Monday, July 3, 2017

In Which I Review Books

I always mean to write a post at the start of every month reviewing the books I had read the previous month, and for a while, I actually managed to do that. For whatever reason, however, I haven't done of these in quite a while.

But that changes today! Which you probably guessed from the title.

So here now, for your reading pleasure, is a recap of what I've read recently, and what I thought of it:

Right Behind You—Lisa Gardner—I was disappointed by this novel. I like her D.D. Warren series a lot, but this...I did not like this one. It was supposed to be a Quincy and Raine story, but they felt like secondary characters to me who really didn't have a whole lot to do. Also, it was repetitive. Just...so repetitive. And dull. And repetitive. It's hot, and did you know that Cal makes cheese? I do. It was mentioned twelve hundred times in each of his POV scenes and occasionally in other scenes. But I struggled through the book, only to get to the Epilogue, which summed up everything I'd already read. At least the German shepherd survives.

Empire of Storms—Sarah J. Maas—The latest installment in her Throne of Glass series. The second book in this series, Crown of Midnight, I thought was very good, and every book since then (in this series, I mean) has failed to live up to that, in my humble opinion. But yes, despite that, I keep reading them. (I alway seem to hope that there will be a return to the heights of that second book.) Anyway, in this installment...okay, just...I felt like I was reading about a completely different set of characters that just happened to share names with characters from earlier installments. Like, Dorian? Is he still possessed? Did he have a personality transplant in between the last book and this book (one that makes him really into bondage, perhaps?) because he's not the guy that I kind of liked in the first two books. There's also the very convenient romantic pairing-off of all the characters, like Oprah stopped by and did a giveaway (YOU get a soulmate! YOU get a soulmate! EVERYBODY gets a soulmate!), which lead some kind of ridiculous sex scenes. And can I just say...when you're some kind of magical being who bursts into flames at the, you know, height of pleasure, you probably should consider refraining from having relations on a wooden boat in the middle of the ocean. But maybe that's just me. The end felt rather deus ex machina to me (Aelin can certainly coordinate a lot of things without the use of any form of instantaneous communication/transportation), and my favorite character wasn't in the book at all. But considering what happened to the other characters, this was, perhaps, for the best.

The One Memory of Flora Banks—Emily Barr—A story about a seventeen-year-old girl whose memory resets itself every hour, or couple of hours, or every few hours, or whatever was most convenient for the plot. This book was just sooooo repetitive. Yes, I understand that a large part of that was because the main character had no short-term memory (due to a supposed brain tumor—more on that in a moment), but it made for a very tedious read. Especially when the one memory she does develop is her having kissed a boy. Not only does she remember it, but she decides she's in love with the boy, and she has to do whatever it takes to be with him. (Translation: goes by herself to the Arctic Circle to find him) There's a brother we never actually get to meet and a magic email from him that explains everything, but leads to an ending that's more unbelievable than the rest of the novel.

Into The Woods—Tana French— A story about the murder of a young girl and the completely incompetent detective with a mysterious past assigned to solve the case. Seriously, I had this thing solved on, like, page 137, but the detectives required a few hundred pages more to get it done. And then there's this paragraph toward the end of the novel where the narrator was all, like, (to the reader), "Well, the villain fooled you, too!" Which, she didn't. You're just stupid, dude. And a note on his mysterious past...that's a mystery that's never solved in this book. I wanted it to be solved, and I kept reading, hoping it would be solved, but it never is. And yes, in real life, there are mysteries that are never solved, but this isn't real life. This is a mystery novel in which a central mystery goes unsolved. I personally would have preferred the opposite.

A Season Of Daring Greatly—Ellen Emerson White—A novel about an eighteen-year-old girl who is drafted by a major league baseball team. I really enjoyed this story. You were probably thinking that I hate everything I read, but I didn't hate this book. I liked it very much. I thought it had a great character voice. It made me laugh, and it made me worry about the main character, which I find is always the mark of a good book. She doesn't have an easy time of it, which she shouldn't, and I was sincerely concerned for her. It made it hard to put this book down. My only real quibble is that I didn't like where it ended. I wasn't ready for it to end, and I hope there's another installment in the near future.

The Hate U Give—Angie Thomas—I loved, loved, loved this book. Seriously, I loved it. And this will be my shortest review, which sounds odd, I know, given the extent of my love for it, but I don't want to give anything away. Just know that it made me feel all the things, and I spent a good amount of time wiping away tears while reading this book. I found it to be an incredibly moving story.




Camp NaNoWriMo Update:

Goal: 65,000 words

Current word count: 8062

Words remaining: 56,938

Biggest Plot Issue: My MC gets fired, but I haven't worked out the hows or whys of it all yet.

13 comments:

  1. Some of your reviews remind me of my current read, which besides having some serious editing issues also has the mc writing in her journal to tell the reader everything they just read about in the previous five pages. Talk about repetitive!

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  2. I was shocked to see a five star rating from you over on Goodreads! Has that ever happened before? :)

    Seriously, though I've read a lot of positive reviews, including yours, about The Hate U Give. Good to know!

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    1. Haha—Yeah, I know it doesn't happen often, but I have given books a five-star rating before. I'm too picky/critical for my own good, I know.

      The Hate U Give certainly earned it. It's really quite the novel.

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  3. I'm laughing. You've got me scared to death to write a series. :-) However, I find I'm usually disappointed in a second or third book, and I've more or less given up on reading them. Glad you were rewarded by at least two of the books you chose. Those are gems it seems.

    This is kind of a p.s. For some reason your feed stopped showing up on my bloglist, so I haven't been paying you any attention--not intentionally.

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    1. There have been many series that I have liked from beginning to end. I just think that Throne of Glass has lost its focus. I know the author has another big fantasy series (that I haven't read) she's writing at the same time, and I wonder if that has something to do with it. *shrugs*

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  4. I loved The Hate U Give too.

    I'll never write a series… How do you keep a story interesting over so many pages?

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    1. I have no idea, but here's hoping I can figure it out, because I'm attempting to do just that. :)

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  5. I'll have to keep these reviews in mind. I heard The Hate U Give was great, too. I know I'll get to it one of these days (not soon enough, really).

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    1. It really is great. I can't say enough good things about it.

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  6. Well, two out of (how many?) isn't bad. And remember, every bad book helps you be a better writer by telling you what not to do ;)

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  7. I love your reviews - so much fun. I also adore the idea of Oprah giving out soulmates :-)

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  8. Great reviews. You're honest without being mean. It's sad when you return to something you previously loved and find it not as good. I think, when writing a series, there's a lot of pressure to produce more quickly and that hurts quality, even in the hands of talented writers. I tell myself this is why I'm taking a year off of continuing my series . .. and mostly I believe that.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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