Tag Archives: 2 Stars

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver was my book club’s choice for March. I finally finished it the day of my April book group get together. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to abandon books but I just can’t do it. Plus my friends said the last half was better than the first half, and the last chapter was incredible. They were wrong, and it wasn’t. I didn’t hate it on a Red Badge of Courage level, but I definitely didn’t like or enjoy it much. I absolutely judge books by their cover and Spinning Silver has one of the ugliest covers I’ve ever seen. It’s very long, over 450 pages. Now, a long, good book can be extremely enjoyable. This was just a slog to get through. The book is written in first person, but the narrator changes regularly right in the middle of chapters. There is no indication this is happening other than a little scene change sort of symbol. It does not indicate who the new narrator is. You just have to keep reading, confused for the first several sentences, until you figure it out. Some narrators appear quite often, some very rarely, and there is no pattern to when they appear. When I started reading it a couple weeks before our March book group gathering, I found myself finding every excuse not to read it. For like a week I barely read anything. On the plus side, my house was exceptionally clean even with twin toddlers and a preschooler constantly wreaking havoc. I just didn’t care about most of the characters. I found the majority to be annoying. I really didn’t care if they stopped the Staryk creating eternal winter or not. It moves so incredibly slowly. Maybe if it was half as long and things actually happened at a reasonable pace it wouldn’t have been so bad. I did like how all the many storylines converged and the house that was in both the real world and the Staryk world at the same time was very creative. Thank goodness for small things that made it slightly less dreadful. I do not recommend anyone read Spinning Silver.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 39
Pages Read in 2022: 14,106
Graphic Novels: 1

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Book Club

Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems

Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems

There’s a reason everyone has heard of certain stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe such as The Pit and the Pendulum, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Bells. This is because the popular ones are the only ones that are any good. The rest, particularly his essays and one complete novel, are just plain tedious. Stick to the popular stories. The others aren’t worth it.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 30
Pages Read in 2022: 10,848
Graphic Novels: 1

Leave a comment

Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Short Stories

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

I’m not sure why books about depressed old people looking back on their lives are so popular. They are really quite dreadful and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is no exception. I didn’t find it inspiring or even very interesting. I liked how the chapters alternated between what she was doing New Year’s Eve 1984 and her remembering what happened in the past. Unfortunately, I found Lillian to be exceedingly annoying and full of herself and so didn’t enjoy reading the book much at all. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 90
Pages Read in 2021: 29,103

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I had forgotten just how utterly annoying and immature Tris is in Insurgent. She was kind of awesome in Divergent and then she became this sniveling lovesick annoying and completely ridiculous person in Insurgent. The whole thing about keeping how Will died a secret made no sense. Once they found out, Four and Christina were so angry, but it was clear self defense. It’s not like Tris hunted Will down while he was under a simulation in order to kill him. He would’ve killed her without hesitation. But for some reason no one in the book has any common sense and so it’s obviously reason to destroy friendships. When it comes to Tris going to Erudite headquarters to prevent further simulation deaths, she acted exactly as everyone should’ve expected her to act. Four is really kind of dumb when dealing with his mother. How he didn’t think she would want to take over I have no idea. I do more or less like the Divergent series including Insurgent, but it’s my least favorite of the three.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 87
Pages Read in 2021: 28,345

Leave a comment

Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

I’m not sure exactly what this book was trying to be, but it failed pretty badly at them all. There were way too many compartmentalized storylines. I’ve read plenty of books with lots of storylines for seemingly unrelated characters that are spectacularly woven together. This one had lots of storylines for basically one character and, yet, they didn’t go together at all. The author would focus on one and then another but for the most part they weren’t related at all and one experience didn’t seem to affect her growth and development at all. It was like there were multiple individual short books cut up and pieced together. Basically, the author would focus on one storyline for a while and pretty much ignore that the others existed and then ignore that one to focus on another and so on. This made the book a bit disjointed. There were some good parts here and there, but mostly I just didn’t care about the characters and the main character and her inner dialogue was just annoying and juvenile (despite her being something like 29). It took a least a quarter of the book for me to get into it at all and even then I had trouble focusing and found my mind wandering and having to go back and reread what I had just read because it was so boring most of the time. There were a lot of grammar and usage mistakes which just contributed to my annoyance at the book. I will definitely not be continuing this series and don’t recommend reading Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 78
Pages Read in 2021: 25,402

Leave a comment

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

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

I did not enjoy this book for several reasons.

  1. It’s boring. So incredibly boring.
  2. It’s written in dialect… sometimes. It’s really inconsistent. I do not like middle grade books that are written in dialect because that’s the age we’re teaching grammar to kids and then we give them a book that (sometimes) uses improper grammar. It’s one thing if it’s just the dialog, but this was the whole book (but only sometimes).
  3. The plot is dumb. It just is.
  4. Most of the action is incredibly boring. Even when it was supposed to be exciting, it wasn’t. It had a few moments that were at least a little interesting, which is the only reason I didn’t give it one star.
  5. It’s supposed to be historical fiction, but the whole thing is really unbelievable.
  6. I could not work up the least bit of sympathy for any of the characters. I really did not like the main character. He was super annoying. I was mildly curious about the Chinese boy’s bird figure, but that turned out to be quite anti-climactic.

This is definitely a book I recommend skipping.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 61
Pages Read in 2021: 18,869

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer

Parts of I Want You to Know We’re Still Here were quite interesting and parts were dreadfully boring. It seemed the author wanted to tell her family’s post-Holocaust story. She eventually did and did it well. But then she got bogged down in this and that person and recent times and taking a trip to Ukraine to see where her parents had lived. It got quite tedious, really, at times. I feel like the book really was meant for her family or people who have a personal connection to her family. For the post-Holocaust story, it’s great, but as a book to read in its entirety, I don’t really recommend it (just skip the personal journey parts).

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 24
Pages Read in 2021: 6524

Leave a comment

Filed under Memoir, Reason: Vine Review

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Aside from being dreadfully dry and boring, Raising Multiracial Children didn’t seem to have a clear focus or purpose (definitely not what the title indicates). The author rambles on and on and is very disorganized. Sometimes she’s talking to parents, sometimes to teachers, switching sometimes in the middle of a single paragraph. There are some excellent statistics and a few gems for raising children from multiple races or ethnicities, but for the most part it’s just not a very well-written book. Everything useful in it could have been written in a handful of blog posts. This is a book to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 21
Pages Read in 2021: 5733

Leave a comment

Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Vine Review