More reviews from the depths of time!!
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.
Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns – 3.5*
This was a pretty average cozy mystery. The MC, Tessa, just wasn’t super bright and tended to get on my nerves. Her husband has died recently in a car wreck, but now there is suspicion of foul play. Despite the fact that Tessa goes on and on about how happy their marriage was and how much she loved her husband, she immediately believes literally every bad thing anyone says about him. Like if my husband died in a car wreck, it would take more than someone telling me they saw him in a coffee shop to convince me that he was up to something nefarious, but Tessa just rolls right over with “ohno he was obviously hiding so much from me!” Sounds like a great marriage! *eye roll* Anyway, this was a perfectly fine cozy, but nothing about it inspired me to read the next book in the series.
The Breakthrough by Daphne du Maurier – 3.5*
This is a short story that someone gave me as a gift a while back. While it was a perfectly interesting tale, it’s billed as “creepy” and it definitely fell short of the mark. There was no point in the story where I felt anything particularly eerie or creepy was going on. Ah well.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – 5*
I’m always wanting to reread old favorites and never seem to have time, so when various groups on Litsy decide to do chapter-a-day buddy reads, it really suits me quite well. In March, a group started reading through the Chronicles of Narnia in published order and I’ve been really enjoying revisiting these classics. LWW was just as fantastic as I remember it. Yes, it can be a little heavy-handed on the metaphor aspect, but it’s still an excellent story, with Edmund’s story arc being one of the best examples of a character redemption that I can think of. Plus, these stories are very much mixed with nostalgia for me, so I’m not remotely objective about them!
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – 4*
Speaking of revisiting old favorites, I’ve still been participating in the Litsy buddy read of Harry Potter as well. The slower pace has definitely allowed me to notice more details than I have before. These aren’t perfect books, and the fandom definitely has some crazies, but I still really enjoy this series.
Blue Smoke by Dorothy Lyons – 3.5*
We all know I have a weakness for horse stories, and this is pretty typical 1950s fare with a spunky heroine and a perfect horse. The drama in this one got a little out of control at the end, but it was still a perfectly enjoyable way to while away a few hours – even if the binding didn’t hold up super well!!
Don’t Look Now by Daphne du Maurier
This is a collection of short stories that included a few, like “The Birds” that I’ve been meaning to read. Unfortunately, on the whole I wasn’t really a fan of these. While I love Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel by this author, literally none of these short stories particularly engaged me. Almost all of them had strange, abrupt endings without any real conclusion, leaving the stories feeling a bit pointless. Even The Birds, which is objectively a fantastic story with a great concept, super atmospheric, completely engrossing – and then it literally just stops. No resolution, no explanation, no nothing. It felt like I was missing a few pages, it was that abrupt. Several of the stories, like Don’t Look Now and Indiscretion just felt bizarre instead of creepy. As I’m looking at my notes, I did mark Blue Lenses as “creepy and ominous” but now I don’t really remember what it was about.
All in all, I’ll still keep picking up du Maurier’s work from time to time, but I’m not convinced that short stories are really her forte.
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