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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mini Reviews: 6 Books

I hope that you all are enjoying your summer (or, for those in the other hemisphere, your winter) as much as I am.  Things have been super busy here BUT I am reading some and definitely listening to lots of audio books.  Below are some quick thoughts on some of my latest finished books.  I didn't provide summaries because 1) most of these are books you've probably heard of, 2) I'm trying to keep this short so I actually get a post written, and 3) you can click on the titles to read the summaries at GoodReads.com.


Stardust, by Neil Gaiman - audio, 6.5 hours, narrated by the author - I'm not a huge Gaiman fan so this was actually the first book by him that I've read/listened to.  I had seen the movie and loved it so I figured I'd give it a shot.  All in all I enjoyed it.  It wasn't anything that blew me out of the water but it was entertaining and original and I'm glad I listened to it.






Crossed, by Ally Condie - ARC from BEA (no idea of the page count as I don't have the book anymore) - I enjoyed Matched (liked but not loved) and I wanted to see what happened to the characters next. I picked up this book to send to Amanda but of course I had to read it first. :) Although I did like it I also felt that not a whole lot happened; it definitely had the feel of a "second in a trilogy" book.  I'm not particularly invested in the series but I will read the final book when it comes out.


The Girl Who Fell From the SkyThe Girl Who Fell From The Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow - 264 pages - This book was not what I expected AT ALL but it was strangely fascinating.  I didn't necessarily love it but I was totally intrigued by it.  What I did love was the examination of race and class that the author showed through the main character and her interactions with those around her.  I need to look up some info about the author and see if her writing was influenced by her own experiences with race in any way ...



Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian - audio - DNF - This is a book that I SHOULD love. It has everything that I enjoy - historical detail, epic adventure, good narration - but I just couldn't get into it.  I listened for about 5 hours before finally calling it quits.  Of course, the fact that I fell asleep in the movie version might have given me a clue ...



Click image to view full coverA Woman of Independent Means, Elizabeth Forysthe Hailey - audio, 1.9 hours, narrated by Barbara Rush -  I really wanted to love this story of a real woman in the early 1900s making her way through marriage and family while retaining her independence.  Unfortunately I found that I really didn't like this woman. This became very clear to me via her dealings with her adult daughter late in the book; I couldn't imagine having to deal with this woman as my own mother!


Don't Breathe a Word
Don't Breathe A Word, by Jennifer McMahon - 464 pages - I saw a ton of reviews for this book over the past few months so when I got a copy in a BEA swag bag I decided to give it a try. I don't usually read "missing children" books but I was intrigued by the fantasy element in this one. It kept my attention and parts of it slightly gave me the creeps but overall it was just okay.  The problem for me what that I wanted more of the fantasy than I got.




Have you read any of these?  What did you think of them?

Hopefully I'll have more short reviews soon ...

17 comments:

unfinishedperson.com said...

How do you know if you don't like Gaiman if you hadn't read anything by him? :) You should try Neverwhere, though. I liked that one better than Stardust (the movie with Robert DeNiro was better than the book, in this case, mainly because of the addition of DeNiro's character).

Heather J. said...

unfinishedperson - It's more that I don't find anything he's written to be appealing in any way. And he gives me the creeps too! :) But I'm planning to try American Gods so I haven't written him off entirely.

Kailana said...

Gaiman is an author that I don't entirely love, but that I still enjoy reading. It makes no sense, but I keep reading him!

Amanda said...

I tend to like Gaiman's young adult or children's fiction, but not his adult stuff. I *hated* American Gods. My dad read it at the same time as me and he hated it too, interestingly. Completely coincidental at that.

I felt the same way about Crossed. It wasn't really until the midpoint of the book that it got at all interesting for me and it took me days to read it...I thought it was just me and my blah reading mood but I guess not.

bermudaonion said...

It's been years since I read A Woman of Independent Means, but I remember loving it. Sorry to see it didn't work for you.

Amy said...

Love your comment on Master and Commander that you fell asleep during the movie! lol. I felt the same about Crossed too. Liked but meh.

Heather J. said...

Kailana - Too funny! Maybe it's because he's so unusual ...

Amanda - I just downloaded American Gods so we'll see if I like it any more than you did. Glad to know I'm not alone on Crossed. I didn't want to give too much away before you had a chance to read the book, but I felt like the whole thing was almost filler between the first and last book. Sort of like "we have to get from book 1 to book 3 but can't let too much happen or there won't be a book 3" if you know what I mean.

bermudaonion - I really WANTED to love it too. :(

Amy - I thought I'd love M&C but apparently I was quite wrong. LOL

Andi said...

Great mini-reviews! I'm looking forward to Don't Breathe a Word and The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.

Ryan G said...

As a quick sidenote, I loved American Gods but I haven't read Ansani Boys, though I own it.

What I liked about Don't Breathe a Word, was the "fantasy" aspect could be taken either way, as true fantasy or really messed up reality. I'm still not sure which I think it was. I guess I loved the ambiguity of it all.

Helen's Book Blog said...

What a great group of books. I was a bit disappointed by The Girl that Fell from the Sky and I still want to read Crossed

Heather J. said...

Andi - I hope you enjoy them both!

Ryan - I took the fantasy at face value, especially based on that last scene with the baby - that was one of the best parts of the book IMO, even though it was totally horrifying to consider.

Helen - I admit that Girl Who Fell wasn't quite what I expected but it was interesting all the same. I hope you enjoy Crossed!

Alison's Book Marks said...

Oh, Heather, you're not having much luck with your book choices lately. :( *Read The Weird Sisters, Legend, or The Night Circus!

I have only read Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I loved, but his adult stuff hasn't appealed to me enough to pick one up.

I went crazy for Matched - right book, right time - but I am afraid I'm going to be disappointed in Crossed. I'm bringing it on vacation with me, so I'll have the verdict in a few weeks.

I hope your reading luck picks up soon!

Alyce said...

I haven't read any of these, but I really want to read Crossed when it comes out since I liked the first book in the series.

Laura Fabiani said...

I haven't read any of these books but I would like to read Matched, the first in the series.

Heather J. said...

Alison - They haven't been great but they haven't been horrible either. I'm sure something good will grab me soon. :)

Alyce - I hope you enjoy Crossed!

Laura - Matched was pretty good - hope you like it!

Marg said...

I tried to listen to the audio of Master and Commander a while ago and it was mind numbingly boring! Not sure if I am ready to try reading the book or if I am still too scarred!

Heather J. said...

Marg - I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

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