May Minireviews – Part 3

Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a full review for whatever reason, either because life is busy and I don’t have time, or because a book didn’t stir me enough.  Sometimes, it’s because a book was so good that I just don’t have anything to say beyond that I loved it!  Frequently, I’m just wayyy behind on reviews and am trying to catch up.  For whatever reason, these are books that only have a few paragraphs of thoughts from me.

Well, spring fever is ON and I am spending most of my time outside, not on my computer!!  So I’m not really feeling the whole “writing thoughtful reviews” thing, which means you all are getting yet another batch of minireviews!

Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley – 4.5*

//published 2000//

So a little while ago I published a post with my vacation TBR, and I actually read almost everything on the list while on vacation!  I’m reading the last of the Bayern books right now, but overall my stack of happy books were perfect for lounging around our tiny cabin in the mountains.  I already mentioned that I read Indiscretionwhich was as delightful as ever.  Spindle’s End was another old favorite revisited, and I soaked in every page!

This is one of those marmite-type books, where it just simply isn’t for everyone.  McKinley is very rambly in the book, with oodles of asides in parentheses, most of which aren’t necessary to forwarding the plot of the book.  The story moves slowly and gently, without a lot of stress or excitement until the big showdown at the end.  It covers a long period of time, which I don’t usually enjoy, but do here.  Basically, you’ll know within the first few pages if you are going to enjoy the writing style or not.  I personally love it, but a lot of people don’t, which in my mind is one of the rather cool things about books.

The humor is gentle and wry, all of the characters are thoroughly likable, and McKinley plays the tension in this book as though her reader is a fish on the line, letting the story reel out a bit, and then snapping it back into focus.  There is a bit of an age gap between the two main love interests, which always niggles at me, but doesn’t really keep me from listing this as one of my favorite go-to reads.  If you enjoy fairy tale retellings and don’t mind a slow pace to your book, this one may be for you as well.

My earlier review of this book can be found here, which includes the first paragraph of the book – and how you feel about that may be an indicator as to how you would feel about the whole story.  :-D

Summer Moonshine by P.G. Wodehouse – 4.5*

//published 1937//

Although I’ve been reading Wodehouse’s books in published order, for vacation I grabbed one that I knew I had read in the past but couldn’t really remember.  Moonshine is sadly lacking in aunts, but otherwise follows the normal Wodehouse pattern, with plenty of adventures and misunderstandings for all.  I’m not really sure how Wodehouse manages to describe things so perfectly, but he consistently makes me snicker out loud whenever I am reading his books.  I couldn’t stop laughing about this one –

Mr Chinnery sank into a chair and passed his tongue over his lips.  His manner was that of a stag at bay.  Imagine a stag in horn-rimmed spectacles, and you have Elmer Chinnery at this moment.  Landseer would have liked to paint him.

Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer – 4.5*

//published 1934//

This was another vacation reread, and while I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first time around, it was still a delightful Heyer story.  This time around I found myself a little more aware of just how mean Sherry can be to Kitten, and no husband should ever box his wife’s ears, no matter how provoked!  But all of the characters (including Sherry, when he isn’t being a jerk) are just so funny and sweet – Sherry’s little group of friends are absolutely delightful.  Even Sherry’s casual cruelty towards Kitten comes from a place of ignorance, not purposeful meanness.  I did feel like the very ending went on a bit too long – six weeks seems like a very long time to keep Sherry in suspense – but despite my complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which made me laugh at multiple points and left me wishing that sometimes Heyer would connect characters between her books, as I would love to see the rest of Sherry’s friends find love!