One-Sentence Reviews // Summer 2018

I read a lot of books this summer. By that, I mean nearly thirty books in a little over three months (a record for me!). This summer, I’ve both discovered more books I’ve liked and grown harsher with ratings for books I didn’t. I also reviewed nearly all of the books I read, either on my Goodreads page or on my Instagram account. However, I thought it might be fun to do a one-sentence review of each book I read this summer. Click on the title for my full review and a summary. (A * next to a book indicates one of my favorite reads of the summer!)

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab Magic, many Londons, weird color-changing coats… a lot of people love this one but the characters and the writing just wasn’t for me. // 2 Wagging Tails

A FEW GOOD MEN by Aaron Sorkin* A riveting and readable play that explores what can happen in a single-minded system closed to new ideas. // 4 Wagging Tails

BELOVED by Toni Morrison A beautiful but hard to read book about slavery and the sacrifices black women were forced to make in antebellum America. // 4 Wagging Tails

THE LIKENESS by Tana French Featuring an undercover police officer, a dead girl, and a group of close college friends, The Likeness is a careful exploration of identity and close interpersonal relationships. // 4.5 Wagging Tails

FAITHFUL PLACE by Tana French Not so much a police procedural as a family drama, this murder mystery focuses less on the mystery and more on the question of what makes a killer? // 4.5 Wagging Tails

A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES by C.G. Drews The long-awaited debut of the blogger behind Paper Fury that explores child abuse and how we can come to hate something we love. // 4 Wagging Tails

BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French* A brilliant police procedural that doubles as a portrait of recession-plagued Ireland and an exploration of what happens to us when we lose what we value most. // 5 Wagging Tails

THE SECRET PLACE by Tana French The police procedural investigates a murder at a girls’ school and the secrets concealed within is well-written, but the chapters dedicated to the girls’ perspective are a bit too supernatural for my taste. // 4.5 Wagging Tails

GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Another great installment in the Illuminae Files, detailing a futuristic space-set conspiracy, but, like Illuminae, would probably work better as a movie. // 3 Wagging Tails

DEAD IF YOU DON’T by Peter James A remarkably well-researched police procedural, but the characters were lacking and I wasn’t invested in the mystery. // 2.5 Wagging Tails

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MARLON BUNDO by Jill Twiss A cute book about a gay bunny for anyone who’d like to support The Trevor Project or is a fan of jokes about CNN. // 5 Wagging Tails

THE TRESPASSER by Tana French* Another Tana French police procedural that’s deeper that it appears on the surface, this time about our perceptions and about how who we are affects the way we are viewed and view ourselves in society. // 5 Wagging Tails

THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt* A one-of-a-kind story about what leads a group of college friends to murder one of their own and what happens after. // 5 Wagging Tails

THE DRY by Jane Harper An Australian murder mystery that’s more engrossing than most with a main character that’s likable enough, but the murderer is moderately easy to guess. // 3.5 Wagging Tails

SADIE by Courtney Summers A thriller about a missing girl that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat mixed with a critique of the cycle of poverty, yet nothing really happens. // 2 Wagging Tails

HOPE NEVER DIES by Andrew Shaffer A laugh-out-loud fictional tale about what Joe Biden and Barack Obama have been doing since leaving the White House, but with a lot of angst. // 3 Wagging Tails

THE WITCH ELM by Tana French* A sharp critique of straight white able-bodied male privilege, but with a murder mystery involved. // 5 Wagging Tails

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS and DEAR IJEAWELE by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Necessary books for the feminist (or not-feminist) in your life. // 4 and 5 Wagging Tails, respectively

FAWKES by Nadine Brandes A promising and imaginative retelling of Guy Fawkes, but the characters fall flat. // 1.5 Wagging Tails

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas* A very important book, especially for white and non-black people of color, that discusses police brutality, black girlhood, and is just a great read. // 5 Wagging Tails

NOTORIOUS RBG by Irin Carmon A cute hagiography of Justice Ginsburg, but written in a way so as to only be readable for liberal RBG fans. // 3 Wagging Tails

CHALLENGER DEEP by Neal Shusterman A personal and poignant discussion of the effects of mental health. // 4 Wagging Tails

THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater The enjoyable epic conclusion to The Raven Cycle that could have been a little more related to the previous three books. // 4 Wagging Tails

MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan A fun story about a book cult set in tech utopia, aka California’s Silicon Valley. // 4 Wagging Tails

I DO NOT TRUST YOU by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz An interesting story of two teens traveling the world on a scavenger hunt, except for the numerous errors about the cultures they visit. // 1.5 Wagging Tails

1984 by George Orwell A terrifying warning of what could happen as a result of technological and political changes in the future, although you’ll probably get more out of this one if you read it with a book group. // 4 Wagging Tails

OPAL by Maggie Stiefvater A follow-up to the events of The Raven King, this is a cute short story about the dreamed-up Orphan Girl (renamed Opal), although it lacks Stiefvater’s trademark writing style. // 3 Wagging Tails

THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater* Definitely my favorite Raven Cycle book, and one that’s about cars and birds and a hit man who has a degree in Anglo-Saxon poetry but also about important things like mental health! // 4.5 Wagging Tails

What books did you love this summer?

3 responses to “One-Sentence Reviews // Summer 2018

  1. What a lovely idea to write one- line reviews! And now thanks to you I can add more books on my TBR list. This summer I read a lot of short stories and thoroughly enjoyed them. Dear Life by Alice Monroe and short stories by Daphne du Maurier were among my favorites.

  2. Pingback: Yearly Recap, 2018 | Books and Bark·

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