Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is literature? A two year old could have written this!

Book Reviews

Did you see that Jamie Ford commented on my book review? I felt famous! Ok, so I'm not and he is, but a famous person read something I wrote! It's so exciting.

Of course when I realized that I read books by authors that are alive and they could possibly see what I write about them I thought that maybe I should tone it down and not be critical.

But then what's the point of a review, right?

So on to the latest batch.


The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Plot: A 30-something woman finds out her grandmother had a sister when she is asked to care for the great-aunt. More discoveries about the family's ... not super happy past ensue.

Review: I enjoyed this. There was a lot of back and forth between the past and present and it was interesting to see the way that Esme, the great-aunt, was raised. As a family drama, it is very understandable because all the emotions are so normal. It is a sad story, but very compelling.

Recommend: Yes.


The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek
The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel

Plot: Two half sisters go to a house in the Hamptons that their aunt has left to them in her will. The sisters have to figure out how to be around each other, and they both work on the Hamptons' social scene. There's also a little mystery involved.

Review: When I started the book, I didn't have a feel for what type of book it would be. It turns out that is because it has a little bit of everything. Family drama, mystery, romance, parties, etc. The characters were what drove this book, they were fun and eccentric and cool to hang out with.

Recommend: Yes, mostly to people who are good with flowery, flowing language (which in my opinion made this a nice read too).


Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Girl in Translation

Plot: A single mother and her daughter immigrate from Hong Kong to New York. The book is told from the daughter Ah-Kim's point of view as she begins elementary school and grows up in a new country.

Review: I loved the book. I was seriously disappointed in Ah-Kim at the end. I will say that I think that is part of what makes books so good. If I cared enough to be that upset about it, it means it was a really good book.

Recommend: Yes, absolutely.


Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Princess of the Midnight Ball

Plot: A young man returns from war, becomes a gardener at the King's palace, discovers a mystery, and saves the King's 12 daughters from a curse. It's a re-telling of the fairy tale "The 12 Dancing Princesses."

Review: It was a cute, young adult book. It was a fun, light read, but there was not a lot of depth or character development.

Recommend: If you are on a plane or at the beach and just want something light and quick, this is a good option.


Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1)

Plot: A young man wakes up to find himself in an elevator. When the elevator arrives he discovers he is in a maze with a lot of other teenage boys. They have a weird society where everyone works and they try to solve the maze that surrounds their living area.

Review: This is very end-of-the-world-ish. The maze is set up as a test of these young people which makes the book very similar to The Hunger Games. But it's not that good. Thomas spends the entire book very confused and then all the action happens in the last 20 pages. The book is the first of a trilogy, and it feels like it was just lengthened in order to make a trilogy possible.

Recommend: No. I won't be continuing to read the rest of the trilogy, so I can't recommend it.


The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
The Apothecary's Daughter

Plot: A young girl, Lily -- the Apothecary's daughter -- longs for a life outside her father's shop and her small town. She is invited to London by her aunt and uncle, and cuts some ties as she goes. Then she is forced back to the small town by her father's illness and is forced to decide what her role will be.

Review: I found myself in the Atlanta airport and I had finished my book. I clicked through the others that were on my Kindle and started reading one. I quickly realized I did not want to read that one, so I clicked to the Amazon store in search of something else. This was in the top 10 free books.

On to the review. It is basically a romance novel. Very formulaic, very predictable, the characters are not developed, and so it is really hard to care.

Recommend: No. If you are looking for a super fast plane read, read the Princess at the Midnight Ball.

1 comment:

  1. Your Review is famous!! Awesome. I have to check out all these books that you recommend.