Tuesday, September 04, 2012

August Books (If It Weren't For the Audiobooks, I Would Have Given Up)

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (library ebook) - I'm going to read every book in this series and then I'm going to look back on this book and think about how it was the worst book in the series. Because it totally is.  The rest of the series hasn't been released yet, but I KNOW that Martin can do better than this.  The plot didn't move along and there were scads and scads of chapters devoted to characters I couldn't remember.  Plus, it took me WEEKS to finish it because I kept falling asleep in the middle of those chapters about trivial characters.  If I could offer advice to the Song of Fire and Ice newbie, it would be to read the first three books in the series and rest easy that you've read some of the greatest fantasy fiction out there.  You're just going to be disappointed by the rest of it.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (library ebook) -  I don't know. I applaud the attempt at realistic relatively recent historical fiction, but I don't know if I'm a historical fiction fan.  Meh.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (library ebook) - Huh. Well, I think about this book a lot, but I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  I'm fascinated by the idea of hidden meanings in flowers, but I found a lot of the material on foster children really hard to read (yes, that was the point, of course, I get that, but still...).  Also, this is another book where some seriously big ISSUES could have been resolved had characters just had a simple clarifying conversation and that is a big irk with me.  Another meh.

Little Face by Sophie Hannah (library ebook) -  This book was...not satisfying in the end. Blech.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (library ebook)-  Wait. Let me get this straight.  Vampires The fae "come out of the closet" and become known to the general public while werewolves and the fae vampires attempt to stay hidden. Meanwhile, we have a main character with a special talent, the ability to read other human's thoughts shift into a coyote. I grant you that Mercy is a much more likeable character than Sookie, but haven't we done this already?!  Charlaine Harris should be very pleased if she believes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Dark Time by Dakota Banks (library ebook) - This book was really creepy for the first few chapters and then fizzled into a boring contemporary espionage thriller.  I felt really cheated by the end of the book.

The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau (library audiobook read by Simon Vance) - Brilliant.  Simply told in spare prose through flashbacks. I don't typically like books about war, but this is more than a book about war. You really need to read it.

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (library book) - Mermaids. I mean, merman.  No, just no.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (library ebook) - Not as good as The Girl Who Chased the Moon or Garden Spells, but lovely nonetheless.

Shelter by Harlan Coben (library ebook) - Yeah, I don't know.  A kid who is clearly going to be part of the popular crowd turns out to be besties with the outcasts and has all kinds of sympathy for the poor and wretched?  I don't buy it. I didn't buy that he recognized some old guy from a picture taken 50 years ago, either.  Or that he gets in trouble with the police several times with absolutely no further consequences.  Not really believable.

While He was Away by Karen Schreck (library ebook) - Anyone else confused about what the importance of the lost grandmother plotline was?  Oh, just me?

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (library ebook) -  A tough book that touches on topics of racism, alcoholism, marital rape, and war-induced PTSD.  Set in the deep South in the WWII era, the novel switches narrators among six characters working and living on a farm.  I can see why this book got a lot of attention and the critics loved it because the writing was very evocative, especially the descriptions of the setting, but I can also say that it was a difficult read for me.  I don't know that I would recommend this book, so much as note that it deals with important issues.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (library ebook) -  I read approximately a quarter of this book before I sent it back without any further thought.  I have yet to read a book by Marchetta that I've enjoyed and I will not be reading any more, no matter how many times NPR puts the author on lists of books I should read.  The narrative of this book was way too fragmented for me. I truly wished for an expository character to explain to me what was going on as we flipped from some weird italicized story (a story? the past?  I could never figure it out) to an annoying girl at boarding school (military school?  a group home?  I could never figure it out) ranting about an ongoing war between factions of children that only takes place six weeks of the year (I could never figure it out).  Anyway, go forth and read if you enjoy Marchetta, but I do not. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (library audiobook read by Jim Dale) - I found this book incredibly satisfying from beginning to end. An incredibly unique plot and an ending that made me completely happy. Plus, Jim Dale reading can never be bad. I don't know if I would have ADORED this book so much if it hadn't been for Jim Dale, but I did adore it.

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey (library ebook) - This is a good noir-ish kind of book about an exorcist in a weird world where ghosts are everywhere. I had to look up a word fairly often in this book, so it was a good think I was reading it on my Kindle. I didn't love this book and I won't be getting any sequels, but it was readable and fun.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (library ebook) - I finished this book three days ago and as I'm sitting here typing this, I can't remember anything about this  except something about children of demons.  I am now remembering that our main character is an annoying goody two-shoes and since I AM an annoying goody two-shoes, if I find her annoying, she's probably pretty bad.  Just not a memorable read.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (library ebook) - I have been putting off reading this for a long time because I thought it was going to be a sad book about the Depression. Instead, it was a sweet, funny young reader set in Key West during the Depression-era. It's a quick read and quite worth the time.


  1. Well, Jellicoe Road is one of my favorite books ever, so you had to know that was going to happen.

  2. Thanks for your reviews. They usually introduce me to new authors.

    I have to respectfully disagree about Patricia Briggs. She's a much better author than the Sookie writer. I've been reading her books for a while and really enjoy her writing. If you don't want to delve into her modern werewolf world, try her older traditional fantasy novels: Dragon Blood, Dragon Bones / Raven's Strike, Raven's Shadow / The Hob's Bargain.


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