Mini-Reviews: March

MiniReviews

HowZoeMadeHerDreamsMostlyComeTrueI was going to write a full review for this book, but it was so short and sweet that I didn’t have enough to fill a whole review, so I’m doing a brief one instead.

Like I said, this book was adorable and such, but it had its share or unrealistic moments that left me a little confused. I mean, the internship that Zoe and the other characters are doing is so over-the-top at times – the rules they have to follow, the sharp unfairness between the Princes and Princesses and all other characters, and the things that Zoe’s boss makes her do. Sometimes it was too unrealistic and took me outside of the story slightly, and there was some drama, mainly involving the love interest, that seemed a bit unnecessary. The ending also seemed to come out of nowhere and left me a little confused.

That being said, this was a cute and fast read. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s still a great book if you just want a fluffy and fun book to keep you occupied for a day or two.

3.5stars

CartwheelThis book had such an interesting premise – a fictional version of Amanda Knox and her alleged murder, basically – which seemed like a good thing for my Adult Challenge, but it just didn’t work for me. I made it through a few chapters before I finally decided to give up.

The main reason I had trouble with this book is because it was too slow for me. The first chapter seems to be setting up everything, and the second chapter kind of continued that, but then the third chapter flung us back to events before the murder. Normally I wouldn’t mind, because set-up is essential, but I also need to see some of what’s happening post-murder, and I wasn’t getting any of that. Because it has a similar premise, I was reminded of Abigail Haas’s Dangerous Girls, which alternated between much shorter chapters that went back and forth to pre- and post-murder a lot more, which kept me interested in the story much more.

I honestly didn’t care about the set up of the murder suspect, her father, the boy the murder suspect and the murder victim were involved with, and the main prosecution or whoever he was, but that was what I got stuck with for nearly 100 pages. If it had been short insights, I think I would have been more engrossing for me, but as if I just couldn’t keep myself interested enough to wait to see who did it, or if we even find out by the end – if it ended with an ambiguous ending, I really don’t know what I would have done after putting up with a whole book. So, it was easier to just give up on this.

2.5stars

GhostsofAshburyHighThe final book in the Ashbury/Brookfield series was just as long, off-beat, and entertaining as the rest of the books in the series.

This book took me a long time to finish, so that worked against it slightly in regards with the rating, but it was quite interesting most of the time. It wasn’t as crazy as the previous book, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, but there was quite a bit of silliness and craziness involving the titular ghosts.

If I have one complaint, it’s how big a role Emily has played in all the books since she was really introduced in the second book. Emily hasn’t been my favorite character, yet she’s always had a large role in each book – in the 2nd book, she was one of the main characters, in the 3rd book she was one of the bigger secondary characters, and she was a main character yet again in this book. She can be both endearing and irritating, so I wasn’t always happy to be stuck inside her head through her essays and such.

So, overall, I’m glad that I discovered this series. Each book seemed to get stronger; even though the 3rd book was my favorite, I think this book ended the series well, and I am glad I gave it a chance after a decent-but-not-amazing start with a 3.5 star book.

4stars

WhatMyMotherDoesntKnowI’ve never read a verse book before, so I was taking a big chance when I picked up almost all of Sonya Sones’s books at once. This is her first or one of her first books, so this is what I started with.

I was really worried that the verse would make it difficult for me to follow along with the story, but it actually wasn’t that hard. The story had a nice flow and I always seemed to have an idea what was going on. Even though it was verse writing rather than regular prose, it was never made up of confusing poetry that left me struggling to keep up. It was also a nice and quick read, which made it easier for me to take a chance on this book.

3.5stars

 WhatMyGirlfriendDoesntKnowThis book is very much a companion to What My Mother Doesn’t Know. It picks up right where the last book ended.

At first, I was worried that the main character would sound like a female author writing as a boy, which it was, but the main character often did sound like a genuine boy (which means he could sometimes be gross in his obsession with girls and such, but oh well, it was brief).

Like the previous book, there was quite a bit of drama that would have seemed over-the-top in a regular book, but because this was also a very quick read, I didn’t mind too much because I was often on to the next plot point very quickly.

I’m kind of curious to see what would happen to these two crazy little kids after this book, but it also wrapped things up pretty well.

3.5stars

OneOfThoseHideousBooksWhereTheMotherDiesThis book didn’t work out as well for me.

I was interested in the story. The main character could be annoying and kind of dense (there were some twists that really didn’t surprise me), but I was interested in seeing what would happen. So, the story wasn’t my problem at all – it was all the slut shaming. There wasn’t really any slut shaming in the books I read before this, so it seemed to come out of nowhere and annoyed me even more.

Like the rest of these books, it was a fast read, so the predictableness and slut shaming didn’t keep me from finishing it, but I probably wouldn’t have lasted until the end if it had been a regular book.

2.5stars

ToBePerfectlyHonestIt’s weird, because this book didn’t have nearly as much slut shaming as the previous book, which is a kind of companion (the main character in this book was a small character in the other one), yet this was the book that was the hardest to not DNF.

I mean, sure, I didn’t like the main character at all, the romance didn’t keep me smitten or anything, and the whole “you never know when I’m lying!” aspect was more annoying than anything, but I’m not sure why I had more trouble with this book. Maybe it was because it was much longer, around 400 pages, so more of a regular book.

If it hadn’t been as fast to read through as the other books, then I probably would have put this aside, but it could have been more of a chore to get through, which is the only bit of endorsement I can really give it.

2.5stars

RedPyramidI’m a huge Percy Jackson fan, and was quite interested in seeing what he had to offer in a non-Greek/Roman story, but unfortunately this series doesn’t seem destined to be as beloved.

That’s not to say that it’s not a good book, it just doesn’t seem like the book for me. The two main characters are young; the characters in the early Percy Jackson books were also young, but when I first read those books, I was also younger, so I was more comfortable with it. Now, when I reread those earlier books, I look at them with a  bit of nostalgia. I don’t have that with this book, so it was a little more annoying to see such young protagonists (12 and 14, which seems younger and younger each year for some reason </sarcasm>), which made it harder for me to connect with the book.

Besides my difficulty connecting with the book and the fact that it took me a while to read, I did enjoy this book though. It was interesting to hear more about Egyptian mythology, which I do know a little about but not nearly as much as Greek and Roman mythology. I’m definitely interested in seeing what’ll happen in the next book and started the next book once I was done with this one.

3.5stars

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