ARC Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The Scorpion RulesThe Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Aw, I really wanted to like this book! Dystopians are sort of in right now even though I sense fantasies are about to edge them out. That’s why I was excited to read about a world that’s supposedly better under a tyrannical rule 400 years in the near future. So why am I feeling apathetic to this world then?! I feel neither hate nor love towards the characters, the villain, and/or the world. I personally dislike this type of experience because I also don’t know how to rate the book. My reception was not livid enough to warrant a scathing 1 or 2-star rating so it falls within the 2.5-star zone. BLEHH.

Pet peeve: Also, what is up with the cover? The chair is crooked and it’s needles me since I can’t un-see it anymore. If it’s purposely arranged so that the seat is leaning towards the right, then the cover artist just made a dubious choice. Everything looks off balance when the backing is centered but the chair legs are kilter.

So there’s this school that is basically a prison for heirs and heiresses who inherit countries. But the United States is divided so readers will hear of these hostages coming from Mississippi/other tri-state areas. I personally think the book needs a map to show us the current state of the world but I guess that’s too much to ask since the characters never travel to those places during the story. It’s just difficult for non-American readers because it’s not guaranteed that they know their 50 U.S. states. The whole setting is only the school which is fine with me but I still somehow have no idea where anything is when the book ends. So setting is a mess although world building is great. I understand how everything in the world works which solves the usual loopholes readers encounter in dystopian novels.
However, the whole explanation of the world kind of took a while so there wasn’t enough pages left over to give readers ‘character’ time. To put it nicely, there are too many characters and most of them are flat to me. I still cannot describe the two main characters’ strong points and disposition. Sorry, I just felt detached during the story.

There are gorey scenes by the way but they’re glossed over which kind of sucked because I did not feel any tension or anticipation when I read those parts. Overall I feel apathetic and could not muster myself to care what happens to the characters. Even the villain’s characterization was a flop for me. He tries to be all sassy and use all these cool references to pop culture which I give props to, but his speech seems effortful. I liked how he quoted Casablanca but the humor was so awkward because the scene was supposedly sad. No, it doesn’t relieve tension, and it was just a mess.

Sorry, it was not for me.

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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An Unquiet Mind: Review

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I took the grace of reading this book without reading any reviews on it to prevent bias. I fucking hated it anyways.

I felt the presence of men all over the book. Kay rarely mentioned women and the only ones who showed up were her mother and older sister. It was overly suffocating and I felt condescended to when Kay mentioned her achievements and the oppression she felt when her mental illness prevented her from accomplishing what her WASP/Ivy status allowed her to do.

Her writing was good but it was not enough to distract me from her abysmal egocentricity about her sex life, her list of lovers, and all those men who were her friends. I don’t understand why she doesn’t talk about any female friends…maybe she doesn’t have any? I understand that’s reasonable since to each their own but I’m still baffled.

There was so much centralization on SEX and MEN. what the actual fuck
Like if I wanted to read about romance, I would’ve searched out a love story! (and I love romance, by the way; it adds a lot of fun to an otherwise tragic book that takes itself too seriously with its sad, gory, and fantastical elements)

Sorry, I read this book expecting a book on mood disorder and that’s what it was marketed as but I now want my money back. I didn’t EVEN BUY THE DAMN BOOK. (Thanks, college library, for lending me this book) never mind I actually want my time back. This book wasted my time and it wasn’t even about how unlikable Kay was. I’m sick and tired of this book, it’s only 228 pages and it’s saturated with achievements, her rise to prestigious job positions, and the amount of support she received from men. Okay, yeah, you garnered a lot of attention from men and you also have a lot of handsome friends.

Your two best friends in high school were handsome, sardonic and super popular GUYS in high school. Thanks for describing that, did it contribute to your story, influence your illness or even impact your life?!!! Because you briefly drop them and then talk about other guys you meet in college, husbands (yes, husbandS), and turbulent love affairs.

Keep in mind I have a 8-page paper due in a few hours and all of it to be written by referring to this book. And yet, wa-la!…here I am writing about how much cock and bull I read wastefully. And surprisingly, I wrote so much and infinitely quickly on my subjective review of this book than my actual assignment essay!

A lot of the aforementioned male friends and people who supported you need not be included because Kay did not show their long-term support. She would talk about them for a few pages and then it would all revert back to her. They are then dropped and I never hear about them again (except for maybe the psychiatrist and her family). Nearly every men she comes into contact with was always first and foremost described physically and usually as devastatingly handsome and/or charming.

Her self-centeredness and grandiosity is beyond belief.

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