2016 Book Reviews

I didn't get to read as many new books as I would've liked this year. I was re-reading the Harry Potter books for a while, and also re-read A Game Of Thrones. Here are some quick thoughts on the new ones I did pick up. 

The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R Carey
I picked up this book as a friend shared a list of "bookings with surprise endings." Outside of The Walking Dead comics, I haven't read a lot of zombie fiction. I really enjoyed this one, it's very different from what I expected it to be, but it is overwhelmingly sad. - B+

After I'm Gone - Laura Lippman
More Laura for me! This one was structured a bit differently than her other books where we're focused half on victims and half on law enforcement. Our POVs here were all members of a family where the dad bailed on them. I liked is quite a bit, it made for an engaging murder mystery as always. - B+

The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin
This book was heavy. I remember thinking The Martian felt very science heavy (and I enjoyed that) but it has nothing on this. This is a very popular book in China that recently was translated into English. There's a lot of physics here, so much that I had a hard time following it during its snail pace of a build. This one just wasn't for me, no matter how much I wanted to like it. The story itself was interesting, but the journey there didn't feel worth it once we got to the pay off. - C

When A Fan Hits the Shit - Jeanine Renne.
Ahhh, fandom wank. Sometimes you just can't look away. I used to be into the Lord of the Rings fandom, but I never came across this shit storm when it was happening. Renne writes about a massive con she fell for. The sad part is that con artist is apparently still out trolling the Harry Potter and Supernatural fandoms. A self published book isn't without its faults, and the last 70 or so pages are a shared chat log between people pretending to channel hobbits that made me so uncomfortable I stopped reading it, but the actual story of the con was fascinating. - B

Goat - Brad Land
I'm utterly confused by the praise this book is getting. I hate saying that about a memoir, especially when the author went through so much, but he desperately needed an editor. The writing is completely stilted and he used no punctuation. The lack of quotations when the people were speaking made it so hard to read. Plus, and editor would've cleaned up sentences like "He said later, I said later." This is being made into a movie, which I'm sure will be much better way to tell the story - F

When She Was Good - Laura Lippman
This book got off to a slow start, but then I got so invested in it to the point where I actually got super pissed at the main character for a page, then got over it. I feel like if I wanted too I could run a pretty successful, lowkey escort agency after reading it too. Not Lippman's best, but she never really does bad. - C+

Nos4ra2 - Joe Hill
I started reading this in the auto shop while my oil was being changed. A nice old man commented on how "kids never read these days" then asked me what this book was about. There wasn't really a way to sugar coat this. It was another hard start for me, then it was brutally fascinating, then it felt about 300 pages too long. Good story, but overly long and extremely inconsistent at times. C+

Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick
I like Anna Kendrick quite a bit, and I enjoyed reading her stories. Especially when she talks about not knowing much about stylists when she's faced with her first red carpet events. I do think she really stretched what she could fit in this book. She has a chapter completely devoted to all the parties she'd "love" to have and another focusing on an ill fated boating trip she took which felt out of place, yet she glosses over what it was like to receive a Tony nomination almost completely. But it was a nice quick read, I finished the book in about two hours total. B-

Where Am I Now - Mara Wilson
I loved Mara when I was a kid, and I've enjoyed her Twitter account and podcast appearances she's done since quitting acting. I'm glad she calls herself "pretentious" in the first chapter because that's how her writing really felt..completely pretentious. I like how she touched up on anxiety and OCD, but I got the feeling that she really seems to look down on a lot of people. It could be because I read this right after finishing Anna Kendrick's, and she was very self deprecating. I found a good amount of what Mara was saying interesting but I couldn't shake the tone. C+

6 comments:

  1. I also started re-reading Harry Potter last year. I haven't finished though, so I guess I'll keep reading them this year. I haven't read any of these, but The Girl with all the Gifts intrigues me.

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    1. I'm currently on The Order of the Phoenix, but I put it down as a library book came in. Now I'm reading Station Eleven.

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  2. I really do need to read more! Scrappy Little Nobody is in my list for 2017, so I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  3. Good stuff, right here! I pretty much only read YA stuff at this point (we have silent reading for the first 25 minutes a day...so, yeah...), so I'm waay out of touch, but I all in on a few of these for sure.

    If I could dare recommend you a YA book, it would be this little gem called One Came Home by Amy Timberlake. Slow build, but a Hell of an adventure!(and you could probably knock it out in a day or two)

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    1. I'll have to look into that. Thanks! I have nothing against YA. I know some people get really snobby about it, but there's excellent YA books out there.

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