Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mini Reviews: I Read Too Much

Going through my list of recently read books on Goodreads, I realized A) I read way too much, and B) I haven't written reviews for a lot of them. So many blank spaces makes me sad. So, rather than write up a bunch of posts that will sit in my drafts forever, have a bunch of mini reviews!

Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Rating: ✮✮
Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

I had incredibly high hopes (okay, not incredibly, but they were up there) for this novel, but it seemed to fall flat for me. It was cute in a way, but it was hard to relate to Jane, our heroine, on her journey of self-discovery and determination to rid herself of a fantasy she could never hope to achieve. The idea of Austenland, a place where you can play at being in the Regency-era seems fun, but it came across as boring and stuffy, nothing like I expected. Not even Jane's adventures throughout could have brought this to life for me.

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

What a hilarious, delightful little book. Gratuity Tucci has to write an essay discussing what the true meaning of Smekday, the day aliens conquered Earth, means to her. Thus begins the hilarious and often sweet story of Gratuity's journey to find her mother, accompanied by an alien who calls himself J.Lo and her mother's cat. The adventure is huge, the aliens hilarious, the action thrilling, and every picture and drawing littered about made this an incredibly charming read. I totally recommend it to everyone.

Tomorrow, When the War Began, by John Marsden
Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

I am never, ever messing with Australian teens, man. I've heard so many good things about this series for a while, and when I picked up the first book, I could see why. I read it in one sitting (with a caffeine deprivation headache) and enjoyed it thoroughly. Seeing how the teens adapt and grow into tiny adults as they struggle with the enormity of what's happening is wonderful, and seeing them go into action in the small ways they can made me cheer for them. I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series -- I already have book two from the library.

Friends with Boys, by Faith Erin Hicks
Rating: ✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

Originally a webcomic, this graphic novels collects the strips in one easy to read format. I really loved Friends with Boys, which follows Maggie McKay as she leaves homeschooling for high school for the first time. The secondary cast around her is fantastic, from her rambunctious brothers to the few friends she makes in school. Oh, and Maggie sees a ghost or something, no big deal. I really loved how true this felt to all of us who spent most of high school feeling invisible until we made those friends and had adventures that would last us for life.

Blood Rights, by Kristen Painter
Rating: ✮✮✮
Book Depository | Indie Bound | Goodreads

A really nice, lush vampire novel. The world building in this was fantastic, and I've gushed about the cover before. Though at times I felt it seemed to drag a bit under the weight of what Painter was trying to do with her characters and her world, Blood Rights was exactly the vampire novel I needed at the time. I could have done without the sexual tension between the main characters, but I enjoyed them both on their own. (Even if the angsty vampire who can't/won't drink blood is so overdone at this point.) I enjoyed it, and I'll be picking up the rest of the series when I can.

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