I was drawn in. It was my first ficitonal book in 3+ weeks, and I was desperate, so I was … kinda high on this book. 😉
It was kinda witty, and Jonah is sarcastic. The whole book keeps you on your toes, thinking and trying to figure it all out.
This has a touch of supernatural (without being so), but you have a bunch of unexplained phenomena, and that was super cool! I loved it because it was realistic … yet not.
Also, Jonah has EXTREME scoliosis (spelled it right!) and epilepsy, and though I’m not sure how well it was handled (I really don’t know much about the latter), it seemed realistic enough to me.
Jonah is one of those kids who is sarcastic … and very pessimistic, in a way. Like, he’s positive, but because he has severe scoliosis and epilepsy, he was definitely a downer. It was interesting seeing that, but coming with some major “problems,” Jonah definitely had the-world’s-against-me sort of attitude. Still, he was easy enough to relate to.
Stormi … well … I just didn’t like her. She was always jerking Jonah around and seemed to think that it was fun. To be fair, her kind of characters usually bother me – arrogant without realizing it, using everyone to their advantage, but being “endearing,” and so on. But she did some pretty cool things. 😉
But Arthur, man. ARTHUR. He was … he is just my kinda character. 😉 I think that he may have been Autistic or something (maybe it said it in the book??? But I don’t remember???), and he’s super smart and is always like, but GUYS… He just added to the humor and realisticality of the book.
The writing seemed normal to me. Mr. Friesen was able to carry the whole supernatural into the writing, which was cool. But other then that, just kinda average.
The plot … wow, that PLOT. It was just so … intricate. Supernatural. It was just … wow. Everything fit together, though you have no idea how until Mr. Friesen ropes it all together. It was pretty cool. 😛 Though I still guessed it all. That’s what you get for having Sherlock as a reader.
It felt slow at times, and Stormi was quite unbearable to me. She was kinda inconsistent and I just don’t usually like those kinds of characters. But, ya know.
Sometimes I felt as if Jonah’s epilepsy was used to get from point A to point B, but for the most part it was realistic. I think. Maybe not.
The book has some subtle Christian themes.
Romance – Kissing. References to people sleeping with each other/nudges towards near-rapes. Jonah’s a teenage boy, so he sometimes daydreams about Stormi.
Violence – Recounts of murders and some deaths. That’s basically it. I had actually wished for more detail on that. #NotAPsycopath
Actually, despite me not liking it (not really my genre, any case), I’d recommend this! If you like mysteries with a touch of romance and supernaturalism, try this out! It was, really, a good book, just not my kinda thing. 🙂
Thank you, BookLook Bloggers, for the review copy! Blah, Blah, Etc. Etc.
When a terrible accident claims the life of Eleanor’s twin, her family is left in tatters, and her reality begins to unravel, dropping her in and out of unfamiliar worlds. When she returns to her own time and place, hours and days have flown by without her. One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff…and vanishes. In a strange in-between place, she meets a mysterious stranger who understands the weight of her family history: Eleanor’s twin wasn’t the only tragic loss. And unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, she may not be the last. From the Hardcover edition.
Wow. So I just … I just don’t know how to put this book into words, but I shall try…
What I liked:
This book is some kind of magical realism … and it’s just … wow. I’ll admit, the first pages I was SERIOUSLY considering DNFing it (I’ve only done that to 2 or 3 books in my life), except for the small problem of it being a review book.
But then – but THEN.
Okay. So there’s only been two books that I’ve read (the other being Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock) where there was just … something to the book that I just … got this good feeling abut, ya know? Yeah, it’s kinda hard to explain. But anyways, Eleanor had that. *
And another thing, and I won’t say this about many books at all, I actually enjoyed the whole day to day aspect of it, rather then the “magical” part of it. It just … drew me in and I loved it.
And Jack. Guys – Jack. ❤ ❤
Eleanor was our “main” narrator. And … I didn’t love or hate her. I definitely had a positive feeling towards her, though. She was sometimes annoying, but she was mostly super relatable and overall, a great narrator.
Jack. Okay, so he was in only maybe a collective of one page, but he was by far my favorite. You really don’t get much on him, but since I liked him, my brain really built him up (especially to be like Zach from Heroes). He was sweet and helpful (while still being realistic), and he had such a … tragic feeling surrounding him.
Mia and Agnes were both “eh” characters for me. When there was a POV of them, I was kinda dreading it, though they were both HUGE contributors to the storyline.
This writing was just GORGEOUS. It was all written in a first-person, present tense that just gave it a haunting feel that just flowed SO WELL with the rest of the book. Even when I was struggling through the beginning of the book, I could realize and appreciate it.
The plot … wow. I don’t think that I even remember it. 😉 Okay, so, it was amazing. You have this normal girl (in some sense) who has this tragicness always clinging to her, and you just follow her around. Magical stuff happens to her, and it was just done SO well.
The beginning was SO SLOW. Like, GAH. And there are other times that it sorta dragged.
Stuff ta look out for: There is a lot of naked people. They recognize it, but if fits. Nothing to be really concerned about. Kissing happened once or twice. There is deaths; a suicide was mentioned that was uncertain if it even happened. Injuries. Drunk people. Lots of destruction and ruin. Everything is very … tragic. There’s a lot of uses of f**k and a few of s**t.
So, guys, I just ADORED THIS BOOK.
Anyways, I think that this book is one of those that you either love or hate. And I, obviously, loved it. I hope that you do, too! I’d recommend this for those who love tragic magical fantasies (but I’d say to be a teenager, or a mature reader, definitely). So, yeah!
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Thank you, Blogging for Books! I appreciate you giving me this review copy!
*note: By the end of writing this review, I realized what it was about those two books (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Eleanor). They both have an air of … unexplainable tragicness. I love tragic stuff (like Sally Sparrow!) and this just gives me a sad sort of happy. So, yeah, a tragic aura.
So there you go, guys! My opinions on these two books! How about you, what’s a book that just gives you … those “good vibes”? I’d love to know! And if you have any magical realism or tragic book recs. for me, I’d love to hear them! Also – how’s life going for y’all? I’d love to chat with you on this Tuesday! 😉