Mini-reviews – what I’ve read in the past three months

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Janelle says…

I feel like I have been neglecting LBoB over the past few months. I think it’s been a combination of having had other activities I’ve needed to prioritise in my spare time, and feeling like my recent reads weren’t anything to write home (or to you!) about. I’ve actually been finding it difficult to concentrate in the act of reading, and I feel like I’ve become more impatient too – if not much is happening in a book and there are long stretches of seemingly useless banter, I get very cranky!

But I HAVE been reading, so I thought I would do a round-up of what I’ve read lately, or mini-reviews if you will. Here’s what I’ve read since my last individual book review back in July, and what I thought:

 

The Girl With All the Gifts – M.R. Carey (Fiction / Thriller)

5 stars

I just loved the premise of this book, and it didn’t disappoint. Something was happening every few pages in this book, all the while teasing you to choose sides and guess where it’s all leading, which inevitably is to a satisfying ending. Recommend.

 

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare (Fiction/Fantasy/YA)

4 stars

I had a craving for some fantasy YA, and found this on audiobook from my library. Even though it was a bit cliche in parts, I really enjoyed immersing myself in this world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, enough to dip into the second book in the series a bit later….

 

The Midnight Zoo – Sonya Hartnett (Fiction/YA)

1 star

Another audiobook, this one was a very quick read and sounded quite sweet – two young brothers, stranded in a place annihilated by war, take refuge in a zoo where they discover a menagerie of talking animals. But no, it was just boring. I only bothered to finish it because I knew it was so short.

 

Uprooted – Naomi Novik (Fiction/Fantasy)

4 stars

On a fantasy roll! This one was on my wishlist for so long, and it just kept getting thrown in my face, in the end I had to just run to the library to get it. I actually would like to re-read this at some point, because I adored the mystical, slightly dark, super magical world that Novik has created (I believe this story is based on a traditional folk tale), but for some reason I really struggled to focus each time I picked it up. It may have been the weight of it (hardcover) combined with the small font. Would still recommend though.

 

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) – Cassandra Clare  (Fiction/Fantasy/YA)

2 stars

Back for more. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first in the series, there didn’t seem to be as much happening, and I just couldn’t be sympathetic to some of the teenager-problems going on. I’d still give this series one more crack though by moving on to #3, before I threw in the towel.

 

Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay (Non-fiction/Essays)

DNF

SO DISAPPOINTED. The essays in this book weren’t necessarily bad, in fact a couple of them were really entertaining (particularly the one about the intricacies of the professional poker world). But I went in to this expecting some strong statements about feminism in modern day culture, and most of the time I couldn’t see that represented in what I was reading. It felt more like a memoir to me, which is fine, just not what I signed on for.

 

Smoke – Dan Vyleta (Fiction/Fantasy)

1 star

All I knew about this one, is that it is set in a world where people’s bodies smoke if they are sinful or evil. That conjures up a lot of questions for me, so I just had to do it. But that general idea was as exciting as this book got. It got real confusing really fast, I had absolutely no idea what was going on or what the characters motives were, and even though I stuck it out to the end I still couldn’t really tell you what happened.

 

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) – Maggie Stiefvater (Fiction/Fantasy/YA)

DNF

I went into this hoping it wouldn’t be too Twilight-esque, and liking the idea of a girl having a human connection with a wild wolf. But about a third of the way through, I’d had enough of “the feelings” and how amazing they were. It was becoming clear that it was running too parallel to Twilight for my liking.

 

The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood (Fiction/Literary)

2 stars

Oh, that cover. What could possibly go wrong? I nearly shrieked with joy when I saw this amongst the piles at the recent local bookfair. I dived into it straight away….and it was weird….and then it got weirder….and weirder and more confusing….and I was confused and a little disgusted too….and then it ended and I was more confused than ever. I know there are messages and ideas in here, but they were too abstract for my liking. There was no resolution at the end. I have questions. I need closure.

 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few months. There were a few good reads in there, but overall, it has been a disappointing reading time. I’m desperately hoping that I’ll pick some reads soon that really blow my mind!

Have you read any of the above books? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts?

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