So, I am in a weird space at the moment as far as my website and writing reviews. I just haven’t had the desire to write traditional reviews. I am in the process of reimagining what it is I want to do with this site and my reading life content. Without further ado though, these are the books I’ve read in the last few months with a very short review.
Head On(Lock In #2) by John Scalzi – 3/5
Scalzi is great, one of my favorite authors, and in this book, he creates a robot sports league mystery. Head On is a passable sci-fi mystery that still has its strength in its main character Chris Shane. The actual plot and the Hilketa sports league didn’t really interest me much.
Changes(Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher – 4/5
I was really looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint. A lot of the plot lines in the first 11 books come home in book 12 and the stakes are rather high. It was a good Dresden book but I think a lot of it was just the whole “gathering your army/friends” shtick. That ending was one of the best endings I’ve read in a series though and I’m so glad I wasn’t spoiled.
The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty – 3/5
The City of Brass gave me so many mixed feelings. I really liked the setting and a lot of the world building but the plot just didn’t build up to anything that exciting. I found the audiobook a little confusing because I never really knew who was telling the truth about what happened in the past. When the entire foundation of the novel is based on an event that happened many years ago but everyone has their own interpretation of that event, as a reader, it gets a little confusing. I doubt I’ll continue with the series as the book was good but didn’t leave me with any longing for more.
The Changeling by Victor LaValle – 3/5
*screams in frustration* The beginning of this was soooo good. I absolutely loved the tension and atmosphere that LaValle was building in this book but the fantasy elements that the entire book built up to just didn’t deliver for me. I really like the creepy aspect of the book and the dark fantasy feel but it just didn’t land. Great characters, setting, and tone, but the world building just wasn’t quite there for me.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach of Living a Good Life by Mark Manson – 3/5
A good self-help book that is all about embracing the truth of your situation and not about thinking unrealistically positive. This book is basically the opposite of the visualization, if you believe it, it will happen self-help book. This is about concrete, basic, and sometimes hard to hear advice that we need. A lot of Zen and stoicism teachings in this.
The Power by Naomi Alderman – 2/5
Unforgettable and at times powerful, but on the whole, I did not enjoy reading this book. It didn’t feel like a story to me. Alderman attempted to tell an encompassing story through multiple points of view but I just couldn’t grab hold to a point of view that I found interesting. Some really difficult scenes here and there. Yes, as an opinion piece on the awfulness of how women are treated by turning the situation around and making the males the ones that were persecuted, it worked, but it was never enjoyable or engaging enough for me to get a whole lot out of it.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson – 2/5
For every chapter that had something insightful to say there were probably 3 chapters of utter nonsense. Sure, I liked her attitude of embracing herself and all her crazy ways, but it gets a little old after awhile. I was entertained while reading this but what I wanted was a book about how Jenny Lawson deals with her crippling mental disorders, a more informative book than the one I ended up reading.
Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) by Jim Butcher – 4/5
Amazingly, this is the first Dresden Files book I read in physical form because the library’s audiobook was the wrong narrator. Really enjoyable and not as different as you would expect given the plotline that would be a spoiler to talk about. I really like the direction some of the side characters are going in the series with their attitude and personality.
Murder is Bad Manners ( Wells and Wong, #1) by Robin Stevens – 2/5
A snoozefest of a middle-grade mystery book. The book takes place in a school for girls and I guess this whole boarding school mystery thing is a genre? Anyway, this book was just alright, and rather a cliche. The mystery had some holes in it and seemed to not be the focus of the book. The focus of the book was between Hazel and Daisy’s friendship as they investigate this murder at the school but Daisy treats Hazel so badly at times that I just was annoyed. Character’s feelings and personalities changed on a whim at times in this and it wasn’t the greatest.
John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1) by David Wong – 1/5
What started out as a fun take on urban fantasy turned into a Lovecraftian mess of a plot that went randomly in many different directions. I have to say that the bigotry and racism used in the book to do one of two things: 1) show how backward the town they lived in was and 2) to show how evil the monsters were, just did not fly for me at all. I was hoping for a fun and light read but it just annoyed me. Maybe the physical book wouldn’t be that bad but the audiobook is one I don’t recommend. I’m finding that I just can’t deal with vulgarity as much with audiobooks.
River of Teeth (River of Teeth, #1) by Sarah Gailey – 3/5
This is an alternate history western set in Louisiana where the Mississippi has a dam/gate that creates a huge swampland and in this swamp are feral hippos. Our “heroes” have their own hippos to ride and they are paid to destroy this dam/gate so that the feral hippos will be released. It was an alright novella, I liked it. I was expecting much more than what I got but the characters were fabulous. I think the hype got to me a little bit with this read. I will still read the sequel.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer – 3/5
Less is a book about realizing that your life and what is in front of you isn’t as bad as you really thought it was. It is a middle age, coming to life story. The main character is a writer and he is visiting a bunch of countries while his ex is getting married back home. Less, the main character, is also reminiscing about all his old boyfriends and choices in love while visiting the world. Great writing, a good message, but never really touched me on an emotional level. Definitely one of those books that will get better the further from when you read it and when you think back on it.
Own the Day, One Your Life: Optimised Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus – 3/5
Some great information in this book but there are also a lot of things in this book that I just don’t buy into. At times it felt like Marcus was giving me a sale pitch for a special store, vitamin, or supplement and those things I’m just not interested in. However, his tips about waking up, nutrition, health, and sleeping were really good. I started to implement some of the things that he shared in this book into my own life. A good read but would recommend with caveats.