Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Circle/The Circle Broken by K.M. Montemayor

The Circle (Book 1)The Circle by K.M. Montemayor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am a little bit uncertain of how to rate this book. On the one hand, the writing style is a little flat, lacking in dramatic flair, but on the other hand, it did suck me in and keep me reading.

It feels a lot like your regular high school drama - not-particularly-popular, booksy girl is generally overlooked in favour of her curvaceous and flirty best friend, until a boy enters the picture who is, in himself, something of an outsider. Together, they find they share a lot in common, and from these roots of a friendship, something rather more life-defining grows. Fairly standard stuff, pleasant to read, but not exactly life shattering.

However, Charlie is not from Earth - his people are a different strain of humanoids, located in a galaxy somewhere far beyond. He has been sent here, with his family, while his parents do important government-related security-stuff. His people are more-or-less from a dystopian society, with rigid rules and little freedom of movement. As his relationship with Lily develops, the press of his societal constrainsts hardens and it seems fate will drive the two young love-birds apart...

I enjoyed it, it was a fun read. I do feel Lily rushed into some rather foolhardy decisions and she felt somewhat younger than her 18 years (although I am not sure why). The bit when Charlie suddenly became "hot" when he took off his glasses rather bugged me too. Perhaps a little too Clark Kent? Anyway, the writing style felt a little dry, and the prose was not exactly eloquent and flowering, but it was a good, quick read. Although that ending... Grrrr!

Also, the dialogue felt artificial. I cannot pinpoint exactly why, but at times it did feel a little maid-and-butler and forced. Writing convincing dialogue is difficult, and I am sure that as the books proceed, this will improve.

Disclaimer: Free eARC via Netgalley and publisher in exchange for honest review - thank you!


The Circle Broken (Book 2)The Circle Broken by K.M. Montemayor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This cover is MUCH better than the one on the version I've got - beautiful!

Mine was from Netgalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I'm not sure why I enjoyed this book as much as I did. The writing style is a bit dry (very much "tell", rather than "show") and there is very little conflict driving the plot, merely a series of events that happen over the 10-year span it covers, but there was just something extremely engaging with it. I wanted to read on and completed it within a couple of days.

In fact, the only real tension I experienced towards the end was when Zak had escorted Lillie into her apartment and I thought "oh great, Charlie's going to see them together, freak out and this is going to have another cliff-hanger ending which would have definitely improved the lack-of-tension but made me extremely frustrated (as well as being in almost every sitcom/romcom ever). So, I'm glad that the author broke (lame) conventions there. And, of course, Charlie's treatment and confrontation with Lilly were also quite evocative.

Overall, from a writer/editor's perspective, I can find plenty of nits to pick in this tale, but from a reader's perspective, I enjoyed it.

PS: I can't help but wonder about Abby (sorry, Abigail's) choice of cat name - how is that indicative of the rest of the story, and what role will Abigail play in book three?

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