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.
Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron – 3*
As part of my goal to get some old unread Kindle books cleaned off my ereader, I breezed through this one in February. It had a solid start, with a pregnant woman disappearing at a yard sale, placing the couple who hosted said yard sale as the prime suspects in her disappearance/possible murder. The set up was good, but I 100% knew everything about this book by about 25% and there was not a single twist/event that surprised me after that. I’m not sure if I’ve read too many thrillers, or if this one really was that uninventive.
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott – 5*
This is one of my all-time favorite books, one that I grew up with and have read over and over. Polly has always been one of my role models for her kindness, industry, modesty, and gratitude. Rereading this is like being wrapped up in a big soft blanket. I love the way that Alcott delivers her life lessons so gently throughout this story.
The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon Garrity & Christopher Baldwin – 4*
When the Litsy group was reading Wuthering Heights, someone recommended this graphic novel so I checked it out of the library. A girl loves gothic romances, so when she finds herself swept into one, she isn’t as upset as one might fear. This book was a lot silly but a great deal of fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as long a I didn’t think about it too hard. The artwork was also great fun.
From Blood & Ash by Jennifer Armentrout – 2.5*
This series has been on my peripheral for quite some time – Armentrout in general always crops up when I’m perusing fantasy book recommendations. This was on my list of books to tackle this year since I’m reading some longer books, but in the end I felt really meh towards it. At the time, I couldn’t get the second book from the library. That one just came in last week and I realized that I don’t actually care enough to keep reading the series so. From Blood & Ash is just soooo slow, plus it’s way into the whole “mysterious fantasy world” bit where the reader isn’t allowed to know critical things about the world/magic, which drives me CRAZY. I feel like, within the first few chapters, I should know as much about what is going on in this world as the main character does. I don’t mind discovering things AS the main character learns them, but this whole thing where I’m the only person who doesn’t know what’s happening is just aggravating as all get out.
This book went on and on with a main character I only felt lukewarm about anyway. She was so whiny and ungrateful and annoying about everything, and it felt like Armentrout couldn’t decide whether or not Poppy should actually believe in the country’s religion or not. If Poppy DOES believe in it, then it makes all of her choices even more self-absorbed and stupid. If she doesn’t – then why is she doing any of this?? There was a lot more sex than I was expecting in this one as well, and at times where it made literally no sense for it to happen, so that just felt weird and awkward. Then, the way the book ends, it basically turns this entire 613 pages into one long introduction. In the end – way too long, in need of a hard edit, and maybe make Poppy’s motivations be something besides “is me getting to have sex more important than literally saving the entire world.”
I will say that this book is very popular (over 4* average rating on GR) so I’m in the minority here… but this book did nothing for me, and every time I think about it, I just get annoyed that I spent that much time wading through it.
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley – 4*
McKinley is one of those weird authors who has some books that I genuinely LOVE (like Spindle’s End, which I’ve read sooo many times) and other books that just do nothing for me. I remembered reading Rose Daughter, a Beauty & the Beast retelling, sometime in the past, but couldn’t remember any details. It was a fine version that I enjoyed, but I didn’t feel like I needed to buy it, and it will probably be another ten or fifteen years before I read it again.