Itty Bitty Book Reviews
Hey ya’ll, Amanda here! I don’ t know about the rest of you, but sometimes I tear through books like crazy – reading 3 or 4 a week – and sometimes I hit a drought and don’t read more than a book or two a month. Recently, I’ve been on quite the reading spree and since we here at Girls in the Stacks love writing reviews, I figured I’d sit down and write a few. Then I realized….I just can’t! I’ve read too many in the last couple of months to properly review them all, so I’m going to be doing some Itty Bitty Book Reviews for you. One paragraph reviews for as many books as that stood out to me that I’ve read in the last 60 days! It’s easier on me, and it’ll be easier on you too, I promise!
Here we go!
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published March 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
This is a funny, funny novel by a first-time author. But it is not for the easily offended or faint of heart! Greg Gaines is that kid in high school that everyone knows but isn’t close to anyone – except his friend Earl. When an old flame of Greg’s is diagnosed with leukemia, Greg is guilted by his mom into spending time with the “dying girl”, Rachel. The story follows the relationship of Greg, Earl, and Rachel and how Greg and Earl’s amateur film making antics affect Rachel. Again, funny, funny book that at points made me put it down so I could wipe tears of laughter from my eyes. The only part that disappointed me was the end.
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Published Mar 2012 by Candlewick Press
I loved this book’s predecessor, Finnikin of the Rock. That book quickly became one of my favorite YA novels, mostly because it really wasn’t YA. The fantasy elements were superb, it was a unique tale that reminded me so much of my beloved questing novels like The Lord of the Rings (and now I’m not counting the 20-some page Council of Elrond scene) and Marchetta’s writing style instantly hit me. But this book – oh man did I have expectations for it. So much so that I preordered it as an ebook. I never do that! Unfortunately, everything that I loved about the first book was missing in the sequel. The returning characters had lost their appeal, and the new characters (especially Quintana, the revered teenaged queen who was supposed to bring about a male heir for the kingdom) really turned me off of this book. I wound up hating almost every character, including Froi and Quitana, so much that it was almost painful to open the book back up after staying away from it for a few days. Despite all that, this book cannot deter my love for Finnikin of the Rock. Maybe I should have reviewed that one instead….
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Published Mar 2012 by Orbit
It’s a truly sad thing when a beloved book series ends. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series had me from the first book, Soulless. And I will say right now, if you haven’t read this series, DO IT. Now. This is one of the few series where I’ve loved every book, eagerly awaited the next installment, and got rather sad when it all ended. Timeless is the last book in this series and I was really hoping that Carriger would do her characters justice. She most definitely did. Without giving away the book, whether you haven’t gotten that far in the series or you haven’t read the books at all, it’s a fresh take on steampunk/romance/comedy/supernatural mysteries that can leave you holding your side, on the edge of your seat, and a little hot under the collar (if you get my drift). Fabulous high society high jinks, great fashion, fantastic romance and thrilling plots…these books make me happy.
Unraveled by Courtney Milan
Published Dec 2011 by author
This is the *the book* the got me re-interested in reading Regency and period romance novels. On a lark, I saw the ebook for a ridiculous low price a few months back, read the description and a few reviews and thought, “What the heck, I’ll try it.” I am so glad I did! Milan is a distinct voice in romance novels – her heroes have some definite flaws and her heroines are most certainly NOT the swooning, simpering kind. Smite Turner, town magistrate, doesn’t like being lied to. He’s a man of justice and principle. So when a woman he’s seen before in his courtroom comes in disguised and speaks up for a young boy put on trial for theft, his interests – and ire- are piqued. Miranda Darling, the girl in question, tries to scoot out of the courtroom before Turner recognizes her but she’s not fast enough; Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she defrauds the court again. Their relationship is an interesting one, especially because Turner can be a bit of a hard case. Both characters have fantastic backstories that are, while nigh improbable, not impossible. And I loved all the tension between Turner and Darling – and not all of it was romantic! Best of all, Milan writes some of the most passionate, and in my opinion, tasteful romance scenes. This is the third book in the Turner series, so if you enjoy this one, definitely pick up Unveiled and Unclaimed.
And just to wrap this up, I’ve read lots of other books during the last few months but these were the standouts (for better or worse!) for me. I always re-read a few things too; this time, I went back and re-read The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy (I will convert some of you on that book, I swear!) and Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
Since I just looked up both of those titles on Goodreads, I saw that the last book in the Monstrumologist series, The Final Descent, now has a publish date. Next September. I am so thrilled it’s been announced…but next year?!? That kills me!
And I want to hear from you! Have you read any of these books? Agree or disagree with my reviews? Got a book to recommend? Hit me up in the Comments section!