Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – April

monthly mini reviews version 2

Well now that we’re living in the end times/our dystopic nightmares/a peculiar alternate reality, it feels a bit odd to talk about books… and yet we all could’ve guessed that us bookworms were bound to bury our heads in books as things fall apart 😉

I myself have been putting together an end of the world playlist (including: End of the Line, Over and Done With, Thriller etc.) and been bunkering down to read (sod all else to do anyway, since most of my work has been put on hold and most of us are currently under house arrest).

spam jail

In all seriousness, I hope you and your families are all okay, wherever you are in the world ❤ Thankfully everyone I live with is in good health, though I’ve had other issues created by this ongoing crisis, which have taken me away from blogging. So, thanks for all your patience and for continuing to stick with me ❤

Now that the (somewhat unusual) life update is out of the way, let’s get back to the books, shall we?

sea witch

The Sea Witch– this was a decent, if ultimately uninspiring retelling of the Little Mermaid. While I appreciated the use of Danish, giving the story some much needed authenticity, other aspects of the writing were a little colourless. Plus, parts of the story drifted by a little slowly. That said, I did like some of the twists and how it took the story in a darker direction than I anticipated. Yet, I will say that after that one bold turn, it seemed like the ending could have gone to greater depths. Instead, it sort of washed over me and left me wanting. Not a bad book by any means, but not brilliant.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

eat pray love

Eat Pray Love– I often don’t like to talk about memoirs, because it feels too much like critiquing someone else’s life, but I got so much out of this, I thought it was worth sharing. Upbeat and positive, I instantly warmed to the author and was happy to take a globetrotting trip with her! I loved the locations, each offering something different: Italy fattens you up with joy; India gives you the opportunity to open your mind; Bali offers friendship… and more! Admittedly, I didn’t connect with some parts, because I’m not a very spiritual person (despite loving yoga) but I still found reading this was a surprisingly positive experience. More than anything, it fed my wanderlust and makes me ache to travel more… though for now I think we’ll have to be satisfied with books!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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

this is how you lose the time war

This is how you lose the time war– the only downside to this compact time travelling story is that it whizzed by so relatively fast, I felt like I didn’t lose any time at all! Despite its length, this was packed with things to love: it had a compelling concept, awesome opening, beautiful writing, wonderful references and heartstopping romance. I heartily recommend giving it a go- whether you like sci fi or not.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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

queen of ruin

Queen of Ruin– well it’s never a good sign when you get to the last page I thought “at least it’s over”. I really liked the first instalment in this duology… but unfortunately this didn’t live up to that- either conceptually or in terms of character. It felt like this story was just tacked on to round off all the events of the last book- which, while often the case with YA sequels, was disappointing to say the least. Unlike the Grace and Fury, where I was impressed with the characterisation, this had no character progression. Apparently, the characters had done their developing in the last book, so didn’t need to go anywhere emotionally here. The romance was pretty much sorted at the end of the last book, so it was no surprise how it all resolved here. And all the other plotlines were resolved very quickly (though they took longer here to get going!). The only “new” aspect for this book was characters taking inopportune moments to jump on the occasional soapbox- which I didn’t appreciate. Nothing about this made me buzz with excitement and it left me a little cold.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

sometimes I lie

Sometimes I Lie– well this was an unusual read. When Alexa Donne mentioned it on her channel, her impression seemed to be “I’m not sure what to make of it”, so I thought I’d read it and see what I made of it… and I think my conclusion is I’m not sure what to make of it! It was well written and twisty and unpredictable. Even if I felt like I got a handle on it at times, the story would turn in the next moment and go in a different direction. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it- it was a little too dark to say that- but I do think it was a strong and memorable thriller. In the end I settled on…

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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

the guest list

The Guest List– I was surprised by how much I liked this. At a remote island off the coast of Ireland, where guests have gathered for a wedding, readers are invited to witness to a murder. Introduced to multiple perspectives, we are given a sense of the bride, the groom and many of the partygoers. As the story progresses, flipping from timelines before and after the murder, it soon becomes apparent that many characters have more than a few reasons to commit a serious crime… and we still don’t know who the victim is yet! Compelling throughout, the tension amps up, until we’re given more than a little slice of satisfaction. This was a masterclass on how to lead a reader on a merry dance. I do pronounce this book a worthy thriller!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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

That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments!

52 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – April

  1. I am glad you are doing alright in terms of health and hope that whatever else you have to deal with right now will resolve itself too! I am rooting for you! ❤
    As for the books, Eat Pray Love is the only one I read and honestly one that I appreciated so much. I read it while I was working in France for a summer at the age of 16/17 (and I didn't love that experience), but it helped me open up so much more to what was happening and what I needed out of life. The book/journey often gets so much slack, because it's basically a white woman who can afford to travel for a really long time, but I think that it's still such an interesting take on our inner workings. Everyone I know who has read it has a favourite part, depending on where they are in life. Some want to eat, some want to pray, some want to love. I like that about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree not everyone can take a year or so out without it becoming: starve, pray for food and love it when your family send you money lol!

      I’ve not thought about it stimulating a desire to do one of the three … very interesting

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you so much! ❤ I hope you and your family are doing ok too ❤ I'm so glad you thought so- I think it's such a worthwhile read and I got so much out of it. I'm really glad it was able to help you too. Yeah I saw some negativity around it- and sure, most people (including me) will likely never be in her position, but I think she was trying to do something positive with the book and story. hehehe that is such a great point! I think for me it was eat to be honest 😉 (but that could also be because I love Italy so much 😉 ) Me too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, we are!
        Hahaha eat is a good place to want to be! I think for me, back in the day, it was pray. But not so much because I am a spiritual person, but more that need to trust that everything is going to be okay and that what you are sending out into the universe helps if it’s something positive.

        Like

  2. Your sea puns are killin’ me!

    I haven’t read any of these but I do have some thoughts on Eat, Pray, Love. When it came out and became such a sensation, the author got roasted in some circles as being an example of a ditzy, self-absorbed female writer. Yet a friend of mine got lots of benefit out of the memoir, especially the descriptions of depression & anxiety. I haven’t bothered to read it because I’m not interested in Eastern Mysticism, but I did pick up Stern Men, a novel set in Maine by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I can tell you that it is a terrific book and she is an amazing author! So I guess I will delve into Eat, Pray, Love if I ever cross paths with it again.

    Oooo, so sad, an orangutan in a cage! Glad you are healthy. We are, too, and also hunkered down even though we already live out in the boondox. I am glad we moved out here last fall, just in time for what’s predicted to be the next Great Depression. Have to wait ’til the snow stops so I can start a Victory Garden …

    I have noticed that some bloggers are I follow are picking up their production during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe thanks 😉

      Yeah I just heard that- I didn’t know and I think it’s a shame, cos she clearly had good intentions. Even though I have very little in common with her, I thought she seemed like a good person. And it honestly helped me too. I’m glad your friend got something out of it as well. Oh that’s awesome! Really want to check that out now! 😀 Thanks for the recommendation!

      Hehe I know right 😉 Thank you! I’m glad to hear you’re all safe!

      Yeah I have noticed that as well- I wish I was more like that!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes I lie sounds awesome. Im reading one of my favs at the mo – the wasp factory by Iain Banks and then was thinking of something gothic I’ve not finished Neverwhere by Gaiman so now is a good time to do that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This Is How You Lose The Time War is on my TBR, and I’m looking forward to (eventually) getting to it. Also, I wasn’t interested in Eat Pray Love before, but yesterday we watched a TED talk interview with the author about how to deal with anxiety and being overwhelmed in the current pandemic, and now I’m interested in reading some of her work because the talk was so inspiring! Thanks for the bite-sized reviews. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you’re doing okay. I’m off work for the foreseeable (though fortunately still 80% paid) – it’s real weird!

    I love Elizabeth Gilbert. Have you ever read her fiction? I’m currently reading her latest, City of Girls and I am loving every second of it. I don’t want it to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are reading great titles in house arrest. I many time saw Eat, Pray and Love movie while changing channels but somehow couldn’t watch it from the beginning and it never hold my attention from the middle. Reading your review, books sounds better. I keep seeing This is how you lose the time war and The Guest List. Both sounds amazing read. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My dearest banana loving friend thank you for bringing me sometimes I lie 🖤 I think I read so much at uni I flatlined as I’ve read only a handful of books in the last few years – all of them painfully slow buuuut I inhaled this book in under seven hours! 😍 My brain is still whirring. I loved Gone Girl but this is a lil bit more twisted 🍌🍌🍌🍌 just wanted to stop by and say thanks

    Like

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