Review ― Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels // in which I learn the cons of a vague book summary

That moment when your review for a book you only read 1/5 of is longer than reviews of  books you finished HAHAHAHAHA.

So, um, sorry for the lack of posts the past two weeks. Actually why am I even apologising? Probably none of you noticed my lack of activity on this blog. Heck even I myself didn’t notice it till I wrote my first review for this month (which was like three days ago??).

I feel like my reviews have changed slightly after my month-and-a-half long reading slump. Like I’m writing more about my feelings now instead of following the whole plot-characters-writing-etc format. Maybe I just have a lot of LEFTOVER ANGST from all those fanfics I’ve read the past month.

Almost didn’t want to put any purchase links on this review because I really didn’t like the book so why should I torture y’all and push for you to buy it?? But hey, if you wanna take the risk, go ahead. You may end up enjoying it, who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Sshadows-of-the-forest-2d-coverhadows of the Forest
by Emma Michaels

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: 4 November 2016

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Summary:
Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.

They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…


my-thoughts-1DNF @ 22%

I used to think that a vague summary was a good thing as it doesn’t give away much about the book’s plot so there’s much room for plot twists and surprises. However, there’s also room for much misconception and confusion.

The summary mentions this place called the “Shadows of the Forest”, which I expected to be some mythical land that is seen as some sort of paradise but instead the only setting in the book seems to be a hospital surrounded by a forest. So I went and input that phrase into the search function on my Kindle, but there wasn’t anything that was called “Shadows of the Forest”. Instead, the phrase seemed to be used as a metaphor or description.

The book immediately throws you into the story, which starts with Lily and her brother Cole in an accident before the scene changes to Lily waking up in a hospital. However, before the first chapter, there was apparently a preface, a totally forgettable one because I just couldn’t make the connection between it and the story. I did get a brief feel of the writing quality from the preface though and it certainly did not help raise my hopes for this book. There was a sort of lyrical quality to it but it kinda bordered on “trying too hard”.

However, the biggest problem with this book was the characters. I think I would’ve been able to sit through the entire book if there was a character or two that I liked but that’s the problem―there were none. They lacked substance and I couldn’t find a single thing about any of them that I liked.

My first impression of Lily was that she was emotionless. For the 20% that I read, there was nothing she cared about but saving her brother because she believes that his life holds more worth than hers or something. She doesn’t even question the extremely suspicious hospital she resides in and its rules. Her chill-ness is on a really unrealistic level, like “I can sense that there are some secrets hidden in this hospital but idgaf because I gotta save my brother. Oh a shapeshifting fox and spirits exist as well? That’s cool but hey do you know how to save my bro?” I wonder if she’s actually soulless.

Then there are other characters such as the doctor and his daughter being introduced but we barely get to know them before more characters are being brought in like the mom and the shapeshifting fox whose name is Arro and I just gave up after that.


chat-with-meWhen do you decide to mark a book as DNF? Have you read any books with GORGEOUS covers but turned out to be disappointing? Please do tell so that I will never go near them with a ten-foot pole. Or let’s talk about vague summaries. Yay or nay?

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