Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – March

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Gosh, 2019 has got off to quite the start! I actually felt January went so quickly, while February for me was THE MONTH THAT WOULD NOT END- and the irony that it’s the shortest month of the year was not lost on me. Between work, family visits, more WORK, furiously editing my WIP and my laptop dying, it was a wild month where I sadly didn’t get to be on the blog as much as I wanted (don’t know if this month looks much better… we’ll see). Anyhoo, that’s a little glimpse of what’s been going on behind the curtain- time for the BOOKS! I’m a bit behind on reviews at the moment, but that’s okay cos I’m about to whizz through a few now!

a gentleman in moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow– this was a well-crafted, excellently written book, with realistic characters and moving relationships… but for some reason I just didn’t fall for it the way I wanted to. Technically speaking, it’s effectively structured with good use of foreshadowing and has heart-warming elements reminiscent of Backman. I haven’t the faintest idea why I didn’t connect with this as much as I wanted to- it’s very much a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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night of cake and puppets

Night of Cake and Puppets– ahh now this did capture my imagination. With a fairy tale feel, Taylor delivers yet again. The story is set in the world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and is told from Zuzana’s perspective. In this deliciously atmospheric story, the reader’s led through Prague on a romantic journey. Sweet, zingy and delightful: this is one to savour. It also features illustrations from Jim Di Bartolo (Taylor’s husband) and adorable acknowledgements from them both. If you’re a Laini Taylor fan and need a little piece of her prose to tuck into before her next book, then I can’t recommend this GORGEOUS little book enough!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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the painted veil

The Painted Veil– I very much admired the crisp writing style and characters in this story- it’s clear how much control Maugham had over language. The only problem I had with this book was that I’d seen the movie already (it’s good btw) so I knew more or less what was going to happen and didn’t get that much out of it as a result.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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think twice

Think Twice- the sequel to Don’t Even Think About It- where teens get telepathy from flu shots- was almost as good as the original. For the most part, I enjoyed it and flew through it like I had superpowers. A few things disappointed me in terms of the relationships, yet I still loved the tone and thought it was an entertaining story. The ending was especially clever!

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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if theres no tomorrow

If There’s No Tomorrow– this got pretty emotional by the end, though it wasn’t always an easy ride. At first, it was hard to like the bland as white bread (her words not mine) main character. And while it was written in an impassioned style, there were times when the descriptions were yawn-worthy and what people were saying could sound like something out of a PSA (public service announcement). The romance was also badly timed- and pointing it out didn’t make up for that issue. Still, it definitely got to me and had some sweet moments.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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the lie

The Lie– this was the biggest disappointment of the bunch. I picked it up on a whim at the library, cos I liked the premise and the opening was very gripping. That said, it quickly went off the boil. All the mystery and foreshadowing didn’t lead anywhere particularly interesting. I will say it dealt with shellshock rather well and the author had a brilliant command of language- her voice, word choices and control of the narrative were all excellent. Sadly, I just didn’t feel the story lived upto that.

2/5 bananas

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And that’s all for now! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!