Quick Reviews #3

Hi, bookish people! Long time no see. I know I haven’t posted anything for about a month or two and I don’t really have an excuse. I was just too lazy, so you’ll have to forgive me. But the fact that I haven’t done individual book posts means that I can now do one huuuuuge Quick Reviews post. Yaaaay!! I am so excited. I gotta mention that I didn’t take any notes when I finished some of these books so I may have forgotten some things, so if you see any mistakes or false information please tell me and I’ll fix it.

  1. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad- I was so hyped about this, but it failed to meet my expectations. It’s a short story collection, but all of the stories are centered around the same character. She’s a woman who is never satisfied with how she looks and no matter how much weight she loses, she can always feel the insecurities coming from the “fat girl” image she has for herself. This was darker than I expected, although there was some humor too. It was well written, but I guess it just wasn’t for me.

 

  1. The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr- A time-traveling girl who meets the Brontes? Yes please! This was a quick read and although it was nothing special, I enjoyed reading it.

 

  1. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? By Agatha Christie- I think this book is a hit or miss for people. It had a faster pace than a typical Christie novel and Poirot or Miss Marple don’t make an appearance. Instead our sleuths this time are two young people who get mixed up in the mystery quite by accident. I found it quite enjoyable, but as I said, people who are fans of the more classic Agatha Christie books may not like it.

 

  1. The End of Everything by Megan Abbott- I love Megan Abbott. Her stories perfectly describe the loss of innocence and the dark side that we all have. And her writing is so beautiful. I feel like every word she writes is carefully picked. Her writing literally leaves me breathless. And even though this is my least favorite novel of hers, I still like it a lot.

 

  1. Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted- This book was very similar to The Mist on Bronte Moor. But instead of going to the past, in this book the main character gets stuck in the pages of Little Women. The story was fine, but kinda meh. It doesn’t really have a plot, it’s just the events of Little Women with a clueless girl who doesn’t know what’s going on.

 

  1. MARY: The Summoning + MARY: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan- I loved these two books. They were fast paced and fun and a much lighter read than I expected. I was getting prepared for total horror, for lots of sleepless nights, but it’s not that scary. But I don’t see this as a bad thing as this was quite enjoyable.

 

  1. Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky- Oh boy this book. A bunch of fangirls kidnap their least favorite member of the boy band they love. All of the girls are deranged and messed up in their own way. So naturally things just escalate from there. But it’s soooo funny. Sometimes I even felt guilty for laughing but I couldn’t stop myself. This is a very unique book and I strongly recommend it.

 

  1. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers- When the zombie apocalypse happens a few teenagers try to find a safe place together and they end up in their school. But this book is not about fights with zombies or a survival story. It’s about what happens when 6 young people who recently suffered extreme loss behave when they are stuck together. It’s a psychological book more than it is a zombie book. It’s so heartbreaking.

 

  1. Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers- The sequel of This is Not a Test is more about survival, so that’s why I am reviewing it separately, even though I read it immediately after the first book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that our characters are not in a closed space anymore. They are trying to find another safe place and they meet some other survivors on the way. And I have a confession. I almost cried during one scene. You’ll know it when you read it.

 

  1. The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller- When Elodie’s dad fails to find a famous expensive orchid, their whole family is threatened by debt. Elodie decides to protect her 9 younger sisters and take the matter into her own hands. She sneaks on the ship to China to protect her troubled father and this leads to a great adventure. I absolutely love seeing more strong female characters in historical fiction.

 

  1. Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block- I reread Weetzie Bat and continued with this book, which is the sequel. This books series is not something to analyze or overthink, according to me. You just let go of any negative thoughts and enjoy the beautiful writing and the dream world where Weetzie and her daughters live.

 

  1. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran- A poor girl tries to become a music journalist, even though she has to wait for 2 weeks to check out new albums in the library. She somehow succeeds and we get to witness that and laugh. I haven’t read a funnier book in a long time, but also a more relatable one. Read it, it’s great!

 

  1. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani- Two children are kidnapped from a village every year and one of them ends goes to the School for Good, while the other goes to its evil counterpart. When the beautiful Sophie and her friend Agatha get kidnapped, Sophie is sure that her dream will come true and she’ll find her prince in the School for Good. But somehow, gloomy Agatha ends up there instead. This may look like a children’s book, but it deals with many complex ideas and it defies many fairytale stereotypes.

 

  1. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes- A girl whose hands were cut off escapes a cult and beats up a boy. Wouldn’t you want to read this book based on only this information? Probably. But I will still tell you more about it, because I absolutely love it. This is a book about second opportunities. Or at least I see it like that. I think the message is that even if a person controls your whole life and even takes away a part of you (literally), they still don’t own your future. Another message is the power of education, how it enriches our lives and helps us make choices about our beliefs. I am stingy when I rate books on Goodreads, but this was a definite 5 star book for me.

 

  1. Women of the Pleasure Quarters by Leslie Downer- I will never get sick of nonfiction about geisha. Something about their lives is fascinating. I love how their world is so secretive, yet rich with history. I love how even though men are the primary visitors, the geisha world is controlled by women. However this is not the best book to learn all about it. The first few chapters were interesting, but they involved the history of pleasure quarters, where prostitutes lived. There was not enough information about geisha. And after a few chapters the same information started repeating.

 

  1. Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack- A young adult gothic novel with paranormal elements. It’s obviously inspired by Jane Eyre or Rebecca, which are both books I love, so I obviously enjoyed this book too. But now I am embarrassed to say I don’t remember most of it. But let’s just say that it involves a dark, scary castle, ghosts and a girl who is not sure if she’s losing her mind.

 

  1. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger- This little book is a combination of a short story and a novella. In Franny we meet Franny (duh!), a college student visiting her boyfriend, while she is obviously troubled by something. Zooey is a sequel of this story, in which Franny’s brother Zooey tries to help her with the spiritual crisis she’s going through. It was an awesome book, though I can’t exactly lay my finger on what was so awesome. Maybe it’s because Salinger understands young people and how they think and the way Franny’s crisis reminds me to events in my own life.

 

  1. Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye- What if Jane Eyre was a serial killer? This is the question this book answers. Obviously, I had extremely high expectations for this book and guess what? It managed to live up to them. It doesn’t rely on gimmicks. It’s a well-written book with really cool characters.

 

  1. You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney- This is a nonfiction book about all of the fallacies our brains are prone to. You’ll learn that you are not a completely logical being even though you may think you are. David McRaney tells us how we all fool ourselves in short, amusing chapters, with many interesting examples.

 

  1. This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki- A lovely graphic novel about one summer, seen through the eyes of two pre-teen girls. They witness the damaged relationship between the parents of one of the girls, a teen girl being slut-shamed, depression and other similar things that they can’t quite grasp, but they can’t forget either. Everything about this novel is lovely- the art, the atmosphere and the story.

 

  1. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead- A young countess pretends to be her maid to escape an unwanted marriage and she ends up in The Glittering Court, a finish school for girls, where common girls are prepared to be the wives of rich men. I know it sounds shallow, and I see that many people who read the book didn’t like it, but I have to say I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t even classify it as guilty pleasure. It was a legitimately good book.

 

Whew, that was a lot. I hope you enjoyed it.

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