Monthly Monkey Mini Review – June

monthly mini reviews version 2

Alrighty then- I know a lot of people sometimes skip these little intros- but I am gonna ask you not to look away cos I have *important* life updates. As much as I squirm uncomfortably when it comes to talking about myself, I have to mention that I’m going to be going away for a few months in just over a week. And this is almost as surprising for me as it is for you, cos I only sorted out some of this really recently 😉 While I’m hoping that I’m going to have plenty of content scheduled (this is possibly not the smartest decision I’ve ever made lol, so we’ll see how we go) and that I’m going to be able to sort out internet issues fairly quickly… that’s is all subject to stuff I don’t know yet. And also not gonna lie, I’m a bit all over the place at the moment getting ready, so I’m sorry if this effects bloghopping and replying to comments. So yup, that’s my exciting, but nerve-wracking news, gonna shuffle off like an awkward turtle…

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Oh and in relation to books, I’ve kinda put that on the back burner and am not really reading for the first time in years (I’d call it a slump, but when I realised I didn’t have time, I figured I’d hit the pause button for a bit). That said, I still have quite a few books from before that slump hit:

ugly love

Ugly Love– oh this won’t be pretty… Let’s get to what I liked first. I did think it was well written and the dual structure worked nicely. I also liked the Miles sections quite a bit. HOWEVER the romance felt too heavily based on physical attraction and not much else. Both the past and present felt like instalove- and while I could forgive it in the past sections, cos of the style, I couldn’t connect with it in the present. I also found Tate to be whingy and her perspective a little dysfunctional considering Miles’ treatment of her. And it’s not that I didn’t feel sympathy for Miles- but this was only cos I had information about his past that Tate was lacking. So I never understood why Tate put up with how nuts he was. Also, the lack of communication made it feel like such an unhealthy relationship and in the end I just wasn’t feeling it. Hoover can be hit or miss for me and to be honest this didn’t quite hit the mark. I wouldn’t say my relationship with the author was on the rocks after this, but I’m not quite flooded with joy (in case it isn’t obvious, I liked the water motif). It wasn’t bad per se, just okay.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

deviants

The Deviants– so this was a bit more graphic than I was expecting. In fact this was a book full of subverting expectations, cos there was a big twist I didn’t see coming. I did like how it was done, I’m just still not sure how I feel about it as an ending, even if it was clever. It fell short of the mark, because there didn’t seem a good enough reason for it (hard to explain without giving spoilers). Unfortunately, one major sticking point was that I didn’t like most of the characters and didn’t feel a proper emotional connection. It felt more like a message book than an exploration of people and the emotive blows that almost hit were from the subject matter alone. Overall though, it was a pretty good book and my main reason for the lower rating is that I don’t think the subject matter was something I wanted to read right now.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas        

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

bone queen

The Bone Queen– this was such a nostalgia trip for me that I probably wasn’t as critical of it as I should have been. The thing is, even though it’s years since I read the original trilogy, I still loved the characters and that carried across. And I liked some of this content-wise, but I had no idea why a lot of plot expedient information was told instead of shown- just why?! I mean, I’m not one of those people that yells “show don’t tell”- yet this was all action expedient to the story. It would have made so much sense to not treat it as backstory that’s reported in dispassionate third person. The story was alright overall, I just don’t agree with this stylistic choice at all.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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the smell of other people's houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses– this has such a great cover and title and promising reviews… but was ultimately really disappointing for me. While I liked the initial descriptions, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. There were just too many of them for the short space and it kept chopping and changing, so I couldn’t get to grips with them. Worse still, none of their voices were distinct enough to set them apart, so I didn’t even realise there were more than one perspective until halfway through the second pov character. The structure killed this for me and I didn’t get anything out of it.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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falling fast

Falling Fast– dear lord this was bad. Literally everything about it felt *wrong*. This is why I normally don’t pick up random books on Overdrive. The plot is essentially: girl wants bf because she’s bored, girl gets bf, bf is borderline abusive and shouts at her at the drop of a hat, but girl is okay with that cos she *loves his face*. I almost felt sorry for the mc, only she was such a whiny “oh why is my life so ordinary” character (why do authors think this is sympathetic?). In fact, while we’re on the subject of unlikeable, having the mc call her mum a Nazi cos she has a problem with her child’s abusive boyfriend is not #relatable, it’s just disrespectful (and majorly stupid). Anyway, I know *clue’s in the title* but they fall way too fast. Oh and don’t worry that he’s volatile and loses his temper easily at her, it’s cos he’s been abused. After she says “I love you”, he doesn’t reply cos they’ve barely been going out, but then a while later he says this: “I should have said: okay then come home with me. Then we’ll see if you love me”- which turns out means he wants to show her his abusive home life- BUT isn’t that the creepiest line ever? How is this romantic?

Other stupid elements:

  • Studying a play that has to have relevance in real life- this goes for Romeo and Juliet, because of course this dumbass teen drama wants to compare itself to the bard. Just effing great. *Slow clap* there.
  • Apparently at the school they go to the High School teachers bribe teens to be in the school play with an A* in English coursework #logic
  • Her being jealous of her attractive bestie.
  • The obligatory “bf saves girl from rapists”, in an attempt to make him seem not so bad in comparison. Also I thought I’d got the age range wrong before I got to this bit, cos it was written in such a childish manner.

I’m trying to come up with any redeeming features, but I’ve got nothing. This gets a banana peel:

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they both die at the end

They Both Die at the End- would you believe this is my first Silvera book? I was largely impressed by it- it was very original and emotional in a short space. It was fairly gloomy the whole way through- but then I expected it somewhat, cos, well, the clue is in the title. And argh that ending was really tough and felt so authentic. The romance was good- only I think this is the only time I’ve ever yelled at a book to *hurry up* given it’s their last day and all. Also bonus points for having an awesome taste in music, especially “American Pie”, which made me sing and read at the same time (I am such a weirdo).

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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book of dust

La Belle Sauvage– so if you don’t know, I am MASSIVE fan of His Dark Materials and I was super stoked for this book. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like the book was entirely necessary, especially since I knew where it was going pretty much from the start, yet I liked the story and really appreciated the way it set up that there is more to come. I’m especially intrigued to see where this whole series is going. And as a book on its own, it added to the world-building beautifully and had wonderful adventures that reminded me why I fell in love with the series in the first place.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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

92 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Review – June

  1. Ohhh I hope all goes well & please don’t worry too much about scheduling blog posts and such. ❤️

    I’m looking forward to reading They Both Die at The End soon, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it, eapecially because it’s your first Adam Silvera book.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for letting us know about the upcoming plans. I for one find that knowing helps a lot. I don’t wonder if you’ve died since there are no posts and I don’t wonder if you suddenly hate me because of no comments/likes on my blog. I really worry about those kind of things!

    Trust that whatever is happening is a good thing and you have so much fun that you explode like a unicorn full of rainbows and sprinkles.
    Or something like that…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yep, I’m definitely gonna try and keep everyone updated (I just wasn’t going to make any kind of announcement a) before I knew and b) before my close friends who might read the blog knew 😉 ) So yeah, if I struggle to keep up, I’m not dead (I hope! 😉 )

      hahahaha I hope it works out too! Although I’m not too keen on exploding like a unicorn full of rainbows 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Haven’t read these, don’t need to now: I read for either 1. light entertainment/escapism/denial of so-called ‘reality’ or 2. to learn ( or 3. to avoid writing more of my own book about tarot which is dribbling along slowly but steadily), so the ones about abusive and shallow relationships seem kind of yawn-plus-yuck to me. My day to day life involves a lot of hardcore stuff, since many of my friends and tarot clients are old-fashioned multiple personality folks/folks with DID, and/or blind or with other serious life issues, and I just don’t have the patience to read books where the protagonists make terrible foolish choices and expect me to pay attention to their trainwreck without being able to give them a word of insight.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Super exciting news! I’m so happy for you, I wish you all the best and honestly, don’t worry about posting / blog hopping. We all love your blog and will be there when you have time – I mean it! 😊❤️

    Falling Fast is something I would DNF – whiny characters that don’t grow really get on my nerves, totally understand your rating.

    ‘They both die in the end’ is something that has been on my radar for a while. Glad you enjoyed it, I will definitely check it out as well.

    Not reading can sometimes make room for things we normally don’t have time for. I sometimes really love these periods of time and come back to my beloved books when I start missing them again. Please don’t worry and enjoy this time. 😊Happy and safe travels! ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much- that’s really sweet of you!! 😊 ❤
      I so agree with that- they only reason I finished it was cos it was a quick(ish) read.
      Ah definitely recommend it!
      And yes that's really true!! 😊 Thank you so much! 😊 ❤

      Like

  5. Wishing you all the best for your upcoming move and stay wherever it might be! 😘
    I sooo loved His Dark Materials and can’t wait to read La Sauvage Belle! Glad you enjoyed it – it’s horrible if an author can’t pull it off a second time. 😂
    Have a lovely weekend and I’ll look forward to your scheduled posts! 😃💕

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Oooh this sounds exciting! Are you being transferred to another zoo?

    If you don’t manage to keep up with your blog, I will miss your awesome content, reviews of books that literally no one has ever read and terrible puns 😊. But sometimes life gets in the way, so you should go have adventures and not worry too much about it. I’ll still be banging on about not having a kitchen fitted when you get back 💜💙🖤💛❤️💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hahahahahaha that’s totally it lol 😉

      Thank you very much!! 😊😊 Yeah I honestly wish that life didn’t get in the way sometimes, but hopefully this’ll all be good. hahaha well I hope that goes well!! 💜💙🖤💛❤️💚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hope your break from blogging will help you focus on the more important things in life. Don’t stress about blogging and all that it entails, and do what makes you happy! 😉 Nice to see how successful La Belle Sauvage is. Great wrap-up of mini reviews! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  8. First of all, best of luck with your current events (whatever they may be) ❤ I am sure all will be more than understanding if your blogging or online presence has to take a back seat. It sounds exciting!

    That review of Falling Fast has me rolling. I keep envisioning your *slow clap*. I am pleased that They Both Die in the End scored well though. I have a copy here I believe 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I hope that you have a safe and wonderful trip and things work out quickly for you. (see I didn’t skip that part)

    And great mini’s as always. I just have one comment though…. I just watch a show on DIY on house renovations and they kept commenting on the smell of cat urine so you can imagine my loud laugh seeing a book titled the Smell of Other People’s Houses that was quickly followed by eeww…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I hope you have a great time during the next months! (And I would love to know more about all this and you of course)
    I am a fan of HDM too and I will read The book of dust as soon as I can budget it in.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Great reviews for all these books. I’ve only read the last two but I loved them so I’m really glad to see they each got such high ratings from you. They Both Die at the End is the best of Adam Silvera’s books in my opinion, so you started with the very best for your first taste of his writing, and oh wasn’t The Book of Dust great. I can’t wait for the next book in the series because that one focuses on Lyra as an adult, which is what I really want to see. 🙂
    Great post, and again great reviews. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Good luck the next couple of months! And thanks for all the reviews 🙂 I really want to read They Both Die at the End since it came out but haven’t felt like I’m in the right place for something that emotional.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “Come home with me and then we’ll see if you love me” is supposed to refer to his abusive home life? Yeah, right. It sounds like the stereotypical “if you don’t have sex with me you must not love me” thing that so many boys get away with. Ugh. I haven’t read that one, but I agree with your banana peel rating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hehehe it literally does- I was thinking the next scene was going to be him pressuring her into sex and was all on edge, but it was “I’ll show you where I live and talk about how my dad abused me”. It was such a dumb book (the fact that it didn’t have her getting pressured into sex was it’s only redeeming feature… but I’m not sure I can give it that cos it didn’t have to set up that line in the first place?) hehe thanks!

      Like

      1. So weird. I just don’t know what I would do if I’d read that line. Maybe rolled my eyes in disgust and skipped the rest of the story immediately for the principle of the thing, LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I hope you have a lovely few months away! We’ll miss you, but I hope you’re doing something exciting/fulfilling and you’ll still have some time to read here or there 🙂 Loved these mini reviews // I definitely want to read They Both Die At the End, sometime… the premise makes me think of TiMER, a muchs lighter speculative fiction movie that had to do with people getting a countdown device to the day they’ll meet their soulmate. The movie is so well done and cute and also surprisingly gutwrenching. Sooooo yeah I think one day I’ll be ready for that book and devour it and feel things. One day 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh no! I always look forward to your content (it’s so original and creative), so it makes me very sad you’ll be absent for a few months. 😦 I hope everything is alright in your life and that you’ll be back with us soon. Keep healthy and safe! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I hope you have a great time on your trip/break/time away – whatever it is! We’ll all be waiting here when you get back to blogging. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I hope that everything will go well and we will miss you around for sure – but don’t stress yourself out too much with scheduling and everything, just take care of yourself and taking a real break with nothing scheduled at all might be good, too – says the girl never able to do that, but I will next time for sure hahaha- Take care of yourself!! ❤ ❤
    Anyway, loved your reviews! I'm so happy you enjoyed La Belle Sauvage, I really enjoyed this book and it feels SO good to get back into that world ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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