Second third reviews: 3 and 3.5 stars

Happy Friday, friends! Every four months, I post mini reviews of the books I read in those months. I had quite a few from the past few months, so I decided to split it into two posts: one doing my 3 and 3.5 star reviews, and another doing my 4+ star reviews. Today is the 3 and 3.5 stars!

So without further ado, here are the reviews!

Looker by Laura Sims: 3 stars

This book is the definition of “fine”. The writing was fine, the characters were fine, the story was fine. Overall, I don’t have much to say because it was simply fine. This was a fairly quick and easy read, which I appreciated. I did enjoy seeing the narrator spiral as the story goes on. But I ultimately found this underwhelming. It’s not a book I’ll think about frequently, if at all.

The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Was, translated by Frank Wynne: 3 stars

Overall, I just found this book to be okay. I think it was just very different from what I was expecting and wanting. It was much slower than I anticipated, and while I typically enjoy a slower plot, I usually need to be engaged in some other element of the book, which also unfortunately fell flat for me. I enjoyed the characters and found them interesting, but I ultimately didn’t care much for them. I was also a little let down by the setting — it takes place in an asylum, but that setting wasn’t utilized to move the plot forward or doing anything interesting. It was just a backdrop really. I was engaged in the last ~15%, hence the 3 stars. I also just think this one wasn’t for me. It’s not bad and I still recommend it, it just didn’t work out for me.

Talking to Strangers by Marianne Boucher: 3.5 stars

This was a graphic novel about Boucher getting recruited by the Moonies, and ultimately being rescued by her family. I find cults super interesting, so I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed how it described her departure from the cult and some of her healing and growing. However, I found it very simple and the art didn’t totally work for me. 

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune: 3 stars

I didn’t love this book as much as I wanted to. I still enjoyed it and had a fun time reading it, but there was just something about it that didn’t click. I think it was partially the writing — you can really feel in some areas that this book is a debut. The voices of the characters were really off in some places. For example, the characters would be 11, so it felt like the author made the writing simpler to match their POV, but didn’t change how the characters spoke to each other. It felt like two 35-year-olds having a conversation, but with really awkward and stilted narration. However, once the characters got a bit older and the story got moving a bit, the writing got better.

I also really enjoyed the characters and their relationship. It was very sweet and the development of the friends to lovers felt very natural. The setting was also very fun and summery. So overall, I enjoyed this, just not as much as I would have wanted to.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun: 3.5 stars

I thought this was very fun and cute! It follows a Bachelor-style show where the lead and his handler/producer develop feelings for each other. I really like both the main characters, Dev and Charlie, and I thought their interactions and relationship were cute. I liked the (albeit fictional) look into the behind-the-scenes of a reality tv show, especially the Bachelor. Maybe this is a weird complaint, but I found the fake Bachelor-inspired show to be ridiculously saccharine lol. I also wasn’t in love with the ending and found it a little over-the-top, but that’s my complaint about a lot of romance novels. Overall, I had a really fun time reading this and definitely recommend it.

So there are my reviews! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What books have you rated 3 or 3.5 stars recently? Let me know!

Ally xx

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2 thoughts on “Second third reviews: 3 and 3.5 stars

  1. The last book I rated was The Mad Women’s Ball and I also gave it 3 stars. Totally agree with you, it was an interesting topic but the plot fell a bit flat for me and I thought the message of the story was a little basic. A bit disappointing but I still enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

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