(4/5 stars) The third book on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is “A classic of genre fiction,” and after scrolling through their list of suggestions, I decided this would be a good one to pick up. Everyone is probably familiar with the story because the movie is superfamous. The book is pretty much the same with a few additional details. I wish it weren’t so familiar because the book is really well put together and it would probably be a thrill to experience the story for the first time through this book.
Summary: (3/5 stars) I thoroughly enjoyed the first of the Tufa novels, but even though this book had a lot of the same color and tone of the first book, it didn’t manage to recapture the magic. I think it’s probably because the main character is different and the overarching conflict between the two fairy families doesn’t expand in a very satisfying way. I think there are five of these books and I’ll keep reading, but now without the same anticipation.
Book Review: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
(4 of 5 stars) I picked up Helter Skelter in order to meet the second item on Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge: a true crime novel. It’s a good book. Well-constructed, detailed, and insightful. But it’s also very clearly written from a single perspective and comes with it some almost comedic elements of Bugliosi’s own agenda and ego.
(4/5 stars) This is a contemporary-era fantasy novel set in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. The Hyatt family starts seeing death omens just as their daughter arrives home, injured from a tour of duty in Iraq. The magic in this book is mysterious and subtle and explained only very slowly. I really enjoyed the fact that the stakes in the book are really personal unlike in epic fantasy books. And, of course, I also enjoyed the multi-faceted portrayal of southern culture. I’ll definitely pick up the second book in this series soon.
(5/5 stars) I picked up this book as part of Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge in order to satisfy the posthumous publication requirement. It’s a beautiful and heart-breaking story of same-sex love and loss. It also has an ambiguous ending a la the movie version of Brokeback Mountain. So, the reader is left wondering about what will happen to Maurice next.
(3/5 stars) My friend, Paul, recommended this book to me as something I might be interested in and he was not wrong. This book is chock-full of good information on psychology and sociology that is useful to know. But for some reason the presentation of that information just did not grab me, hence the relatively low rating of this book.
(Overall 2/5 stars) This is a young adult epic fantasy series that I foolishly bought all at the same time. I don’t remember why it was recommended to me nor why I listened to that recommendation. I think I bought them all at once because they were relatively inexpensive and they seemed like good books to listen to while feeding the baby at 3am.
Bottom line: the first and third books are OK. The second one is awful. I would put these books right alongside the Shadowhunter series and the Twilight series in terms of quality. Utterly skippable, in my opinion, so I 100% expect my daughter to find them in my Kindle library when she reaches a suitable age and proclaim them as her favorites.
(5/5 stars) This is a great sci-fi romp with colorful characters, lots of adventure and intrigue. The world-building is intricate without getting too nerdy and even though there’s a strong element of “social justice” throughout, I didn’t feel like it got too preachy. I also appreciate that although this is very clearly a first book in a series, it feels complete. I could read just this one and not feel like I’m missing anything. But I enjoyed the characters and the universe, so I will very likely come back to the other books in the series.
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