Friday, March 13, 2015

Big Little Lies - Review



Big Little Lies is about the lies we tell each other and ourselves and their inevitable consequences.  It is the best book I've read this year (not saying much) AND the best book I've read in quite some time.  It is the complete package.

The story is told in a crafty way.  It begins six months out from an event/murder and it's told via a Greek chorus and the three female protagonists, who switch off chapters.  Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, the female protagonists, are well-developed and interesting as are the sub-characters in their orbit.  I found their bond of friendship refreshing.  Their support and care for one another is genuine.

Big Little Lies touches on some serious topics like physical and sexual abuse and bullying (adult to adult, child to child, and adult to child) but most of the story is told in a humorous tone.  I found the bullying storyline especially interesting because it's the parents who set the example and often, the parents who are the worst offenders.

There's a marvelous mystery and twist at the end that I wasn't expecting and it was thrilling when I uncovered it.  I don't think I could've enjoyed the ride or the characters any more.  I loved the author's style of writing and story-telling so I'm excited to learn that she's written several other books.

Incidentally, the author is Australian and subsequently, the story takes place in the Sydney suburbs.  The great thing is that the story and the relationships could be transported anywhere.  It's a story with universal themes.

I thought this was going to be a fluff read but it had so much depth.  I absolutely recommend it!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

First Impressions - Review



I read Charlie Lovett's previous book, The Bookman's Tale, and really enjoyed it.  Like that book, my grandmother recommended this follow-up novel, First Impressions.

The format is similar in the sense that every other chapter follows an old timeline and the other chapters follow a modern-day timeline.  Both timelines are related and work together. Unfortunately, I found myself unimpressed by all elements of both timelines.  Jane Austen and her grandfatherly literary muse were dull.  The modern-day protagonist was insipid and her paramours delivered some of the most contrived and cheesy dialogue I've ever read.  I found myself rolling my eyes.  Hard.  It's unfortunate but I just couldn't enjoy myself like I did the last time.  The Bookman's Tale was so much easier to get absorbed in whereas, I found myself running to the finish line in this one.  I wanted to get the reading experience over with as soon as possible.

Still, I wouldn't rule out trying his next effort.  I appreciate his creative prowess and his easily flowing words.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year - Review



This book was a quick and fun read.  Andy Cohen is responsible for a lot of Bravo TV's reality-based programming - most famously, the Real Housewives franchise.  He's an interesting and funny guy.  Most of the book is about his jet-setting and celebrity-infused lifestyle.  There's a lot of name-dropping but there are also some cute anecdotes.  Let me just say this - the title is accurate.  I'm sure there's a deep guy in there but you don't get too many glimpses of him in the book.    

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bad Year for Reading

Well, obviously, I didn't get a lot of reading done this year.  In fact, 2014 was the year of almost NO READING.  I don't feel too bad about it though.  I had a lot going on and I didn't feel like decompressing with a book at the end of the day.  Plain and simple. 

I'm about 1/4 of the way through Quiet.  I'd like to get that done rather quickly and then get back on track with regular reading.  I just downloaded three e-books - one non-fiction, one fluffy fiction, and one historical fiction.  I consider them belated Christmaskah presents.  I'll be attending a book review in less than a week and while there I'll be receiving an autographed hardcover book I hope to eventually read.  So, at the least, my goal is to read five books next year.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Other Typist - Review(ish)



I guess I didn't get it.

It started out promising enough - a film noir, 1920s kind of vibe.  I thought the author's writing style was pleasant and the characters, interesting.  But unfortunately, I found that the more time I spent with the story, the less interested I became.  I ended up renewing the book three times.  I finally skimmed the last 100+ pages on a boring plane ride just to "get it over with".

It wasn't until I was reading the epilogue that I sensed that anything was off with the main character, Rose.  I just remembered to google spoilers to figure out if my suspicions were right and apparently, they were.

I won't reveal the plot twist here but suffice it to say that either I'm dumb or the author didn't drop enough hints.  I don't think I'm dumb.

Eh.

I just haven't been in a reading mood lately and this book didn't help.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Raven Girl - Review



Weird.

I had Raven Girl on my must-read list for a while but I had no idea until I checked it out of the library that it's an illustrated short story.  I just read the entire thing in about thirty minutes.

I have to say, I don't know if it's a lack of patience or imagination but it didn't really tickle me. A younger version of myself would've been more enthralled by the fantastical elements but it didn't really do anything for me now.  Mostly, I'm disappointed because my expectation was that this was a full-length novel.  I was expecting something like The Time Traveler's Wife, which had the fantastical element of time travel interwoven with the reality of everyday life.  I think Raven Girl would've been better as a fleshed out version of itself rather than a short story, which left too much to the imagination.  It felt like a shell of a story.  Not to mention that my imagination isn't vast enough to explain away the impossibility of a man mating with a raven.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Allegiant - Un-review



I read Divergent and Insurgent but after having the final book in the series, Allegiant, sit on my kindle for over six months, I've decided to move on.  I've had little to no interest in finishing the series and finally, today, I decided to google the spoilers.

That being said, I'm glad I didn't waste my time or energy reading it.  I've read a lot of mixed, mostly bad, reviews of the final book and I can see why fans would've hated the ending. Myself included.  I hate it a lot less knowing I didn't have to struggle through a too-long finale but I hate it nonetheless.