Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Book Review: S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

Geer's attitude to fish is why we have an overfishing problem.

This idea was cool, but...disappointing? I was expecting more full-blown horror over having nightly dinners with drunk antagonists. Apparently, this was a thriller, a thriller that everyone liked. It literally didn't occur to me to ever label this book as such. I guess it is technically, there's a mystery in deadly situation. pretty obvious from the start.

This book is told from a reflective Geer in first person, this mean once in a while we get a reminder than bad stuff is gonna go down. It hypes up to nothing in my opinion. Yeah, something happens, but its kinda small (in terms of books). 

The bad guys are bad, the main characters do stupid stuff for no reason. The ending doesn't work well for me. I have specific reasons, but we don't do spoilers here. They feels like this book had another ending at one point, because something that happens would have made more sense if the characters had done the more obvious thing. I really hope that things weren't changed to force a sequel because this book doesn't need one and the ending would have been stronger. Like I feel like its been set up for one, but I don't think there's enough interesting stuff going on for another book. There's nothing wrong with being self-contained.

We have another pointless romance. Why ROMANCE? This is weakly use to give character motivation, that's not needed, nor is it done well. It's stated. The motivation could have been about finding courage instead pairing up characters for no function.This is more a general YA complaint, I'm just going to complain until someone gives me friendship and and developed characters. I actually would have liked the relationships, the thing is this book just has a lot small scenes that overbalance it into the negative for me and with only 300 pages they have a big impact in my memory when trying to review this book.

Geer is all about the film references, since she named after film star. I usually enjoy this sort of thing; but it soon becomes apparent that this a crutch to cling to, using other people's imagery and emotions than your own ability. Also the youngest film she references is Twilight. 

I live in the country, I basically always have. Deer and pheasant are roadkill. If you're city folk, you might be horrified by shooting a deer, but pheasant are pigeons of the country in the same seagulls are the pigeons of the coast. Deer are counted as vermin due to how many they are. They like to jump in front of cars in pairs, like sheep. Pheasants choose to wander roads to be ran down and cause damage to cars. There a point where Geer (a name that never flows) picks up a dead pheasant, I thought it was alive, never questioned it until she started crying in her head. Pheasants are stupid, a pheasant would let you pick it up as it stares at its dead comrades. If I wanted I could catch a pheasant, I could with my bare hands. Literally, no reason to do so. Hunting Pheasants is the same as fishing in fish farm. I don't approve hunting without reason, eat what you catch and don't agree with some of the practices in this book but as a country girl I have kill pheasants and I will probably kill again (Stop jumping in front of my car).

Geer becomes dislikable when she doesn't care about fish...The one thing that there is not an over-abundance of (though, they probably farmed anyway).  Though, if your a city girl like Geer, you won't know this stuff so really this is just my pet problem. I often have those.

 The plot while interesting, makes very little sense. Modern society is bad, there clearly think its bad in several ways, but ends up being all about the internet. The arguments for and against the internet are hella weak. It involves the media's wrong definition of what an online troll is. Trolls don't specifically harass someone and bully. Troll is someone who intentionally annoying and idiotic, yes often offensive, but not towards individual people. The art of the troll is annoy large groups of people. If someone sends you a death threat or personalised insult they are not a troll. Sadly some people are just as dumb as trolls pretend to be. Though, it probably getting to the point that media is dumb enough that kept repeating that, the definition might have changed for younger people, but living with a 13 year old, I can tell you they don't call their antagonists trolls. It kinda felt like it was written by someone who doesn't use the internet (with research I can tell that this non-debut novelist has to be at least ten years older than me and therefore did not grow up with the sites that can be argued to have shaped the modern internet and might be like my sister who knows nothing about internet despite using it daily). The arguments are dumb because hate mail has existent since the start of anonymous mailing systems have and bullying has been a problem for like always. Geer nor any of the characters challenges this argument meaning it doesn't do much. Argument have to be challenged to stand at all. By the way, I would have took Vine out of this book, as vine has been dead for a year, there is no way it couldn't be took out. It just quickly dates this book. I wonder if Vine had a bigger part until it died or no one noticed it died (I got an arc but it doesn't have the Proof disclaimer at the front so...I'm going with its the finished novel).

There's an obsession with rich YouTubers...yeah some of them are trash, but YouTube is never defended as being more than a place for rich boys doing nothing and hosting viral cat videos. Its hosts several community involving intelligent discussion and artists as well. Also there are tons of daily vloggers that puts tons of work into their videos. I've been on YouTube for ten years and the target market will include people who remember YouTube always having been a thing for them. If this is gonna be such a thing in the novel, then at least give me a character that watches YouTube. Geer loves films, there are tons of films on YouTube and there is the more legal practice of reviewing and discussing films. There are groups of young filmmakers that make short films on YouTube. There are production value on YouTube. It would have better if anyone had challenge them.

Overall, I give this 3/5 stars for This is M.A. Bennett's first YA novel. This an okay, quick read that tries to place class snobby within the internet age. Secret murder societies in bordering schools are over done and the internet aspect just wasn't done well enough to be interesting. I think a big problem is this book is that it wasn't as cool as the summary made it sound and therefore I am disappointed. There were things I should have liked and enjoyed about this book, but sadly it was very whatever. It's an okay read, if certain things had been different it could have been brilliant.

BTW, I read this on my phone. I read books on my phone the majority of the time, phones are carry of media. Another argument that could have been used in their favour.

Update: I have access to the acknowledgements and pretty much confirms my suspicions.

I got this book off Netgalley for Review and it being

1 comment:

  1. I will be reading this one this month...I'm intrigued. Thanks for linking this up to the British Books Challenge x