Monthly Archives: January 2022

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill takes everything wrong with a small segment of high school boys and glorifies all of it. The end isn’t so bad and is basically its one redeeming quality (saving it from being a one star book). The premise is ridiculous. The behavior of everyone with a squip is ridiculous. It’s just overall extremely ridiculous. This is a book to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 11
Pages Read in 2022: 3800

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I kept guessing how Throne of Glass would turn out, and then changing my guess repeatedly, and I am happy to say that while on occasion I got it right, I was mostly completely wrong (and changed my mind to the wrong answer before the end). There are some intense scenes that had my heart racing. The romance is very much not center stage in this book and I have to say I like where it is heading. The character development is excellent and I absolutely love the friendship between Celaena and Nehemia. I’m looking forward to continuing the books in this series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 10
Pages Read in 2022: 3480

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Buddy Read, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader by Jim Stevens

The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader by Jim Stevens

This book is kind of forgettable and mindless. Perfect for when your brain doesn’t have enough bandwidth for a more complicated book. The sum-up was pretty much perfection and reminded me of Shawn on Psych (in fact I read it in Shawn’s voice in my head). If you want an easy crime novel, The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader is a good choice.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 9
Pages Read in 2022: 3065

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Filed under Cozy Mystery, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate is the second book in the Broken Earth series and, like the first book, I spent the majority of this one completely confused about what was going on. It would seem that that would make the book not very enjoyable, but it’s actually pretty great. Hoa is continuing to tell the story to “you” (the book is written to Essun, the main character, which is a very interesting and effective writing style choice). In this book you get to know Essun’s daughter Nassun better and it turns out she’s pretty awesome (and powerful) and it is quite interesting watching her come into and start to understand what she can do. I hope I am less confused by the third book, but even if I’m not I am sure it will be a good book, too. I recommend The Obelisk Gate to people who enjoyed the first book in the series.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 8
Pages Read in 2022: 2784

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Mind Voyages, Reason: We Be Book'N, Science Fiction

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia by Michal Viewegh

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia by Michal Viewegh

This book is just plain terrible. It’s fiction written as a memoir. There’s a lot of stream of consciousness drivel with random quotes thrown in that usually have no discernable purpose but to pad out the rather short book to make it longer. The book is mostly about an older, married teacher having an affair with a 20-year-old. He never feels remorse, never finds it inappropriate. He’s only upset when she ends it. This is definitely one to skip.

1 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 7
Pages Read in 2022: 2336

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

There’s so much that annoys me about Allegiant. First, she chose to alternate which character (Tobias/Tris) narrates the chapters. She needed to do that since having it all narrated by Tris definitely wouldn’t work in the end. Normally, I quite enjoy that writing style. The problem with this book is there’s no discernable difference between Tris’s voice and Tobias’s voice. It’s very easy to forget whose chapter it is because they all sound the same which is weird because those two characters think, talk, and act very differently and so should not sound the same at all. Second, the characters often act so stupid, though this is a problem throughout the entire series. They get hung up on things they shouldn’t and it makes alllll the difference in their lives. It gets really old. Third, this book only seems slightly related to the rest of the series. It’s so incredibly different. Fourth, the whole genetically pure/genetically damaged thing is silly. So, so silly. And that’s what the entire story hinges on. Fifth, Tobias having a total meltdown about not actually being Divergent to the point he wonders if Tris will even still love him is utterly ridiculous and immature. So what if he’s not Divergent/genetically pure. He can still fight the serums which is kind of extra cool since it’s not an expected result for someone who is “genetically damaged.” Sixth, David still being all hung up on Tris’s mom and him just not being able to have her submit reports once she joined Abnegation and got married is utterly ridiculous. He’s running an entire bureau over these experiment cities. Grow up. Seventh, Tris leaving her gun in the hallway before entering the weapons lab is not within character. She’d have had that gun. Maybe she wouldn’t have used it, but she’d have had it with her. Eighth, the kissing scenes are uncomfortably awkward and seem to be shoved in there in order to make it sort of a romance. They are totally unnecessary or should’ve been written better. They were all pretty much identical. The very end, the last few chapters and the epilogue, are good, probably the best part of the whole series and definitely the best part of Allegiant. That part is raw and honest. The rest? Kind of insufferable.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 6
Pages Read in 2022: 2114

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Colony East by Scott Cramer

Colony East by Scott Cramer

I read the first book in The Toucan Trilogy almost five years ago and never got around to reading the second book, Colony East, until now. The author did a great job over the first few chapters nutshelling what happened in the first book so I was able to remember it easily and not feel lost at all even though it’s been so long since I read it. The characters in this trilogy are very well-rounded and their growth throughout this book is very well done. I found it fascinating (and likely accurate) that the few surviving adults don’t think the kids can pull together a new world without adult help even though they are clearly doing just that on their own. I really enjoyed this book and hopefully will get the third book read before another five years go by! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian novels.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 5
Pages Read in 2022: 1569

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I very much enjoyed What Alice Forgot. As I read it, I found myself imagining what it would be like to lose ten years of memories and wondering how I have changed in that amount of time and whether I’d recognize my life as my own (answers: absolutely insane, probably a lot, probably not even sorta). I thought how she got her memories back a little bit at a time in snippets and later in a rush and mostly related to sounds and smells felt very realistic. I didn’t love some of how it was wrapping up, but it was acceptable, just not what I had been rooting for, and I still would’ve rated the book the same, but the epilogue made it all perfect for me. I especially liked how when things needed to be explained that didn’t involve Alice or involved things she had no memory of, it switched to Elisabeth journaling as homework for her therapist or Frannie writing to her friend. That allowed me to get to know those characters better and to understand what people meant when talking to Alice about things that had happened in the last ten years. I highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy contemporary fiction.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 4
Pages Read in 2022: 1232

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N

Spilled Milk by KL Randis

Spilled Milk by KL Randis

Spilled Milk is a fictionalized memoir. The events that happened to the main character happened to the author. She blurred some of the line between fiction and nonfiction when it comes to some of the other people, particularly her siblings, due to being at different points in their healing from their father’s abuse. Writing this way also puts a little more space between the author and all the heavy things she went through. Sometimes it seems like she was just telling random stories but each one is included for a purpose to really give a good view of what was going on in her home and life. It reads super fast. I finished it in two days; I had trouble putting it down. It really shows how the same situation can affect people very differently. It also explains very well why some kids don’t tell anyone, or try to but aren’t understood, when they are in a very hard place. I could see elements of friends’ stories in hers so it rang very true. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has anything to do with children was have been abused, or were abused themselves, with a huge trigger warning for sexual and physical abuse.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 3
Pages Read in 2022: 739

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Filed under Memoir, Realistic Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, True Crime

Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski

Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski by Joanna Franklin Bell

The beginning of the book, where Mona is explaining she just decided three years ago not to leave her house anymore because of her extremely high weight, is pretty heartbreaking, especially since there are people out there in her very situation. The development of her relationship with Moises and then with Hallie is fun and unique, particularly due to the wide age gap between them. While the book did address some of the mental health and self-esteem issues Mona experienced, I don’t think it went into them enough as it seemed like Mona had her breakthrough and healing way too easily. Pointing out that she knew the “rules” of eating healthy already and knew that she was morbidly obese because she disregarded those rules is pretty spot on, however. I liked the conversational (and sometimes a little bit combative which seemed just right for the character) tone. The book is written by Mona to the reader. I recommend this book to people who enjoy women’s fiction, especially those who have struggled with their weight.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 2
Pages Read in 2022: 493

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N