The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
I honestly have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was definitely more horror than fantasy, which I wasn’t exactly expecting. However, it’s still a children’s book so while it was more gruesome than I personally prefer, I personally prefer the most minimal amount of gruesomeness possible, so I may not be an accurate judge. I think part of my issue with this book was that the central theme seemed to be that the pursuit of perfection is inherently bad, but I’m not sure I agree with that. If the pursuit of perfection is an obsession that causes you to be cruel or harsh to those around you, then it’s bad. But I’m honestly a little distressed by a recent trend that I see of taking the “you are wonderful just as you are” to a level that turns it into “you are wonderful just as you are, so don’t bother trying to be better,” and I am not convinced that that’s healthy.
ANYWAY philosophical questions aside, the story itself was engaging from the beginning, although it was slow in spots and had an intriguingly ambiguous ending. At the end of the day a 3.5/5, and still not completely sure if I would purposely seek out another book by Legrand or not…
I originally added this book thanks to a review by The Literary Sisters, so check their review out for a more overall positive vibe!
The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn
I read another of Bunn’s books not long ago and found it interesting enough that I thought I would give another of his titles a go. However, The Patmos Deception ended up as an incredibly bland read to me. The book was very slow in spots and had this strange love triangle that made almost no sense. Everything fell into place exactly when and how it needed to, and consequently the ending felt unrealistically tidy. The epilogue was completely pointless, leaving everything even more open-ended than before (including the love triangle). The plot was disjointed and rather directionless, with smuggling, counterfeiters, stolen artifacts, and a potentially world-changing ancient scroll all muddled together with the economy crash in Greece. While it earned a 3/5 from me for moments of interest, it definitely wasn’t a book that made me want to find another of Bunn’s works.
Uneasy Money by P.G. Wodehouse
I was completely in love with the simplehearted Bill, who just wanted everyone to get along. This was an easy 4.5/5 – not quite as perfectly funny as some of Wodehouse’s other stories, but still an absolute delight.
Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman
This story was a lot of fun, and I always like a good fake relationship trope, especially since Sally and Becks have been friends for so long. However, Sally’s mom and Sally’s best friend were so obsessed with Sally having a boyfriend that it honestly kind of weirded me out, and I found it really frustrating that they acted like there was something wrong with Sally because she didn’t really want a relationship right then. Not having a significant other should never be portrayed as meaning you are a less valuable person, especially in high school where I think serious romantic relationships are basically a waste of time and energy anyway. So even though the romance bit was adorable and fun, I never actually felt like things changed with Sally’s mom and best friend – like it still felt like every time Sally was single in her life, they were going to be hounding her about it, and that was aggravating.
There was also this weird thing about Sally’s dad – like I don’t even know why he was in the story?? She hates him and apparently he’s a jerk, but she never spends any time with him and her parents have been divorced since she was really little, so that felt kind of arbitrary, like the only version of her dad that she has is the one her (presumably somewhat bitter) mother has given her. I just didn’t get why he was there, he would just pop up every once in a while so Sally could be angsty about him, and then he would leave, and it was kind of pointless.
Even though I’m complaining (like usual) I actually did overall enjoy this story. While I don’t see myself going out and hunting down more books by O’Gorman, I wouldn’t mind reading one if it came my way. I originally added this book because of a review by Stephanie, but I have to say that she also felt pretty lukewarm about Sally’s best friend!
Sing by Vivi Greene
I got this book in a subscription box, and it was so fluffy and devoid of any deep thought that it almost gave me a cavity just reading it. It wasn’t a bad book, but it definitely was another one that emphasized that necessity of romance in order to make life worth living. Lily’s character just didn’t really grow or change, and the whole story felt kind of stagnant. It did have it’s funny, sweet moments and I didn’t hate it, but it’s not one that I’m keeping for my permanent collection.