Okay, believe it or not, I AM making progress on these reviews!!! My goal is to be caught up by the end of the year!!!!
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.
Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – 4.5*
I read the first book in this series at the end of September and rolled directly into this one, and it did NOT suffer from second-book syndrome. SO. GOOD. This is what YA is supposed to be! Fun and snarky, loads of adventure, engaging world-building, likable characters, personal growth, strong friendship, a splash of romance. The bajillion POVs is slightly distracting and there are times where it feels like things are getting a little out of hand, but overall I just enjoyed this one so much. The worst part – it ended on a cliffhanger and the third book didn’t come out until November!
The Ex Hex by Erin Stirling – 3.5*
I’m a sometimes-BOTM member (I skip a LOT) but this one sounded fun so I went for it. It was a nice one-time read, but I mailed it on to someone else when I was done with because I don’t see myself reading it again, although I probably could be persuaded to read a sequel. It’s one of those books where you don’t worry about character development or think too hard about the world-building… just roll with what’s happening. Overall it was a fun palette-cleanser after reading five 87th Precinct books, but it was just a little bit too far on the smutty/vulgar scale for me to really rate it any higher. When I’m reading fluff, I don’t really want to be bombarded by f-bombs the entire time. (As a side note, it’s not the actual sex scenes that bother me so much, because they’re easily bypassed, it’s when characters THINK about sex and TALK about sex and the whole thing just turns into SEX that it starts to really get aggravating. This one wasn’t the worst I’ve come across in that way, but it still sometimes got old.)
The Jackal’s Head by Elizabeth Peters – 3.5*
Peters isn’t a 100% win for me as she has definitely written some books that didn’t click with me, but in this one she returns to Egypt, where she should always set her books. I only wish the Emersons could have made an appearance! This story was virtually unbelievable, but it was still a great deal of fun.
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie – 4*
I actually remembered how this one came about, but I still enjoyed reading it because it’s fun to watch Christie lay the red herrings when you know which ones they are. Plus, I got to read my beautiful special edition (HEART EYES). I took a picture of the back cover as well because I quite liked the quote on it.
Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde – 3.5*
The most entertaining part of this collection of Red Riding Hood retellings was Velde’s introduction where she explains how ridiculous the original story is. Her actual retellings were mildly interesting but overall forgettable.
The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda – 3.5*
This was one of those books that kept me reading while I was reading, but then I got done and I was like, “But what about…?????” I also just never really connected with the characters, so a lot of the urgency was lost on me because I didn’t really care all that much about what happened to them. This was a fun one-off read, especially if you like YA thrillers, but not one I’ll revisit.
Disclaimer by Renee Knight – 2.5*
This is one that had been hanging around on my shelves for quite some time and I finally got around to it in October. The premise sounds great. A woman starts reading a book that’s on her bedside table – but then realizes that SHE is the main character. Where did the book come from? How did the author know about her life? The only other person who knew about this situation is dead – RIGHT? This sounds like it’s going to be a great thriller, and it was definitely compulsively readable (hence the 2.5* rating instead of like 1), but I didn’t feel like a single character in this story responded in a realistic way, meaning that no one felt like a real person. The end of the book also just turned super preachy and also felt out of place.
I wrote a whole big long rant about this one but I’m just not feeling like publishing it. There was a lot that annoyed me about this book, but I can see why so many people enjoyed it. I personally find it difficult to root for a character who has lied to everyone in her life, including her husband, about really serious stuff, and then gets all offended that people don’t automatically assume that her behavior was impeccable during the situation she lied about. But maybe that’s just me.