Last third reviews

Happy New Years, friends! I hope your 2022 has been off to a good start!

Every four months, I do a round up of reviews for the books I read during those four months. I’ve been really bad at reviewing things the past few months, so this post is a little longer than usual and I have less to say about some of them than usual. But, here are the books I’ve read since the end of August!

Replay by Ken Grimwood: 4 stars

This was a super fun read. It’s an old sci-fi with the Groundhog Day trope, and I thought it was really well done. I liked seeing how the narrator lived his different lives; a lot of what you’re expecting to happen happens, but this was one of the first books with this premise so it does feel new and interesting. And it had a couple of twists with the time loop that worked really well. Of course, there’s some run-of-the-mill 80s/90s sexism, homophobia, etc., but it’s not worse than any other media from this time. Definitely recommend if you want an easy sci-fi.

The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia: 4 stars

I really, really enjoyed this book! I love books that take over a long period of time and have characters with intertwining plots, and this book executed both of those very well. It also features a kidnapping, which I love in books. So overall, this book felt like it was written for me in a lot of ways. Each narrator was interesting and distinct, and the way their connection came up felt natural and believable. I also loved the setting and the cultural aspects of this book. Highly recommend.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: 3.5 stars

This was another fun read, which I don’t think is what Haig was going for but it’s what I got out of it. Haig is not subtle at all, and this book borders preachy, so stay away if that bothers you. The MC in this was interesting; she was believable in some respects and not at all in others. Some of her decisions were weird, but overall, she was a good perspective to read from. I liked seeing how her life was different based on the different decisions. This is one of those books that I’m glad to have read, but probably won’t reread any time soon.

Check, Please! Volume 2: Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu: 5 stars

I don’t have much to say about this book other than I loved it, it was perfect, and I’m sad this series is over. I will definitely be rereading both at some point. I love them all.

A History of my Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt: 5 stars

I really enjoyed this essay collection! The essays were really strong and well-written. I love Belcourt’s writing style, and it worked really well as an audiobook. This is one that I want to re-listen to at some point and feel like I can get more out of the essays if I read/listen to them a couple of times. But overall, I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh: 4 stars

I’m really glad to have finally read this! It managed to drag me out of a weeks-long reading slump, for which I am very grateful. It was much darker than I was expecting, but I didn’t mind and thought it really added to the story. The characters were super interesting, and the way they interacted with each other and their world was fascinating. This novel had such a tense atmosphere the entire time, which I really enjoyed. The only reason it’s getting four stars is because it made me literally nauseous at times, so be aware of that. Overall though, I highly, highly recommend this if you’re looking for an intense, hard-to-read feminist-ish dystopian. I loved it.

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen: 4.5 stars

This was so stupid and so fun. It was written for me exactly: an enemies to fake dating to lovers sports romance? Please. And it was great. I loved both the main characters and thought they had a lot of depth. They felt like real high schoolers which high schooler problems and thoughts. The pacing was good, too. Nothing felt rushed or like it was happening too quickly, which I really appreciated, especially in a YA novel. The ending of this was TOO CHEESY for me, hence the 4.5 stars instead of five and the rounding down on Goodreads. But overall, I had such a fun time reading this, and it was one of my favourites of the year.

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard: 4.5 stars

This was also so much fun! I usually don’t get along with YA thrillers, but this one really worked for me. It did require a suspension of belief, but I didn’t mind. The characters and perspectives were interesting, the plot was fast-paced and fun, the stakes increasingly got higher in a believable way. It managed to balance real world, high school drama with less believable drama, and both were great. My biggest complaint was that there was sometimes a disconnect between characters in their POV versus the others’ POV. Which I get happens — we view ourselves differently than others view us — but it felt a little more pronounced than reality. The characters were also unbelievably stupid at times. But overall, I had such a fun time reading this that I forgive the flaws. Definitely recommend.

Birthday by Meredith Russo: 2 stars

I,,, did not like this. It does explore the themes in a good and interesting way that I expect would be relatable for a lot of people. But I didn’t like the main characters and found both insufferable. One is too perfect, the other is too messy, together they’re just there. I liked their friendship, but I thought the transition from friendship to relationship happened super suddenly, despite Russo’s attempts at setting it up earlier. I also found the format (only seeing the characters on their shared birthday) just okay. It kind of works, but there also ends up being a lot of inevitable info-dumping in a “here’s what you missed since last time” kind of way. Ultimately, this book was a great example to me of why YA doesn’t always work for me anymore. I also don’t recommend it as there are some pretty terrible allegations against Russo that seem pretty substantiated, and there are better books by trans people out there.

Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour: 4 stars

No one writes grief quite like Nina Lacour. Though this book didn’t have the same emotional punch on me as We Are Okay did, it was still pretty impactful and I really enjoyed it. I loved the setting — a remote farm for foster children — and how the topics were handled. I loved the main character, even if I felt she was a little bland at times. Overall, I really enjoyed this and am so glad to have read it.

Dava Shastria’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti: 4 stars

This was a great book to end my reading year on! It follows an uber wealthy woman who announces her death and publishes her obituary a few days before her scheduled medically-assisted dying so that she can see what people say about her. A lot of skeletons are dragged up, and there’s a lot of family drama and interesting family dynamics. Overall, I really enjoyed it! Dava was such an interesting character and person and I loved learning more about her. Her children were also super interesting and had a lot of great perspectives. There were a lot of interesting discussions and topics in this book, and I thought they were done well. I definitely recommend this one.

So there are the rest of the books I read in 2021! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Let me know!

My 2021 reading wrap-up will be posted this Friday with the rest of my stats, so look forward to that! Also, this was my 900th blog post! Thanks for sticking around for so many posts!

Thanks for reading! xx

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4 thoughts on “Last third reviews

  1. I’m totally with you on The Midnight Library. Fun, sometimes preachy, and a usually unrealistic MC. But at least it was a fun read.

    Replay has been on my TBR for a while—thanks for the warning about the 80’s/90’s dated content! I still plan to read it, but it will be nice knowing in advance that the content will be dated. I do love a good time loop story, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I can forgive the preachy-ness because at least it was also fun!

      Of course! It’s definitely not the most egregious dated content, but it’s still there for sure. I hope you enjoy Replay when you get to it!


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