I keep thinking that I’m through my blogging funk and am ready to write some solid full reviews… and then I start to write and realize I just don’t wanna! :-D So here’s another batch of minireviews from this month…
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Before I picked up this book and read the introduction I didn’t realize that it’s actually a book based on a movie. I’m not completely sure I would have bothered checking it out of the library if I had known that before, as it’s not something I generally enjoy. And, like other movies-to-books that I’ve read, this one felt a little flat. There wasn’t a lot of character development, and the third person POV jumped around between characters in a manner that was very choppy and confusing. There was a lot of potential with this story, but instead it just felt like it dragged on and on and created more questions than it answered.
Why have the villagers been offering sacrifices to the werewolf for years but now all of a sudden decide that it must die? That was the biggest one for me. These people have been living with this situation for decades, but all of a sudden it’s this huge emergency/crisis and everyone is flipping out about killing the wolf. I hated the blend of religion/paranormal in this book, as the “good” guy, who is a bishop or something, is also a total jerk + arrogant + stupid, and goes around proclaiming how he is “working for the power of God” etc etc and it really felt like he could have been the same character minus the constant blathering about God and wouldn’t have been nearly as offensive. The main character, Valerie, basically sucked and was completely passive and also inconsistent and we had to spend WAY too much time listening to her dither about which guy she should be with; she and everyone else just kind of ran around like a bunch of sheep, making every stupid decision possible.
THEN, the final kicker – there’s no last chapter! The book just stops! Apparently, the book came out just before the movie, so they didn’t want the ending spoiled and didn’t post the lats chapter until after the movie appeared. Now you can go online and read it (and I did, and it genuinely was a terrible ending that STILL didn’t really make the story make sense), but it seems like a pretty obnoxious marketing device to not put the ending in a book. All in all, a 2/5 for this one – I did want to see how things came out, so I feel like I can’t justify only 1*, but it’s close.
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
It had been way too long since I had indulged in the sheer joy and relaxation of a Heyer book, and I was excited to read this one for the first time. I genuinely loved the main character, Gilly, and laughed out loud on more than one occasion at his ability to get tangled in some genuinely ridiculous situations. It was funny to read a Heyer that was more about a guy than a girl, but Gilly was so completely likable that I really enjoyed it. I wish there was a sequel to this book that was nothing except Gilly and his new wife and all of their adventures because I shipped them SO HARD. 4/5.
Ride Like an Indian by Henry Larom
A while back I read the Mountain Pony series by Larom and really enjoyed it, so I checked to see if he had written anything else. I found a copy of Ride Like an Indian on eBay and took the $5 splurge. This was aimed at younger readers than the Mountain Pony books – it’s almost a picture book – but it was pretty adorable, even if it wasn’t very exciting. I enjoyed the reading, but it wasn’t really an instant classic for me. 3.5/5.
The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillup
I’ve had kind of mixed results from McKillup’s writing. Everything I’ve read has been good but they have not all been magical. That was the case with this book. The story was a pleasant and engaging one, but didn’t have that magic that made me want to add it to my permanent collection. 3/5.
Don’t Believe a Word by Patricia MacDonald
I read about this book over on Fictionophile’s blog a while back, and thought I would give it a whirl. While I enjoyed reading it and definitely wanted to see how everything came together, it wasn’t a book that I loved, and it didn’t particularly inspire me to find more of MacDonald’s writing. For some reason, this book just had a negative vibe for me, and I’m not even sure exactly why. There is also this weird plot twist where it turns out that two of the characters are actually half-siblings and have been having an incestual relationship. That was never really addressed as a negative thing and it made me kind of uncomfortable that the conclusion was just that it was basically their business and they should be able to do whatever they feel is right. Still, that was a minor part of an otherwise decent story. 3.5/5.