The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton had a way with writing that made me actually enjoy sci-fi. He was able to explain scientific sounding things in a way that made them easy to understand. The Andromeda Strain progresses at a steady pace making you feel like you are in the lab with the scientists. Often it’ll say things like “he wouldn’t realize his mistake for two days” letting the reader know that something was missed or done wrong and there will be repercussions that you are just waiting to watch unfold. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sci-fi thrillers or is a fan of Michael Crichton’s writing.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 106
Pages Read in 2022: 37,190
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction, Thriller

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I did not much enjoy Heir of Fire for the first half. There are three different storylines going throughout the book. Celaena in the land of the fae learning to control her magic and return to her true self, the witches learning to fly the wyverns, and Dorian and Chaol at the castle. Nothing much happens with Celaena until the third quarter of the book. Before that it’s basically the same thing over and over including lots of refusing to speak for the first bit. The witches storyline I never did like. Any time it switched to them I was more than happy to put the book down and do something else. What was happening at the castle (and to those surrounding the castle) I actually found interesting from the start and enjoyed those sections most of all. The whole thing is overly wordy. The book could be about half as long if it wasn’t so wordy and repetitive. This book sets up what happens from here pretty well. The last 3% was downright amazing. As a book, it is just mediocre, but of course if you are invested in the Throne of Glass series, it’s a must read.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 105
Pages Read in 2022: 36,806
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Buddy Read, Young Adult

Remember Me: The Last Story

Remember Me: The Last Story by Christopher Pike

I feel like Christopher Pike probably should have left the Remember Me story alone before the third (maybe even before the second). The first was great. The next two not so much. The writing in The Last Story was extremely juvenile. The way Shari behaved was not at all the way she had previously. The story within a story was absolutely awful. It made little sense and was such a different genre that it felt more like an intrusion than anything else. It was not clever or insightful like the book seemed to think it was. While The Last Story has good points, it’s one to skip for sure.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 104
Pages Read in 2022: 36,238
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Some of the characters in The Thursday Murder Club are absolutely hysterical. I instantly fell in love with both Elizabeth and Joyce. But there are way too many characters. It’s very hard to keep them straight, especially since some are mentioned and then not again for several chapters. The British wit is fabulous. While the elderly group figures everything out, and in fact are the only ones who know the whole truth in the end, the police are not portrayed as completely inept. I certainly didn’t have it all figured out before the end, but it did all fit together in a way that made sense. This is a good book, but not one I’d go out of my way to read.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 103
Pages Read in 2022: 35,989
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Cozy Mystery, Reason: Book Club

The Man With the Sawed-Off Leg by Daniel J. Wakin

The Man With the Sawed-Off Leg by Daniel J. Wakin

I don’t think the author quite knew what The Man With the Sawed-Off Leg was supposed to be about. He kept going back to the Rubel Ice holdup (and the man with the sawed-off legs), but there wasn’t enough to make a whole book about that so he wrote about occupants of other buildings in the row of luxury townhouses where the man’s legs were sawed off. Most of what was written about them could be found on a Wikipedia page and was just extremely basic information. Nothing much about living their lives or things they did. It was quite disjointed and also quite boring. Occasionally descriptions of what happened during and after the Rubel Ice holdup were exciting and interesting to read, but that’s about all that was engaging about the entire book. Unless you have some weird interest in that part of Riverside Drive or like boring recitations of basic fact, this is a book you can skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 102
Pages Read in 2022: 35,626
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Annual Wrap-Up

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

It is quite remarkable that over 50 years ago a teenage girl wrote a book about teens and the divisions between the groups that still rings true today. The Outsiders is an excellent book. It’s very well written and even if some of the terms have changed and greasers and socs aren’t what we call the groups, there are still groups that hate each other for no reason at all. It’s a book that will keep you reading and make you care about the characters. I highly recommend it to mid-teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 101
Pages Read in 2022: 35,398
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Classic, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Remember Me: The Return

Remember Me: The Return by Christopher Pike

The second Remember Me book, The Return, is really kind of weird. It’s short and reads fast and is as simple as the original, but the subject matter and very loose timeline is just so bizarre. I found myself making a lot of faces at the strangeness of the story. It’s an odd combination of Christianity and New Age and is sort of reincarnation, but souls trading places, not starting over as a baby. If you really enjoyed the first book, this one is fine, but it’s totally skippable.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 100
Pages Read in 2022: 35,178
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland

The Perfect Family by Shalini Boland

I thought The Perfect Family was a pleasant story, entertaining but predictable. From early on I thought I knew who did it and why. The whole thing was a bit crazymaking. Really well done for a psychological thriller, but still predictable. And I thought I was right all the way to the epilogue when everything I thought was true totally blew up and I was left with my mouth hanging open in shock about who actually did it and their motivation. I never suspected that character in the least, yet it being them, and why they did it, made complete sense. The clues were all there! In that epilogue the book went from a 3/4 star book to a 5 star book. Incredible writing and ending. I very highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy psychological thrillers.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 99
Pages Read in 2022: 34,954
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: It sounded interesting, Thriller

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

What if you died from a fall and everyone assumed you had died by suicide? What if you really didn’t think you jumped? What if you thought one of your friends might have murdered you? What if you were a ghost and had to wait for the investigator to figure it out? What if someone else might die if he takes too long? All this plus questions of the afterlife and moving on and the dead communicating with people who are still alive are covered in Remember Me. It reads very quickly and pulls you completely into the story, which is told from the point of view of the dead girl. It is dark and sometimes creepy (but not very dark or creepy… I have a low tolerance for both). I recommend it to teens and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 98
Pages Read in 2022: 34,670
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is impeccably researched. The notes, bibliography, and index are massive (making up more than the last third of the book). At times it reads like a historical fiction novel even though only actual quotes are used, but other times it reads like a textbook. The author skips around between the four woman profiled, Emma Thompson, Rose Greenhow, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Belle Boyd, and sometimes it is hard to remember which is which and what was happening to them the last time they were discussed. I recommend this book to adults interested in the Civil War.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 97
Pages Read in 2022: 34,367
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Book Club