08/08/2014

Review: My Only {N.K. Smith}


★☆☆☆☆
Written by N. K. Smith
Amazon | Book Depository 

Adam is resigned to sit on the sidelines of life, overshadowed by his outgoing twin. In Adam's mind, he could never live up to Aaron, so he lives a life of isolation, always downplaying his abilities. But when a free-spirited new girl moves in across the street, Adam's eyes are opened to a world of new possibilities. Olivia is fun, beautiful and completely outside of her element in the suburb of Illinois. She forms an instant bond with Adam, but he can't help but wonder if she would prefer the better version of him: his brother. With Aaron hovering in the background, Adam has a choice to make: keep within the safety of his friendship with Olivia, or fight to take it further.
 
I hate being the rainy part of the rainbow. Goodreads is over-flowing with positive reviews for this, most of them hovering in the five-star range. Though the premise didn't sound all that interesting, I appreciated the role-reversal aspect, with the confident girl helping the shy boy. Unfortunately, my appreciation for the book ended at that basic aspect.

This was one of those astronomically slow reads, that really revelled in the insignificant and mundane details. Adam's point of view is so riddled with overdone meekness that it was hard to take his low self-worth seriously. It just seemed ridiculously unfounded and whiny.

Olivia turned out to be a caricature of clichés, embracing the Manic Pixie Girl stereotype in most parts, and then reverting to Aristotle in others. One moment she's trying to be wild and carefree, and the next she's acting like a wise old man. It just seemed a little forced.

I also found it strange that she was torn between the two brothers, since her and Adam clearly had a deep bond, and she had barely spoken two words to Aaron. It was a plot-device to shatter Adam's confidence even more, get us to feel bad for him and root for him to 'fight for his girl'. Only thing is, it didn't work for me. Instead I just rolled my eyes and started skim-reading.

I won't talk about Olivia's other storyline here (to avoid spoilers), except to say that it was blindingly obvious and I would've appreciated if it was handled with a little more subtlety and depth.

But really, the biggest let-down for me was the writing itself. It wasn't bad, but it seemed so void of emotion, which was strange for a book that dealt with and discussed a lot of pretty serious issues. A lot of the time it was as though N. K. Smith was just spitting facts at me, rather than making me feel what the characters were feeling. It left me completely disconnected for the entire book.

In a book so clearly set out to be an emotional tornado, this was barely a light breeze. The only time I felt anything was when I broke out in laughter at the overly-cliché descriptions of Olivia from Adam's point of view. I'm sad this book was such a disappointment, but whatever it was trying to achieve, it just didn't work for me. The Lone Birdie is usually reserved for DNFs, but since I skim-read so much of this book, I figure I'm justified in using it.

 

Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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23 comments:

  1. The twins are Aaron and Adam?! Did their parents hate them? *ahem* I do like it when the boy is shy (like Sam in Shiver...n'aww, adorable) but, gosh this sounds like a book reserved for I-need-to-be-bored-to-sleep. I always get miffed when I read a book and EVERYONE seems to rate it 4-5 stars and I'm like snoozing. Mm. Cantankerous me?

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    1. "The twins are Aaron and Adam?!"

      I'm sensing some great amounts of déjà vu right now after reading that sentence...I feel like I've heard of those two characters before...

      COUGH COUGH Shatter Me COUGH

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    2. Haha, matching twin names tend to fail a bit. ALSO YES SHATTER ME. I didn't even realise O_O well, that's awkward. Maybe this is an alternate world version of their lives ;)

      Cait, I put the 'tank' in cantankerous BECAUSE I RUN OVER EVERYBODY'S FEELS WITH MY HATRED FOR THINGS hehehe

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  2. I read the synopsis and I knew this one wasn't for me but I am literally shaking my head now. This just sounds like a whole bunch of drama thrown in with a heap of boring. The fact that there is a love triangle actually made me cringe. OH THE BOY IS ALREADY SHY AND has no sense of self-worth so instead of focusing on that, WHY DON'T WE COMPLICATE THINGS MORE and make it a love triangle! WOOPIDY DOO.

    Also I am a little bothered by how his low self-esteem is portrayed, as someone with low self-esteem.. I get the idea I'd be pretty offended. He just sounds crippled by how low self-esteem and.. like.. wow. SMH. -.-

    I am sorry you didn't like this more, Allie!

    Thanks for the honest review!!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. It is just like a really boring teen soap opera, seriously. Some of the things that happen just make you wonder if this was based off of an episode of 90210 or something.

      Yeah, the low self-worth thing. I get people who have low self-esteem, heck I've suffered from it. But when it feels like a plot device that has no real purpose, and when there's no sense behind it / it just seems played out . . . I don't understand why it needs to be included. To show how different the brothers are? Because OF COURSE twins can't be at all similar

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  3. Oh goodness gracious. This does NOT sound good. :/ The amount of description focusing on Olivia from Adam's point of view sounds like it would bore the heck out of me, so I honestly don't think it would be for me either. :( Thanks for sharing though, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Zoe, those descriptions cracked me up. I genuinely laughed out loud like, 'WHAT IS THIS?' Why does every girl in YA have to be the most unrealistically beautiful person ever? -_-

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  4. Sorry this didn't work for you; you're right, the concept does sound interesting!! That's crazy Olivia found herself stuck between the two brothers when she really only knew one.

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    1. Especially considering how different the brothers were. It just seemed like a rather pointless storyline, and I think the book would've been better if that part wasn't thrown in

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  5. Honest opinion are the BEST, Allie! Honest people are the only ones I trust with my read so I'm glad for you to be one of them now. ;) Clicéd characters are so annoying. I think I'll pass indeed. Great review and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Ahhh, I'm now in the circle of trust *strokes Mr Jinks* eeeeexcellent

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  6. Great, honest review lovely! It sounds like the characters here were forced and inconsistent, kind of alienating you as a reader. The writing sounds quite bland as well, it would be hard to connect with I think. I appreciate your honesty Allie!

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    1. Yeah, I just felt no emotional connection with anybody. And considering everything that happened, I feel like I should've felt SOMETHING, other than mild annoyance

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  7. I've seen your Goodreads update on this one, Allie, and I can't help but whoop when I saw that you already have a review for it. Ah, it's a case of show, don't tell again. I totally understand why you feel so disconnected with the story. I'm already bored by Adam and I haven't even read about him myself yet. Sigh. Thanks for the honest review, Allie!

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    1. Adam is probably one of the most self-indulgently whiny characters I've read about. I understand not every character can, or should be, this wild and outgoing spirit, but at the same time I don't want to read about a character who is as interesting as watching paint dry ;)

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  8. The concept itself is pretty awesome and I approve the reverse thing too. Though.. I'm so sorry it was such a cliché and didn't appeal to you in was that some cliché storylines and characters sometimes do. EHHHH. NOOOO. This triangle is just *headdesk* Plot device through and through! And clearly you didn't connect with anything in this book :/ I'm so sorry it wasn't your cup of tea. You handled this negative review with grace, my darlin'!

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    1. Cliché is nicht gut for me. I jut wanted so much MORE from this. I was looking forward to at least being interested in the characters, but nope. Nada. DIDN'T HAPPEN.

      (And you know me, always so utterly, indisputably graceful :P)

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  9. I've been looking forward to this review ever since your GR updates! Haha. So the concept on it's own doesn't sound like something that would call my attention (like, c'mon being torn between brothers isn't anything new *cough* Shatter Me *cough*) and even if it's different because this time the boy is shy... well it just sounds boring. Manic pixie dreams girls are already much too overused, so really I don't think I'd enjoy this book either. Thanks for your honesty, Allie! :)

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    1. LOL, oh the GR updates. I'm glad they made you giggle :P I feel like I spent more time spazzing out on Goodreads than I did reading the book. I was just in such awe with how so many people had loved this so much. I'm clearly a rebel, going against the grain here haha.

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  10. Hahaha I've never heard of this book and won't be reading it now! xD It's definitely not my kind of thing, I don't it when boys have a feeling of low self-worth. Your review cracked me up!!! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I'm glad I gave you giggles *bows*

      Tbh though, so many other people liked it, so I think I'm kind of the odd one out. Just goes to show how much tastes can differ!

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  11. Brilliant review, I have to thank you for it because it's saved me the time I would have put into reading this book. I will definitely be avoiding it now, for all the reasons that you mentioned, it doesn't seem like a book I'd really enjoy. I think from the mere mention of twins Adam and Aaron to the cliché descriptions of Olivia, this book would probably be a 1/5 read for me too. Great review! :)

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    1. It really is a shame, because from all of the 5-star reviews, I expected it to wow me . . . or at least make me feel something :( sucks when a book gets hyped so much!

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