Don’t have time to read this review? Listen to it!
Entertainment is defined as: The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.
Now, I’m sure you are all wondering why I felt the need to give you an English lesson, and I promise I’ll get to the point, but first…let me tell you a little story.
Every morning I wake up at the butt crack of dawn do two things. 1 – Take my children to school. 2 – Workout.
The first is fairly simple, but the second…well…it kicks my flabby white tush. I am NOT the girl that can step onto a treadmill with a little background music and knock out an hour long workout. Nope, I need a distraction. Sometimes I play a movie on my iPad, but most of the time…I turn on whatever rainforest soundtrack sounds soothing that morning and I read. Not a magazine, not my Facebook feed or some random article on Buzzfeed. I read a book. The only problem with this is that I have to read a very specific type of book when I’m working out. It can’t be sad. (Because ugly crying in the gym is a big fat no-no.) It can’t be smutty. (Because George likes to read over my shoulder.) And it can’t be too complicated. (Mostly because it’s hard to drown out the screams of pain coming from my thighs.)
The only thing it has to be is entertaining. My overly analytical brain need not apply, in fact…it can check out all together if it likes, I need only the part that allows me to turn a book into a moving picture in my head. The more action the better.
That is exactly what Amalie Howard’s novel “The Almost Girl” was for me. An entertaining distraction.
I’m not going to lie to you, this book was a hot mess. Or more specifically, sloppy in it’s make-up. The world building was fairly decent, but Howard’s main character Riven (and her male counterpart) Caden were one exhausting literary trope after another. One was supposed to be unflinchingly strong and savvy (they were constantly hurt, passing out, or being taken advantage of) while the other is what one would call a Mary. (Practically perfect in every way.) (Two point to those of you that got the Mary Poppins reference.) It didn’t make them difficult to read (hell, I actually enjoyed it when Riven got a swift kick in the ego) it just means that they were doomed to be predictable. As was the plot.
Even with the amusing introduction of zombie-esq robots, very large mechanical lizards, and one mad scientist father, I figured out ALL of the twists a good twenty pages before each happened. And this is where this book is going to lose readers.
Let’s lay all of the cards on the table shall we?
This book is going to be a book that draws two very different responses. Love or Hate. There will be no middle ground for the bulk of it’s readers. Why? Because it’s a book that you have to be in a specific frame of mind to enjoy.
Jim Rohn once said:
“Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.”
Read the easy stuff when it’s necessary. Life is too short to be so serious all of the time.
All of you should know by now that I LOVE serious literature and everything that reading it entails, but it can also drain you. Sometimes you just need to check out of yourself. Let an angry 17 year old who lives in two different worlds take you on a wild ride. Let secret factions ramble about things that aren’t so secret, and enjoy the simplicity of a first kiss. Yes, the character cliche’s might get a little annoying from time to time, and suspending reality is a must, but when all you need is a distraction from everything going on around you, and a book like this could help…why the hell wouldn’t you read it?
It’s got clones for heaven’s sakes. CLONES! (Sci-fi win!)
My recommendation, download a sample and start there. If you find that you’ve rolled your eyes more than 10 times by the end of the sample…cut your losses and move on. Life’s too short to be annoyed. BUT, if you find yourself intrigued by Riven and her evil zombie robot killing, king saving, high-school experiencing ways, then buy yourself a copy and dive in. You never know…you might enjoy the mental vacation.