|| Mini Reviews: The Call + Thirteen Reasons ||

I did a mini reviews post aaaaaggggeees ago, back in June of last year, and really enjoyed it, but haven't done one since. I decided I'd change that asap, and I present to you two more mini reviews  (that may or may not be heavy on the sarcasm. #noshame) of some books that I read recently. 
Enjoy! <3 

"I'm going to live. And nobody's going to stop me." 
She believes every word of it.

The CallThe Call by Peadar O'Guilin 
(cover + summary from Goodreads)

Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.

Could you survive the Call?

characters: 3/10
creativity: 7/10
plot: 5/10
pacing: 3/10
overall rating: ★★☆☆

I'm only just now realizing how obscure that summary is, so a bit more information: the Call is something that occurs to anyone currently in their teen years, where they are magically whisked away to the world of the Sidhe-- violent creatures that used to walk earth but were banished to their own world long ago. The Call is sort of like their form of revenge, where they call teens to their realm, and then hunt them down. The teens spend a day in the other realm, but if they manage to survive and are returned, they end up in their world only three minutes later. 

I've been intrigued about this book since I first read a sampler of it last year. But the thing about The Call is that it read like a history book. Like, after reading this, if somebody were to ever ask me about the Sidhe, I'd probably be able to write up a three page MLA formatted essay for them with references and a chart depicting survival rates. The book just sort of plops you into this fully developed world and expects you to figure out things for yourself. It was thick on information, and yet somehow, still lacking? 

Why were the Sidhe banished? Who banished them? Where the hell even is the world that they're in? Who knows? Not me, that's for sure. 

I did appreciate the fact that Nessa struggled with a disability, but sometimes it seemed too convenient. There was definitely a strong focus on the fact that she relied mainly on her arms because her legs were crippled, which I liked. But some basic things like her crawling around in the forest, etc., were never fully explained in terms of how that worked/was different for her because of her disability. I wish there had been a little bit more focus on how Nessa dealt with it. I feel like I could've gotten a much better grasp of her character if I understood her a bit more. Most of what I got was just bitter, driven, and intelligent, related mainly by way of just telling me that she was all those things, which made for a very flat feeling character that I wasn't really able to bring myself to care about. 

Actually tbh most of the cast felt flat? I can't pin down what exactly made them feel that way; the short page length that ironically stretched on forever because of the iNFO DUMPS or the writing style. Something about the whole thing felt very two-dimensional, and there wasn't really a lot of context or time to get to know anyone, as the POVs literally switched through all of the characters at least once. 

I don't know. It was a dark, gritty book that I can see people loving to bits, but personally, I was bored.

No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 
(cover + summary from Goodreads

You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-- and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town. . .

. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.

characters: 2/10
creativity: 4/10
plot: 2/10
pacing: 5/10
overall rating: ★★☆☆

I originally loved the concept of this, and at the start, really thought it had something going for it. The notion of telling all these different stories by way of cassette tapes, about how classmates affected Hannah, was a unique thing, and I liked seeing the way all the interactions wound together and connected. The snowball effect, while painful to read about, did make the book mesmerizing.

But Hannah literally sent 13 tapes to each person she talked about,pointedly blaming them for her death. I can't even fathom how cruel of a thing that is. And she sent them to Clay... who didn't do anything??? Hannah sent these things to him, put him through all that, only to say that," Clay, honey, you did nothing wrong."
Like, the tapes made him physically sick?? I don't understand why she made the guy go through all that he did. She could've just sent him a lone apology/explanation tape without ever subjecting him to the recordings? Though it still wouldn't have changed my dislike for what Hannah did, I feel like I could've at least garnered a bit more from the story, if it had been told from the POV of someone who actually did something to her. I just really don't know why the hell the book followed Clay's POV. It was entirely pointless.

The writing style was also not a favorite. Clay would interject in the middle of Hannah's story, with these pointless one-liners that, to me, really disrupted the flow of what Hannah was talking about. I feel like the whole thing would've been more powerful if Clay's POV had either been moved to the end of each chapter; so that Hannah's stories went uninterrupted, or if Clay's commentary had just been kept to describing him traveling to the map locations, his thoughts thrown in then instead of smack-dab in the middle of pivotal part.

Not to mention that the whole thing was also a big ball of contradictions. You had Clay saying things like,"I knew I couldn't save her no matter how things had happened," only to have him later state that he would've helped Hannah, in any way he could've, and that he could have saved her if only she'd reached out to him. I also couldn't seem to grasp what exactly the author was trying to get across. Hannah ping-ponged back and forth between blaming others for making her take her own life, and then saying it wasn't their fault, but rather just circumstances. The suicide was handled in an almost blasΓ© way, and it seemed like the author either didn't know how they felt on the subject, or didn't entirely care.

And I don't even know how to feel about that weird af ending.

Overall, definitely not a book I can get behind. I didn't appreciate the way suicide was handled, and the story left a lot to be desired.

And there we go! My brief thoughts on The Call + Thirteen Reasons Why. 
I hope to do more of these mini reviews soon, as I really enjoy them. It's a nice way to share some of my thoughts on books I wouldn't normally bring up.
And, as always, remember that these are just my own opinions! Just because I don't like a book doesn't mean that you will, and if you're intrigued by the summaries at all, I definitely think you should give it a shot. ;)

I hope you're all having a lovely day, and reading something good! ^-^

LET'S CHAT! Have you read either of these? If so, what did you think? Do you like writing that's thick on description, or do you prefer more flowery writing? TELL ME ALL THE THINGS BELOW! :) 


  1. I read The Call a while ago and actually really enjoyed it, but I can see where you're coming from. I know a lot of the book was 'tell' and not 'show', and I actually would love to know more about the Sidhe too, and that whole side of mythology is really interesting and I urge you to research it. Very interesting indeed.

    I haven't read Thirteen Reasons Why but I hear it's being made into a Netflix show? Apparently, Selena Gomez is going to be in it. I'd like to check out the book to form my own opinion about it, but it sounds pretty problem-o already tbh. Others have told me so, anyways. Great post, Adaline!

    1. well i'm glad you had a better time with it than i did! i'm definitely one of those people who likes the more flowery side of writing. if the writing is too bland i start feeling like i'm doing schoolwork and my eyes get all blurry. xD
      the sidhe was definitely a really interesting aspect though, and i absolutely love that form of mythology, so that was a nice perk. <3

      i guess it is?? i haven't heard a ton about it, and after reading the book i've kind of been ignoring news about. i do hope you pick it up for yourself though-- i'd love to know what you think!! ^-^

      thanks for commenting, love!

      xx a

  2. OMG THANK YOU FOR NOT LIKING 13 REASONS WHY EITHER. *sobs with relief* I'm actually sickened with how famous it is??? Like reading it made me physically ill as someone who has struggled with depression in the past. Depression is an illness. Other people can be triggers or cause stuff, but like if you get cancer you don't just tell other people they caused it??? You can't blame other people for suicide either. D: Yes people push someone down that path, but it's just SO WRONG to say they are the reason. It's such a blame game and omg I can't believe how Clay was there but "innocent". Why even. 😭 I still am so angry/upset about that book.

    And I have the Call to read! But honestly I've had it on my TBR for months and not felt particularly motivated. πŸ˜‚

    Lovely reviews!!

    1. AHHH I'M SO GLAD YOU AGREE WITH ME. i definitely don't see why it's so popular, and it makes me so sad because it's such a hurtful book and i feel like it gives people a lot of misinformation. blaming people for suicide is just wrong, and i still can't get over the fact that clay had to go through all that he did, only to find out that he wasn't really integral to what hannah was doing. it just??? where is the sense.

      thank you for the lovely comment, cait! <3

      xx a


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