First off . . . I just want to say that I wanted to love these books. I really, truly did. And there were elements of the stories that I liked – but essentially I think these books were a “it’s not you, it’s me” problem. You know when you think you should like books, and for some reason you don’t? And you feel horrible for not liking them? Yeah.
Title: The Protected
Author: Claire Zorn
Format/Length: Paperback/264 pages
Publisher/Date Published: July 23rd 2014/UQP
Category/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
2/5 stars –
What I loved about this book was the raw, honest, stripped-back element of it. I also loved all the Aussie references in it; it’s awesome to read a book set quite close to where you live! The Protected had all the elements of a truly heartbreaking novel. It deals with death and bullying (people are horrible!), but for me – it didn’t work. Here’s why:
— While I found Claire Zorn’s writing style smooth and interesting to read, it lacked something. I don’t know what. Some of her sentences seemed . . . odd. Like her punctuation choices wasn’t quite right. (For me.)
— I didn’t feel “sad” or “heartbroken” while reading this. Again – I don’t exactly know why. I just couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. At all. Our main character, Hannah, was hard to like. Don’t get me wrong – I felt sorry for her. But I constantly found myself frustrated with the way she was almost letting people treat with her. I wanted to shake her more than one time and tell her to stand up to her bullies. (Which I do realise is not an easy thing to do. I’m just saying it was really hard to read.)
Overall perhaps just not for me.
Title: The Sky So Heavy
Author: Claire Zorn
Format/Length: Paperback/304 pages
Publisher/Date Published: July 24th 2013/UQP
Category/Genre: Young Adult/Post-Apocalyptic
2/5 stars –
This was the second book of hers I read, having read The Protected first. And while I found that one to be largely underwhelming, I wasn’t excepting anything from this. In saying that though I did enjoy The Sky So Heavy more than The Protected.
I’ve seen this compared to Tomorrow, When the War Began, and now that I’ve read it, I can kinda see why. There’s a similar thread throughout the stories: both feature Australia succumbing to some post-apocalyptic event / war. Which is pretty cool to read about. (Um. Not so much to experience, I’d wager.) But the similarities end there, really. I have to admit that I wasn’t really a fan of either novels. And again, like in The Protected I loved the Aussie-ness of this.
I don’t know what it wrong with me. Seriously, there must be. Because there is not a single character in either of her books I’ve read that I’ve liked and / or connected with. Here’s the thing: I have no clue why! None at all. Even at the end with that plot-twist I couldn’t really feel sorry for any of the characters. (Also? I didn’t see the point in that; I felt like the author did that for the shock value rather than anything else.) My next qualm was the majority of it was rather boring. From a post-apocalyptic novel I expect action. Excitement. I kept waiting for that exciting, thrilling something to happen, but it never came until the very end, which I’ve kinda discussed above.
Now, I don’t mind an open-ended book, but this bothered me a touch. The story feels unfinished. (Unless there is a sequel that I’m not aware of?) I just feel like there should be . . . more to the story.
Overall both very “meh” reads for me. Which I kind of hate myself for, but I can’t like every book I read, can I?