21-30 of 100

This afternoon I took a nap and I had a dream that I finished A Game of Thrones and the ending was super cheesy and unsatisfying. Fortunately I woke up from my nap, finished the book, and that was not the case. Here are some other books that had legit and satisfying endings. And some that went the disappointing way of my dream book.

TOP FOUR:
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Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd has been on my list for a while. Rachel, a survivor of the commercial sex industry, now works with girls currently enslaved in the same industry. She tells her story and theirs in this informative memoir. I wrote about it here.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is an aptly named beautiful novel about a love story that spans decades and continents. But it’s so much more than a love story and I loved the juxtaposition of the tiny town in Italy and a movie producer’s life in Hollywood. All of the characters bring something different to the story. This one stuck with me.

Sometimes what we want to do
and what we must do are not the same.
The smaller the space between your desire
and what is right, the happier you’ll be.
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson is my latest favorite funny memoir. Funny memoirs, in my opinion, make the best audiobooks. Jenny told hilarious stories and bared her soul in this very personal commentary on mental illness. Not only was I entertained, but I learned a lot about mental illness as well.

I bet your small intestines are adorable.
– Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin is super long. It’s so long reading it put me one book behind schedule! But it was worth the read. It’s an epic tale full of so many characters to root for and almost as many to hope fall on their swords. There are surprises and heartaches and battles and a little bit of love and definitely plenty of blood. GOT is not for the faint of heart!

We all need to be mocked from time to time
lest we start to take ourselves too seriously.
– A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

MIDDLE THREE:
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Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey was actually the 11th book I read this year, but somehow I skipped over it in my 11-20 post, so here it is, smack in the average middle. I like the dystopian idea of underground silos but throughout the whole second half when we were switching back and forth between two perspectives, I only cared about the one perspective and would rush through every other chapter to get back to the story I cared about.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of stories about Indian-American families and individuals. Many of the characters were so similar that at times it felt like I was just reading different versions of the same stories. Perhaps it is for that reason and for the short time we spend with each family that the tragic ending wasn’t quite as tragic as it probably should’ve been.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a real easy read, but not that intriguing. It’s alien-style dystopian and I like the idea that we meet these characters in the 5th wave of the alien invasion rather than at the beginning or even before but the rest of it kind of fell flat to me. Nothing too memorable, nothing too shocking or exciting. Just your run of the mill teenage girl doing things she didn’t think she could do and falling for the handsome bad boy.

BOTTOM THREE:
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Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz is not nearly as cool as it could have been. I put it on my TBR list because I read that it featured a transgender teenager in a world that interprets gender differently than our own and that sounded different and necessary. Unfortunately the world, characters, and story line are all underdeveloped. It’s a great idea, but needs a little more umph.

When we mistake difference for separation,
whether we think we’re better than the rest or worse,
we find trouble.
Study the ways in which
you hold yourself separate.
See where the pain is.
Then study the feeling of being together.
Seek your peace.
Lizard Radio, Pat Schmatz

I think I have an unpopular opinion when it comes to Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. It was a 2015 GoodReads Choice Book! Perhaps it was all the hype that make this book such a letdown for me. I was wary from the beginning. There’s a medieval vibe going and I’m jiving with the super powers but then everyone also has guns? Too much. And yet the descriptions were too little. Instead of describing a meal or a room Aveyard says things like, “It was all feathers and glass.” What? Lazy. By the end I was enjoying the story but there are just too many similar series (The Lunar Chronicles!) that are, in my opinion, much better.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore is possibly the worst written book I’ve ever read in my life. Including my own NaNoWriMo messes. Homegirl is not a writer. The book features contradictions and misused (and therefore nonsensical) phrases. She jumps from general to specific flashbacks and there isn’t really any kind of flow. There are a lot of exclamation points and “Oh my God!!”s. It reads like someone’s unedited journal. BUT I have seen interviews with Drew Barrymore so none of this was really surprising, except that in the Acknowledgements she does thank an editor so someone whose job it is to edit books actually did read this and say, “Yep, looks good!” There was one part I really liked, where Drew talks about coming into herself as a single woman and misuses the word “ironic.”

It’s ironic that we rush through being ‘single’ as if it’s some disease or malady to get rid of or overcome. The truth is, most likely, one day you will meet someone and it will be gone. And once it’s gone, it’s really gone! Why does no one tell us how important it is to enjoy being single and being by yourself? That time is defining and amazing and nothing to ‘cure.’ It is being alone that will actually set you up the best for being with someone else. – Wildflower, Drew Barrymore

// More words about books I’ve read in 2016: 10 of 100, 11-20 of 100
More book quotes: Words, Wisdom, etc.

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4 thoughts on “21-30 of 100

  1. I absolutely love reading your book review posts. I mean, I like reading all your posts, but these especially. Some thoughts/responses…
    I’m kind of sad you didn’t love Wool with the fierceness that I did, but I understand. I read it right when I was first getting into the dystopian genre and so it was one of my first. I definitely think that impacts how you view books. I’m going to read it again for the first time this year and I’m anxious to see what I’ll think of it now, five years later.
    Totally same page with The 5th Wave. It was just so….meh. Which sucks, since it had a lot of potential.
    And I agree about Red Queen. The more I think back to it, the less I like it. There’s too much going on. I’m going to read the sequel, I think, but more out of curiosity than burning literary desire.

    1. Thank you! I love writing them!

      I also read Wool 19 books ago but forgot to include it in the last post. So that might have something to do with my lackluster review. Oh yes! Now that I have read so many dystopian books I am much more critical. Plus there are so many comparisons to draw and someone has to come up short! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it!

      I was so pumped about both The 5th Wave and Red Queen! I am completely content to read the first book in a series and never find out what happens after that. There are so many series of which I’ve read the first book and none of the rest. I think I will continue on in A Song of Ice and Fire but that will have to wait until after my TBR list challenge! Which does, actually, include a couple long awaited sequels.

      1. I have a review from the first time I read Wool (and the sequels) on the blog. Feel free to check it out. I’ll be posting again once I reread.

        I’m normally pretty content to stop, too. That’s how I felt with The 5th Wave. No need to keep reading. For whatever reason, though, I am hoping Aveyard can redeem herself in the Red Queen sequel. I’m probably just falling victim to Victoria Roth syndrome again, but I still want to know!

        Can’t wait to see what’s on the rest of your TBR. I should do this challenge. I just realized last week I have over 200 on mine :/

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