Thursday, November 3, 2011

In Which I Review Books (October 2011)

Here's what I read last month:

Baby Proof
- Emily Giffin- What a terrible, awful book. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. There was nothing to like about the main character. There was nothing to like about the supporting characters. The ending smacked of Deus Ex Machina and I HATE THAT. The only thing I liked about the whole entire thing is that it did, in fact, end. Just— Ugh. Not a good book.

Anathema- Megg Jensen- An ebook I downloaded for free or for 99 cents from Amazon. Not very good. Entirely too much tell and not nearly enough show. Really more no show. There’s nothing behind the words. Just nothing. There’s no depth to be found in this story. I knew where it was going long before the characters knew where it was going. I knew what the MC’s big secret was before she did. A lot of reviews on Amazon talk about how great a story this is which makes me wonder if we were reading the same book. One said this was a great first draft and while I wasn’t sold on the ‘great’ part, I agree with the ‘first draft’ part.

Lady of the English- Elizabeth Chadwick- Not my favorite but not bad either. In general, I end up liking the male characters more than the female characters because I really like how Chadwick writes them. They possess the same sort of qualities and mannerisms I like in my own male characters. But I found the opposite to be true in this book because I really did like Matilda more than anyone. But then, I’ve always liked Matilda. She’s always been an historical figure of interest for me. I waited the entire novel for her escape from Oxford because I just think that’s a damn cool story.

The Next Door Boys- Jolene B. Perry- A very nice book, telling a very nice story. And I’m not just saying that because the author occasionally graces this blog with her presence. And while the truth is that I don’t usually go for such nice stories with nice characters, I liked this one. And while I want to maintain my tough guy image, I have to admit, the Thanksgiving scene with Leigh and her family got me a little teary-eyed. Maybe even more than a little but you can’t prove it… There were parts I struggled with because I’m not well versed in the Mormon faith. I know the author wrote a blog post about this and so I want to say that while there were parts I struggled with, I liked the fact that the main character didn’t explain things because why would she? I may not be well versed in the tenets of her religion but she is. There are a lot of books, I think, that try to preach certain religions but this novel uses religion as a setting (character trait?) and not a soap box (I hope that makes sense) and that's something I can get behind. I loved the MC’s line “overly perky people made me surly” because they make me surly too. Looking forward to reading more by this author. And I’m not just saying that either.

Silence- Becca Fitzpatrick- Though I generally like this angel themed series more than Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, they’re far from the best written books I’ve ever read. And, like the Fallen series, I was under the impression that it was a trilogy, right up until the end where it didn’t. End, I mean. Yeah, the book ended but not the story. Whatever. Stop lying to me, books. If you start out writing a trilogy, write a trilogy. The first two books were best sellers? Let’s write three more to make more money! Story be damned! I don’t know if that’s what happened here or if I’m just popping off because I’m awake in the middle of the night with a sleepless German shepherd battling a double infection but that’s what it feels like. But who knows. Maybe she just neared the end of the third and realized the story wasn't done being told yet. I get that. That's happened to me. But parts of this book are just really lame. Three books and there’s a definitely lack of character development going on. Actually, I think the characters might be moving backward instead. There’s also a whole Homecoming detour that doesn’t even fully play itself out that I found to be particularly irritating. But I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be taken care of in the next book. Maybe it won’t. Oh, and then there’s this line: “We walked the rest of the way on foot” which seems to be a real sticking point for me because how else would they have walked? It would be an important detail were the two characters in question circus acrobats prone to walking on their hands or something but they weren’t. It’s a dumb sentence. That’s all.

Outlaw- Angus Donald- A novel of Robin Hood. Somewhere is a review written of this book that states, “this is not your smiling, singing Robin Hood” and BOY were they right. I was at the end of the first chapter when I realized just how much of an anti- Errol Flynn (or anyone else who’s played this famous character) I was dealing with when Robin had some guy’s tongue cut out. In front of an audience. Talk about making an impression. And you should see (read?) what Robin does to a guy who REALLY pisses him off. Whoa. Still, this book told from the POV of Alan Dale, is quite good. Really, really good. I highly enjoyed it and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

The Scorpio Races- Maggie Stiefvater- There are no words to express just how goddamn beautiful this book is. It’s magical and gorgeous. I love her characters, I love the setting, I love how Stiefvater’s words weave together this tapestry of… I want to saw ‘awesomeness’ but to use that word is just not right because I think this book transcends awesomeness. It’s the kind of book that inspires me to write and I shall read it every year from now on. Maggie Stiefvater, I bow down to your brilliance.

Overbite- Meg Cabot- This is the sequel to her novel, Insatiable, that I read last month. It was an easy read, meaning the story just was what it was. Which is fine because not ever novel has to be multi layered and deep. But it helps. That said, I’d read the next in the series if there is one.


  1. I love a lot of the one's you listed and have a few others I'm going to add to my TBR list! That being said I'm curious about Baby Proof, did you read the others Something Borrowed, Something Blue before moving on to that one? I just ask because I was looking forward to that book after loving the other two!

  2. So Scorpio Races it is then!! I love your reviews. They delight me.

  3. Holy mackerel! You read a lot of books in a month :) I found you via the blog hop and I will definitely be back! You may be my 'go-to' for my TBR list!

  4. I can't believe how many books you read in a month. I'm lucky if I can get through two!

  5. @Jen- I read Something Borrowed earlier this fall. I thought the end was a cheat but it was an all right read. I went look then for Something Blue but the library didn't have it so I got Baby Proof instead. Figured out what happened in Something Blue then though.

    @Alex- Some months I do all right.

    @Christa- Thank you. And yes, definitely read the Scorpio Races.

    @Charissa- Some months I read more, some months I read less. Thanks for following; I appreciate it.

    @Brent- That Robin Hood novel is definitely NOT girlie. But yeah, considering the rest of the list, that's a very valid observation.

    @Karen- Some months I'm lucky if I can get through two. I'm starting to think November is shaping up to be one of those months.

  6. It is a very SWEET book.
    SO glad it didn't come off as preachy, that was my BIGGEST worry when I learned they'd me marketing it everywhere.

    You'll be shocked at what may come out next, lol.
    Actually the one I'm working on now is nearly the opposite of Next Door Boys :D

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  7. You're so honest with your reviews - love that! I totally agree about Maggie Stiefvater: her writing is freaking-gorgeous!! GORGEOUS! Also - I added you as a NaNo buddy--Good Luck!!

  8. Great incisive and honest reviews. I will definitely be checking out Scorpio Races and Outlaw. Hope your dog is much better. Poor baby and poor, sleepless you. Hugs!

  9. Wow. Robin Hood sounds badass. I'm so hunting down that book. ^_^