Tuesday, January 9, 2018

SUYB: December Books

Life According to Steph
Not being in school really frees up my reading time.  Well, that and finishing up a 55 hour audiobook.  I have, disappointingly, decided NOT to do Erin's Challenge this session because I don't want to add anymore stress to myself for the semester.  I will probably participate in the summer challenge because I will have a month and a half before school starts.  We shall see.

While this month looks impressive, it's really not.  2 of these books were at least halfway complete when I posted my last book post...

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.
3.5/5 - I liked parts of it.
4/5 - I liked the whole thing.
4.5/5 - I liked it a lot, but not sure I'd read it again.
5/5 - I LURVED it and I'd read it again.

*Subject to change based on my mood, the phase of the moon, or other unpredictable variables.

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

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5) by Diana Gabaldon   2.75/5 (Audible audiobook)

I swear, it's just the narrator that keeps me "reading" these.  This book was torturetastic.  First off, it took EIGHT HOURS to get through one day.  I was over it. Then there was so much about Brianna's boobs and breastfeeding and it was like she had a kid.  The whole drama with the paternity of the baby annoyed me.  Which leads me right into the hour long biology lesson from Gabaldon about recessive and dominant genes and who the fuck cares?!?!?!?!  Another 6 hour chug through another day.  Roger must be Gabaldon's favorite character to torture because nothing bad ever really seems to happen to other characters to scar them for life.. well at least in comparison to Roger.  I'm annoyed/glad that Ian is back, despite the already overabundant amount of characters I'm trying to keep up with in my mind.

TL;DR: There are better ways I could have spent 55 hours of my life, but this is what I chose.  #FML

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood   4/5 (ebook, own)

Teh Running Bestie bought this book for me for the Kindle because she knew I wanted to read it and I told her the library had a million year long wait list.  This book kept my interest because I wanted to figure out when this story was taking place and how society ended up this way.  In my post-reading-research, I learned that this book was written in the 80s.  Also, I may have skipped the epilogue of the book because I thought it wasn't actually part of the book, but like an author's speech about the book or something.  I skimmed it and was like, Meh, fuck this.  In my research, I learned that was actually a part of the book and maybe I should reread it.  I'm still deciding.

PS.  I read this because I want to eventually watch the series.

TL;DR: Written in the 80's, men have all the power and women are categorized in this dystopian society. 

Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, #1) by Lian Hearn   4.5/5 (hard copy, own, reread)

While I know what is going to happen, I've forgotten WHEN things are going to happen, so it's nice "defragmenting" my brain.  I still love this story as much as I did the first time.  I actually found the first book of this series in the clearance section at Barnes & Nobles years and years ago when I was still in high school.  When I realized it was a series, it was game on.  I own all of these books and they are special enough to have been retained through many book purges.

This book is about a teenage boy who has ties to 2 different families in "feudal Japan" ("" because these books involve powers so it's kind of fantasy themed).  He meets Kaede and they are instantly in love.  Kaede got on my nerves with her girlishness through this entire book, but the way the book is set up, it's to be expected.

TL;DR: Feudal Japan meets fantasy meets YA... and the series is complete.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng   4/5 (Audible audiobook)

No one writes books about communication failures like Celeste Ng.  That summary could also include dysfunctional families.  In this book, what appears perfect is far from it.  How horrible Mrs. Richardson was to Izzy made me angry throughout the entire book, even after getting an explanation.

I appreciated that there was a single tipping event that moved the story along (finally) and how it tied everything together.  I guessed the mystery about Mia well before it was discussed, but that is ok.  I was sad for Perl and hated the way Lexy used her, which I knew would only cause problems.

TL;DR: Family dysfunction and communication failures are Ng's forte. 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman   3.5/5 (Audible audiobook)

I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did.  The part that kept me interested was finding out the details about the fire.  I won't lie, the ending kinda threw me for a loop and I did not anticipate that ending with the mom.  As Steph would say, passed the time just fine... considering I spent 6 hours listening to this while puzzling last weekend...

TL;DR: Eleanor is obviously NOT completely fine.

In Progress:

Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori #2) by Lian Hearn   */5 (hard copy, own, reread)
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti  */5 (library audiobook)

On Deck:

  • More Outlander
    • I will finish this series, even if it takes me the rest of my life.
  • More Tales of the Otori 
  • The Time Quintet series (aka The Wrinkle in Time series) 
    • I bought the boxed set from Amazon for $10 and I'm pumped to read those before I eventually watch the movie.
  • Something from my TBR list (whatever I can find from the library/Audible)

YAY for books!
*TL;DR = too long, don't read


  1. Little Fires Everywhere was an excellent book

  2. I love the Time Quintet - I can't wait for the new Wrinkle in Time movie. I loved Eleanor Oliphant but I agree -she really isn't fine. Book 4 is the last one I've read in the Outlander series - I might pick up with that again someday but I'm in no rush. Loved Little Fires Everywhere :)

  3. I've been on the waitlist for LFE for what feels like FOREVER! Need it now. THT is on my Nook but I feel like it might stir up too many feelings in the current political climate, and I'm not sure I can handle it...

  4. Little Fires everywhere is on my list but it will be months before I get it.

    I am still waiting for The Handmaids Tale because but I confess I will probably watch the show before the book comes in. We did read it a million years ago in high school so maybe I'll remember some of it.

  5. I was never really interested in Little Fires Everywhere until blogs kept raving about it so I'm really curious now! I've only eve read A Wrinkle in Time; but I hope you enjoy the rest in the series.


  6. i still haven't watched the handmaid's tale but i've heard it's really good.
    i hated the way lexie used pearl as well. i didn't guess the twist about mia at all lol. i wanted to hear what happened to the ryans.
    i am struggling through eleanor, it's not bad yet it's just i get distracted and pick up something else.
    i do want to read The Wrinkle in Time series so i can't wait to hear your thoughts.

  7. The Handmaid's Tale is taking place now. LOL

  8. Eleanor and Little Fires Everywhere are both on my TBR. Everyone has been really talking up both so I sort of put them further down my list. I always do that when books get hype because I feel like I hold them to a higher standard.

  9. I read the first two Outlander books but I didn't love them enough to continue reading, especially since they are soooooooooooooooooo long. I don't mind making a serious investment of time to a book, but it also needs to be a book or series that I love for me to do it. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is on my nightstand. Hopefully, I like it a bit more. Little Fires is also on my TBR. I'd like to read the Wrinkle in Time books before the movie comes out too - so excited for it!

  10. Little Fires Everywhere was great - I felt the same way about how Izzy was treated. I have The Handmaid's Tale in the stack to get to *this year* ... maybe.

  11. I find the Handmaids tale to be so relevant to our current lives, and the Hulu series was amazing!! Haunting and intense!

    I really enjoyed Elanor I feel it grew on me after a little bit.

  12. I STILL haven't read the handmaid's tale... grrr.

  13. I read The Handmaid's Tale last month too and like you did it so I could watch the show! I was a bit disappointed with it and I skimmed the epilogue but don't think I read it either. Eleanor Oliphant is on my to read list. I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere and have to read Ng's other book.


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