Last third reviews

Hello, friends and foe! I hope your December has been great and you have exciting plans for New Years Eve.

Every four months, I do a round-up of mini reviews of the books I’ve read during those four months, to force me to write reviews of those books. I know I’m posting this a couple of days before the end of the year, but I think it’s unlikely that I’ll read something before the end of 2022, so I’m posting it now. I also wrote a couple of longer reviews, which is exciting, so those will be coming soon!

So here are some mini reviews of the books I’ve read since September!

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li: 4 stars

This book was one of my most anticipated 2022 releases, and I’m glad to announce that I wasn’t disappointed! It’s a fairly fun, unserious heist book, with a layer of colonialism and racism. I thought it was super fun to read; the heists were well-executed, the characters felt like real people, and I enjoyed the twists and turns. My biggest critique was that the multiple POVs all had the same or very similar voice. But, it was also fairly obvious whose chapter it was at any given time, so that didn’t bother me a ton. Overall, definitely recommend!

Luster by Raven Leilani: 3 stars

I was kind of let down by this book honestly! I went in expecting a disaster woman book, and while this technically fit that bill, I also found it fairly underwhelming. I just wasn’t intrigued by it. It’s one of those books where I can appreciate so much of it: the relationships were really complex and subtle; the characters were interesting and believable; the pacing and writing were fairly good. But there was just something about it that kept me from enjoying it. This was definitely a case of “it’s me, not you.”

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips: 5 stars

This was one of the best books I read this year. When I finished it, I out loud went “what a book.” It follows the lives of several women in a small, northern Russian town where two girls have gone missing. Each chapter follows a different woman and a different part of the year. Overall, it was so interesting and so well-written. I absolutely adored it. It’s definitely not a thriller or a whodunnit, so if you’re expecting that, I think you’d be disappointed. But if you’re looking for a more literary book that looks at women in an isolated area, I cannot recommend this enough.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro: 4.5 stars

I loved this book a lot. It follows Klara, an artificial friend, who is adopted/bought by a mother to befriend her sick daughter. I love Ishiguro’s writing, and it really shone in this book. Klara was a super interesting character, and this book had a lot of really interesting things to say about what makes someone a person and what humanity is. I read this for a book club with my friends, and we had a really great discussion! My one critique is that the ending was a little abrupt — there were some things that I wanted more elaboration on and that weren’t super well fleshed out. But other than that, I loved this one.

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this book! It follows the Galvin family, a family in the US who had 12 children, six of whom had schizophrenia. It discusses them and the schizophrenia research they’ve been involved in. It was super interesting and well researched. Kolker did a really great job at not moralizing certain things — I think there’s often a tendency to paint the actions of mentally ill people as either good or bad, to label them as good mentally ill people or bad mentally ill people. Kolker does a good job just describing what happened with the family, not blaming their actions on their mental illness, not blaming their mental illness on the family, and allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. He also does a good job describing the complicated relationships that can arise in very large families and families with severely mentally ill members. Overall, I highly recommend this if you’re interested in mental illness and schizophrenia.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion: 3 stars

This was my first Didion, and it definitely made me interested in reading more. I think Didion is a very talented writer — she’s very funny and witty, and her writing is clear and concise. But this collection seemed really jumbled and random. There was no cohesion or flow, it was merely a collection of her essays published in publication order. I’m not holding that against Didion, because I think this was published posthumously. I’m looking forward to reading her other writing, and since reading this one, I’ve started The Year of Magical Thinking, which I’m really enjoying it!

So there are some of my reviews! Have you read these books? What were your thoughts? What have you read these past few months? Let me know!

Ally xx

Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Buy me a coffee!


4 thoughts on “Last third reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s