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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

One-Line Book Reviews: Spring/Summer 2015

You've probably noticed that I've stopped reviewing regularly.  (I explained why here.)  Anyone who knows me even a little will guess that I haven't stopped reading regularly.  While I miss having the chance (more accurately, the time) to discuss each book in detail, there are pros and cons to both reviewing and not-reviewing.  I've found that some of the time I previously spent reviewing now funnels back into my reading time. Still, I enjoy sharing what I have been reading, so here's my solution: one-line reviews.  Okay, some of them are one sentence.  Or one fragment.  Or one...something.  Basically, they're just mini mini-reviews.  Enjoy.

Stolen (Heart of Dread #2) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

While it's not incredible, it's a unique dystopian world, and DRAGONS.

Rating: 4/5

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

It's exactly the type of bizarre, twisting, raw, emotional experience I expect from an Andrew Smith book, though sometimes it gives me the impression that I have one too many X chromosomes to be Smith's intended audience.

Rating: 4/5

Ask The Dark by Henry Turner

The story is okay, but the regional vernacular in the narration is a style to which it's hard to adjust.

Rating: 3/5

Rush (The Game #1) by Eve Silver

It has a decent plot, but it's overshadowed by the most unhealthy and arbitrary romantic subplot I've read in a long time.

Rating: 2/5

Storm (The SYLO Chronicles #2) by D.J. MacHale

Wait, where did that unnecessary love triangle/quadrilateral/whatever come from?

Rating: 3/5

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

Unique worldbuilding with a Roman vibe, but without memorable characters.

Rating: 3/5

More Than This by Patrick Ness

This was a reread, so I'll direct you to my initial review, but I'll say this: it meant so much more to me the second time around, for various personal reasons (and it's just a book that gets better the more you can analyze it anyway).

Rating: 5/5

Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory

The story itself isn't bad, but it feels like the author has never been around teenagers before.

Rating: 3/5

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

This is a another book that hit me in a completely different way, rereading it two years later.  Original review here.

Rating: 5/5

The Calling (Endgame #1) by James Frey

The story is compelling, but there are too many characters that it's difficult to connect to anyone, and the impersonal writing style doesn't help.

Rating: 3/5

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness

Another feelsfest from Patrick Ness that is all at once gritty, raw, and beautiful.  Original review here.

Rating: 5/5

Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Though it follows different characters than the ones I fell in love with in Half a King, Joe Abercrombie maintains his ability to make you genuinely care about them.

Rating: 4/5

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

I love the premise, but I was one hundred pages in and nothing was happening.  Did not finish.

Rating: N/A

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

Sometimes a book hits you at just the right time in your life to make it even more meaningful than it was the first time around; Chaos Walking is this series, for me.  Original review here.

Rating: 5/5

Half Wild (Half Bad Trilogy #2) by Sally Green

This one suffers from Middle-of-the-Trilogy slowness syndrome; it lost the intensity of its predecessor.

Rating: 3/5

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu

The Asian-inspired worldbuilding is refreshing, but I never cared enough about the characters to stay invested through all of its length and complexity.

Rating: 3/5

Undertow (Undertow #1) by Michael Buckley

While the "mermaid alien" aspect (for lack of a better term) is unique, it isn't enough to redeem this book's many Standard High School Paranormal Story cliches.

Rating: 3/5

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Fantastic worldbuilding, characters I genuinely cared about, and a romance that feels refreshingly natural.

Rating: 4/5

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

I can never resist a multiverse premise, and thankfully, this one did not disappoint.

Rating: 4/5

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

It's no Chaos Walking, but it's Patrick Ness' signature combination of beautiful writing and hardcore FEELS.

Rating: 4/5

Ignite (Defy #2) by Sara B. Larson

I'm still fond of the main character, Alexa, but the plot suffers from more predictability than the first novel.

Rating: 3/5

Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

I don't know what to make of this.  The worldbuilding is never fleshed-out enough to satisfy my need to suspend disbelief, and the narration feels awkward.

Rating: 2/5

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook is the most unique dystopia I've read in a long time, with a likable and memorable cast of characters to populate the oddly futuristic French revolution-esque world.

Rating: 4/5

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

Main character that hardly affects the plot + distant narration + a healthy dose of "not my thing" = did not enjoy.

Rating: 2/5

The Martian by Andy Weir

The narration bothered me, MacGyver...

Rating: 4/5

What books have you loved (or hated) lately?  (Also, what are your thoughts on this new style of "reviewing"?)

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