Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – October

Well I’m in equal measures excited and nervous for this post. If you’ve been following my blog a while, you’ll know I try to do mini reviews every month. But the scheme I came up with was weirdly unwieldy, upping the number of reviews as we went through the year, and last month I decided it just wasn’t working for me. I mean, the whole point of mini reviews was to make my life easier, and here I was trying to talk about a *crazy *number of books. So as pleased as I am that I got to September with my bonkers system, I’m ready for a change. Introducing:


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This is a fun, casual way for me to do a small number of mini reviews every month- no other explanation needed!  Let’s get to today’s batch 😉

the names they gave us

The Names They Gave Us– The structure was a little jolty for this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style. The voice for the main character was distinctively sarky and added a nice tinge of humour to the story. Plus, kudos to this book for having the funniest break up scene I’ve ever read. I really liked a lot of the characters in this one, particularly, funnily enough, Lucas- who came across as perfectly earnest and served as a great (but not mean-spirited) foil for the protagonist. As a contemporary, I think this hit just the right note.

4/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

when we were orphans

When We Were Orphans– I’ve always liked Ishiguro’s crisp writing style and this was no exception. I also liked the wry humour he employed here and he definitely managed to elicit a or two chuckle from me. I also appreciated the characters in this one- somehow Ishiguro always manages to balance unpleasant characters with careful sympathy, which is incredibly tricky. And speaking of subtlety, I loved the hint of inaccuracies when it came to the protagonist’s memory. There was always a hint of unreliability (as with many of Ishiguro’s narrators) that added substantially to the intrigue that was unfolding. At its heart, this was a mystery detective story, where Ishiguro again showed his versatility as an author and ability to turn his hand at a totally different style of narrative to his other works. Though this is more about the journey than the destination, I’m sure every reader will be as satisfied as I was with the dark truths uncovered at its conclusion.

4/5 bananas

small bananasmall bananasmall bananasmall banana

magicians assistant

Magician’s Assistant– there were a number of snapshots of real life in this, but alas, I couldn’t relate to it for two reasons. One: because I am not middle aged and all the various issues just didn’t fit where I’m at in life. And two: I had tremendous problems with the structure, as it persistently flicked back and forth in time, which wasn’t done very clearly and made it hard for me to follow. All I have left to say about this is that I’m pretty baffled at the adult who recommended this to me when I was a child- it’s not my thing now, so I can’t imagine enjoying it at ten!

2/5 bananas

small bananasmall banana

So have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – October

  1. Oh I have The Name They Gave Us – and other Emery Lord books – on my TBR. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed that one and that it has a funny break-up scene, I’m curious about it now ahah 🙂
    Lovely reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I can read any more Ishiguro after ‘Never Let Me Go’, which pretty much broke me and left me bleeding. Like being very politely mugged and left at the entrance to a hospital A&E unit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I understand that. The good thing about Ishiguro though is that his books are never the same, so even though I didn’t like 1 of the 4 I’ve read, I definitely wouldn’t write him off cos I know he likes to shake it up quite a bit

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love love love love the graphic that goes with this feature! I’ll be waiting for it every month!
    “funniest break up scene?” Is that even a thing? I need to know more!! Ishiguro… Nah, still not for me! Can’t believe he won the Lit Nobel prize! I fall asleep when I read his stories! I guess that explains why I don’t read books that win prizes, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much!! 😀 hehehe I never thought it would be a thing till I read this, but I was actually laughing out loud at it, so I realised it must be 😉 hehe fair enough!! I actually very rarely like books that win prizes, but I don’t know why, maybe it’s his more simplistic style, but I’ve always just liked Ishiguro’s work! 😀


  4. Love the graphic- very very nice 🙂
    I do like mini reviews, too… Sometimes, the short ones are the hard ones to write.. well, actually, most of the times, they’re the hardest to write… Love yours 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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