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.
Some more July reviews in August!!
Mystery Mountain by Florence Laughlin – 3*
Regular readers here will know that I’ve collected a lot of random books over the years at yard sales and library discards and antique shops and flea markets and just wherever I can find them. What this also means is that I have a LOT of super random unread books. This one I purchased all the way back in 2003 and only just now managed to read! While this wasn’t a bad story exactly, it wasn’t that great, and it definitely hasn’t aged all that well over the years. Even I, who am pretty old-fashioned, got tired of the way the boys were treating Karen, who is only allowed to join them on their adventure if she does a bunch of extra chores i.e. all the cooking and clean-up! When they finally solve the mystery of what happened to their grandpa all those many years ago, it literally made no sense. I’m going to spoil it for you in the next paragraph, because really, what are the odds of you finding this obscure not-that-great book from 1964 and reading it??
So the kids’ grandpa disappeared back in the day when he was on his way to his gold mine that no one else knew where it was. Everyone suspects he was murdered, and probably murdered by some wily Indians (another reason this book felt a bit dated). The kids do find his remains in a cave, along with a journal that conveniently explains exactly what happened (and also means he died a long, lingering death of starvation, which makes no sense because everyone looked for him everywhere and if he was in a blocked up cave right next to where he disappeared, why wouldn’t the rescuers have heard him calling for help…????) and what happened was he got jumped by a wily Indian and managed to escape into this cave, and then the Indian rolled a big rock in front of it to block him in. Except… why?!?! If the wily Indian was after the gold, why would he kill this guy BEFORE the guy got to the gold mine??????? There was literally no motive for murdering this guy, so the entire story made zero sense!
Honestly, 3* is kind of generous for this one, but it did have some fun moments and it wasn’t horribly written – it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense in the end!
Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey – 3*
A retelling of Sleeping Beauty, this one was pretty firmly in the so-so category. It was perfectly fine for a one-time read, but I’ve noticed with every book I’ve picked up in this “Once Upon a Time” series that it almost always feels like an outline of a story instead of a fully-fledged story itself. The way this one concluded felt rather odd, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella – 3.5*
In this romcom, we meet Poppy desperately searching for her missing engagement ring – it’s gotten lost while she was at a hotel for a conference, and while she’s searching for it, her cell phone gets stolen, too. When she finds a perfectly good cell phone in the trash, it’s almost too good to be true. Poppy immediately begins using it to call and text her friends to see if they know what happened to her ring. So when the guy who owns the phone – which happens to be a business line – tries to reclaim it, Poppy convinces him to let her borrow it, since she’s already given that name to the hotel workers who are hopefully going to find her ring.
The set-up sounds convoluted, but Kinsella makes it work. Poppy is a likable featherbrain, constantly getting herself into what Anne Shirley would call “scrapes,” but she is so warm and friendly that it works just fine with the story. She impulsive, but usually because she’s trying to help someone, and her character really carried the story.
My main issue? She lies to her fiancee the entire time, and since the reader literally knows she’s going to end up with the other guy……!!!!! As I’ve noted with several other romcoms lately, I just do NOT understand WHY there is another guy! That tension could be created soooo many other ways besides putting us in a “grey” area of cheating. (Is it cheating to be texting/calling/hanging out with a guy that your fiancee doesn’t even know exists?)
All in all, as usual, a fun one-time read but, yet again, not one I see myself rereading.