September 24, 2015

Mini thoughts on books read

I don't write book reviews. That is, I don't know how to write book reviews. All I can do is point out what I like and don't like about a book. So these are not reviews, these are mini thoughts.

01/ Of things gone astray by Janina Matthewson
This book is more like stories with a loose theme of people losing things. I think it's more fun this way then a regular novel would have been. I love the writing and the wacky characters. It's just the type of book I lean toward - some quirkiness, some humor, some sadness and just a bit of fantasy.
02/ Wonder at the edge of the world by Nicole Helget 
I like the book enough but I'm not sure I would read it again. I guess I was hoping for something great to happen at the end and that Wonder (that is her name) would've changed a bit, grow in some way because of the journey she went through but she didn't. Or maybe I just didn't catch it. Wonder is quite a character in her ways - caring, strong, short tempered, brass even but I like her character. My expectations may have been too high but the gorgeous cover is just so, well, gorgeous that I had expected more from the book. It's not a scary book at all but it does have certain elements that might be scary though I was a bit put off by the process of how whales were being catpured - it's the one thing some readers might not like reading about. But if you're not afraid of shrunken heads, murderous pirates, whales, sailors, immortal beings then you'll like this book.
03/ Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery
The book is okay but somehow I just cannot relate to Emily. And I'm ashamed to admit I might not even like her.  Perhaps it's because she is far too young in the book. Perhaps I read this at an age far too old for this book. I guess I also just didn't like the slow pacing. It seems slow to me but it's probably perhaps I read off and on and I may have waited half a year to finish the second half of the book. I only pick this up because I didn't quite like Anne of Green Gables and people seems to said this was better but I just don't know.
04/ Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu with drawings by Erin McGuire
It's a nice enough of a retelling of the snow queen story but really, the journey was kind of boring and the ending was... kind of boring but I was never a fan of the snow queen story anyway. The drawings by Erin McGuire is the only thing that I can say I truly enjoyed. But I must say this - if you're an adult and you read this, you might be bore by it just like me but as a kid, you'll probably enjoy it.
05/ She is not invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
I like the mystery and the coincidence idea was intriguing but the final answer, the truth of it all was kind of a letdown. They build up all these brilliant ideas/mysteries and they have these two brilliant and likable characters and yet, in the end, there really was not much of a mystery. Read it for the characters, read it for the journey but don't expect too much for the ending. I do love the hardcover cover. The paperback cover was just so YA. It used to be that hardcovers and paperbacks has the same design but now paperbacks are redesigned to look nothing like the hardcover which I really wouldn't mind it if the hardcover was bad to start with but for this book, I was so put off by the paperback cover, I just wonder why the redesign.
06/ Ophelia and the Marvelous boy by Karen Foxlee
Another retelling of snow queen, I don't know how I ended with two snow queen stories but that's that. The writing is wonderful, the story is wonderful, the ending... almost wonderful. I really like Ophelia - she is young and very curious. She also has asthma and that was kind of odd to me at first but I think it adds to her fragility. I guess a heroine has to have some type of fault or disadvantage but her asthma was not used against her so I guess I just don't know why she should have it in the first place. I really like that there is this huge castle-like museum with tons of floors that is the main setting. It just seems like Ophelia could get into a lot of trouble just going from floor to floor but we are sort of limited to just a few. The book is great but there's just one thing - Spoilers ahead - highlight text to see it: I just wonder if you have the magical means to destroy someone, why do you use a sword instead?    I would read this book again someday just for the writing.
07/ One thing stolen by Beth Kephart
I love the writing and the story and the setting (Florence, Italy) and just about everything. This book is beautifully crafted. There are no unnecessary words nor unnecessary detours. There is just the girl and her voice. I would have love to hear her voice for the entire book but she has a problem with her mind and so the second half of the book is in her best friend's voice which strangely I think worked very well. In fact, the ending has a third perspective - a very short chapter - and it wasn't bad either. I just wish the book is a little longer. There is an open ended ending but a story like this really does not need an ending because like real life, you may never get the ending you want nor the solution to your problems. I highly recommend this book if not for the story then for the beautiful writing.
08/ Jackaby by William Ritter
Too much gore and blood for my taste but R. F. Jackaby is very much like Sherlock Holmes with some weirdness and I kind of like that. I also like that he has no nonsense about the things he sees and could see (i.e., the supernatural) and the casual way he works is almost like his reality is more the norm than the usual norm. I finished the book just because of Jackaby. I didn't really care for the narrator - Abigail Rook - she seems to be someone very assertive and yet, I guess there is this disbelief in her that I find unlikeable, I don't know. It wasn't a bad read but I wouldn't might if the ages were older and I think changing the ages wouldn't really change the book at all.
09/ Of beast and beauty by Stacey Jay
This book is being cited as a 'beauty and the beast' kind of story so I immediately wanted to read it and it was a good read. I'm not sure I like that this is told in three perspectives. I think only the two main perspectives (Gem and Isra) is enough.  I'm pretty certain with the third one gone, it would not hurt the story. But if the author really wanted to have three perspectives, I would suggest a different character, one that is more likable and has more of a story to tell - Isra's maid/friend Needle. Needle is mute but she can communicate with her hands. We only get some glances of her which is too bad because she is my favorite character in the book. Heck, if they told the whole story in her perspective, I wouldn't have minded it.
10/ Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon
I like the subtle language. It's almost quiet as if there is this calmness to the words. Even the mention of past memories is written like they belong to some quiet oasis or some place where words are turned down to a low volume which I like. You see, I seem to lean toward quiet books, quiet stories like these - calm, subtle, moving near the edge of the normal and the ordinary and yet, once in a while, leaping right over the edge and falling in toward quirky and the extraordinary but it is subtle and the words linger on and the characters lingers on and you hope there is happiness at the end of their journey. This book is like that. I already reread it and I still like it so it's definitely one of my favorite.
About Endings: It seems all I complain about is the ending but if the ending is bad, it kind of ruin the whole of the book doesn't it? But of course, some might say the ending is not important, it's the journey but I guess I'm one of those readers who likes good endings but especially the happy ones.

P. S. I did not link the book titles because I do not want to promote sites, rather, I think people should get their books their own way rather than making the choice for them. If you really want to know what the book is about, I'm sure you can research it yourself.

10 comments:

  1. wow you read a lot of books Lissa, and you have a lot of interesting thoughts about them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say a lot, these books were read in a span of 2 , maybe even 3 years, some were started last year & only finished this year, so it is not so much compare to other people.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. I like the sound of 'Snow Hunters' the best. I love the cover of the book as well! Thanks for sharing the books you have read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. snow hunters has become one of my favorite book, maybe you'll like it too.

      have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. I think you write wonderful reviews.
    I so enjoyed your expression of the last book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks. & thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. I'm really curious about numbers 8 and 9. I've got both on my shelf and am excited to eventually read them, plus anything that involves Sherlock Homes or a fairy tale and I'm all in! Sorry you didn't care for "Emily." I'm not sure if I've ever read an L.M. Montgomery novel, but I adore the "Anne" TV films. :)

    Just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting Dreaming Under the Same Moon, Lissa. Hope you enjoyed Hello, It's Me if you watched it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that was the main reason for picking up jackaby otherwise, I wouldn't even bother.

      thanks for the return visit, hope you have a lovely day.

      Delete
  5. I always love to get book recommendations, thank you so much for that! She is not invisible is on my reading list as well and now I know that i don't have to expect too much of the ending! :) I need to check out Of things gone astray! Sounds like a great book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. of things gone astray is definitely a fun read, I kept my copy so I can read it again someday.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. " -- Kurt Vonnegut