Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #19

Ella Enchanted
Spoilers!

I haven’t read this in I don’t know how many years, but it holds up! I’ve been in a mini-slump recently but was able to slam through this old favorite. There were parts where I actually found myself laughing out loud. Ella’s humor is so great. Really my only complaint is that Ella is canonically unable to save herself but can save… a dude she’s in love with. Not my favorite trope, and not my favorite message to send (that a man is more important than you, even though I’m sure it wasn’t intended to come across that way).

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (reread)

Far From You
Minor spoilers!

Me during the first 95% of this book: Yeah this is good I guess
Me during the last 5%: [sobbing, but make it queer]

Anyway, this was pretty much your typical YA thriller. The writing was a little hit-or-miss at times but it was a mostly entertaining read. It went a little hard on the internalized homophobia and I kind of hated the deceased best friend because of how she treated the main character. Their relationship was way more toxic than it was cute. She was redeemed somewhat toward the end, but that didn’t really undo all the time she spent treating people poorly? Feel free to pick this up if you’re interested, but I’d keep expectations low.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Grownup

Not perfect, but definitely a pretty great short story! It was just lengthy enough to get me invested, and the twist did take me by surprise. This is probably my favorite piece by Gillian Flynn so far. My only complaint is that the ending seemed a bit silly and abrupt, but I have no regrets reading this.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Dark Places [review]

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Published by Broadway Books on May 5, 2009
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Goodreads avg:
3.93 (as of 2018-07-27)
cw: suicidal ideation; pedophilia; animal abuse; animal death

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

I’d go for months without smoking, and then remember: I need a cigarette. I’m like that, nothing sticks.

I decided to read Dark Places in spite of disliking Gone Girl. I could tell that Gillian Flynn was a good writer regardless of how much I enjoyed that book, and I figured I’d give her another chance. I actually chose this one by selecting, pretty much at random, a book from my to-read shelf that started with D for the A-Z reading challenge. I kind of regret not grabbing Sharp Objects, just because the TV show is newly out, but I’ll get to that one later.

I did enjoy this book. I found the story really compelling, I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I felt like Gillian Flynn did a really great job with the pacing, switching back and forth between past and present at just the right moments. The characters were complex and well-done. I found myself having visceral reactions to the things they did while still feeling sympathy towards them.

My only issue with this is really the ending, which honestly ruined the book a little. Things felt really thrown together and coincidental and just not quite… realistic. I know that a lot of thrillers tend to end kind of wildly, but I think if it had been drawn out a bit more, it wouldn’t have felt so jumbled. There’s not really anything else I would’ve changed, though.

Although the end knocked my rating down a bit, I did still like this book and would recommend it to thriller fans — who probably have read it, I may be the only person left who is just getting into Gillian Flynn. I do plan to keep moving through her works, I think she’s a talented writer who comes up with some great stories. I hope I like her others even more!

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #6

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Emergency Contact
cw: alcoholism, racism, sexual assault, parental neglect.

This was exactly the kind of fluffy contemporary romance I’ve been needing in my life. Watching Penny and Sam’s romance blossom via text was heartwarming and anxiety-inducing and so, so relatable. I loved both of the MCs so much and literally could not put this book down. Unfortunately, I tore through it so fast that I didn’t really take enough notes for a proper review and all I can do is gush about how cute and wonderful it was. The writing was excellent and I enjoyed the plot. There were serious topics, which were all good to see and which were handed well, in my opinion. I loved loved loved this book and cannot recommend it enough if you’re looking for a cute NA contemporary.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

13237086

Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader

I’m pretty new to anarchism and political theory in general, so this was my first foray into a book dedicated to the subject. I found it really informative and a good jumping-off point, it helped me to compile a list of further reading materials. It was sort of loosely put together and probably could have used a little more context for each of the essays/pamphlets and seemed a bit outdated, so that’s why I knocked off one star. I definitely plan to check out some more AK Press releases, though!

Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐

13261812

Gone Girl
cw sexual assault, domestic abuse, many many many things

I almost DNFed this, but everyone told me to hang in there. I hated both of the MCs, but things really picked up after a plot twist about halfway through. It was worth reading, but I still didn’t end up loving it. [SPOILERS] I can appreciate unlikable characters, but I can’t get behind anything that reinforces the stereotype that women lie about being raped and/or abused just to punish or get back at men. A small thing, but Amy also states as fact that she doesn’t get catcalled at all after the gains weight and there’s no way that would be true and is really telling of what the author thinks of fat women. [/SPOILERS] Yeah, anyway I didn’t really find this very special and thought it was fine.

Rating:⭐⭐⭐

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(All covers courtesy of Goodreads.)