It has come to my attention that I have not been reviewing nearly as many books as I have been reading lately. In fact, I found enough books on my Read shelf to fill THREE separate mini review posts. Today I will be reviewing the majority of my un-reviewed read books, but keep an eye out in the coming weeks for reviews on Graphic Novels and The Wayward Children series.
by Bill Clinton & James Patterson (2018)
This one was hard for me to figure out my feelings for. An unprecedented attack on America is looming, and people are talking about treason. President Duncan is facing impeachment charges and all of a sudden goes missing, throwing his recent actions under a microscope. This book was really slow starting. I had a hard time getting into it, 1) because of the size (I guess I was expecting a typical Patterson sized book, and 2) because there was so much political talk that it put me to sleep. Living in the US right now, you can’t go a single day without hearing some kind of political news, so I think that weighed heavily on my enjoyment of the story. Once it picked up though, it didn’t stop moving for the remainder of the book. The chapters were short (in true James Patterson fashion), making it easy to read “just one more.” However, POVs changed frequently, and it would sometimes take a few paragraphs before I realized who was talking, which took me out of the story. There were so many complicated names to remember that I barely could remember who was who, and the epilogue at the end really drove home the author’s political take on current events (or so it felt that way). This book reminded me why Patterson is not a go-to author for me, though I did enjoy most of the fast-paced action-y parts. I think I rated it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, which was literally right on the money in my FIF prediction.
by Alan Gratz (2017)
352 pages, Middle Grade- Historical Fiction.
Refugee is a middle grade historical fiction novel that features multiple perspectives of children who live during different points in history. The three stories follow children who are seeking refuge during their specific time period- Josef, a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany, Isabel, a Cuban girl in Havana in 1994 and Muhamoud, a Syrian boy in 2015. Most of the stories are dangerous and heartbreaking, and span continents but ultimate tie together in the end. So many feels for this book! I actually picked it up because a student told me about it. He was so excited when he was describing it that I just HAD to pick it up, and man he was right. I loved how the author wove the three stories together by the end. I felt that the author did a great job of telling these stories, without sugar-coating the intensity of their situations. I would highly recommend it to any historical fiction fans. I rated it a 4.5 out of 5 stars, which again, was right on the money in terms of my FIF prediction.
by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead (2018)
201 pages, Middle Grade-Magic Realism.
Livy hasn’t been to see her grandmother in 5 years, but now she is back, and she discovers that she forgot something all that time ago. Now Livy spends her summer visit trying to help an old friend find his way back home. I honestly thought this book was going in a completely different direction. I thought that maybe she had an accident or health issue that caused her to forget about Bob, but I was wrong, and I am not sure if that was a good or bad thing. Ultimately, this story was kind of forgettable for me. It was short and kinda cute, but mostly weird, and I am not sure that I would recommend it at any point. I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
by Marie Lu (2018)
272 pages, YA
Terror is Gotham is seldom news, but someone is killing the elite one-by-one inside their own mansions. Guess who is on that list? Teenage Bruce Wayne is serving out a community service sentence in one of the scariest places in earth, Arkham Asylum. There he meets the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. She is extremely dangerous, but will only talk to him. Can he trust her? What is he willing to do to keep her safe? This is actually super disappointing for me because I really enjoyed this book! I honestly deserved its own review (I even had the cutest page dividers for it). Somehow it slipped through the cracks and ended up here. I loved Marie Lu’s writing style for this story. Growing up in a house that was obsessed with Batman, I didn’t think there was any way to impress me, but I was completely wrong. Marie Lu concocted a brand new, fresh look on an old story, and I really do think she did this icon justice. Truthfully, with this one, and Wonder Woman (by Leigh Bardugo), I would have loved to read an entire series with these characters (or at least just a sequel). They were both really well done, and I look forward to the last two in the series- Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas and Superman by Matt de la Pena. I gave this a 5 out of 5 stars, which AGAIN was right on the money for my FIF prediction (damn I’m good at this).
by Ann Patchett (2017)
336 pages, Literary Fiction.
This story follows two families whose lives are completely destroyed and woven together due to one romantic encounter. This is not my typical read. Patchett covers a span of several time periods, and multiple characters, which ultimately became confusing to keep straight after a while. I did not take notes while reading this book, so I needed to reread frequently. I don’t know if it was the time period (60s and 70s) but I had a hard time with some of the character’s parenting styles. They felt a little too “hands off” and came across as extremely selfish to me. While I had a hard time with jumping around from time period and characters, by the end I felt as if I could spend more time with these characters, and really wanted a bit more from them. I picked this book up because it was that month’s Book Discussion choice at my library. I was unable to make it to the meeting, but found that I enjoyed a book I never would have picked up on my own for that reason. I gave this book a 3.75 out of 5 stars which is right around my FIF prediction.
by Katherine Applegate (2017)
224 pages, Middle Grade- Fantasy (with animals)
Red is a tree that has seen it all. She serves as a refuge for many different types of animals, and even houses hundreds of “wishes” a year, but trouble strikes when a new family moves in. This was a cute little story. I actually was not all that into it for the longest time, but it picked up and left me with a positive impression of the book. It was a cute and subtle way of addressing hate and acceptance. The tree and animals all have their own voices, and the story is told from the POV of the tree. I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Phew! I had to really go back and remember some of these books (I read Wishtree back in March)! Have you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR? What did you think of this format for reviews? Let’s chat in the comments!