Books I've Read

This is a rather strange assortment of books, but I've read them all in the last couple of months. I'm not sure if this shows how diverse and well-read I am or if it shows a little bit of instability. But whatever it shows, here are some of my thoughts on them.Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Occasionally I find I'm in the mood for a little science fiction-type book. It turns out I've read two of these recently. This one was a pleasant, easy read. There was nothing objectionable in it unless evil people murdering paranormal creatures is objectionable to you. The romantic storyline was cute. The book reminded me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It kept me interested enough to keep reading, but it wasn't a book that kept me up late at night. My teenage daughter enjoyed it and while some YA books translate pretty easily to adults, this one seemed better suited to a teenager.
Mormon Scientist by Henry J. Eyring

I liked this book a lot. I enjoyed learning about the life of this amazing scientist and I was interested in how he reconciled science and religion. I loved his attitude, his approach, and his folksy way of explaining things. I think I might have understood science and math better if I'd had a teacher like him. The author repeated himself pretty often and there were a few times when I had to stop and check to see if I was re-reading. I wasn't, it was just the same thing told in a slightly different way and that was a little redundant and off-putting, but overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and thought it was well worth the time spent to read it.
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

I'd heard so much about this series of books and I was intrigued. This is book one of three. I like some crime fiction and I like some crime dramas, so I thought I might enjoy this and I was fascinated by most of it. The main character is both likable and deplorable. I found I mostly liked him. He's a diagnosed sociopath who lives by a set of rules to be sure he doesn't become a serial killer, which tells me he's got some good qualities. I was really interested in the story and then it took a detour I didn't expect and it was hard for me to feel the same investment in the main character than I had before that. The killer became a paranormal demon. That should have made it easier to take what was happening, but I guess I wanted it to feel more real because the main character seemed so real. That I was disappointed makes me sound like I might be a sociopath.

I liked the writing a lot and I felt like John and his family were really believable. I was almost cheering for John to like the girl while at the same time being creeped out and hoping no one like him is ever interested in my daughters.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This book was the most disappointing book I've read in the last little while. I'd read some reviews by other bloggers that made me excited to get this book for both my teenage daughters and myself to read. One of my daughters started it and didn't finish it. Sorry to say, I did. The author had a writing style that I enjoyed and I wanted to read, so I did. But let me just say, I was disappointed that this is geared to our teenagers and it had things in there that made me glad my daughters didn't read it. There was a lot of talk about sex with it being completely understood that the object of Anna's affection was sleeping with his girlfriend (the one before Anna) for most of the book. This was understood and accepted as normal. There was some drinking and bad language as well. There were a couple of things in the book that are pet peeves of mine, so I'll go ahead and mention them now.

Multiple characters had bad relationships with their fathers. The fathers were portrayed in the worst possible light and there was little or no good said about them. The things that were complained about, especially by Anna, weren't worthy of her contempt. Anna was spoiled and bratty and during some parts of the book I found her as irritating as Bella from Twilight.

Which brings me to my second pet peeve. Anna talks about how beautiful and good-looking St. Claire is over and over and over again. The last time I read something that displayed such a shallow obsession with looks was... Bella. Sure, Edward is not going to age, so he'll keep his beauty forever, but for St. Claire and the rest of the real world, looks change and often fade and that kind of obsession is a bad idea.
Matched by Ally Condie

This was the other science-fiction book I read recently. It's also a YA book, but unlike Paranormalcy, I found this one better suited to all ages. In fact, even though the main characters are teenagers, there is such a strong family and community bond that I was really interested in all of them. I liked the romance, the confusion, and the suspense of it all. I'm really looking forward to the other books in the series. The author did such a good job of drawing me into this stark, emotionless world that when the characters dared to display their emotions and feelings, it felt very meaningful. I really, really liked this story.

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Anonymous said...

You really must read "the help" by Kathryn Stockett and if you want an oldy, try "Mrs. Mike" by Benedict and Nancy Freedman.

auntie brooke said...

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It combines great writing with an unbelievable true story. One of my top 5 books I have ever read. Everyone should read it. Everyone!
HIllenbrand also wrote Seabiscuit which is another great read. Get them both.

Mellie said...

I've gotta admit, I wasn't expecting you to like "I Am Not a Serial Killer" when it came up on your Goodreads list, since it's so different from the others you've posted on there recently. I would say you've succeeded in being diverse and well read... although now I'm not sure what to suggest. :)

Perhaps "The Winding Stair" by Jane Aiken Hodge? It's a historical mystery romance sort of thing. Sadly, it's out of print and hard to find one isn't a trashed ex-library copy.

(Oh, and a couple friends of mine were also thrown off by the paranormal twist halfway through. So at least if you're a sociopath, you've got company! ;) )

Torrie said...

Wow, a character as annoying as Bella from Twilight? Is that even possible?

I'll have to check out Matched--I went to an author's night where Ally Condie was one of the featured authors and I've got half a mind to actually check out her stuff. Thanks for the review! It definitely gives me more motivation to do just that.