Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – May it be May 2021?!

(not actually trying to make a LOTR reference… though who am I kidding that’s totally a reference 😉)

Hello all! Very very very exciting news! All my work-stuff paid off and I got a new job in libraries! I’m going full time!! And I’m really, really happy about it!!! Not sure where my blogging will be at while I get into the swing of things- WE SHALL SEE (she says ominously 😉 ) Please bear with me!

Other than that, we’re also starting to see the light (okay maybe only the outside of pubs 😉 ) in England. Hopefully, hopefully things will start looking up soon! *CHEERS!*

With the application/interview, I’ve fallen into a bit of a reading slump, so haven’t got a lot to talk about this month. But there’s still some gems to share. First though, I watched a fab film:

Karate Kid– have you ever rewatched something 20 or so years later and it’s like experiencing it for the first time? Well, this is what it was like to rewatch Karate Kid. It felt faintly familiar and comforting- and yet I was delighted by how fresh it felt. Feel good and with strong characters, it’s one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen in a long time (twenty years or so I’d say 😉). I loved the spirit of the story and the goodie vs baddie themes. It’s got some real depth to it as well- teaching the viewer not to simply become what we hate- but be something better. It’s very powerful stuff and incredibly inspiring 😊

The Happiest Man on Earth– you perhaps won’t expect to find a holocaust memoir to be one of the most uplifting books I’ve ever read- but that’s exactly what this is. It’s obviously hard to read at times and has some harrowing stories, however ultimately this was a beautifully life-affirming read. A real quick read, I was shocked by some of the revelations and at times wondered if this was the unluckiest man on earth. And yet- and yet somehow he managed to survive. More than that, Jaku built a life for himself and his family. He never allowed himself to become less than human- no matter what circumstances tried to strip that from him. He is a shining example of humanity.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Tiny Beautiful Things- compiled of letters to and from an agony aunt dubbed Sugar, this had the miraculous ability to be in part a touching life-advice and part memoir. Though I didn’t agree with every piece of advice, the warmth and sweetness behind Sugar’s every word was undeniable. I will admit that I did find I had to take some of the letters with a pinch of salt- some of the suggestions were a bit too saccharine and out of touch with (my) reality. That said, I think I got a lot out of reading this- not just for the author’s take, but the immensely powerful stories of everyone that wrote to her. And, after reading this, I very much look forward to reading the author’s fiction.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Then She Was Gone– I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I just really like Lisa Jewell’s books. Yes, they’re not traditionally thrilling thrillers; yes, the “twists” are more than a little obvious. AND YET, even if I can sense the exact steps the narrative will take towards its conclusion, I just really appreciate the journey. Focusing more on the lives of victims than villains, this book was very much focused on the explosion of horror into a normal life. Though absorbing, it was not for the typical reasons I find a thriller absorbing. Rather I was compelled to witness an unravelling of the cruel realities that make up so many crimes. Jewell imagines lives touched by tragedy with startling empathy. And of course, Jewell always has that magic way of making her characters real and genuinely good.

Rating: 4.5/5 bananas

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Court of Silver Flames– I have issues; I really don’t know why I read this book. I knew very well that I was unlikely to enjoy it- I was dissatisfied with the ending in ACOWAR and thought ACOFAS was a waste of time. So, I should’ve known this wouldn’t be for me. Still, the ending of the series had left me wanting more… And I didn’t get that here. Unless you count lots more of Maas’ infamous sex scenes. Lots and lots of sex scenes. Ones that I didn’t find particularly sexy (somehow talk of “impaling” doesn’t exactly do it for me). Unfortunately there isn’t much to say beyond that. The story was a kind of formless blob. The plot was all over the place. Apart from the “romance” (*ahem*), it’s just a jumbled mess. Many times I questioned, where the hell is this going? (Minor spoiler: in a freakishly Breaking Dawn direction apparently). I did think the ending was saved by a moment of grace and proof that the whole story had been in service of character development (even if it didn’t seem that way while I reading). This somewhat saved the reading experience for me. That and the fact that, as a character, Nesta occasionally grabbed my attention… except when she was moaning “boohoo it sucks to be an all-powerful immortal”. Honestly, I have to hold my hands up and admit it was my fault for reading this in the first place. I really need to have some s(h)elf control and stop picking up books from this author- for my own good!!

Rating: 2.5/5 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!

50 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – May it be May 2021?!

  1. The Happiest Man on Earth sounds great. I want to read it after last holocaust book I read this week. They are definitely dark and hard to read but I love the message and the way they reflect history. I still haven’t read any Sarah J Maas book. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh, congratulations! Now if we could only pass on some of your job-in-library-getting mojo to an American friend of mine, who has been trying for a few years to do same!

    I love The Karate Kid. I love Mr. Miyagi. He has some of the greatest lines, and a great voice. This film came out when I was in elementary school, and it is truly iconic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Ah I wish your friend luck! And I get it- it’s tough over here as well. But I can also say that when it comes to jobs in libraries, at least in my experience, it’s really about persistence and hanging in there!

      I completely agree! ☺️ Loved every second of the movie! And Mr miyagi is just a wonderful character!

      Like

  3. I cannot help myself with Maas either. Why? I don’t think it’s just hate reading because somehow I always think it’s going to be different. I need some mental hand slap next time I reach for one.

    Congrats on the new job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done on the job front, that sounds exciting! I suspect we will be getting more of your recommendations given you will be amongst books all day from now on …..
    The Lisa Jewell is the only one of her books I’ve read. It was well plotted and kept me engaged though I did suspect some of the twists…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Hehe yeah it doesn’t hurt 😉 already discovered some things I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise! ☺️

      Yeah I really enjoy her books, even if they’re a bit more obvious than some thrillers. They’ve got a bit more social commentary and some interesting (slightly more realistic) characters

      Like

  5. “All my work-stuff paid off and I got a new job in libraries! I’m going full time!!”
    Am I allowed to be a little envious? 😉 That’s great news, and you’ll figure out the blog thing for sure. Maybe a little less content, but same quality!
    (I’ve been a lurker lately, but I’ve been here…).

    Like

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