Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What I read in December...

The Book Challenge has started!  GAME ON.

Life According to Steph

Rating scale:

1/5 - Hated it, didn't finish.
2/5 - Tolerated it on principle to finish, didn't like it.
3/5 - Eh, didn't love it, didn't hate it.  Had some good parts/kept me interested/finished it on principle.
4/5 - I liked it.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

Skimmers, stick with the bold text (TL;DR* parts).
PS. Possible spoilers included in reviews.

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty  4/5  (audiobook)
I almost quit this book at the start because it seemed to be about exactly the same thing as What Alice Forgot, children and school and upper middle class parents.  I really dislike it when authors use a formula to write books (Nicholas Sparks), but I was encouraged to press out, that it would get good.  My enablers were right.  It got really good.

The meat of the book was talking about the abuse and sexual assault characters and their dealing with their problems.  It was good and bad for me, but I was glad I was reading it.  I definitely wasn't expecting the twist.  I had my bets who who died and who did it, but I WAS WRONG.  So, so, wrong... kinda.

TL;DR: It took a while to get into, but once you sorted out who was who and we got into the actual meat of the book, it was good.

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date - Katie Heaney  2/5  (ebook with questionable formatting (my fault))
This book felt like a teenage girl rambling at your for hours about her dating life, or lack there of. I wanted to be sympathetic, but at the same time I started getting annoyed. I did appreciate the end when she reiterated that she wasn't a Lighthouse and she would continue to be herself over having a significant other.

TL;DR: I wanted to like this book.  I mean, I get quirky, I do quirky.  But this felt like a book where she reassured herself the entire time that it was ok that she had never had a boyfriend.

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak  4/5 (ebook)
This book was really hyped up to me.  So many people LURVED this book.  I expected it to be more moving than it was.  Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the book.  Maybe the best part for me was that I was hooked from the beginning.  I didn't have to endure more than 1 chapter of being confused or lost about what was happening and who was who and what was going on.  I guess that is a benefit of historical fiction.  Despite Duolingo saying I'm 41% fluent in German, I still had to rely almost 100% on the translations for the German words.  I was disappointed in myself.

Set during WW2, it's predictable what is going to happen.  There will be Jews, Germans, and war.  I was not disappointed by this.  In fact, I rather enjoyed it.  I felt like the ending was right on time, but I needed more.  I wanted more Liesel.  I did feel like the ending set up for another book about adult Liesel, and despite my loathing of sequels, I'd read it.

But truthfully, I expected to cry reading this book and I didn't and I was disappointed by that.  I'm sure that's not a common sentiment, but it's not easy being green me.

TL;DR:  WW2 book that hooks you right away and doesn't feel like an epic tome.  It might stomp you in the feelz, but it might not.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) - Felicia Day  3/5 (audiobook)
I didn't know how Felicia Day was when I started this.  This book was recommended to me because I'm a former WoW player, so Kimmi knew I'd be nerdy enough to keep up. I think I did pretty good.  I really expected to get more about WoW, and I guess there were themes throughout since her show was based on the game, but having never seen The Guild, most of the references were kind of lost on me.

Really, the last 2 chapters were the best, IMO.  She gets real about internet bullying and believing in yourself.  I think to enjoy this book you have to be familiar with the life of a gamer and have seen some of Felicia's Day's stuff.  As an outsider, it wasn't a bad read (or listen), but there were times that the side-chatter got a bit annoying, but it seemed legit and not overly embellished to prove her points about her awkward personality.

TL;DR: If you love Felicia Day, you'll love this book.  If you're a general nerd, you might love this book.  If you're an awkward person, you'll love this book.

In Progress:

On Deck:

*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. I generally don't read historical fiction and I rarely read books set in WWII, specifically Holocaust related stuff, but I did read The Book Thief and really, really enjoyed it. I liked that it was told from Death's perspective; made for interesting reading.

    Big Little Lies is my favorite Moriarty book I've read. I'm curious to see what HBO does with it.


  2. So glad that you liked Big Little Lies! I loved it but What Alice Forgot was my favorite. I am with Jana and cant wait to see what HBO does with the book! I need to read Book Thief, it has been on the list forever.

  3. I really liked Day's book, but had kind of the opposite problem- I'm not much of a gamer so lots of the book was just not applicable for me. Her style and general outlook of nerd culture today was interesting though.

  4. Hooray for Erin's reading challenge starting! I love Liane Moriarty's books so much, and I totally didn't know what to think when I first started reading Big Little Lies too. So glad that you liked it too! And yes, The Book Thief will give you all the feels.

  5. LOVE Big Little Lies! I own The Book Thief but I have not been able to get into it. I'll keep trying, though.

  6. I meant to tell you...so I'm glad for this post to remind me...actually, I meant to ask is Teh German a reader? Because Markus Zusak's father told him that he liked The Book Thief even better in German. Markus was like "gee, thanks dad, you like the translator's version better than my own."

  7. I hate when I get an book from Netgalley and the formatting is too whacked for me to read it.

    I loved The Book Thief.

  8. I have struggled to finish The Book Thief, and I really don't know why. I like it, but I just don't turn to it. I AM going to finish it though, and probably soon! I was sooo captivated by Big Little Lies - it was my first Moriarty read and I couldn't get over how much I needed to know the ending.

  9. The Book Thief has been on my list FOREVER. I need to get to that, and also read some Moriarty. I'm hearing so much about her books! :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  10. I haven't read Felicia's Day's book, but I have seen her in Supernatural and something else, but not her actual show, and I don't know if I'm nerdy enough to enjoy it, but I like her, so we'll see.
    I am one of those people who loved the book thief. i cried in it, every time i read it! i totally get the disappointment of not crying when you expect to. it's kind of a let down.

  11. The Book Thief is one of my top favorite books. Never Have is on my shelf to read but it won't be at the top of my list. I was on the fence about it anyways. I hope you are enjoying Tranquility. It was one of my top reads for 2015.


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