Top 5 Wednesday: Most Misleading Synopses

top-5-wednesday

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is: Most Misleading Synopses. Ever read a synopsis and think it sounds dumb, but then you read the book years later and it’s actually amazing? Ever read a synopsis and think it sounds amazing, but it actually turns out to be nothing like the synopsis? Ever have a synopsis spoil something that happens 75% of the way into the book so you just spend most of your time waiting for that one element you already know? This is the topic for you.

9361589

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I thought this was a YA Paranormal Romance with action-packed magical dueling. Um, no. Not at all. It’s amazing, but the synopsis didn’t get me to read it, it was all the great reviews that did.

25036310

2. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig. I expected a lot of mystery and suspense with the main character’s big secret to play a major factor in it. Instead his secret had nothing to do with the mystery and took up a lot of focus of the plot (but it was much more well done than the mystery side of the plot, so…).

22055262

3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It took about 200 pages to get to the part with Lila that’s mentioned in the synopsis.

21897317

4. The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister. Book comparisons will always disappoint me. This was compared to The Night Circus and is not at all accurate. Also, I thought it was going to be really surprising and shocking based on the synopsis, but I found it predictable and kind of dull.

13449693

5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. The synopsis makes it sound like the romance in the book is way more prominent than it is. In reality it’s a much more interesting book than that.

What are some book synopses that you’ve found misleading?

Advertisements

Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

25036310

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

I went into Last Seen Leaving without knowing anything really about it, other than the synopsis, and I was anticipating great suspense and mystery. I thought maybe Flynn’s big secret involved him being some type of psychopath or somehow directly responsible for whatever happened to January. Unfortunately, I think those expectations made me pretty disappointed in the story I actually got.

We figure out Flynn’s secret pretty quickly (by the second chapter), so I don’t feel it’s a spoiler to tell you what it is, but if you really don’t want to know, stop reading now…His big secret is that he’s gay. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with January’s disappearance. So I figured this was a Coming Out book. Which is a fine book to be, but just not the one I was expecting to be reading. However, as the story went on it still focused on the mystery of January’s disappearance with Flynn coming to terms with his sexuality being the secondary plotline and it ended up working for me. It wasn’t as angsty as I was fearing – in fact it almost seemed a little too easy? But, I thought it was handled pretty well and it made for a “diverse” character who was much more than just the one thing that makes him diverse.

While it did handle the Coming Out plotline well, it lacked on the mystery and suspense front for me. Flynn just kind of kept stumbling upon information and the only time we ever see the police is when they’re pointing fingers at him, which just made them seem kind of inept. Then Flynn would find all these things out and not tell anyone about it. I tried to cut him slack since he is only 15, but he was just so immature and often dumb with how he handled things that I found it really frustrating.

Though he often frustrated me, I did like Flynn and I liked his new friend/love interest Kaz (though the age difference did make me just slightly uncomfortable), but the rest of the characters were pretty underdeveloped or unlikable. Maybe my biggest complaint with the story is January. She was just an awful person and I didn’t really understand how sweet Flynn was such great friends with her. She was very childish and bratty and very dramatic. We also find out as the story goes on about how she misrepresents pretty much everyone in her life to everyone else. She tells Flynn awful things about the people at her new school that aren’t completely true and then she tells her new friend awful lies about Flynn. Other than a desire for drama, there was no explanation for that and it really bugged me.

For a debut, the writing was pretty good, though I did have a few issues with it as well. For the most part Flynn sounded like your average 15 year old boy, but occasionally he would randomly use much more sophisticated vocabulary and it just came across a little odd. Also, instead of saying January’s name whenever she was referred to, the phrase “my ex-girlfriend” was used about 1,000 times. Like, it could be a drinking game.

Overall, Last Seen Leaving was an ok read for me. The pacing was a little slow and the mystery and suspense aspects were not as well done as I would have liked. However, the subplot of Flynn coming to terms with being gay were pretty well done and did not overwhelm the overall plot, which is what I was afraid of when I first figured out what the big “secret” alluded to in the synopsis. I know the official synopsis is not the author’s fault, but I think it does the book a disservice by kind of misrepresenting how Flynn’s “secret” impacts the mystery (because it doesn’t).

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2016

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

26109394

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben. Read May 30-June 1. 3 stars.

Well, I did not see that end coming! If the whole book was as surprising and emotional as the last couple chapters this book would have been amazing. However, I felt really disconnected from Maya for most of the book and there weren’t as much suspense or big surprises along the way that I was expecting. Overall, a good book, though.

2288045

The Convenient Groom (Nantucket #2) by Denise Hunter. Read June 1-2. 3 stars.

A cute concept, but could have been executed a little better. As with most of Hunter’s books, I found myself really disliking the female lead for most of the book and loving the male lead. I wish we would’ve seen more of their relationship before the marriage because I never really understood why Lucas loved Kate already. I didn’t like how she treated him for pretty much the whole book. But, I did like the Happily Ever After.

14132686

The Trouble with Cowboys (A Big Sky Romance #3) by Denise Hunter. Read June 3-4. 3 stars.

This book was pretty cute. I liked the slow burn romance a lot, though Annie did frustrate me at times. I did like her, though. Who I really couldn’t stand was her sister, Sierra. Sierra almost ruined the book for me. She’s so selfish and childish and I just wanted to smack her for most of the book. Besides that, though, I liked watching Annie and Dylan’s relationship and it was a pretty enjoyable book.

23647120

Falling Like Snowflakes (Summer Harbor #1) by Denise Hunter. Read June 7-10. 3 stars.

I really like the Callahan brothers. I wish there was more time spent with all three of them together, though. I was a fan of the romance and overall story, but I think this was supposed to slightly dip into the Romantic Suspense territory and the suspense fell a little flat for me. Not my favorite Hunter book, but I’ll definitely continue with the series.

16135109

Imposter (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker. Read June 12. 3.5 stars

I bought this on a whim from the Dollar Tree and I’m pretty pleased with my purchase. I was a little wary in the beginning because I thought Tessa was kind of whiny and there was a lot of boy drama, but once we really got into the story I became a lot more invested. I thought Winnacker did a good job of keeping me guessing about who the serial killer was and I liked everything that had to do with the variant skills – it’s not an original idea, but I always enjoy it. I’m really looking forward to the next book, even though I’m pretty sure there’s a love triangle coming.

20958632

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. Read June 11-12. 3 stars

Bumping my rating up to 3 stars, just because I like Holly Black’s writing. The story wasn’t really my cup of tea. It was a little confusing at times and overall strange. I did like the relationships, though – between siblings, friends, and romantic interests – they were all pretty well done and I think if it would have focused more on those aspects, I would have enjoyed the story more.

18045583

Defector (Variants #2) by Susanne Winnacker. Read June 13. 3 stars

A quick, easy read. There was a little more relationship drama than I wanted, but the love triangle wasn’t as bad as I thought. I did like that we got to see more Devon, though. I thought the intrigue surrounding the truth about FEA and Abel’s Army was good, but I am not at all satisfied with the conclusion. I did like the ending, but it’s definitely a middle of a trilogy ending and not a series ending and apparently the author has decided not to finish the series. According to a post on her Facebook, she’s over YA and writing Adult Romance under a different name…Very disappointing.

27276283

The Regulars by Georgia Clark. Read June 15-16. 2.5 stars

Overall a quick read with some addictive writing, but the unlikable characters made it hard to read at times. Full review to come closer to release date.

60510

Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder. Read June 18-20. 2.5 stars

The characters were likable enough and I liked the romance, but the fantasy elements left a little to be desired for me. I also thought that a lot of the plot twists were predictable. I’ll probably try the next book to see if it starts to live up to the great reviews I’ve seen of this series.

25036310

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig. Read June 20-23. 2.5 Stars

This was just an ok read for me. The pacing was pretty slow and the mystery and suspense aspects were not as well done as I would have liked. We figure out Flynn’s big “secret” in chapter 2 and it really doesn’t have anything to do with January’s disappearance. I was afraid this was going to end up being a Coming Out book – which is a fine book to be, but not the book I was planning on reading – but it didn’t end up overwhelming the overall plot and that aspect was pretty well done. I just wish the mystery was as thoughtfully written. Full review to come closer to release date.

18221496

A December Bride (A Year of Weddings #1) by Denise Hunter. Read June 23-24. 3.5 stars

A quick, cute story with likable characters.

28791088

Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman. Read June 24-25. 3.5 stars.

A pretty cute fake relationship story. I really liked both Sally and Becks and their relationship. There was one big thing that kept me from giving it a higher rating, though, and that was Sally’s supposed best friend, Hooker, who felt it was her mission in life to set Sally up with a boy and how completely focused both Hooker and Sally’s mother were on how Sally NEEDED a boyfriend. I thought it was a little degrading, actually.

25817310

Dreamology by Lucy Keating. Read June 25-26. 3 stars.

This was a cute idea, but I don’t feel like it ever lived up to it’s potential. It reminded me a little of Kami and Jared’s connection in the Lynburn Legacy, but was not done nearly as well. I did, however, really like the characters and thought the romance was cute, but the plot was really lacking.

24611983

Put a Ring On It (Black Dog Bay #3) by Beth Kendrick. Read June 26-27. 4 stars.

Chick Lit at it’s finest! I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters a lot and the development of the romance. It was definitely a different take on the fake relationship/marriage of convenience trope. It doesn’t exactly fit either of those, but it’s similar and I loved it.

22840300

Make-Believe Wedding (The Great Wedding Giveaway #9) by Sarah Mayberry. Read June 28-29. 3.5 stars.

A very cute Fake Relationship/Friends to Lovers story. This was free from B&N and most of the free ebooks I get I never end up reading, but I’m glad I gave this one a try. The only thing I have to complain about is that it had a few graphic scenes I could’ve done without.  

*************************************************************************

BACK ON THE TBR

25733990

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel. Honestly the only reason I wanted to read this is because Pierce Brown said really good things about. I got it from the library and read a chapter or two and just wasn’t into it. I think I do want to try it again sometime, though. I didn’t realize at first that it’s a series, so maybe I’ll wait until the next one is published before I try it again.

*************************************************************************

DNF

22926200

The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks. I usually try to get to 25% before I decide to DNF something, but I got distracted by other books and just never had the desire to pick this one up again. I only got to about 13%, so I can’t really say much about it, just that it was a little funny, a lot awkward, and didn’t keep my interest.

6354402

The Seaside Letters (Nantucket #3) by Denise Hunter. I have read several Denise Hunter books over the last few months and I really liked some while I found others a little ho-hum. I liked the idea of this book, but not how it was executed. We find out almost right away that both characters know who they are writing to, but Sabrina doesn’t know that Tucker knows. I just can not take a whole book of it – It’s too much obvious lying. Sabrina (like most of Hunter’s leading female characters) is super unlikable. I also read a review that spoiled what her “big secret” is and it really turned me off from wanting to finish the book. It should honestly be a deal breaker in my opinion. I’ll still read other Hunter books, but this one was just not for me.