Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: Traveler by L.E. DeLano


Traveler by L.E. DeLano
Book One of the Traveler series
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: 2 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

What I Liked:

I'm pretty upset about not liking this book. Actually, I've just finished the book and I'm very irritated, but I'm also upset that I didn't like it (and I blame the book, not myself). I see the appeal? I get it? Really it was the last quarter of the book that made me want to throw it across the room. 

I received a galley of this book unsolicited from the publisher (and this did not affect my opinion in any way - clearly). I wasn't even going to read the book (because it was sent unsolicited, and I'd not heard of it before), but several bloggers convinced me that I would love it. I didn't (obviously).

Jessa has always had a wild and colorful imagination. She comes up with stories and writes them. Lately, her stories have been filled with a green-eyed boy who is always with her - right before she dies of some way. One day she looks up from a mundane task and he is real, and in front of her. It turns out, she and Finn (green eyes) are Travelers, and that all of those stories she came up with are actually memories from other versions of herself. What's more, all of those times Jessa imagined herself dying truly happened - those versions of herself, in other "realities", were killed. Finn is here to help with learn to Travel, and to figure out who is trying to kill her.

This book started off REALLY well. In fact, like I said, I was doing great until about the three-quarter mark. This is a neat concept and a cute story. 

The idea is that there are multiple realities, and that Jessa is living in one, but there are other realities and other versions of her out there. They are all "her", but since the other realities are different, so are those other Jessa's. Same with Finn - he is Finn in every reality, but slightly different. Every time Jessa travels, she gets the memories of that Jessa, and the Jessa that switches gets her memories. I don't think I've read anything quite like that! Switching with another version of yourself to travel to that version's "reality" is so bizarre and neat.

I liked Jessa, and was cool with her for most of the book. She's funny and smart, a good student and a good sister. She is so cautious when she first meets Finn, because she doesn't believe him. But once Jessa catches on, she gets into Travel and likes it. Her favorite "reality" is a historical one, in which she is an heiress and she meets a pirate Finn. She really likes that Finn.

The "real" Finn that we know in this original reality is a charming, sweet guy. He's also a bit protective and a little bossy, but he's a good guy. I liked him and I thought he and Jessa fit well together, as a pair. They have quite a history together - in other realities. 

I cruised through this book, and was really enjoying myself! Everything started to fall apart at a certain point and I really can't bring myself to have an overall positive outlook on this book. See the next section!

What I Did Not Like:

Two big things had my opinion doing a one-eighty: the romance, and the ending.

Now, the romance is actually supposed to be really straightforward. We have Jessa, and we have Finn. They pretty much have an instant connection, which makes sense, because other versions of themselves have fallen for each other in other realities (not that feelings in one reality affect other realities). Jessa falls for Finn and only Finn... the Jessa of the original reality.

It gets weird because Jessa Travels and switches with another Jessa. This other Jessa comes from a reality in which she's dating a guy who is original Jessa's best friend Ben. In the original reality, Ben has feelings for Jessa. SO, what do you think happens when Jessa goes into "other Jessa"'s reality, and "other Jessa" goes into "original Jessa"'s reality? Other Jessa makes out with Ben and it gets heavy. When our original Jessa comes back... she realizes that Ben thinks she's in love with him, blah blah blah.

This... this is a mess. It's such a mess and it's not even a love triangle? BUT IT IS, because technically that "other Jessa" IS "original Jessa"! They're different versions of Jessa, but they're all Jessa. "Original Jessa" has feelings only for Finn but she has all of the other Jessa's memories, including this "other Jessa" that dates Ben in the "other Jessa reality". And of course, what "other Jessa" does in the "original reality", "original Jessa" will know. UGH! This is so frustrating! Poor Ben! I feel terrible for him because it's not even Jessa that tells him she loves him (YES, THIS HAPPENS). It's "other Jessa" who is dating Ben back in her reality! AHHHHH! NO.

Messy, right? Love triangle but NOT a love triangle. Eventually, our original Jessa has to spill all the beans and tell Ben everything (including the part about another Jessa kissing him, and not actually her). But that doesn't happen for a while. Blech.

The other thing that killed this book for me was the ending. I know, I know, this series isn't over. But the ending is extremely heartbreaking and extremely permanent. I know the author drops a ton of hints in the story involving Jessa's favorite version of Finn, the pirate, but I'm not a happy camper with the ending. It was cruel and I'm not sure it really made sense to end the story that way... but what do I know.

Another smaller thing that I wasn't amused with was the lack of conflict? It felt like the book had no direction, for a while. Doesn't it sound intriguing that Jessa keeps dying over and over? Well, we never get to see or experience one of those deaths. Which makes sense, because if Jessa died, that would be bad for the story. But I thought that the whole death thing would be a little more pressing? OH and would you believe that a prophecy pops up in this book? And that Jessa is quite the special snowflake? I rolled my eyes so hard when I read this cheesy, cliche plot device. So random, so cliche, and so underdeveloped (in this story).

And for the record, pirates and ships don't appear nearly as many times as I was led to believe. A ship really shouldn't be on the cover, because it's not a good metaphor and actual ships appear, like, once or twice.  

Honestly, I regret reading this book. I wasted my time. It was an unsolicited galley and I should have just skipped it and passed it along. 

Would I Recommend It:

I personally don't recommend it but sooo many others have enjoyed this book, so if you're looking forward to reading it, give it a shot. If you'd never heard of it before, keep living your life. Like I said above, I'd been enjoying this book immensely, until about the three-quarter mark. It was really great! And then it took a huge nosedive (for me). I do not recommend the book, especially if you're like me and want HEAs and linear romances. 

Rating:


2 stars. I regret the decision to read this book. I'm not going to give it 1 star because I enjoyed more than half of the book. But trust me friends, one thing is enough to make a person want to throw the book at a wall (in this case, two things). I tried with this one, I really did!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

32 comments:

  1. Hate that you regret reading this one but at least now I can avoid it.

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    1. I know! Even when I dislike a book, I don't usually feel the regret... this one was a bit of a waste. :/

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  2. Oh my gosh I was all for giving Traveler a go until I got to your part of the review on the romance. That sounds like a complete mess and something I'd really hate. It's such a shame because it seems like you really enjoyed it up until then and it's the most frustrating thing when a great book takes a really bad turn and goes off the rails. Anyway, fantastic review, Alyssa!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

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    1. It was good, and then it wasn't! Like, I was enjoying the book until the romance started to get SO weird, and then the ending... it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I don't even know if I can read the next book. -_-

      Thank you, Zareena!

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  3. The switching thing sounds really cool! By that alone, I'm intrigued. But the rest, yikes! The other Jessa and original Jessa thing is terrible. I actually would be lost in the book. I had to read that paragraph two times hahaha
    I'm definitely avoiding this book. It sucks you didn't fully like it :/ Lovely review, though!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

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    1. LOL! I was hoping to be as clear as possible with the whole more-than-one Jessa thing - it gets so weird, in the book. And really bad too. -_-

      I wish I'd liked it more! I'm not sure I'll read the next book - we'll see though. Thank you, Genesis!

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  4. The Ben thing would be a huge no way for me. I couldn't get past it. Ugh. I really wanted to like this one but I'm going to strike it from my list. Did you read A Thousand Pieces of You? I skipped that one for some of the same alternate reality and love interest versions issues. I just can't do it.

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    1. RIGHT?! I was so upset when I read that. I did read A Thousand Pieces of You! I didn't like the book much, and didn't read the rest of the series. That very reason was a factor. No, thank you! Erica O'Rourke was the only one to write a series with the whole alternative versions of a person that I liked (Dissonance, Resonance).

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  5. Haven't heard of the author and seeing the cover, I'm sure I'll definitely add this one to my TBR. But I've lost my interest after reading your review. Anyways, awesome review Alyssa!

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    1. The cover is GORGEOUS! Sadly the story didn't work (for me). Reviews on Goodreads have been really positive though. o_o (Black sheep Alyssa is a black sheep.)

      Thank you! <3

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  6. I'm so glad I cancelled my pre-order lol. This sounds like a million pieces of you or whatever that book is called and I Did not enjoy that at all. Thanks for the great review!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

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    1. LOL! I would recommend borrowing from the library first, if anything. You might end up really liking it! But better safe than sorry.

      A Thousand Piece of You -- YES! I didn't like that one either. This concept is similar and the issues I had with that book (especially the romance) is present in this book too.

      You're very welcome, Jamie!

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  7. The book does sound appealing from the summary. It sounds like the idea was great, but it just wasn't executed well at all. I hate when a book has no direction it just feels like I am reading for no purpose. Great review!

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    1. I think if the author had kept the romance linear and made the ending slightly different, this one could have gotten a rare five stars from me. Or at least four stars. But it just didn't work for me. :o

      Thank you, Kristyn!

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  8. That's too bad. The concept sounds really cool, but you bring up interesting points - especially the romance aspect that lower it in my eyes too. I may still try it some day, though.

    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier.

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    1. It definitely does sound promising! The romance was probably the most disappointing part of the book. :/ If you read the book, I hope you like it!

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  9. This is an amazing review, but it's so sad that the ending ruined it. That love triangle/square with Ben sounds so confusing, it's no wonder you didn't like it. For us, this book has the vibe of the anime Amnesia.
    ~ Pendragons 

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    1. The ending and the romance! The book could have bee AMAZING with one or two small (seriously, SMALL) tweaks. :/

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  10. Oh my....this sounds rough. I am almost confused about all of the versions of Jessa and can't imagine what reading it was like. I hope your next read is better for you!

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    1. That part of the book was cool at first, but then it started to get so weird - and not good. :/ Thank you, Carole!

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  11. Haven't heard about this novel, but the concept sounds pretty cool :D hope your next read is better for you, great review :) hope you been well btw!

    Benish @ Beenazai

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  12. Oh no! The cover and the blurb make it seem amazing... but goodness me, what a mess the ending is. Jeez. I had to read that bit twice just to make sure I was understanding the twists the author went into. Why would she do that!?

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    1. Right?! I didn't know much about the book, but I loved the cover. Some other bloggers highly recommended the book, but honestly I was disappointed. The author kind of ruined the book with the weird romance towards the end, and then the ending! So frustrating.

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  13. Oh no, That's too bad ): It sounded like it has a lot potential. I was looking forward to this. I'll just leave this for now. Thanks for the great review, Alyssa!

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    1. I know! I agree! I'm not too keen on reading the second book, but I might, if I have a burning desire by the time it comes around, and if it falls into my lap.

      Thank YOU, Cyn!

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  14. I won't be checking it out, mainly because it sounds a lot like A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray, with the swapping of bodies in different worlds, and even the love triangle part as well.

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    1. YES! Exactly that! It's similar (and honestly, probably worse). It has a cute tone to it, but that probably makes it worse because the romance gets unraveled and messed up really quickly. *sigh*

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  15. I recently got approved for this one on Netgalley and now I'm nervous to read it! I guess I'll let you know what I think...

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    1. Hopefully you enjoy it more than I did, Miranda!

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  16. Uuuugh. This book sounds like crap. That romance sounds AWFUL :( I would hate it beyond words, haha. And not even a good ending? What? SO disappointing. This cover is gooorgeous. But yeah. Now I'm really happy that I did not want to read this book, lol. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Alyssa. <3 I'm sorry it was so crappy.

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    1. Yeah, it was kind of a mess. I think I was disappointed most by the romance because, well, this is SWOON ROMANCE (imprint). Le sigh.

      Thank you, Carina!

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