Reviews: 8/21-10/14

I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to over these last few month, whether because of other projects, vacations, or general depression.  Finally, I’ve pulled these reviews together to give you an idea of what I have been reading.  Hopefully the next series will come much quicker.

A Princess in Theory
Alyssa Cole

This is my very first romance read, and I have to say, it was probably the perfect one to pick up as a first-timer. Ledi is a very relatable protagonist and a joy to read and follow. The romance was measured and steady, with enough bumps to make you root for it to last. Overall, I’m enjoying this series (I’m in the middle of A Duke By Default) and I’m looking forward to the next book.

Jell-o Girls
Allie Rowbottom

This was quite the book to get through. Part memoir, part history of Jell-o, blended together excellently, it was a fascinating look into the lives of the owners of Jell-o and how the world took hold of this family. It’s definitely worth a read, and it’s a fairly easy flow, even when the subject material can be a bit heavy. It deals quite a lot with death, so be aware if that’s not something you’re into.

The Boy at the Keyhole
Stephan Giles

This was a pretty good mystery, even though I saw the biggest twist coming. It was well-paced and an easy read, each chapter leading you to read the next one and so forth. I actually like the ending twist, although it may not be to everyone’s liking. I do love writers who explore the dark side of children.

Sweet Little Lies
Caz Frear

This was a pretty solid mystery with a really big twist of an ending. I liked the style and the story was easy to follow. The text, however, is small in the hardcover, so be forewarned if you, like me, have some trouble with that. The main characters were all fairly likable and I enjoyed following them along in the story.

My Brother’s Husband Vol. 2
Gengoroh Tagame

Volume two made me cry, not just because it was a volume of partings, but because the heart of it is so earnest and sweet. The brother slowly comes to change his mind about mike and how he feels about knowing gay people in his life and there’s a real honesty to it how sometimes he worries about screwing up, but ultimately knows it’s something he can talk about.

The Personality Brokers
Merve Emre

This was a lot to get through, not because it’s necessarily a hard read, but there’s just so much information packed into it. It’s a biography both of Katharine and Isabel Briggs and a story of how their combined efforts made the Meyers-Briggs Personality test that we know today, even though it’s only loosely based on an interpretation of Jungian theory and not really based in anything solid or even repeatable.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Patrick Ness

A whale’s version of Moby Dick, don’t go in thinking this is going to be the whale’s side of the story. This is Moby Dick as written by whales searching for their own “white whale” as it were (a man named Toby Wick, get it?) The illustrations are beautiful and the prose is spare and neat. It’s a beautiful book that will most likely move you to tears by the end of it. It’s also a meditation on war and why we wage it.

The Chrysalis
Brendan Deneen

This is a great horror book for Halloween if you’re looking for a good old fashioned monster story. Something is growing down in the basement of this old house our couple buy, and it needs to feed. It takes hold of the husband and soon he is consumed in his effort to feed and take care of the thing. It has great personality shifts and subtle horror until the last chapter when all hell breaks loose. Really, it would make an excellent movie. I definitely recommend it.

The Retreat
Mark Edwards

This is a nice kind of spooky read where there might be a ghost or there might not, but either way, there’s something very mysterious going on. A girl goes missing in the woods, snatched from beside a river where everyone believes she drowned. Her mother turns her home into a writer’s retreat, and strange things begin happening to the people staying there, leading up to murder. There’s a mystery from 35 years before that needs solving as well, and the key to all of it just might lie in a dead man’s past. It’s very engrossing and easy to read. I definitely recommend it.

The Forbidden Place
Susanne Jansson

The bog in a small town in Sweden holds many mysteries and just as many bodies. When a man is found unconscious in the mire, the police are called out to see where he was attacked. Soon, they find other bodies, people who have gone missing who have been sacrificed to the bog. The question is who is doing it and why. There’s elements of a ghost story in here as well, including a very spooky epilogue. It’s a solid mystery only occasionally dragged down by philosophical musings from the main characters. Overall, it’s a very Swedish mystery.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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