Tag: three stars


Meh Monday: Eeny Meeny

Posted 22 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Meh Monday: Eeny MeenyEeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge
Published by Penguin on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Crime, Fiction, General, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 416
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense....

So, this book isn’t good, it’s not bad, it just kind of is. I suppose that Eeny Meeny is a pretty decent airplane read. A little bit gory, a little bit suspenseful, but mostly just good grisly fun. Don’t go into it expecting to find anything deep and important, or any insight, or needed to analyze anything and you’ll probably have a good time (if suspense/horror is your genre of choice).

I liked the lead character, Detective Inspector Helen Grace, she’s strong but flawed. Also like most of the characters in this novel, not terribly developed, but maybe just enough. One thing that took me by surprise about Eeny Meeny was the depth of feeling I had for the characters at the end. As I just said the characters weren’t terribly well developed, but Arlidge somehow still made me feel for them at the end.

Like I said, you could do worse on an airplane.

What about you, Reader? What’s your genre of choice? Tell me about your ‘light’ reading.

April

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Release Day Review: The Bookseller

Posted 3 March, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Release Day Review: The BooksellerThe Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Published by Harper Collins on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 352
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A mesmerizingly powerful debut novel about the ways in which past choices can irrevocably define the present—and the bittersweet confrontation of what might have been1962: It may be the Swinging Sixties in New York, but in Denver it's different: being a single gal over thirty in this city is almost bohemian. Still, thirty-eight-year-old Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She was involved, once—with a doctor named Kevin—but when things didn't work out the way she had hoped, she decided to chart her own path. Now she dedicates herself to the bookstore she runs with her best friend, Frieda, returning home each evening to her cozy apartment. Without a husband expecting dinner, she can enjoy last-minute drinks after work with her friends; without children who need to get ready for school, she can stay up all night reading with her beloved cat, Aslan, by her side.Then the dreams begin.1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They live in a picture-perfect home in a suburban area of Denver, close to their circle of friends. It's the ideal place in which to raise their children. Katharyn's world is exactly what Kitty once believed she wanted . . . but it exists only when she sleeps.At first, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. Even though there is no Frieda, no bookstore, no other familiar face, Kitty becomes increasingly reluctant to open her eyes and abandon Katharyn's alluring life.But with each visit to her dreamworld, it grows more real. As the lines between the two worlds begin to blur, Kitty faces an uncertain future. What price must she pay to stay? What is the cost of letting go?

This is one of those books that I had a hard time defining.
I know it’s not popular to like labels or categories, but I feel better when I can categorize a book.


I liked this book. But…. butbutbut…  I wanted it to be more. To be deeper and more important. Of course as a book blogger I love books about booksellers and people who love books, but this novel seemed to deteriorate into something else, into (dare I say it…) chick lit. Which is fine. But I wanted more. 

Regardless, this book is still a fun read — I can’t really complain about it as a genre novel. I loved the pull and push between Katharyn and Kitty, I loved the idea of multi-verses (which while not really explored, is what it felt like to this nerd). 

This is a hard book for me. I liked how there was tension between Kitty’s dream world and Katharyn’s real world. It turns pretty predictable rather quickly – but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the read. This is a good genre novel that is fun and compelling. You definitely could do worse on a plane. 

Recommendation: If you find it in an airport bookstore with nothing else to read but trashy magazines… buy it. If you like chick-lit as a rule… buy it. If you’re randomly bored and you find it at the library… check it out.

A happier review comes from Jennine at My Life in Books.

Let’s talk about genres, Reader. What makes a book ‘chick lit’ to you? What makes a book ‘genre’ to you?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Feminist Friday: The Paying Guests (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 27 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Feminist Friday: The Paying Guests (A Tournament of Books Selection)The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Published by Penguin on September 16th 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Literary
Pages: 576
Goodreads
three-stars

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

What I liked about this book was the way it shook up gender roles within the narrative of historical fiction. I liked that Frances wanted to be independent and live on her own and have a real career outside of being a housewife. I liked that the first ‘friend’ Frances had actually realized that vision. 

What I can’t say is if this gives an accurate portrayal of post WWI English life, the NYT says that it does, so maybe my issue is that I’m not a hard-core historical fiction fan, nor am I a fan of romance. I’d categorize The Paying Guests under both of these labels, with a little murder/mayhem thrown in.

Look. This book is a perfect example of a well written book that just wasn’t for me. I only picked it up because of the Tournament of Books and even then was hesitant to do so because I knew enough about the novel to feel like it wasn’t in my usual wheelhouse. (This is not to say that the reading made me uncomfortable in any way, just that it’s not on my interest radar.) 

So. If you’re a historical fiction buff with a penchant for a little romance on this side, this might be for you. 

How will this fare in the Tournament? I think that it’s a close call with it paired up against A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall – but I think that ultimately A Brave Man will prevail out of the first round. We shall see.

Fabulous differing perspectives found from:
Michael at Literary Exploration
Catherine at Gilmore Guide to Books
Andi at Estella’s Revenge

How did you feel about The Paying Guests, Reader? When was the last time you read outside of your genre wheelhouse?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 25 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (A Tournament of Books Selection)A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
Published by Harper Collins on July 8th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, Literary, Sagas
Pages: 384
Goodreads
three-stars

A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall is an exuberant literary debut--a novel of real ideas and a playful examination of our in-between world, one that explores the nature of family, identity, art, and belief while also marking the introduction of an original new voice in contemporary fiction.Owen Burr is the six-foot-eight, Olympics-bound senior captain of the Stanford University water polo team. In his final collegiate match, however, he suffers a catastrophic injury that destroys his hopes and dreams, flattening his entire world into two dimensions. His identity as an athlete erased but his ambition indelible, he defies his father, a classics professor who lives in a "cave" of his own making, and moves to Berlin with naive plans to make conceptual art. Then he disappears.Without a single clue as to his son's location, Dr. Burr embarks upon a tour of public lectures from Greece to Germany to Iceland in an attempt to draw out his endangered son. Instead, he foments a violent uprising.

This book was a sleeper for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did – but the truth is I found it extremely enjoyable. Honestly, between you and me, I saw ‘athlete’ in the description and stopped reading the description. I’m such an anti-sports snob. I know. Get over myself.

The writing was excellent, the characters were strong and well developed. I found Owen’s living in Berlin without a penny to his name to be a little unbelievable, but this didn’t trouble me enough to ruin the enjoyment of the book. Owen was also a bit of a little shit, but I think he grew throughout the novel. 

As far as Prof. Burr (Owen’s dad) went – his story was quite the wild ride as well, despite the two narratives being vastly different worked well to compliment each other Prof. Burr’s disastrous speech in Athens (all undertaken to help him look for Owen) and Owen’s disastrous ‘debut’ into the art world parallel nicely.   

This book is a commentary on the intersection of art and life, which made it very compelling to me. I also loved the commentary on modern art and what drives the prices of it. I’ve always been a big fan of modern art museums, if for nothing else than finding the absurdity in them. Tate Modern in London is by far my favorite – probably because during one visit there I found a display of a hermetically sealed can in which the artist had preserved his feces. (If anyone knows the artist or the name of the piece, hit me up because I’ve long since forgotten it.) But, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t share my love for The Centre Pompidou in Paris too. 

Owen and Prof. Burr’s journey into Iceland was a bit surreal as well – but again – I felt like it fit with the book and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and descriptions of Iceland. It actually inspired me to finally read Burial Rites. Absolutely a fabulous debut.

Art! What a glorious thing. What about you, Reader? Do you have a penchant for modern art? Or any other visual art styles?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Silent Saturday: Silence Once Begun (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 21 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Silent Saturday: Silence Once Begun (A Tournament of Books Selection)Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on January 28th 2014
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Historical, Literary
Pages: 224
Goodreads
three-stars

Jesse Ball’s Silence Once Begun is an astonishing novel of unjust conviction, lost love, and a journalist’s obsession. Over the course of several months, eight people vanish from their homes in the same Japanese town, a single playing card found on each door. Known as the “Narito Disappearances,” the crime has authorities baffled—until a confession appears on the police’s doorstep, signed by Oda Sotatsu, a thread salesman. Sotatsu is arrested, jailed, and interrogated—but he refuses to speak. Even as his parents, brother, and sister come to visit him, even as his execution looms, and even as a young woman named Jito Joo enters his cell, he maintains his vow of silence. Our narrator, a journalist named Jesse Ball, is grappling with mysteries of his own when he becomes fascinated by the case. Why did Sotatsu confess? Why won’t he speak? Who is Jito Joo? As Ball interviews Sotatsu’s family, friends, and jailers, he uncovers a complex story of heartbreak, deceit, honor, and chance.

I think I might be an outlier on my feelings about this book. While I appreciate the structure and style of this novel I have a thing about gimmicks. The gimmick here is that journalist “Jesse Ball” is obsessed with the “true story” of Oda Sotatsu. So I’m irritated right off the bat – what’s true? What’s imagined? Is this historical fiction or straight up fiction? 

That being said, the writing is quite lovely in this novel and the structure is unique. Told (mostly) in a series of interviews with people connected with Sotatsu, it felt a little like Solomon the Peacemaker (which you almost definitely have not read, but totally should). Outside the gimmick the story itself is compelling enough until you get to the end. Here I’m going to put a big fat…




Kind of Spoiler Alert
 
I’m sorry kids, but the ending was flat out lifted from that awful Kevin Spacey movie The Life of David Gale, or maybe David Gale‘s ending was lifted from the maybe real-life occurrences outlined in Ball’s novel – either way – all I could think of was that movie. Unfortunately the motivation and execution of the characters in the movie were a lot more plausible than that of those in Ball’s novel. 
 
Done Possibly Ruining Your Reading Experience
 
 
 
 
 
As far as the Tournament goes, this is pitted against Redeployment in the first round – which is interesting because Redeployment reads as stories that should be true (and probably are in spirit) while Silence Once Begun is claimed to be a true story (maybe it somewhat is, I haven’t researched it) as sort of a gimmick, but otherwise fails to really reflect reality. What’s interesting about the two novels is that they are both protest literature of sorts. Obviously I’m rooting for Redeployment and I feel like it will probably win the first round over this – but you never know what those crazy judges are going to do. 
 
Have you read this one, Reader? Do you know what I mean by ‘protest literature’? Do you have any examples? 
 
 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Annihilation: A Tournament of Books Selection

Posted 13 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Annihilation: A Tournament of Books SelectionAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Macmillan on February 4th 2014
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Literary, Science Fiction
Pages: 195
Goodreads
three-stars

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.     The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.     They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

This is a great horror novel for people who don’t like horror novels. By that I mean that this novel is delightfully atmospheric without a lot of blood or killer clowns jumping out at you. Some readers may find the story to be a bit slow – but I thought that Vandermeer did a great job in creating a slow burn, but be warned Reader – this is the first of a trilogy (Southern Reach trilogy) and honestly that’s the downside. 

As a Tournament of Books selection – this doesn’t stand alone very well (the good news is that all three books in the trilogy were published in quick succession and therefore are all available). There is a slow building to a climax and then … more mystery. Which is fine – just go get the other two books (or have them on hand before you start). I liked the fact that the expedition was made up completely of women, which enabled Vandermeer to avoid the common sci-fi/horror trope of women being there solely for the men to rescue. 

The characters are interesting and compelling. What’s the biologist’s deal? What the hell is the psychologist’s problem?

Overall, this is an incredibly readable book, but it can’t be read as a standalone – there are just too many questions left open. Area X is described in detail so that the reader can almost feel it closing in around her. 

Added bonus, each book in the trilogy is also short enough (no more than 350 pages) that they can be read in just a few sittings so ideally a reader can get through the whole thing in about a week or so.

As far as The Tournament of Books goes – I don’t see this one lasting long because it simply can’t stand on its own.

Also, here’s a great tell all from Vandermeer in the Atlantic on his writing of The Southern Reach Trilogy. (Spoilers)

Finally, Michael at Literary Exploration has an excellent review on Annihilation here.

What about you, Reader? How do you feel about atmospheric novels? Read any good ones lately? 

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Could’ve Been Worse Wednesday: Suffer the Children

Posted 11 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Could’ve Been Worse Wednesday: Suffer the ChildrenSuffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 20th 2014
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Horror
Pages: 352
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

.SO MANY MOUTHS TO FEEDIt begins on an ordinary day: children around the world are dying. All children, everywhere—a global crisis beyond any parent’s worst nightmare. Then, a miracle beyond imagining: three days later, they return. Shattered mothers and fathers see their sons and daughters happy and whole once more, playing and laughing as before—but only when they feed. They hunger for blood…and they can’t get enough upon which to feast. Without it, they die again. How far would you go to keep someone you love alive?

I can’t really complain too much about this novel. It’s never going to win awards or be on the ‘best of’ lists, but the premise is novel enough that I found it to be a decent ‘fluffy’ read. It’s a genre novel through and through – my biggest issue is the characterization of women as mothers and nothing else – but again – it’s genre fiction so I’m trying not to read too much into it.

The writing isn’t fabulous but again, the premise was unique enough to keep me reading. The dialogue was particularly stilted. DiLouie writes from a number of perspectives – he might have been better suited to stick with one character throughout the whole novel and figure out a different way to flesh out the world. The pediatrician David had the most well written sections and seemed to have the most character development. (Though not necessarily the most striking changes.)  

The world building is well done, even if the ‘scientific’ information regarding Herod’s Syndrome is rather scant (why doesn’t it affect adults at all? why did it strike all the children in the world over 36 hours? what activated it?) the stuff that happens after the ‘resurrection’ is actually pretty believable and quite frankly, pretty horrific. I don’t think that is is necessarily a novel for those that are faint of heart – but it’s a pretty decent horror/apocalypse/twist on vampires genre novel. 

You could do worse on a plane if you’re a horror fiction lover. 

Evil children scare the shit out of me, Reader. What about you? 

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Wednesday Whimsy (and Heartbreak): Lost & Found

Posted 28 January, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Wednesday Whimsy (and Heartbreak): Lost & FoundLost & Found by Brooke Davis
Published by Penguin on January 22nd 2015
Genres: Family Life, Fiction, General, Humorous
Pages: 320
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never returns.Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.

Can we start with the cover? I adore it. That and Monika the Book-Pusher (she really needs to just rename her blog) are the two main reasons that I picked this one up. For the most part this book is delightful. My heart broke continuously for poor Millie after she was abandoned by her mother. I spent most of the book terrified on what would eventually become of her.

Lost & Found is told from three perspectives: Millie, Agatha, and Karl. For the most part this technique works very well for this book – the reader is able to enjoy and understand the backstory of each character without it getting too much in the way of the central story at hand – that is finding Millie’s wayward mother. While I enjoyed the sections narrated by Millie the most, so innocent and so weird (in a good way!) Agatha’s story was a close second for me. 

As sweet as Millie is there is something a bit haunting about the sections written from Agatha and Karl’s perspective, they are both haunted by the simple fact that they are aged – something they could never properly conceive during the prime of their lives. Despite this sense of haunting their characters are fun, quirky, and unexpectedly delightful.

As much as this story is about both the elderly and the extremely young being invisible to our society at large it’s also about grief. All of the characters have lost someone – how a person chooses to handle this grief is something I really feel is explored quite well by Davis. I particularly enjoyed the essay included at the end on her handling the grief of losing her mother.

For all the good in this book, I didn’t find it to be great. It’s definitely well worth the read but for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint it lacked the ‘it’ factor that makes me jump up and down and proclaim “EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK!”.  The characters are delightful, the subject matter is heartbreaking but still heartfelt… but there was still something missing for me.

I seem to be on an Australian author kick lately, purely by accident. There’s something fabulous for me about trying to figure out which English speaking country the story is located in. (Spoiler: it’s Australia) 

Excellent reviews also at:
A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Words for Worms

What about you, Reader? Have you read anything lately highlighting the problem our society has in rendering both the very young and very old nearly invisible? Tackling aging or grief?



April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Thursday Thriller: Woman With a Gun

Posted 4 December, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Thursday Thriller: Woman With a GunWoman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin
Published by Harper Collins on December 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 304
Goodreads
two-half-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

At a retrospective on the work of acclaimed photographer Kathy Moran, aspiring novelist Stacey Kim is fascinated by the exhibition's centerpiece: the famous Woman with a Gun, which launched the artist's career. Shot from behind, the enigmatic black-and-white image depicts a woman in a wedding dress standing on the shore at night, facing the sea. But this is no serene, romantic portrait. In her right hand, which is hidden behind her back, she holds a six-shooter.The picture captures Stacey's imagination and raises a host of compelling questions: Who is this woman? Is this a photograph of her on her wedding day? Does she plan to kill herself or someone else? Obsessed with finding answers, she soon discovers the identity of the woman: a suspect in a ten-year-old murder investigation. Convinced that proof of the woman's guilt, or innocence, is somehow connected to the photograph, Stacey embarks on a relentless investigation.Drawn deeper into the case, Stacey finds that everyone involved has a different opinion of the woman's culpability. But the one person who may know the whole story—Kathy Moran—isn't talking. Stacey must find a way to get to the reclusive photographer, and get her to talk, or the truth about what happened that day will stay forever hidden in the shadows.

This was my first foray into any of Phillip Margolin’s novels. Woman With a Gun is a nice fluffy ‘whodunnit’ novel. The photograph acts as a unique device to spark the action of the frame story which eventually propels the rest of the story line.

I found the transitions between the time periods to be a bit clunky and would have preferred some more elegant segues. But that issue detracts very little from the action. This is very much a plot driven novel,  but the characters are well developed enough for the genre. 

The story itself is enjoyable enough and as I said about the photograph is a unique touch. This is not Literature with a capital ‘L’ but that doesn’t stop it from being an entertaining read. Even though I saw the big reveal coming from about halfway through the book, it beats Skymall magazine on a plane any day.

Have you read any Margolin’s novels, Readers? I hear this one is different than his others. Thoughts?




I’m excited to be participating in the tour for Phillip Margolin’s Woman With a Gun, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here and the other fabulous posts that have been written on it! 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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More to it Monday: The Fault in Our Stars

Posted 24 November, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings, Reviews

More to it Monday: The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Published by Penguin Pages: 180
three-half-stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

So, if you’re stalking my Goodreads account, (I know you must be) you’ll noticed that I started and finished this title yesterday (in between finishing The Magician King and starting The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (my reading mojo is to die for right now, my blogging mojo… not so much). You’ll also notice that I gave it a big fat three stars only.

So, you’re thinking if I only gave it three stars and my blogging mojo is shit right now, how come I’m up at 3:07 a.m. blogging about the damn book? Good question.

Let’s start with my overall first impressions. Like Monika (I’m not sure if she’s said this publicly, but I’m outing her), I went into this novel with fairly low expectations. Why? Let’s make a quick list: 1. I’m generally bored of YA. 2. This book has been hyped to the heavens and back for years now. 3. Romance and feely-feel novels generally aren’t part of my wheelhouse.

So, I came, I read, and found that it was better than I expected, it was compelling enough to read in a single day, the writing was strong, and it had a good story. So why the three stars? Well. For one, while it was all those things that I just listed it didn’t really blow me away or make me feel all the feels. There was no misting up for me and while I enjoyed the ‘twist’ there just wasn’t enough ‘wow-factor’ to make this anything other than a well-written story for me.

But I just woke up, I was dreaming about this book. Despite having been wrapped up in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy (those books just keep getting better) for at least a week, at least six to seven hundred pages behind me, this is the book my brain chose to dream about – why? I don’t know, (I’m not a damn psychologist) but it makes me feel like there might be something more to this book. What that is, I really can’t say at this moment – but I’ll let you know if anything other than a coughing fit in the middle of the night and the name ‘Augustus’ in my brain wake me up.

Yes, I also realize this is less of a review and more of the ramblings of a crazy person at three a.m.

So, what about you Reader? Do you ever have books you didn’t think make much of an impression on you at the time come and haunt you later? What about books that may not be intended to be haunting? On second thought, did you find The Fault in Our Stars to be a haunting novel? 



April @ The Steadfast Reader

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