One Line Book Reviews: July, August, September, October

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Mini Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella
This was the only one of the Shopaholic books I hadn’t read. It was cute. Now there’s new one.

Austenland – Shannon Hale
I loved, loved, loved the movie, so I thought I’d give the book a go, and it’s a cute, fun read. Love the movie more.

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
Even better than The Cuckoo is Calling, which I enjoyed very much.

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Want to cry forever? Read this.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Süskind
So good, so dark, makes you want to shower.

Fifty Shades of Grey – EL James
This  made me want to die because it’s just SO. AWFUL. I have a blog post about just how much I wanted to die queued for when the movie comes out.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt
It’s a good thing I enjoy reading about fucked up people so much because so many people hate reading books with unlikable characters.

Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
Can she write books that are less adorable? Let’s hope not.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Pretty sure I got dehydrated from crying about this book.

The Giver – Lois Lowry
Never read this in school, but wanted to read it incase I got around to seeing the movie. I think I might be over the dystopian thing for a while.

Landline – Rainbow Rowell
Nope, she’s incapable to writing things that are not adorable.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
The references to weight are witty and funny, the internalized racism and rape references are not.

If I Stay – Gayle Forman
The end was so disappointing it ruined what was only an okay book.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Very good, tight mystery. Glad I went into it spoiler free.

Frog Music – Emma Donoghue
I actually didn’t like this until I found out it was loosely based on real people.

American Gods – Neil Gaiman
I read it because almost everyone I know loves it, but I didn’t. Not that it was bad, but it’s not the Gaiman I enjoy reading.

The Girls From Corona del Mar – Rufi Thorpe
It started out beautifully, and then… it got bogged down in convolution. An interesting look at female friendships.

Beloved – Toni Morrison
Beautiful and haunting and difficult to read.

One Line Book Reviews: May & June

oneline 6I’m behind on my goodreads goal like I’m behind on my blog posts and since I can’t write a blog post and read at the same time, I can at least check one thing off my to-do list.

Persuasion – Jane Austen
Why there aren’t more romantic comedies based on this, I’ll never know.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
I found myself really annoyed with Esther during a good portion of the book, but only because she was so easy to relate to.

Etiquette & Espionage/Curtsies & Conspiracies – The Finishing School Series – Gail Carriger
I am annoyed with myself for starting this series before Carriger has finished writing it because I want to binge-read the entire thing the way I did with the Soulless series. I thought the first book was a bit slow and clunky with setting up a new series, but it picked up pace with the second book and now I can’t wait for the third! I am always here for ladies kicking butt and looking fabulous. And having tea afterwards.

A Fault in Our Stars – John Green
The only reason I read this was because it was the only book Nieceling #2 read and I promised her I’d take her to see the movie. I read it on the plane back from Ottawa and I don’t really get all the hype. I mean, sure, even I, with my dead emotions and black heart, can feel something for kids with cancer, but it was kind of like every character in the book was a slight variation on a Manic Pixie Dream Human. Blah, blah, blah, it’s a metaphor. *eye roll*

Ruin & Rising – Leigh Bardugo
I waited over a year for this book and it did not let me down! Of all the YA trilogies I’ve read lately, the Grisha series is one of my favourites. And, honestly, it’s so nice to get an ending that doesn’t rip out your heart for once (no matter how black that heart may be.) I just want to read all three books over again and cry a little about the fact that Nikolai Lantsov isn’t my boyfriend a real person.

And with that I’m still 14 books behind on my goodreads goal for the year (of 100 books) so I better get off the internet and pick up my latest book.

 

One Line Book Reviews: March

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March was spent trying to catch up with my book goal for the year and making up for the time I lost reading in February.

Changeless, Blameless, Heartless & Timeless – The Parasol Protectorate Series – Gail Carriger
I started the series in February with Soulless, but I finished off the series in March and I LOVED IT. The entire series is just fun and hilarious. The last book in the series was a little slower for me, but over all I love this series. It’s full of sass and snark, strong lady characters, strong gay and bisexual characters, immaculate dresses and crazy hats. So perfect! #teamAkeldama

Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
I found I liked this more once I had a few days of separation from it, and that’s not to say I didn’t like it after I put it down; I just liked it much more afterwards. It’s really beautifully written, in that classic Gaiman way; a wonderful telling of American folklore.

Cinder, Scarlet & Cress – The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
Having been brought up reading fairy tales, I am a sucker for retellings and I absolutely LOVE this series. It has so far introduced us to Meyer’s version of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, respectively. I mean, I love so many elements of this series: the POC characters, the futuristic setting, and a lead character who is a cyborg with a prosthetic hand that can shoot tranquilizer darts. Who the hell wouldn’t love that? My only complaint is that I started it thinking it was a trilogy, when, in fact, the last book in the series (titled Winter, based on Snow White) won’t be released until next year. It’s the Grisha series all over again.

One Line Book Reviews: February 2014

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So, February was an exceptionally slow reading month for me because I spent most of my reading time being sick, helping with my cousin’s wedding and battling with books that I couldn’t finish.

NW-Zadie Smith
I read this on my e-reader, but I think it would be much better read in actual book format. I think I’d have liked this more if I read it in book form because it was frustrating not being able to go back when I wanted to.

Wedding Night-Sophie Kinsella
This is the first Kinsella book I did not enjoy; it was not fun and the characters weren’t very likeable.

Soulless-Gail Carriger
LOVE. This was so fun and hilarious. I wish the audiobooks were narrated by Emma Thompson because it was her voice I heard while I was reading this. I’m currently reading Changeless, the second book in the series.

I started reading Wicked, but I could not, for the life of me, get into it. The premise was interesting and all of my goodreads friends gave it 4 or 5 stars, so I was initially excited to start it, but I found it cumbersome and boring, frankly. I did find out that I was not alone in that assessment, and a lot of my friends (the ones who happen to not be on goodreads, natch) hated it as much as I did.

Anyway, that’s it for this round of One Line Book Reviews. This blog has been more book blog than what it’s supposed to be (a blog about things that are fabulous) so my next post is going to be about one of my favourite things: lipstick!

One Line Book Reviews: January 2014

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So, this post is a bit late, but I have a good excuse! The tl;dr version is my cousin got married and it took up all my time and that’s why I haven’t posted in longer than I care to admit. But, without further ado, here are my book reviews for January 2014.

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town – Holly Black
A refreshing and unique vampire story that’s free of sparkle brooding.

The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth
Hunger Games 2: Faction Boogaloo. The surprise/controversial ending was just kinda meh for me, but I like the series over all.

The Fire & Thorn Series – Rae Carson
Oh, this is good! Probably due to my undying love for The Paper Bag Princess, I will always love stories where the heroine is the one to save the day.

Carrie – Stephen King
This was a long over-due reread for me and I liked it just as much as I did the last time I read it in grade 9.

Life After Love – Kate Atkinson
Heartbreaking, frustrating, really quietly beautiful.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
I finished this two weeks ago and I’m still sad that it’s over.

 

One Line Book Reviews: What I Read in 2013

I’ve had a post sitting in drafts for a while, but I don’t feel like writing that, so instead I bring you One Line Book Reviews, where I will review all the books I read in 2013 in one line*.

*May be more than one line.

 

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A Storm of Swords – George R R. Martin
Ugh, all the feels. ALL.THE.BLOODY.FEELS. Pun intended.

A Feast for Crows – George R. R. Martin
Less feels, more tedium.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
WHAT.WAS.THAT.ENDING?! I went back and forth between hating and loving this book for weeks after I read it. I’ve finally settled on love. And hate.

I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella
It was really cute and a great mood brightener after reading Gone Girl.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore
I really loved the heroine in this; I love books about strong women. I haven’t been in a rush to read the second in the series, Bitterblue, however, because Katsa isn’t the narrator. I’ll probably get to it sometime this year.

Code Name: Verity – Elizabeth Wein
I cried for a good half hour after I read this, but the crying started at the halfway point. I love this book. This was my favourite read of 2013 and now has a spot in my favourite books list.

Beauty Queens – Libba Bray
I wanted something light after reading Code Name: Verity and Beauty Queens was perfect for that. It’s fun and funny and I found myself laughing out loud more than once.

Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberly McCreight
I liked this and I’m looking forward to the movie.

At Times I Almost Dream – Amy E. Yergen
My friend wrote this! Since finishing school I don’t read short stories as much as I used to and this set of alternative fairy tales was a great way to get me going again because each story is a unique and enjoyable take on familiar fairy tale characters. Plus, my friend wrote it.

On the Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta
Ugh, so sad, so good.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Secret societies, bookstores, mysterious old people and Google; what’s not to love?

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
Ugh. SO GOOD. It was so complex and beautiful and fantastic and everyone should read this. I needed some time before I was okay enough to finish the series, which I will do sometime this year.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Another book I cried over. I just have a lot of feelings about what books mean to people.

Shopaholic & Baby – Sophie Kinsella
Again, I wanted something light to follow The Book Thief, so I decided to continue where I’d left off reading Kinsella’s Shopaholic series (which I love). It wasn’t until the last third of the book that I realized I had read it before, but I still liked it. Becky is just a really lovable character (except in the movie, which was terrible).

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple
This is such a great mystery book; it’s got a delightful sense of humour and is a smart and fun ride trying to figure out where the hell Bernadette got to.

Shadow & Bone, Siege & Storm (The Grisha series 1 & 2) – Leigh Bardugo
I love this series. I LOVE IT. I was so mad at myself for starting it before the last book comes out and I’m so mad I have to wait until June for it! And, I’ll admit, I shipped Alina with The Darkling for a minute there, but Alina and Mal endgame. Ugh, I really need Ruin & Rising like now.

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn
I don’t know what it is about Gillian Flynn, but she manages to write characters I absolutely loathe and yet still manage to care about.

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
I enjoyed this a lot; a great look at first love and falling for the person you’d least suspect.

The Violets of March – Sarah Jio
This book is the equivalent of eating white rice with unsalted butter and it was only through sheer stubbornness that I even bothered finishing it.

The Sisterhood – Helen Bryan
I hated this book so much. So much that everytime I talk about it I get mad about it all over again and take away a star from my Goodreads rating (it’s now at 1 star). There was so much potential! The premise is interesting, but the execution is maddening and sloppy and it made me want to push the main character off a cliff.

The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker
I remember liking this, but not specifically why I liked it.

A Great & Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) – Libba Bray
I’ve always loved stories about girls who go to all girl schools and this one has that, plus British things, cute boys, witches and another dimension. Basically it’s a novel about the things that happened in my head when I was 12.

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
The only Flynn novel that isn’t being adapted for the big screen this year. As with my history with Flynn’s books, I hated the characters but I love the story.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Beautiful. Just beautiful.

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (aka: J.K. Rowling)
I kept going back and forth about who the killer was until the reveal and I love when I don’t figure it out early on. Just wish Robin had a bigger role, as was implied by the opening chapter happening through her POV. If the rumoured TV series happens I want it to be like Luther. Or, ya know, give me more Luther.

The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, but I might bump it down to 3. You can read my longer review here.

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
This would be cute as a TV show, maybe.

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The main character, Theo Decker, just has a lot to say about everything that happens in his life. A LOT. Like, A LOT A LOT. The book would’ve been half as long if Theo just shut up once in a while.

I only started reading the way I used to halfway through 2013 and passed my Goodreads goal sometime in October, I think. I didn’t read during November because I participated in Nanowrimo. Since my goal for 2014 is to read 100 books I’m not going to wait a year to do these one line reviews and do them monthly instead.

So, tell me what you read last year, what you’re reading now and if you have any suggestions on what I should queue on my to-read list.

Is Anyone Really That Interesting? Reviewing Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings

The thing that’s interesting about The Interestings (yeah, I went there) is how uninteresting (I know, I’ll stop soon) the characters truly are. And that’s the point.

The book follows a group of teenagers  at an arts-focused summer camp from their meeting to middle age. There is the magnetic brother and sister duo of Goodman and Ash, one of whom is bad and disappointing while the other is good and perfect. There is Ethan, the talented, socially conscious animator, Jules, who is the funny one in the way that only that group of friends can appreciate, Jonah, the damaged son of a folk singer, and Cathy, the dancer cursed with an un-dancer-like body.

The book touches on different aspects of the group’s lives–a rape accusation that rips the group down to four, the loss of loved ones, marriage, depression, babies, successes, failures, the confrontation of an abuser–and shows the reader how average life truly is. And that’s what really makes life so interesting is these mundane small things that virtually everyone eventually experiences.

“And didn’t it always go like that–body parts not quite lining up the way you wanted them to, all of it a little bit off, as if the world itself were an animated sequence of longing and envy and self-hatred and grandiosity and failure and success, a strange and endless cartoon loop that you couldn’t stop watching, because, despite all you knew by now, it was still so interesting.”

While the majority of us won’t ever experience the riches and success that Ethan’s talent brings him, we can all relate to Jules and Jonah falling into professions that they are good at and enjoy, but aren’t their hearts’ passion. Who can’t relate to sometimes feeling jealous at a friend’s success the way Jules does about Ethan and Ash’s; realizing that you will never have the kind of relationship you dreamt of with your soul mate that Ethan eventually comes to realize of Jules? Who hasn’t eventually come to the understanding that that thing that you’ve clung to, that you’ve based your entire self on, that thing that is supposed to make you special and endear you to the world is really not all that special or interesting at all–coming to the realization that yes, you actually might be average.

This is the thing we watch Jules struggle with. While Ash finds success as a feminist director and her husband Ethan becomes an animation phenomenon with his Simpsons-like Figland series, Jules continues to search for that feeling she first felt when she was at Spirit-in-the-Woods camp. But even returning to the place she idealized doesn’t have the desired effect on Jules. She’s slow to accept it, but eventually Jules finally comes to accept that perhaps this is what life is. You work your whole life to creating this image of uniqueness and specialness and you long to be accepted for this person you wish to be, and maybe you truly are that person, but at the end of the day you’re only really interesting to yourself and maybe, if you’re lucky, those who love you and that’s when you stop striving for it and “[you] could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting.”

And perhaps, that’s when it actually happens. Once you stop caring about being interesting, you finally are.