Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Books Books Books (February)

I haven't been a good linker-upper, so I've stopped linking up with the Show Us Your Books linkup on principle.  I was that blogger that would drop my link off and not check out any other bloggers.  Mostly this was due to time constraints, but also because my TBR list is currently exploding at the seams and I keep going for books that I don't love because I saw that someone else loved them.. and well, rarely does it work out that I also love them.

So I'm doing a reset.

I'm going back to books that I know I want to read (WW2).  I'm going to try to get through some of the books on my TBR list.  If I feel like my TBR list isn't doing it for me, I know of the places to go to get book suggestions (SUYB link up, duh) and other people.  But I now I no longer need to feel guilty for not commenting on other linker-uppers.  /BrainSigh

This posts won't be scheduled so much as I'll post them when I feel like I have enough for a post.  I'd make a monthly commitment, but that just isn't realistic with school going on.

Rating scale*:

1/5 - Hated it, DNF (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.

Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori #2) by Lian Hearn   3.75/5 (hard copy, own, reread)

This book went much faster than the 1st book.  Not sure why.  I appreciated that Kaede isn't as much of a naive idiot in book 2.  I did get annoyed with her frailty and always being sick.  I liked reading about Takeo's training, despite the brutality.  The Makato scenes still weird me out a little, but I understand that the story is based on attitudes at the time and that's how things went.  I was glad when everyone was reunited at the abbey.

TL;DR: Teenage Megan loved this series.  Adult Megan gets it.  Maybe this is one of those you had to read when you didn't have life experience.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti  1/5 (library audiobook)

I downloaded this book from the library on a whim since I was waiting on 2 holds to come in.  All I recall is sooooo much teenage angst, a lot of eye rolling on my part (which presents a safety concern since I was driving while listening) and then my holds came in and I didn't mind returning this one early without having to finish it.

TL;DR: DNF.  My opinion is invalid.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys   4/5 (Audible audiobook) 

This one has been on my TBR list for a long time.
Based on a true story of a WW2 refugee ship that was sank, this story broke my heart.  The perils of the journey to get to the port and the back and forths between Florian and Joana keep me interested in the tedious parts.  Alfred sufficiently freaked me out.

TL;DR: WW2 (based on truth) story.  It's a WW2 story, so ultimately it comes to, who will live and who will die?

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green   3/5 (library ebook) 

I read this one because everyone else was reading and honestly, it was meh for me.  I like the concept of turtles all the way down, but at the same time this book was too YA for me and I have a hard time with the entire situation of giving 2 teenage girls $100,000.  My biggest problem I think was that the "murder-mystery" was just a vessel for the story about OCD, which seemed like a stretch for me (an equivalent analogy is that pizza is just a vessel to transport ranch dressing into my mouth).

Regarding the mental health/OCD aspect of the story, I felt like it was very well told.  Aza's struggles are plausible.  I did appreciate the fact that her not taking her medication regularly was part of the problem.

TL;DR: I really should just skip the bandwagon books because rarely do I love them like everyone else.  For John Green fans, this is probably your jam.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller    3.5/5 (library ebook)

This story was complicated for me.  Part of me liked it, part of me didn't.  Also, why was Flora always naked?  I appreciated the concept of the story told through letters, but I never figured out if the letters were found or not.  At first, I truly believed that the Mom was going to show back up, and then I realized I, too, was crazy.

The BF hanging around was a little weird for me, then again, the entire family seemed a little strange, so it didn't make it overwhelmingly weird (if that's a thing?).  The end kinda took me by surprise, but I was ready for the book to end, so I just accepted it for what it was.

That cover though.. Sooo prettay.

TL;DR: Judge this book by it's cover with a grain of salt.  A book about an author with ties to lots of books had me interested, but it was weird and the family was weird and not in a good way.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon   3.75/5 (Audible audiobook)

At almost 58 hours long, this was a haul.  Yet, this book didn't trudge along like the previous 2/3 did.   I can't really remember what all happened in what book anymore, but I do recall that Roger is getting ordained, Brianna whines less, there is a LOT less about her nipples/breast feeding, Jamie doesn't say if he's for the king or America, Jamie acts as an agent of the kings and "checks in" with the Indians regularly, Claire gets abducted, Jamie kills some motherfuckers, Marsali has a handicapped baby which causes even more issues with Fergus who needs his nuts smashed in, someone is murdered and Jamie and Claire are blamed, Steven Bonnet comes into the picture again, lots of adultery/potential adultery/sexy/STD things happen, there's gold in them thar hills crypts, no science lessons other than a LOT of talk about penicillin and ways to inject it, the cat and the white sow are randomly mentioned and feel like trivial things that could have been leftout, Stephen Bonnet is finally out of the picture.. oh and Brianna and Roger go back to modern times.

Serious question.. why did all of this need to happen in one book?   At least things happened in this book so the page count (almost 1000) didn't result in me thinking, "I just wasted hours of my life reading listening to the last 2 hours."

Honestly, I'd really like to see Jamie in modern times, but I doubt that will happen, but we shall see.  A few more books until I'm completely caught up with the series... and then I can start on the Lord John books.  Thankfully, those audiobooks are generally under 10 hours each. 

TL;DR: More Outlander, but I had some LOL moments while listening to this one and it wasn't a slog like the last few. 

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan   3/5 (Amazon Prime free ebook)

WW2 themed, but set in Russia.  Not normally where my WW2 reads are located, but I figured since it was free, I'd give it a shot.

I'm not sure if this book was based on actual events, but if so, these women were awesome.  It's only mildly infuriating that some of the ways men treated the pilots are still experienced by females in the military today.  I felt like the marriage plot-line was useless and it felt sudden and random, then by the end it was like, why bother?  I understand the point the author was trying to make, but it just seemed nonsensical in this form.

TL;DR: I probably wouldn't recommend this to anyone, but it was free.  I appreciated the depiction of women in the military.

Still Me (Me Before You #3) by Jojo Moyes   3.5/5 (Library audiobook)

Lou is still Lou.  I won't lie, the fact that she was still hung up on Will grated on my nerves in a way I cannot explain.  Will this, Will that.  OMG WE KNOW.  Then again, maybe that is what grief is like and I'm heartless? 

Part of me wanted to love this, but most of me didn't.  I felt like my adventure with Louisa Clark (as she is called over and over and over (I can't remember why her first and last name are significant)) could have ended at the first book.  Then again at the end of the 2nd book.  I didn't need a 3rd book.  In fact, I probably would have preferred it that way.  But, alas, a dollar is to be made.

If you loved the adventures of Louisa Clark, you'll probably enjoy this one as well.  There were some actual LOL moments in the story, which I appreciated.  I hated how shitty the family was to her and wanted to punch Agnes always.

TL;DR: Louisa Clark continues her journey in book 3.  Although really, book 1 was sufficient, kthxbye.

In Progress:

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4) by Pierce Brown  */5 (Audible audiobook)The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses   */5 (library ebook)

On Deck:

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


  1. i've gotten very good at only adding books to my TBR if they sound like i will actually like them. reviews from SUYB linkers are great, but if i don't want to read it, i don't. it took me like 2 years to get to that point though haha.
    i still haven't read Still Me. Bummer she's still hooked on Will. I'm sure I'l like it well enough. I do think she should have left the series as a standalone with the first book, but whatever.
    interested to what you think of the blueberry one when you finish it.

  2. I liked TATWD, but I tend to like Green's work. Agree that the mystery side of it wasn't necessarily in line with the rest though. Swimming Lessons...agree. Good, but odd.


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