8 For 8 – August Mini Reviews

Wow- it’s August?! What the hell happened? What’s even scarier is that I somehow am not struggling to find books stuck in my backlog, even though it’s the eighth month (and that means 8 reviews according to my strange system). I genuinely don’t know how I have so many?! Anyway, this is guaranteed to be a long post, so let’s get on with it!

the falconer

The Falconer–  this was a thoroughly enjoyable book- I loved loved loved the intricacies of the world building. The relationships were done really well, the characters were complex and this was so fast paced that I whizzed through it. All credit to Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku for her excellent review for this one, because it made me pick it up and it was well worth a read.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

mountain in my shoe

The Mountain in my Shoe– this had such a compelling, intriguing start. Actually scrap that: I was utterly absorbed from beginning to end. There was a lull in the middle, but overall it was as well written as you would expect from a book of this name (because wow that title!) There were a few moments of info dumps- but done in such a clever way that it really worked! (I know “info-dump” and “works” don’t normally go into the same sentence). Furthermore, this addressed raw and real subjects that I can’t normally bear to read about this- but this was an exception to my normal rules! Also I want to say another THANK YOU to Meggy for her amazing review that made me pick this up too 😀

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian– I didn’t connect to this*at all*. Mostly I think that was down to the writing style: it read as whiny, a little gross and I had constantly to remind myself that these were serious issues because the voice was so distracting. I liked the cartoons, but this was yet another sign that this was not out for me because the style put it way out of my age range. I would really put this in the category of being for people who liked Tracy Beaker (I didn’t even like that even as a child) just with an American slant. To be honest, it was the Americanisms that made this feel more than a million miles away in the end- I think this will be far more relatable to an American audience.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

don't stop me now

Don’t Stop Me Now– okay moving on from a whiny character to me being a whingebag… I feel like a grumpus for not liking this one cos it’s supposed to be feel-good and yet… it didn’t work for me. To be honest the main character and I got off to a rocky start, partly cos I’ve had similar mishaps in my life (aka dreams not coming true/things not going to plan) and yet I wouldn’t have got through if I’d mentally handled it the way she did. Putting myself in her shoes felt like shaking hands with worst parts of my own psyche. But mostly, I got kind of annoyed at the book because the radio hostess was a bit of a caricature of Katie Hopkins and I ended up playing devil’s advocate for her in my head- and that’s not somewhere I want to go as a general rule (and if you don’t know who she is just count yourself lucky and move on with your day). Basically, this ended up feeling like a hit piece on her, rather than taking on her ideas in a mature debate, which you know, is pretty darn easy to do considering she’s the person who said she wanted euthanasia icecream trucks for old people… Ughh see why I felt uncomfortable when this book made me accidentally relate to her?

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

a confession

A Confession– okay- let’s talk about something more uplifting. This rather short book is quite excellent and really resonated with me, because it explores both the depths of nihilism and, inversely, more spiritualistic pursuits. I do think this might work more for people of a Christian background (and even more so for people who are religious) but I still got a lot out of it and definitely think I’ll reread this in the future.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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prisoner of heaven

The Prisoner of Heaven– I liked this the least of Zafon’s work so far. It was still really well written, but it felt disconnected at times and more of a footnote to the previous two books. I did enjoy the link to Count of Monte Cristo though.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

nomad partridge

Alan Partridge: Nomad– this takes the word “rambling” and runs with it: the subject matter, style, and structure all embody the word. What wasn’t rambly was the punchy humour. This did make me laugh less than Alan’s previous book, but it was sheer gold at time and when it did crack me up I couldn’t stop.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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ice like fire frost like night

Ice Like Fire/Frost Like Night– I literally got nothing out of this- I have only one thing to say about it: why the hell did I bother to continue this series? Between them they managed an average of:

Rating: 1½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

So have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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40 thoughts on “8 For 8 – August Mini Reviews

  1. Shanti says:

    I read up to Ice like Fire and really enjoyed it at the time, but totally could not be bothered to continue, so maybe I don’t care as much as I thought. The Mountain in my Shoe sounds excellent though. I love what a range of titles you read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    OHMYGOSH! You absolutely flatter me! Thank you! I’m glad you felt it was a worthwhile read– It’s certainly no Tolstoy, but I think The Falconer is a fun read. Will you continue the series?

    I totally understand where you are coming from with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian — I think this is a hyper-Americanized book. I, personally, really enjoy it. I think it covers a lot of modern and complicated issues in an accessible way for high schoolers. But, I am an American. And all the non-Americans I know who have read this have really struggled to connect at all. All of Sherman’s works seem to fit into this, honestly. So, if you didn’t connect to this book, I would recommend ignoring the rest of Sherman’s books. I love most of them, but it would be for the best interest of your TBR. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      You’re welcome!! Yes I really did enjoy it 😀 It was a really fun read- and I hope so- I just need to get hold of the next book at some point 😀
      Yes- I’m so glad you said that! I think that a lot of the central ideas really felt more for Americans than me personally. I could be wrong, but at the same time as not relating to it, I could see why, objectively, other people would if they had more connection to the setting (if that makes sense). Thanks so much for the tip!! And as we’ve discussed my TBR could certainly do with a bit of a breather 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        I hope you can find the next book. Hopefully it’s at the local library. 😀 I LOVE my library.

        I grew up in schools which are reflected in Sherman’s stories. I bet there are some books, particularly MG and YA ones, which I also can’t connect to based on common issues from other cultures and the interactions of their youth. Regardless, I’m super glad that I could help your TBR. The constant question to reduce it is futile.

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Thank you!! So do I 😀
          Ah I can really understand that. And yes I do think that’s the case- I think it’s oddly enough the reason why the Wallace and Gromit movie didn’t do well in America 😉 (I know weird example, but it’s the first thing that’s quintessentially English that came to mind) hahahaha yes!!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Zezee says:

    Oh no! I was hoping those Snow Like Ashes books would keep getting better. I’ll have to see for myself. I’ll read those books later this year.
    Everytime I see the cover of Falconer, it makes me think of the animated Disney movie Brave.

    Like

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