I love and loathe writing my monthly mini book reviews. For one, it’s a gimme post. I always know what I’m going to write the last week of every month. But conversely, writing reviews are hard–even if they are mini!
This month I did KIND OF keep my promise that I’d pen reviews as soon as I finished a book. By KIND OF, I mean I wrote the first two reviews immediately upon book completion–but then slacked off on reviewing the rest until last night.
Also, it was a bit of a slow reading month for me. I started two books, A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult and The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton, that I ended up quitting because I couldn’t get into them.
- Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis: Please don’t hate me, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I much prefer The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Is it just me, or do lots of these self-help books fall prey to promoting the author’s brand?
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: Camille Preaker, a cub reporter at a mediocre Chicago newspaper, unwillingly gets sent to her Missouri hometown to cover the grisly murders of two girls. While investigating the homicides, Camille stays with her disquieting mother and off-putting yet beautiful teenage half sister in Camille’s too perfect childhood home, uncovering the truth of her past in the process. Too frequently, I read thrillers that neglect to create a specific mood besides suspense; however Flynn’s graphic, unsettling diction flayed me and left my arms in gooseflesh. This novel disturbed me; I absolutely loved it.
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: A work friend who adores historical fiction recommended this book to me. It’s a true-ish story about women spies during World War I. Even though I found it bingeable, it teetered on inconceivable poetic justice-like plot events.
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman. Is. A. Fantasy. God. It’s the shit. That is all.
- Elevation by Stephen King: King eschews horror in this novella and tells the tale of Scott Carey, a man who’s quickly losing weight but not showing it outwardly. It’s a plainly written story, highlighting the importance of friendship and community.
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: In an effort to read more middle grade books, I snagged Ella Enchanted off a library shelf. What a cool take on the Cinderella story for girls! At birth, Ella gets cursed with obedience by a seemingly well-meaning fairy. Ella spends her days trying to fight commands given to her by others but ultimately has to do the curse’s bidding, which leads her on quest to break the curse.
- Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris: Bring Me Back screams predictable, formulaic mystery novel lacklusterness, but it’s frustratingly readable. Read Sharp Objects instead if you crave literary merit.
- Clock Dance by Anne Tyler: In the throes of an empty nest, Willa Drake finds new meaning in life when she answers a call to care for a little girl, whom she’s never met, while the girl’s mother recovers from a gunshot wound. Tyler’s been writing novels for over 50 years; why has it taken me this long to pick up one of her books? I ranked this a four out of five stars on Goodreads only because I disliked the book’s last page.
As always, discussion is welcome! And does anybody have any holiday book recommendations for me?
(Book cover art taken from Goodreads.)