Monthly Monkey Mini Review – February

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Yay- it’s February- which means I get to do one of my favourite posts of the month! The Mini Reviews!! (yes, I like this cos I’m lazy about reviewing, don’t judge!) The vast majority of books I read last month were good, so these are mostly positive- enjoy!

homegoing

Homegoing– this was such a beautiful book. It reminded me of a parable, yet was very much grounded in realism. It built up pictures of worlds, people, stories. Telling the story of an African family across continents and over the course of centuries is no small feat. I will say that, due to its scope, there were a lot of people to keep track of and I puzzled over that at first- which in turn distracted me from the story. That said I truly believe this book, with its epic proportions and stunning prose, will go down in history as one of the great American novels. And I don’t say that lightly at all- I was simply awed by it and would hazard a guess that this will be a future classic. There’s so much to analyse here and it was endlessly quotable. So why the short review? Quite simply, once I got into it I was too swept up to write proper notes- sorry!

I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw this first, so I’m sorry to that person because their review was very striking and made me instantly put it on my tbr. Still, there are loads of excellent, full reviews out there for this- I recommend Zezee’s.

/5 bananas

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and then there were none

And Then There Were None– I was absolutely gripped from the opening all the way to the end. Layer upon layer of intrigue and suspicion built up over the course of the novel- with spooky, biblical overtones and clever connections drawn. Oh so much cleverness! Everything from the concept to the who-actually-dunnit to the psychological elements was so well thought out. I did end up questioning the motive- which while it made sense in the context of the book, made me puzzle over the realism when I turned the last page. Overall though I loved it! Very entertaining read.

Side Note: before I read this someone told me not to google the original title, which of course I went and did… bloody hell.

/5 bananas

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foxhole court

Foxhole Court– ahh the inevitable monthly stinker- and I have only myself to blame for this. I saw a negative (but very well done) review for this over on Angelica’s blog– but because I am a curious berk, was struggling with a combination of slumpy blues and boredom, I had to check it out. Lo and behold… it was free on kindle. BEWARE FREE KINDLE BOOKS everybody. As promised, this was *bad*. After the first 10% had nothing but exposition, over description and the cheesiest of one liners, I was ready to call it a day. Then it got weird. Just so, so much weirdness. I don’t even know how to explain- so I’m gonna try listing it:

  • Bizarre fights for no reason- don’t worry though, they’re just for *tension*
  • The most unnecessarily complicated, confusing family dynamics
  • The WORST fake sport ever- it’s football meets hockey meets tennis meets who the fuck cares it’s not like it’s been well thought out. Plus it’s co-ed because who gives a shit about biology when you can make a stand for “equality”- even if it’s a contact sport and without magical powers you’re basically arguing for men to beat the shit out of women… let that sink in.
  • Athletes on hard drugs and getting withdrawal symptoms for not taking said drugs enough
  • Also drugs that make *no sense* (no antipsychotics don’t make you high- are you for real?!)
  • Casual rape threats- that no one bats an eye at
  • Actual sexual assault (again, no one cares)

O-kay so I think that’s got everything covered. Don’t get why this is a thing. I will say that my bemusement drove me through the book in the midst of a terrible reading slump- so it had that going for it I guess- and why (even though I’m having serious doubts about this having written the review) I’m giving it:

2/5 bananas

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crystal storm

Crystal Storm– I had surprisingly mixed feelings about this one- which is not what you want for a 5th book. First of all, it’s beginning to suffer from plausibility problems. Yes, I know it’s fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so unbelievable- sorry but how many times can these characters be captured and recaptured? Also, we’re at book five and not one of the characters has ever come up with a halfway decent plan beyond “we must steal the magical kindred!” Seriously- that’s only ever made things worse- TRY SOMETHING ELSE DAMMIT! I also don’t like highlight for spoilers: that the evil dude is now evil cos he took a magical potion to forget love or whatever- people don’t need magical potions to be bad, just sayin’. And last complaint (I swear!) I hate that everyone that dies ends up alive, cos it really removes a lot of the stakes from the story.

With all that said, I did still end up thoroughly entertained, especially in the last quarter. The climax especially elevated the whole book from blah and made it pretty worthwhile. I’m still loving a lot of the characters and am looking forward to the last book (also a little part of me wants it to be over)

Side Note: Would you believe I’ve reviewed none of these books before? Not even in a mini review. I blame the fact that I started reading them long before I had a blog. Ah well, c’est la vie.

3½/5 bananas

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As always, have you read any of these? What did you think of them? And have you ever read a crap book just cos you’re in a slump? Let me know in the comments!

And for anyone that notices, hope you don’t mind that these mini reviews were slightly longer than usual!