Hello all! Lately my attention has been focused on my #bookstagram (find me @booksandbark!), but today I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday to review my ten latest reads. I’ve read a number of fantastic books these past few weeks and I’m so excited to share my thoughts with all of you once again!
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LaRUE by V.E. Schwab
A medieval French girl makes a Faustian pact with a god: she will live forever, but she’ll be forgotten by everyone she meets as soon as she’s out of their sight.
If I had to describe this book in three words, it would be over-hyped, twee (thanks to Goodreads for teaching me this word!), and one-dimensional. Or maybe V.E. Schwab just isn’t for me. 3/5 wagging tails.
LONG BRIGHT RIVER by Liz Moore
Two Detroit sisters take very different paths in life: one becomes an opioid addict, while the other is a police officer.
A pretty depressing read, but very well written and plotted. However, the distance of the narrator from the reader makes the characters forgettable. 4/5 wagging tails.
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN by Patricia Highsmith
A sociopath convinces a normal guy he meets on a train to swap murders with him. Inspiration for the 1951 Hitchcock movie.
Unexpectedly beautiful prose from a thriller writer, but after looking up the movie plot I think I prefer the tweaks in the film. A great idea and good read, but one that would work only in fiction. 4/5 wagging tails.
THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE RIDDLE OF AGES by Trenton Lee Stewart
A follow-up to Stewart’s bestselling The Mysterious Benedict Society: Reynie, Sticky (now going by George), Kate, and Constance are in their teens/tweens and heading off to the next thing in their lives when a new threat from Ledroptha Curtain arises.
Missing in the magic that made the three previous installments of The Mysterious Benedict Society series so interesting. Probably would be a much lower rating had the first three books not been an integral part of my childhood. 2.5/5 stars.
THE SURVIVORS by Jane Harper
A man returns to his hometown in coastal Australia and confronts his dark past when a girl is murdered.
A decent mystery, but after a while all of Jane Harper’s books start sounding the same. Would recommend for a first-time Harper reader, but not if you’ve read her infinitely superior (and slightly more memorable) Aaron Falk series. 3/5 wagging tails.
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones
Transformed by a curse into an old woman, 17-year-old Sophie seeks out the help of a temperamental wizard, Howl, and his demon, Calcifer, who live in an odd moving castle.
Perhaps it’s because I’m not a child, but I failed to see the magic that makes this book so beloved. Sophie essentially turned into Howl’s mother/caretaker/wife, and Howl was just allowed to grump and storm around and generally be an awful person. 2.5/5 wagging tails.
HENCH by Natalie Zina Walschots
Injured by the Captain America-like Supercollider during a temp job as a henchwoman, Anna decides that superheroes are the evil ones and sets about bringing them down.
Honestly the literary take on evil superheroes and morally-gray villains I’ve been waiting to see since The Boys came out (which I have not watched yet). Thought-provoking, funny in a very Millennial way, and all-around a great read. 4/5 wagging tails.
NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro
It’s better to read this book without knowing anything about it.
I find myself wishing I’d read this with a reading book, or a class. There’s so much to dissect in this one, and it did draw me in, but ultimately it was not a very engaging story on its own without a discussion. 3.5/5 wagging tails.
THE MOTHERS by Brit Bennett
Two girls, best friends Nadia and Aubrey, live with the loss of their mothers and the decisions they made during their senior year of high school.
Started off as a great exploration of loss, but ended up devolving into a love triangle full of awful characters. I love Bennett’s prose and think I’d love her work if it were in the right genre for me, but don’t tend to like this kind of plotless, literary, coming-of-age drama however good the writer. 3/5 wagging tails.
PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir (out today!)
Ryland Grace wakes up with no memory of what he’s doing on a spaceship in the middle of space—all he know is that he’s on a mission to save the entire human race. (Thank you to Ballantine Books for the free ARC!)
Deeply imaginative, but the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking of what a great movie it would make. Also, it’s cool that everything was scientifically-backed, but getting math equations explained to you page after page after page gets boring when you, like me, are not a math person. 3/5 wagging tails.