Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – Swiftly Moving into September!

monthly mini reviews version 2

Hello all! I’m coming out of a bit of a tumultuous month- and not just cos of the scorching heatwaves one minute and thunderstorms the next. Personally, I thought the universe was over-relying on pathetic fallacy to write the story of my life right now 😉 That said, some cool things happened, like getting to see my brother for the first time in a year and a half 😊 In terms of reading, I’ve been mercilessly DNFing (which I’ll talk about more soon!) Yet, even with all those duds, I did still manage to read some good stuff and made it to 1500 books read on Goodreads!!! And also, to top it all off, this happened:

1000 posts orangutan librarian

I’m so glad to have made it this far and thankful to everyone that’s stuck with me!

Alrighty then, let’s get to talking about what TV and books I’ve been into this month.

 

Jane the Virgin- seasons 1-4– this is basically all I’ve been watching this last month. I started in season 2, cos I’d already watched (and enjoyed) the first season about a year ago. While I haven’t finished it, I’ve no doubt I’ll love where it ends up, cos this is just the tonic for a overly dramatic 2020! And speaking of drama, this has it all. Inspired by a lot of South American tv tropes, this packs in action, romance, family themes, cultural elements and a little bit of humour. Just like a telenovela, this makes me gasp one minute and cry the next. Admittedly, I don’t normally love all the tropes (highlight for spoilery examples: amnesia and back from the dead in particular). And this even centres on a love triangle for crying out loud! BUT this is one of those times when I can make an exception, because in each case, I totally get why the trope is there. They’re partly used to pay homage to the fun genre of telenovelas, partly to deconstruct them. Plus, everything is geared to forcing Jane to choose between the two men (whilst putting her in a position where it was in no way her fault that she had to choose in the first place!) Basically, it’s not just fun, it’s clever. I also love the characters- from Jane as the main character to the slightly antagonistic Petra. Even Mateo has a big role to play. And, a bit random, but I tried (and failed) to learn some Spanish a while back and it’s been so great for me to just listen to the language to see what I can pick up. Highly recommend this if you just need something to kick back and relax with!

crave

Crave– speaking of a bit of fun, I wasn’t exactly craving a vampire book, but I did feel like some paranormal YA. Plus, the sassy voice promised a little bit of bite and I thought why the heck not. In some ways I was rewarded for my optimism, flying through this faster than a vampire bat could launch itself at an unsuspecting victim. I liked how it didn’t take itself too seriously and how there was a more logical structure to the story than Twilight. Still, on the subject of Twilight, it did mirror that infamously sparkly tome in a way that wasn’t very subtle, so I could see the reflection a little too clearly. And I really wasn’t sold on the corny romance. Nonetheless, there was an interesting final twist that had me somewhat intrigued. Not sure if it’ll be enough to get me to read more- maybe if I’m feeling like the living dead again when it comes out 😉

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

beach read

Beach Read– what a fun beachy read! The story of two rival writers in a small town, this doesn’t just deliver an entertaining hate to love romance, it also ends up being a love letter to books and writing. I loved how this went from rivalry to romance at a delightful pace. And the chemistry *sizzled* off the page. I also liked how this handled the topic of grief, exploring how sometimes we just don’t know the people we love. This managed to deliver some heartbreaking moments and put a big smile on my face. For me, it was a beautiful example of how to balance a bright, bubbly read with just a hint of the blues. Dare I say it’s the perfect beach read, with or without the beach!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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sharp objects2

Sharp Objects– I’m going to try and not be too cutting for this one, because there were parts I liked. It was sharply written, yet the plot was blunted by being a little too obvious. In this small-town secrets story, a reporter returns to her home town to investigate the murders of two little girls. There were a couple of good twists a long the way and an especially excellent final reveal. It made sense of the earlier plotholes. However, I did feel like there could have been more of a punch to the final reveal. And, another thing that stopped me loving this on a personal level was that of the descriptions made me a little queasy (I forgot quite how graphic Flynn can be). I do recommend it, just perhaps don’t expect it to be too edgy.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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

weekend away

Weekend Away– this would have simply been an enjoyable thriller that took me on a quick spin around Lisbon… if not for the creepy last second twist that I ended up thinking about for days after. There’s a lot to explore here. I liked the basic premise of two friends going on a weekend away and only one comes back (*dun dun dun*). What made this especially good was the execution. The characters and their relationships are slowly revealed a bit at a time. I especially liked how it built up the profile of the antagonists and the threat they posed. One thing I wasn’t keen on was how the main character was pretty clueless- but it did make sense and helped the plot progress. The best thing was that there was enough drama to keep me flying through the pages. Ultimately, it was exciting and suspenseful with an explosive finale.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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the flight

The Flight– this was slightly more of a letdown. It’s not a bad book by any means, it just didn’t wow me. It didn’t have that compulsive quality that keeps me whizzing through the pages. It didn’t take me to new heights because it was a little too pedestrian. The biggest issue for me was that it was more interested in telling us that domestic abuse is wrong than telling an interesting story. Frankly, I thought it was preaching to the choir. It didn’t help that the pacing felt a little bumpy- jolting between a quick takeoff and a rather slow middle where we were told one of the dual perspective’s backstory. It often vacillated between far-fetched and mundane. I also didn’t think it stuck the landing- while I quite liked how it linked up, it didn’t exactly blow my mind. Though it was a solid book, I felt like this just didn’t fulfil what I look for in a thriller. I need something a bit pacier and with enough intrigue to send me into a tailspin.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you all had a good month!

44 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – Swiftly Moving into September!

  1. Sorry if was a tough personal month, but massive congratulations on 1000 posts! That’s an incredible achievement.

    Oh I have heard Beach Read is good from all over the place now! I’m not big on romance novels but I am tempted by this one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This year seems hellbent on making it pretty miserable for everyone, so I’m sorry to hear that it’s been a tough month for you as well😔 That said, I’m glad that there luckily also happened some good stuff, and wow 1000 posts is truly one heck of an achievement to be proud of! Congrats on reaching this amazing milestone! Hope you will continue for many more years! 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. You really packed the puns into these little reviews. Makes me wonder how many puns I have missed on your past mini reviews. I wish I could write posts like that … but then they would take me way too long to craft!

    Jane the Virgin sounds fun. I didn’t realize it was a spin on telenovelas. But, it sounds like it is in Spanish, with subtitles? That wouldn’t work well for me, because I like to knit while I watch, so I can’t keep my eyes glued to the screen. And though I used to understand Spanish pretty well, my ear was never fast enough to watch normal-paced TV, and even less so now.

    I just watched the first season of Bloodline, a tragic family drama set in Florida. I watched it mostly for the setting, though the acting & the characterization were good too, I thought. Season 1 was pretty satisfying, and wrapped up like a Southern Gothic. I started Season 2, but then realized I didn’t want to watch the characters mess up their lives even more.

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    1. hehe I love puns! I’m glad you spotted them 😉

      It was fun! I think there were some things in the last series I didn’t like (it was always pretty ideological and I kinda just accepted that about it, but was kinda irritated with one of the choices in the last season- other than that I had a good time with it). There’s not too much Spanish- it’s mostly in English, with a few conversations (especially with the older characters in Spanish). I do get that- cos I also use tv to multi-task- so don’t typically like subtitles. I guess in this case, cos it was mostly in English and I learnt a smidgen of Spanish, I didn’t have to keep my eyes on the screen, which worked for me (I guess I also liked that it was a challenge to see if I could basically get the gist). I think it’s also quite slow- or I definitely wouldn’t pick it up! I think if you used to understand Spanish you’ll be fine tbh!

      ooh interesting! I do like the sound of a Southern gothic! Though these days I do get giving up on tv if it’s not totally working (for whatever reason) cos I have no patience for tv anymore I guess.

      Like

  4. I cried as I read the last 30ish percent of Beach Read, but I definitely had a smile on my face at the end. Though I came for a rom-com and found women’s fiction, I was ok, because it was a really well written story with a lot of emotional punch. The romance was strong enough too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think DNFing is part of anyone’s reading journey, especially if everyone with such big tbrs. I always have a couple duds, but for me it’s all about the writing, and sometimes it just doesn’t work for me.

    Also, Congrats to 1000 posts!! What a milestone!

    ~ Corina | The Brown Eyed Bookworm

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I legit gasped in horror at the final reveal in Sharp Objects. I knew something fishy was still going on and then everything suddenly made sense. And that disturbing image has been burned into my mind forever.

    Also, Jane the Virgin is AMAZING, though I found that I had to take periodic breaks between binging bits of it. I love the way it looks – the color palette is so beautiful, especially in the current age of GrimDark tv.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on 1000 posts! I’m so glad you’re loving Jane the Virgin! Rogelio is actually my favorite — he steals every scene he’s in. But really, I love just about everyone on that show. PS – I’m reading The Light Fantastic and just encountered the orangutan librarian, and of course, I thought of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg congrats on the blogging & goodreads achievements!! That’s so incredible. I hope things get better for you in September ❤ I loved JTV! I started watching it when it first came out back in 2014, and I kept up with it every week because I loved it sm. I also recently completely my first rewatch of the series, and I enjoyed it so so much, all over again. I was hardcore Team Raf the first time around, but I actually found myself rooting way more for Michael this time :')

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