Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Which I Review Books

Here's what I read last month:

Holy Warrior- Angus Donald- A novel of Robin Hood and the sequel to the novel Outlaw that I read last year. Although there were parts of this novel I highly enjoyed, overall I just didn’t love this book as much as the first one. I thought the novel would chronicle Robin and Alan’s adventures in the crusades but it took them two thirds of the book to get there. Still, Alan (a) Dale is a great narrator and I love the idea of a such morally ambiguous Robin Hood as is portrayed here. He makes for a very interesting character. Apparently, there’s a third novel in this series. I just can’t seem to get it in the US.

The Future of Us- Jay Asher and Carolyn Maclker- Two teens in 1996 get an AOL CD-ROM and install it to find a magical website called Facebook where they see themselves fifteen years into the future. This is an easy, fun read. It took me about six or seven hours to get through it and I enjoyed it. Parts of it made me laugh and parts of it made me go, “why doesn’t she just look that up on her phone?” and then I remembered the story takes place in 1996. In 1996, I was in my sophomore year of college and I remember telling my friend Ben that I didn’t need email. Or the internet. And now I’m a social media addict.

The Fault In Our Stars
- John Green- Heart breaking. Devastating and really damn beautiful. It's a book about kids with cancer, for crying out loud (something I also did while reading this novel) so I knew it would contain its share of sadness but after finishing the first chapter, I had to put the book down and go find a box of tissues to keep at my side while I read the rest of the story. Damn your brilliance, John Green. And no, I don't mean that. I love it when books hurt so good.

The Seventh Month- Lisa Gardner- A short story that chronicles the end of D.D. Warren’s pregnancy. I like Gardner’s books and I’ve really come to like D.D. Warren’s character. At the end of her last outing, she found out she was pregnant and I think in Gardner’s next book, D.D. is back on the job, having had the baby and her maternity leave and all that, so this story just tells us about the night the baby was born. And I know that that’s all it’s supposed to do but I was left disappointed because it was rushed. I know it’s a short story but there needed to be more to it.

Beyond The Gate
- Susan Gourley- This book, the second in a series of four, surprised me. I thought I knew what arc the story would take. I thought it would center around Cage and Sabelline’s quest to reset the seals, right? So imagine my surprise when I’m only about twenty five percent of the way through the novel and they’re doing just that. I spent the rest of the book not knowing what the hell was going to happen. I’m very curious about Cage Stone. He remains an interesting character. One drawback is that there are a fair number of typos in this, including one misspelling of a MC’s name.

Outlaw- Susan Johnson- Yep, we’ve reaching the bodice ripping portion of the month. I want to read something but don’t have a lot of brain cells so reading romance novels is a good fit for me.

The Queen’s Man- Sharon Kay Penman- The start to a medieval mystery series featuring one of my favorite characters, Justin de Quincy. There’s a lot of info dumping in this story as Penman’s trying to educate her readers on life in the late 1100’s but I don’t much care because I love Justin de Quincy. I think he’s a great character and this is the story where I got to meet him.

Cruel As The Grave
- Sharon Kay Penman- The second in her Justin de Quincy series. A very short novel and again, there's a fair number of info dumps, but I still love it because I love the main character.

Dragon’s Lair
- Sharon Kay Penman- The third in the Justin de Quincy series. This book is my favorite of the series probably because Justin’s still Justin and he also gets to hang out with Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, a historical figure with whom I’ve been long obsessed.

Prince of Darkness
- Sharon Kay Penman- And that wraps the Justin de Quincy series. I love this book for the scenes that show Justin’s interactions with his infant daughter. They’re just really sweet. The rest of the book is all right, again, I love it because Justin’s in it. He really is one of my favorite characters and I desperately want there to be more books. I hear that the publisher isn’t all that interested in publishing more Justin de Quincy books which makes me sad. Please, Ms. Penman, could you self publish more Justin stories? Or maybe just send them to me directly?

Monthly Recap:

Goal for the year: 60 books
Books read this month: 10
Books Remaining: 50


  1. I can remember when I said I didn't need a cell phone.Now, I turn around and drive 10 miles back home if I forget it. lol. I've GOT to read the John Greene book.

  2. I have Susan Gourley's book on my iPad - still need to read it.
    Hope you're doing all right, MJ.

  3. Looks like you're well on your way to accomplishing your goal! And I keep hearing great things about The Fault In Our Stars, it's definitely on my To Read List!

  4. these are useful for me, thx so much!