Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – March

monthly mini reviews version 2

Gosh, 2019 has got off to quite the start! I actually felt January went so quickly, while February for me was THE MONTH THAT WOULD NOT END- and the irony that it’s the shortest month of the year was not lost on me. Between work, family visits, more WORK, furiously editing my WIP and my laptop dying, it was a wild month where I sadly didn’t get to be on the blog as much as I wanted (don’t know if this month looks much better… we’ll see). Anyhoo, that’s a little glimpse of what’s been going on behind the curtain- time for the BOOKS! I’m a bit behind on reviews at the moment, but that’s okay cos I’m about to whizz through a few now!

a gentleman in moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow– this was a well-crafted, excellently written book, with realistic characters and moving relationships… but for some reason I just didn’t fall for it the way I wanted to. Technically speaking, it’s effectively structured with good use of foreshadowing and has heart-warming elements reminiscent of Backman. I haven’t the faintest idea why I didn’t connect with this as much as I wanted to- it’s very much a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas


night of cake and puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets– ahh now this did capture my imagination. With a fairy tale feel, Taylor delivers yet again. The story is set in the world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and is told from Zuzana’s perspective. In this deliciously atmospheric story, the reader’s led through Prague on a romantic journey. Sweet, zingy and delightful: this is one to savour. It also features illustrations from Jim Di Bartolo (Taylor’s husband) and adorable acknowledgements from them both. If you’re a Laini Taylor fan and need a little piece of her prose to tuck into before her next book, then I can’t recommend this GORGEOUS little book enough!

Rating: 5/5 bananas


the painted veil

The Painted Veil– I very much admired the crisp writing style and characters in this story- it’s clear how much control Maugham had over language. The only problem I had with this book was that I’d seen the movie already (it’s good btw) so I knew more or less what was going to happen and didn’t get that much out of it as a result.

Rating: 3/5 bananas


think twice

Think Twice- the sequel to Don’t Even Think About It- where teens get telepathy from flu shots- was almost as good as the original. For the most part, I enjoyed it and flew through it like I had superpowers. A few things disappointed me in terms of the relationships, yet I still loved the tone and thought it was an entertaining story. The ending was especially clever!

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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if theres no tomorrow

If There’s No Tomorrow– this got pretty emotional by the end, though it wasn’t always an easy ride. At first, it was hard to like the bland as white bread (her words not mine) main character. And while it was written in an impassioned style, there were times when the descriptions were yawn-worthy and what people were saying could sound like something out of a PSA (public service announcement). The romance was also badly timed- and pointing it out didn’t make up for that issue. Still, it definitely got to me and had some sweet moments.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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the lie

The Lie– this was the biggest disappointment of the bunch. I picked it up on a whim at the library, cos I liked the premise and the opening was very gripping. That said, it quickly went off the boil. All the mystery and foreshadowing didn’t lead anywhere particularly interesting. I will say it dealt with shellshock rather well and the author had a brilliant command of language- her voice, word choices and control of the narrative were all excellent. Sadly, I just didn’t feel the story lived upto that.

2/5 bananas


And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

53 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – March

  1. I liked how you summed up If There’s No Tomorrow. That one was my first book by the author. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I did end up liking the audiobook version of it. Nice mini reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess I won’t read The Painted Veil since I’ve already seen the movie then.
    Mini reviews seems like a great way to get caught up. I think I’m gonna combine a few of mine myself. Hope you have a great March!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry you didn’t love Gentleman in Moscow. I will admit to struggling to get into it and occasionally losing focus (it’s pretty long and sometimes slow) but it really got to me. I didn’t think I would ever enjoy a book with such a limited setting (and next to no action) but somehow I did. Great reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think I probably had the same issues- I think it was hard to stay focused on it. I think I had the opposite reaction- I was super into it and then lost focus. But I do get why people liked that one. Thank you!


  4. I LOVED Night of Cake & Puppets. Zuze is one of my all time favorite characters so to be in her POV and read her romance, ugh.. it was great. Sorry to hear you’ve had some rough reads. I have Gentleman on my TBR but it’s a bit intimidating for me so not sure when I’ll get to it, but it’s great to hear that you enjoyed it for the most part.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep seeing A Gentlemen in Moscow around the internet but I haven’t actually picked it up (or placed it on my TBR list). Still undecided about whether I want to read it, so I guess I’ll just wait and see…

    I think Feb is the death month for laptops, since mine died too! :p Hope the new one is holding up better!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re absolutely right; this year seems to be going by pretty quickly! I agree that February did feel a little long. But March is off to a pretty quick start. It warms my heart that you loved Night of Cake and Puppets so much. It’s such a beautiful book and is basically the definition of delightful 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked the film version of The Painted Veil a lot, so I’m sad to see that the book didn’t offer much that wasn’t there on screen. It’s been on my TBR for a while since I like the author as well.

    February usually seems like the longest month for me, but for some reason, this year it just flew right by!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You sound like a stressed little monkey! I see it’s not affecting your machine like reading abilities though 😂

    Sounds like a bit of a mixed reading bag but overall good, which is positive.

    Now go and have a cup of horribly dark tea 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The only one of these I’ve actually read myself is Night of Cake and Puppets, but I loved it so I was thrilled to see you loved it too (and that it got the highest rating of all these mini reviews!)
    It’s a beautiful story, I love the illustrations too, and I really enjoyed learning more about Zuze and Mik in this book.
    Great reviews. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been on the fence about reading A Gentleman in Moscow, but most reviews I’ve read are around 3 stars. Most people say that the plot is too slow.

    I’ve never heard of Night of Cake and Puppets… Do you need to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone beforehand? DoSaB is a series I’d like to pick up after reading Strange the Dreamer and adoring it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah well I’m glad I’m not the only one to be honest- I’ve only seen reviews at 4-5*. But I do get what people mean about it being super slow.

      Yeah I do recommend that for sure- it’s a spinoff of that series. And that’s great- if you love strange the dreamer you’ll definitely enjoy DOSAB!!


  11. i haven’t read any of the books on this list and i’m so ashamed of myself (but i DO plan on picking up one of laini taylor’s books soon, and your five-star review only encouraged me further)!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, that’s so cool about The Night of Cake an Puppets being from Zuzanna’s perspective – I just loved her!! 😄 Going to have a look if library has a copy for me to spare. 😉💕

    Liked by 1 person

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