Monday, March 3, 2014

In Which I Review Books

I haven't done one of these posts in quite a while.

In fact, my last one was back in April 2013. Not quite sure what happened there (some sort of day job-laziness-induced apathy, most likely), but I thought I'd give it another go today.

So here are the books I read last month and my impressions of them:

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind (volumes 1 &2): New comics about the crew of the Serenity, following the events of the movie. Naturally I adore them. My one criticism is that they're TOO DAMN SHORT. I need more, like Tolstoy-length more, you know? Yes, it's possible my obsession with these characters is bordering on unhealthy. Like yours isn't. Browncoats forever!

Fear Nothing- Lisa Gardner- The latest installment in her D.D. Warren series. I love the D.D. Warren character, and I think each novel in which D.D. appears is better than the last. This particular story was very well constructed, and the resolution (i.e. the bad guy) wasn't obvious. At least I didn't think so. The red herrings were well placed and kept me unsure and off balance all the way until the end. A lot of times, I have it figured out about half way though. I didn't this time.

The Impossible Knife of Memory- Laurie Halse Anderson- Largely, I adore Laurie Halse Anderson's novels. I love how she writes—how she constructs scenes and characters—and this book didn't change that opinion. That said, I didn't love it as much as I have some of her previous works. As much as I liked the MCs, there was just a disconnect somewhere in there for me.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight (volumes 1-8): Since I was already on a Joss Whedon comic book roll, I decided to take this graphic novel series on as well because I am a bad, bad Buffy fan who hasn't read them before. Fortunately, I was able to get the majority of them from my sister's public library because these babies ain't cheap. An interesting read, all of them. Some stuff worked for me, and some stuff didn't (I really want to freak out about one certain thing here, but spoilers...), but I was, of course, happy to catch up with the Scooby gang and find out what was happening now. I'd really like to read the season 9 novels now, but I'll either have to win the lottery or wait for the library to acquire them. I think the lottery odds are better.

Wolf Hall- Hilary Mantel- A novel about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's right hand man who helped orchestrate Henry's divorce from Katherine and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn—among other things. I love this period in history, but you very seldom see it told from Thomas Cromwell's POV, so I was quite interested in this one. Plus, everyone was raving over it. I thought it would be a slam dunk awesome read. It wasn't. It took me a long, long while to get comfortable with the storytelling style. There were so many instances where I had to go back and reread passages because the pronoun references were just not there. But in between those instances was some spectacular writing, and by the end of the novel, I wasn't quite as annoyed. So much so that you'll soon see this novel's sequel pop up in this post.

Where The Stars Still Shine- Trish Doller- A YA novel about a girl who has spent the majority of her life on the run with her mother. When her mother is arrested, the MC, Callie, is sent to live with her father and experiences what could have been her life if her mother hadn't taken her away. I gave this novel three stars on Goodreads, but it probably would've been more like two and a half, if they allowed people to give half star ratings. It just didn't grab me the way I had hoped. It didn't move me like Emily Murdoch's novel (with a similar premise) If You Find Me did. It's not a bad book, and I know I've read much, much worse, but this particular story didn't do a whole lot for me. Again, another disconnect.

Bring Up The Bodies- Hilary Mantel- Thomas Cromwell #2. Maybe it's because I had already done the work to become acquainted with the writing style, maybe something else, but whatever it was, I really liked this novel. It was engaging with beautiful writing. And it made me laugh out loud more than once. I really liked Thomas Cromwell. There's another novel yet to come, and I'm already worried about it because I know how things end up for Mr. Cromwell. I wonder if I'll chicken out and just not read it. But I doubt it. I'll just be incredibly depressed the entire time.

Read anything interesting lately? Let me know—I'm always on the hunt for new books to check out.

Thanks for stopping by!

26 comments:

  1. Not read any of those, but I'm way behind. Glad you caught up with the Scooby gang.

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  2. I adore Hilary Mantel's writing. Loved both her novels. But my favorite read so far this year is Code Name Verity. If you haven't read it yet, you must. So good. :)

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    1. Code Name Verity is AMAZING. I read that one last year and loved it so much it received its very own post. So, so good.

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  3. I mentioned the new Lisa Gardner book in my Recommended Reading post last week. Great minds and all that…. :)

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    1. Oh I missed that post! And oh, I also agree about that whole great minds thing.

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  4. i must find these comics!!
    and i will check out the DD Warren series - I like that she gets better with each novel, i hope i can do that!
    i don't like to be depressed by a book i read to feel good! not the whole way through, but not down the whole time either - must have ups and downs.
    always appreciate your reviews!

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    1. I hope I can do that too. Of course, at this point, I'd be pretty damn pleased if I could get just one book out. Maybe some day.

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  5. Real life is depressing enough without reading it.

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  6. I just finished beta-reading for someone. Read The Harbinger and now working on Four Blood Moons.

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    1. I love beta reading when I get the chance.

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  7. Buffy the Vampire Slayers looks great. A few people recommended it to me but I have not gotten around to watching it yet.

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    1. I love, love, LOVE the series. It's one of my all time favorite shows.

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  8. Lisa Gardner. I read one of her books once and did not enjoy it. I wish I had the rest of your book collection, though.

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    1. I wonder which one you read. I didn't care for a lot of her early novels. I think her latest books are a vast improvement.

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  9. Great reviews! Wolf Hall sounds like a really dynamic read. Have to put that on my lists.

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    1. Wolf Hall is a real experience. I'm glad to have come across it.

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  10. My books have been rather hit or miss lately. I must get the Serenity comics...

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    1. The Serenity comics are a definite must for any devoted Browncoat.

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  11. Haven't read any of those, but I always like seeing reviews to give me new TBR ideas!

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    1. Me too. Except that my TBR list never seems to get any shorter. Which is, I know, a lovely problem to have.

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  12. Wait, there are Serenity comics? How did I not know this?? :O

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  13. Serenity comics??? Seriously?!?!? *running out the door to the library*

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  14. I also wish Goodreads allowed for half stars! I am stingy with my 5 stars and 2 stars, even though the rating description is "it was OK" seems like you're saying it's a bad book. My default is 3; it has to be really disappointing to get a 2, and rarely do I ever give 1 star.

    I haven't read the Buffy comics but every so often I remember they exist and get curious. I didn't think to check the library! Great idea.

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