Hey all! This is it!!! The FIRST in the series, Comparing Notes.
I had this in mind for a couple of months, it was inspired by the fact my friend Neda and I both read The Fever King and had completely different reading experiences. It kinda made me remember that we all have varied tastes, even our friends! *Gasp* I know, it’s shocking haha.
Anyway, now time to introduce Neda!
Neda and I have been friends since about the time we were 11/12 years old and we’re now…old. We’ll leave it at that. Anyway, she has a Master’s in English and is currently a stay at home mom like me, and she also writes wonderful poetry. You can find her and her reviews here.
This first post will be a discussion format and so we are awesome enough to share are very candid convo about The Fever King, and remember, we both just have varied opinions and no matter what, we’re both entitled to them, with that, let’s start! Please note we both read this a few months back and were laughable in our recall of some details.
[**ATTENTION: SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE**]
Me: We could talk about where you think the book failed and where I thought it excelled?
Neda: Yea, especially if there are different opinions on the same concept.
Like, what really sticks out to me is how angry I was when it was revealed that Dara is a mind reader. I think I would have liked it better as a reader had I been in on the secret…maybe? At least then Dara would have gotten a sympathy vote. Same thing with…. Calix? I meant the main character, not Dara.
Also, in that same vein, it would be a totally different story if Lee had given us both Dara and the MC’s POV. Totally forgot the name…
And I get that, I am glad Noam wasn’t a mind reader and I kinda thought Dara was just not a sympathetic character until we got to know more of his background. I actually was a huge fan of Calix, I thought that he was the most intriguing character. I preferred Noam without Dara. I think that I really enjoyed Lee’s take on the powers, that they’re induced by fever, and I do really love how the ending is Dara escaping, not Noam, or together, I think it’s a nice change and I hope that means more Calix lolol.
Neda: I loved the take on magic too! Dara was cool. My favorite character in the book. I need to write fanfiction from his POV. Noam was stupid. Especially, when he was running out of the building after killing that guy, but then ran back in? Who does that?
Me: lol!! I agree, Noam made some questionable choices but I think that’s why I liked him, he was a kid who grew up as part of a protest/rights group so even though he was born in a not so good part of town he was actually quite sheltered and I enjoyed Lee showing the differences between him and the others of his ‘class’ they may have come from money but at least a couple of them have some huge family issues. I could see why you wanted Dara’s Pov.
Neda: I liked the way she handled class, or at least nothing bad about it stuck out enough for me to complain. I will say tho, all the non-Atlantians did look pretty naive compared to Noam as far as the reality of the dystopian world goes.
Me: Fair enough on that I think she could have spent more time giving us world building we got snippets but not enough to really grasp what was going on, like when they went out to help in the camp, that was great, I wanted more of that
Neda: Agreed. More world building probably would have fixed my second problem: Noam’s mission never seemed urgent. I mean, he had a good reason to want to take the government down, but really they didn’t seem that awful? I don’t know. I wasn’t sure whose side to be on because Noam was questionable at best, and the government was just there.
Me: Hmm I guess I found what the govt was doing to be repulsive enough, and I was conflicted on how to feel about Noam being willing to kill someone for it though Should have done more with showing what the govt is doing. Otherwise, it’s like an invisible enemy lol
Neda: I am pretty sure Noam was influenced to kill that guy.
I agree Lee should have done more with the government. Like those between chapter, scenes should have had more to do with the world before the current world.
How did they get there?
How many died?
How long did the whole process take?
Who was patient zero?
Me: I hope she dives into all this more in book 2, and I think he was 2 but it’s like partly genius and partly infuriating that you’re not 100% sure, and I don’t think Noam is sure either And I really want to know more about the world before like you were saying.
Neda: More world building would have made the book probably 4 stars. And she had a genuine way to cram all that information in without taking up chapter space. So much disappointment…..I never felt 100% sure about anything or anyone. It’s so frustrating. I can see the appeal of grey areas because nothing is ever black and white. But this is a fictional story, especially teen fiction, I should know who’s good and who’s evil.
Me: Ah okay, I see where you’re coming from. I’m a huge believer in morally grey YA books, because the worlds are fiction but people are greyer in real life than in books, sometimes it’s nice having clear boundaries but I think it’s important to show that it’s not always easy to tell, because some teens can be susceptible of trusting people who are friendly, and if they can realize that those are not always the good ones, to keep up their guard, I think that’s useful.
Neda: Also, Noam bonded with the leader dude (more forgetting names) over their shared Jewish heritage. What is this, Batman v. Superman? That’s lazy writing. But more to your point: People who do bad things can have good intentions (See Thanos in the MCU as a prime example), and people who do good things can have bad intentions (see most characters in GoT, especially dragon lady). That’s a grey area that makes you think. If Lee had gone all the way with the character building, then, I think, she would have created something fun. But it’s just confusing.
Me: Hmm I guess I am seeing it as the first step, so I may feel more like you after book 2 if things aren’t looked into more!
Neda: Probably. I’ll read the second one because Dara, but I don’t have high expectations.
Me: fair enough man, fair enough
Neda: I think that’s everything I have to complain about.
So, we both still have not changed how much we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the book but we did both realize the other had good points. I would say overall this was a very successful first Comparing Notes, the next one will be announced later on, but I’m really excited about it. Sometimes it’ll be a side by side comparison of reviews, sometimes we’ll be lamenting together on points we both didn’t like (or the opposite, cheering for what we did) and other times it’ll just be a chill discussion like this!