Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie
Holly Banks Full of Angst is so over the top farcically funny. Every character is exaggerated but still totally relatable. Everyone around Holly in her new village seems perfect. She tries so hard to fit in but is still a hot mess no matter what she does. The head of the PTA is kind of a bully, and maybe a little crazy, pressuring people into volunteering so they can have a much better school and town then the next town over. I laughed out loud several times while reading it. It’s just such a fun mind vacation. I recommend it to anyone who has ever dealt with “perfect” neighbors or an overbearing PTA.
4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 77
Pages Read in 2022: 27,870
Graphic Novels: 1
Murder by the Slice by Mary Maxwell
This book is one of the most poorly edited books I’ve ever read. It was revealed that one character was not who he presented himself to be and was using an assumed name and then the author seemed to forget that whole part and had the main character google (with no luck) the name and position as he had given it. There were many editing errors, both missing words and extra words. They were usually small ones like in and the, but it made it annoying to read.
The characters were very flat and they were pretty much all rather stupid. The main character is supposed to be really smart and a great PI, but she missed pretty much every clue and while investigating she left things to much later instead of actually trying to figure things out. For example, if I got a thumb drive from my dead boss – who inexplicably sent it to a previous address requiring the post office to forward it twice – I wouldn’t just copy the files to my computer, I’d figure out the passwords right away and open the files. Speaking of the thumb drive, why were the files password protected using passwords her dead boss used but he apparently was given the thumb drive by someone else and sent it to her the day before he died just in case? She seemed shocked that a knife used in a murder a few miles away could possibly also be planted at her home as a warning to her, though she had made the connection about that earlier (the author made sure to mention it was totally her excellent PI skills figuring that out of course). Over and over how tired she was and how little sleep she was getting was mentioned, to the point it got downright irritating.
When her fingerprints were found all over the knife – because it was HER knife someone had stolen – the police acted like that meant she killed the guy. Nevermind it was her knife that she used all the time so of course her prints would be on it.
The whole book was incredibly predictable which made it quite boring. I found myself finding every reason not to read it and ended up taking almost two weeks to read a book the length of one I’d typically read in a couple days. Usually I like cozy mysteries, but Murder by the Slice is one to skip.
1 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 76
Pages Read in 2022: 27,497
Graphic Novels: 1
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is a very bizarre book. The story makes little sense and there doesn’t seem to be all that much of a plot. Sometimes too much description is a bad thing and with this book that is definitely the case. It could’ve been half as long. The cadence is weird, too. I read it out loud to my boys and usually within a chapter or two it’s easy to get into the rhythm of reading a book, but this one just stayed weird and was never pleasant to read. The romance was so contrived and unnecessary, almost like the author said to himself that this is a YA book therefore it must have some sort of romance (and the last paragraph, related to that romance, was totally silly and unneeded). The characters were pretty flat and while the main character got the information she wanted, there was no real growth or change to any of them. No one seemed to be shocked or even care much at having a traitor among the booksellers. It was just not a very enjoyable book so I do not recommend it.
2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 75
Pages Read in 2022: 27,273
Graphic Novels: 1