9 for 9 – September Mini Reviews

Woohoo it’s the first Friday of the month- which means Mini Reviews! And since this is gonna be a long one, let’s get started!!

I am the messenger

I am the Messenger– I desperately wanted this to be the Book Thief, but it’s not :/ I didn’t really latch onto the characters as much as I wanted to and the best one in it was a dog called the Doorman. While this book did have some interesting messages, I’m not sure this book totally delivered.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

paper magician

The Paper Magician– you know a book has failed when you get to the end and you’ve forgotten it’s supposed to be set somewhere historical, especially if your main complaint is that there was too much world building. The style just doesn’t lend itself to the era. Plus I just connect with the characters. Or anything else for that matter.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

landline

Landline– There was nothing technically wrong with this book, so my rating may seem really harsh, but I just did not relate to it at all. I didn’t relate to the characters, the situation or get the whole phone thing. I guess I Rainbow Rowell is just hit and miss for me.

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahalf-a-hand-drawn-banana

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi– Okay- finally a book on here I liked! Like all good contemporaries the characters are what shone here. At first I found Dimple to be a bit of a crank, buuuut she definitely grew on me and she also presented a nice contrast to the male love interest. And as for Rishi… ahh my sweet buttecup- how I loved him!! I also loved their budding relationship. However, I do think this book was longer than it needed to be, with unnecessary padding and focus on aspects I was less interested in, which was the only thing that stopped me from falling head over heels for this book.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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

serafina and the black cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak– I LOVED the style and the story here. It was so so inventive an really well done. I also wasn’t expecting the ending to be so good and mushy- it just took the whole thing to another level! If you want a book that’s gonna just fill you with joy pick this up! Also shout out to the awesome Daley Downing who sent this to me along with her book!!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahalf-a-hand-drawn-banana

saint anything

Saint Anything– *minor spoilers* this story was mostly fine… except for the parents in this book. I could rant for ages about how totally USELESS they were. I know a lot of parents get stick in YA for being lousy, but these ones really took the biscuit. Basically, for some unknowable reason, they had all the faith in the world for their dysfunctional jailbird son, yet couldn’t trust their sensible daughter. Plus, not only did they get all overprotective about everything she did, like hanging out with a pretty apple-pie kind of family, but they simultaneously set things up so that a SEXUAL PREDATOR waits for her when she gets home, babysits whenever they visit their son in prison and eventually invite him to move in. I mean *seriously*? These parents couldn’t let the girl sneeze on her own, yet they let it get to the point where the low-life former druggie almost rapes her?! I didn’t get that at all. Annnnd I know all I’ve done is complain about the parents in this book, so it might seem strange that the rating isn’t too low, but I swear everything else about this book was enjoyable enough.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

outsiders

The Outsiders– as I mentioned in my Book VS Book post, I had mixed feelings about this book. For starters, I felt that it was stylistically quite stilted and found the excruciating detail of descriptions somewhat unnecessary. HOWEVER it was very moving at times and I *loved* the full circle effect of making the ending and beginning meet. Seriously, that was pure genius. So while I wasn’t too crazy about the clunky-at-times writing style, I can appreciate that this is a good book and deserves its moniker as a classic.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

the vampire lestat

The Vampire Lestat– okay so I was recommended this *years and years* ago and it has been sitting on my tbr since I found it in a charity shop back in ’14. To be honest, the whole vampire fad thing made me kind of reluctant to pick it up. I was glad I finally did recently though, because while Interview with a Vampire didn’t do too much for me (because of the mc mainly) I do love Rice’s gorgeous writing style. I did prefer this to Interview, mostly cos I *love* Lestat so much more as a character. Still, I wasn’t too bowled over with the plot- partly because it dragged a little, but mostly because I don’t know why vampire stories always have to be so obsessed with origin stories. Either way, this was an enjoyable read, whether you’re into vamp stories or not.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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

the bride

The Bride– don’t let the rating fool you, I had a lot of fun with this book. Much more than I expected to. If you want a good romp through the Scottish highlands, this is great. Simply put, it’s outlander without the rape and time travel. However, I won’t pretend like this blew me away or anything, as much as it was fun to read, hence the lower rating (I did read this on a 9 hour bus ride though, so I don’t know if grogginess was a factor in my enjoyment).

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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

Okay, so this might be my last bout of mini reviews for a while since I’ve pretty much cleared the decks- unless by some miracle I read a lot of books in the next month…. (crazier things have happened 😉 ) Hope you enjoyed that!

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

 

BOOK VS. BOOK TAG

For the first time ever I have a good reason for taking so long to do a tag, because when I was first tagged I’d read just one of the books on the list, so doing it would have been totally pointless. However I decided to treat this like a challenge to see how many I could read…. Annnd now that I’ve finally managed to read ALL the books on here so I’m READY TO ROCK!!

Thank you so much to Emily @Rose Read for tagging me and creating such an awesome list of books- I had so much fun doing this!!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blog who tagged you and link back to them
  • Your first book is the last book of the person who tagged you
  • Follow the list of books the tagger you gave you and then face off “book 1 vs book 2”
  • As soon as you have a winner, choose 7 more books and blogs to tag

Emily ended with Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so that’s my starting book. Here’s her list of contenders:

  1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky
  7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

ROUND 1

cinder vs illuminae.png

Cinder VS Illuminae: Already I’m gonna have some guilt with this question because of how easy it is for me to say ILLUMINAE! In truth, I did really enjoy Cinder but I didn’t love it nearly as much as Illuminae.

ROUND 2

illuminae vs ready player one.png

Illuminae VS Ready Player One: Again I did actually enjoy Ready Player One in the end but IT’S NOT ILLUMINAE DAMMIT!

ROUND 3

illuminae vs enders game.png

Illuminae VS Enders Game : This is getting ridiculous!!! Guys, I just really like Illuminae okay!?

ROUND 4

illuminae vs outsiders.png

Illuminae VS Outsiders: Okay, before you get up on me for my Illuminae bias, I’m still trying to pin down my thoughts on Outsiders since I had mixed feelings about it… so yeah… it’s got to be Illuminae.

ROUND 5

illuminae vs part time indian.png

Illuminae VS The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Ahh well this one’s easy too- cos I actually didn’t like the Part-Time Indian– I didn’t relate to it at all and as I said in my mini-review, I think it’s more aimed at an American audience. So yeah, Illuminae for the win!

ROUND 6

illuminae vs perks.png

Illuminae VS Perks of Being a Wallflower: Arghhhh no!!!! Why are you doing this to me?!?! I really thought with how easy it was for Illuminae to win the last few rounds that it would run away with it and I wouldn’t have to make any tough decisions… Alas you’re making me choose between my babies *sobs*!! I think it actually has to be Perks because Illuminae was tough to get into (see I can actually criticise books I love from time to time) whereas Perks was faultless (okay, not always)

ROUND 7

perks vs eleanor.png

Perks of Being a Wallflower VS Eleanor and Park: *controversial opinion alert* I didn’t actually like Eleanor and Park… so this one’s a no brainer.

THE WINNER!

perks of being a wallflower

The winner is Perks of Being a Wallflower! Yes, I know, we all thought Illuminae would win for sure, but at the last minute the dark horse of the competition snuck up and stole the prize!

Anyway I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with this one.

Here’s My List of books:

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  6. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (I feel like it came so close it deserves to be on here)

I chose books I wouldn’t be able to choose between- I’m so mean- mwhahahaha!

evil laughter

I tag:

Nel, Kat, Valerie, Shannon, Briana & Krysta @Pages Unbound, Lashaan & Trang @Bookidote, Dani @Perspective of a Writer, Villain Library, Two Gals and a Book, and Around the Library in 80 Days (as always don’t feel like you have to do it and feel free to give it a go if you like the look of this!)

And what do you think of my choices- which book would have won for you? Let me know in the comments!

And heads up I’m gonna be gone for a few days, visiting friends, so there won’t be any posts until the end of next week! I will leave you with this tune…

Which is nice and appropriate for a trip to Scotland 😉