Miranda @ Bibliodaze

I'm an awesome 24 y/o reader and writer of YA fantasy/historical fantasy. I mainly write about awesome ladies and the people who love them. I work at a library and I'm a contributing reviewer to Bibliodaze.

The Girl Who Would Be King - Kelly  Thompson Despite some writing that needed a run through with a professional editor, some insta-love and some logic missteps, I really loved The Girl Who Would Be King. As I expected when I read the summary, it’s everything I want in a story: Two main female leads who end up being the other’s enemy, with the fate of the world in the balance, all told like a comic book in prose form. And let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed. The story shifts between two POVs, Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever. Of the two, at first Lola’s narrative was the more interesting one. It does start off with her killing her mother, after all. But after a while, Bonnie caught up to her in the engrossing department, and they both held my attention throughout the book. In the end Lola’s story is the one that better subverts certain comic book tropes and narratives (like how the top supervillain is a criminal mastermind--not so, in this book.) Bonnie’s is a little more by the numbers, but it was still a solid story. Although Bonnie’s story did have one major downside: Insta-love. Normally this would be a dealbreaker for me in a novel, but honestly the rest of it had me entertained enough that I was able to overlook the fact that the first time Bonnie sees Clark, she instantly knows she’s in love with him. The strength of Lola’s relationship with a guy named Adrian also made up for it, although I did buy Bonnie and Clark’s relationship once they began talking and really knowing each other. I was glad that in the end, the narrative does point out the unfairness in how the paths have been chosen for these girls before they were even born. I was also happy to see that, while it does play the “one’s good, one’s evil” trope pretty straight (which is the point, as trying to subvert that would have gone against the world’s internal logic and mythology), the novel does show how they’re both capable of doing good or bad things. Lola can sometimes be not as bad as she ends up being, and she even falls in love at one point. Bonnie, likewise, is capable of some mean thoughts and not so nice things. The pacing did suffer from being a little slow at times, and sometimes huge chunks of time were passed in a few paragraphs. I could see some readers being bored by reading the slow build up to the final act; up until then, Lola and Bonnie are entirely separate, on different sides of the country even, and the novel focuses on their day to day lives. It plays out very much like a superhero comic book, except it gets to be a bit longer due to the novel format it’s in. Personally it wasn’t an issue for me, because I love character driven books, but for others it might be a little dry. The final act was really well done, and the resolution was satisfying, even if after a certain point it did become obvious that it was the only solution that could happen. For the most part, though, I wasn’t able to guess where the book was going, and that was a great thing. I read basically all of the book except for 80ish pages in one sitting, and I’m glad I had time to spare when I got to that ending. As for the not so good parts, the writing in the book really did need a comb through with a professional editor. Sometimes a lot of sentences were clunky and confusing, in that I occasionally had to read something twice in order to understand what it meant. It wasn’t unreadable by any means, but it was definitely obvious that it hadn’t had someone to run through it with a trained critical eye. There were also a lot of logic missteps: How were no cameras, at all, ever catching a glimpse of Bonnie? Especially when she doesn’t cover her face with anything. In New York City, it’s really hard to buy that not one place she was in had any kind of camera system, or that someone wouldn’t have pulled out their phone and taken video or a picture. Likewise, Lola leaves fingerprints all over the place. At one point she even leaves a bloody handprint on the wall of a carnival performer’s trailer. I’m a little more willing to let that one slide, because who’s going to care about a murdered performer, but the rest was really hard to swallow at times. The general mythology of the world--and how the powers worked--made sense... up until I began to wonder what would happen if one of the women only gave birth to one daughter, and that daughter happened to be gay. That doesn’t necessarily exclude her from having a child, sure, but what if she never did? Would the power pass on to the next girl in line? What if there wasn’t one? What if a woman simply did not wish to have children at all? How would that work, then? Otherwise it made sense, but those questions kept nagging at me a little while I read. Really, though, I enjoyed The Girl Who Would Be King a lot. There needs to be more novels like this, frankly. (See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. A physical copy of this book was generously provided by the author for an honest review.)

Currently reading

A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
Susan J. Douglas
The Winter Rose
Jennifer Donnelly
Progress: 259/720 pages