Only six books this week – I’ve been pretty busy! Only two were great successes; luckily the rest of them either don’t belong to me, or are on the list to be unhauled anyway! I think I’m headed for a bit of a slump though… I’ve barely read anything this weekend! Agggghhhhhh!
We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to be French – Emma Beddington (2 stars)
This looked like it would be a really fun, quirky read. Unfortunately, it was more about the breakdown of a relationship, and the author’s grief over her mother. And yet, with these rather heavy themes, it still tried to be upbeat and quirky. It was incongruous and I couldn’t get excited about it. Also, Emma Beddington HATED Paris, so even the title is a bit strange… Not a good book to get excited about my own adventures there with!
The Scourge – Jennifer A. Nielsen (3 stars)
This book had a pretty great twist, but the lead up to said twist was rather boring. Two kids are stolen from their community, told that they have a disease and sent to a colony for the sick. Along the way they meet some interesting and irritating characters, and in trying to escape, they uncover a government plot. It got exciting for a moment, but overall not amazing.
The Good People – Hannah Kent (Australian author) (4 stars)
The beginning is very, very slow. Though that could have been because I had listened to the first few chapters on Audible and stopped because I really disliked the narrator. Despite its slow start, however, this book becomes a literary masterpiece dissecting the life of a recently widowed woman, left with her heavily disabled grandson. Convinced that he is a changeling, she seeks the help of a local wise woman. Together they try to convince the Good People to take the changeling boy and return her true grandson. The final two thirds of the book are just incredible, delving into the intense belief communities can have in folklore.
Agent Nomad: The Eleventh Hour – Skye Melki-Wegner (Australian author) (3 stars)
A high-school girl discovers that she is a sorcerer, and is asked to join a spy organisation. It felt a little bit too much like a cross between Harry Potter and Alex Rider… The main character, Natalie (or Agent Nomad) was a little bit annoying, and it was just a bit unbelievable that she would be thrust into awful situations so soon after being recruited. That being said, it was a super easy read, and another one to tick off the never-ending TBR.
Ache – Eliza Henry-Jones (Australian author) (4 stars)
This was an absolutely beautiful piece of fiction – it comes out in June, so make sure you get your hands on it as soon as it comes out. A bushfire has ravaged the mountain Annie grew up on. The story describes the bushfire’s effects on four generations of strong women – Annie’s grandmother, her mother, herself and her young daughter. As Annie’s marriage worsens under the stress of her trauma and grief, she returns to the mountain to seek refuge. It is an intricately woven novel about a family and a community under immense stress and their incredible capacity to heal. The descriptions of the landscape, even ravaged by natural disaster, have made me want to escape to the bush. Eliza Henry-Jones is a master of the written word. I can’t wait to try In the Quiet, her first novel.
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli (3 stars)
I ADORED Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and was super excited for this book. It is still really sweet – I think Becky Albertalli must sweat sugar, she’s that cute! – but it just didn’t have the same pizzazz as Simon did. I loved Molly’s family to pieces – her twin sister, her moms (yes, American spelling…) and her baby brother. But I just didn’t like Molly that much – maybe I saw a bit too much of myself in her. I thought she focused too much on her weight, but not in any way I could identify with, despite suffering my own insecurities about weight. (This is almost definitely be where my issue with the character lies – she was like me, but not enough like me.) I also thought that her relationship, when it happened, happened way too quickly. What I loved so much about Simon was the incredibly slow-paced romance – SO MANY CUTE SCENES. Molly just didn’t get those in The Upside of Unrequited – though her moms definitely did, so there’s that! Still a very cute read; I’m interested to see what other people say, given that I think my own dislike definitely relates to the fact it wasn’t quite right in regards to my own experiences!
What have you been reading this week?