Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin {review}

[I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.]

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines.  Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause.  Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.

But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Hack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.

I have a confession to make…I didn't actually finish this one.  That's a first for me with these blogger review programs, but let me hasten to add, it wasn't because the book was abnormally bad.  It wasn't.  There was nothing really wrong with this story, but there was nothing really right either, and that was the problem.

The end actually looked promising, but I just lost interest, plain and simple.  I think part of the problem (apart from the typical over-the-top romance) was that the story was written in a rather confusing manner.  I couldn't exactly follow the plot twists, because I couldn't make sense of the author's explanations.  They seemed vague and a bit conglomerated.  But maybe that was just me, and maybe I didn't give the book enough of a chance.

Some good points:  the story itself was fairly original, which is a precious rarity in the CFR genre.  Set in WWI, involving suffrage, espionage, secrets, and physical deformity, I'm becoming more and more convinced that I really should have stuck with it longer, and mayhap one of these days I'll pick it back up again and read it through properly.  I also liked the reference to different classic novels, including Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera!  That made my inner fangirl grin;)

So, overall, while for various reasons I didn't actually finish the book, it has promise.

20 comments:

  1. Yep, I know what you mean. I lost interest about 70 pages in, but forced myself to complete it. I'm afraid my review was a little harsh, but after reading so many excellent historic novels, I have very little patience for ones that just don't cut it. Ah well, maybe her next one will be an improvement!

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    1. Oh my goodness! Carissa! You have two blogs! How did I not know that? You see, usually, when someone comments on my blog, I try to make sure to find their blog if they have one...I could have sworn I had checked your profile...I am so sorry about that. Anyway, I am now following both your blogs ('cause they look awesome!). I can't wait to get better acquainted with them;)

      Ahem, so, the book. Yes. Not exactly stellar:-/ And yeah, let's hope for better things of her later!:)

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    2. Yay, a new follower!! That's always so exciting! Yeah, I've had Musings for several years now, but just started up Bookshelves this last month. It's a work-in-progress you might say, but I'm enjoying it. I felt it was time, past time actually, to give all the book-related stuff its own blog. And that's proved so helpful already. And I'm excited to have found you through Hamlette!

      Well, her 1st novel sounds more interesting, so I've added it to my Goodreads list. I'm not sure when I'll get to it, but someday when my to-reads list doesn't feel miles high!

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    3. That's awesome! I've been considering making a separate blog myself... Yay! I know, I was sooo happy when I saw your follow and your first comment:D Thanks so much for that follow, by the way:)

      Yeah, I read that her first novel was really good, so I should look into it. Haha, I know how you feel--the reading list seems eternal, doesn't it?;)

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  2. O my goodness! I watched The Phantom of the Opera last night! :)
    I have never read the book though. Is it any good?

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    1. You did?! Was it your first time? Which version did you watch? What did you think?:D

      Yep, it's good. Personally, I prefer the musical in general, because Gothic romance isn't my genre (and that's the genre of the book), but there are some splendid moments.

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    2. No, it was not my first time. I watched the 2004 version. I have loved it since I was little and still
      do!! The music is wonderful!! :D Do you have a favorite song?

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    3. It is great! My favorite version is the 25th anniversary concert with Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess (the singing and acting is incrrrrreddddible), but I think the 2004 version gets too much hate in general. It's good! I loved Gerard Butler's portrayal of the Phantom especially :D

      Yussssss, it's amazing. Favorite song...well, I really like just everything in the Final Lair/Down Once More sequence, but as for single songs, probably Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again:) What about you?

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    4. I love Gerard Butler as the Phantom too! :)
      Favorite song? Hmmm well that's difficult to say, there are so many good ones!
      I have always loved The Phantom of the Opera song, Music of the Night is so pretty and Wishing You Were Some How Here Again is lovely as well. :D

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    5. Yes!:D

      Yeah, those songs are awesome!:)

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  4. So... was the dialogue confusing (or, like in The Hunger Games, not well developed)? Or, were the descriptions overall hard to follow? Was it cheesy, this-wouldn't-happen-in-real-life romance? How do you know the author?

    (Sorry for all the questions!)

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    1. The dialogue was fine, but the way that she went from key event to key event and explained the past was confusing. I don't quite know how to explain it--it just seemed "fuzzy." Haha, that's okay! Questions are fun;) I didn't really know the author, but this book was the one I picked from Bethany House's choices to review for August...if that makes any sense?

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    2. Oh, and the romance...the romance was CFR romance. It's a very specific brand;) Yeah, a leetle unrealistic, but more than that just cheesy.

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  5. Yeah, I know what you mean--sometimes a book is just so not-interesting that you can't take the time to finish it. Cause you've got so many better things to do! That actually happened to me last month--I tried reading Sarah Sundin for the first time and I was just like, "noooooooooo. This is not working for meeeeeeee." And I put it down.
    Cheesy, over-the-top kind of romance really bothers me . . .

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    1. Exactly, Jessica! Haha, I think I've heard that some of Sarah Sundin is really good, and some is really bad, hehe. Which one did you try? I haven't read any of hers.

      Ugh, yes. It's Just Irritating.

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    2. So, I tried "With Every Letter" (Mellie Blake) and "On Distant Shores" (Georgie Taylor). I really didn't like either one, but especially the second . . . blurgh. Just . . . too much kissing. And too much Stupid Quarreling about Stuff that Doesn't Really Matter. Seriously. I did NOT enjoy it.

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    3. Gotcha. I think I might try "With Every Letter" sometime, but...eck, we'll see. The kissing and quarreling can definitely get annoying:-P

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    4. That was actually more of a problem in "On Distant Shores"--at least, the quarreling. There isn't much quarreling--not LOVERS quarreling, anyways--in "With Every Letter," but there is a lot of People Being Silly. At least, from my point of view. Mellie Blake--I don't know. She just doesn't "click" with me.

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    5. Okie dokie. Yeah, it can be tough to like a book if one doesn't like the characters:-/

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