Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Final 2008 Reviews (Part I)

I am so far behind on reviews right now and I hate starting out the new year with 11 reviews from last year still needing to be posted so I've decided to write some short, quick reviews with no plot summaries (or very little anyway) or anything like that. This year I will be working on posting reviews after I finish a book and before I jump right into the next one. Or at least before I have a pile of 11 books that need reviewing.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, 120 pages, finished 16 Nov 2008, 3 Stars
I would have given a higher rating to this delightfully humorous novella and recommended it to my mom, except for a few bits that made me uncomfortable. Otherwise, a simply clever and charming little book about what happens when the Queen of England begins reading for pleasure. Loved the ending.

Paper Towns by John Green, 305 pages, finished 23 Nov 2008, 3 Stars
Witty, clever and chatty narratives are almost always something I enjoy. This book had all 3 and therefore it was a fun read for me. My biggest problem? Margo. I just hated to see Q and his friends turn their lives upside down trying to find Margo. On the flip side, I did really enjoy the dynamics between Q and his friends. The main characters are high school boys and therefore things did get a bit too crass for me at times.
The road trip toward the end is the funniest writing I've read in ages. I was in absolute stitches. The ending fell a little flat and slow after the hilarious and well plotted road trip.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, 170 pages, finished 24 Nov 2008, 2 Stars
I know things like this happen and it is horrifying but this book was too disturbingly graphic for me. I read it in about an hour and felt sick afterwards. Compelling and very well written but dark, very dark.

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg, 365 pages, finished 4 Dec 2008, 3 Stars
If there is one thing Fannie Flagg knows how to do, it is creating characters. Lots of quirky and enjoyable characters abound in this book.
I really liked the pacing during the first half of the book but when the pacing changed the book slowed down substantially and I found myself losing interest.
A nice, easy read even if, perhaps, filled with a few too many cliches for my taste.

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, 461 pages, finished 7 Dec 2008, 4 Stars
Slow at times, especially the second half covering King Phillip's War, but a fascinating and informative read.
My one question is why was this book titled Mayflower when the Mayflower was turned to scrap within the first 100 pages? I was not expecting this book to cover such a large period of time.


Laura H said...

Becky at (Becky's book review) really likes Elizabeth Scott books and I tried 2 of them and didnt like them at all. I was going to give her one more try with Living Dead Girl but forget it now.

Tom said...

You have a nice, fluent way with the language; so what if you can't punctuate. College isn't the place to learn English anyway. This is a delightful blog and I'll be a consistent reader. Let me also sugest a book to add to your stack of unreads. It's "108th Street" by T David Lee, a very funny story about growing up in the 1950s. Based on what I see here I think you'd really like it. Keep up the good work.