Mass book review: 10 (mini)book reviews in one post

Guess who just found out she’s 18 (!!) books behind on reviews? That’s right. Me.

Do you ever have those moments where you just kind of want to slap yourself? Yes, well. That’s me right now.

So I decided upon a new tactic: I’m going to – very quickly – review 10 of the 18 books, and I’m going to pick 10 that didn’t leave enough of an impression to warrant full reviews. Does that sound fair?

Let me give a short update first:

  • I am currently at 45 books read in total
  • which is 7 books ahead of my 50-books-goal!
  • here is my most recent update (at 41 books) about all the books so far! Here you will also find links to book reviews #2 to #26 (and #37)
  • You can find a full list of the books I’ve been reading/am currently reading on my Goodreads account
  • Of course, reviewing 10 out of 18 books means I’m still missing several! The ones still missing right now include some that I want to write a proper review about, and some that I’ve read relatively recently so I decided they can wait a tiny bit longer. They’ll be here! Eventually…

27: Horrorstor, by Grady Hendrix. 3/5 stars
Horrorstör is a horror novel that looks like an IKEA catalogue. Yes, you read that right. It has the map of the building, the information on furniture, coupons for the restaurant, everything. Except that it’s not actual IKEA, but a rip-off (even in the verse of the book). In one specific store, strange things happen at night. Employees arrive at work to find strange stains on sofas, one employee sees a strange man walking around before opening who no one else seems to notice. So a manager decides to get a couple of people to stay the night, to see if they can figure out what’s going on before HQ finds out about the strange happenings. Of course, things go downhill from there, and nothing is what it seems.

This book was all fun of games for the first half or so, and I really enjoyed it up until there. Obviously, I expected something light and humorous, considering it looks like an actual IKEA catalogue. And then, one morning as I was on my way to work, there was gore everywhere. Just like that, BAM, blood and guts and gross things. I’m not the most sensitive person ever when it comes to gore, but this was right on the edge of what I could handle.

So basically: don’t forget this has horror in the title. It’s not as cutesy and comical as it looks. It’s really, really not. It’s worth reading if you’re into horror though! But if you’re not too fond of horror, then maybe don’t pick this one up, no matter how awesome it looks.

28: Grijs Gebied, by Marion Pauw. 1/5 stars
This book was a freebie during the Dutch “month of the thriller”. It’s less than 100 pages, and it’s about a man who, one night, witnesses a sexual assault but doesn’t do anything about it. Worse: he lies about it and ends up a prime suspect. At this point, he decides to take matters into his own hand and find out who actually did it.

I can be very quick about this book: it’s terrible. Do not read it. Do not touch it. Do not even come close to it if you can.

I rarely read books this awful and pretentious (usually only when I get them for free anyway), but ho boy did I get reminded of why I don’t like 99% of Dutch literature. Never touching another book by this author.
29: Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. 4/5 stars
Technically, I’d already read this once, but since the previous time I read a copy of questionable legality online, and this time I read an actual copy I actually bought with actual money, I think this time counts slightly more.

I think most people already know what this is about, but for the unitiated: Percy Jackson is a young boy, with ADHD and dyslexia, who regularly gets kicked out of schools. Then one day, when he finally made it through almost an entire schoolyear, he gets attacked by a strange creature while on a schooltrip. That’s when he finds out that, actually, he’s not really just a regular boy but in fact a half-god. But that’s not all: Percy gets caught up in a fight between the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon & Hades) when someone steals Zeus’ lightning and puts the blame on Percy.

Like I said, I’ve read this book before. Luckily, the second time round it was still really enjoyable. It’s very easy to read, you can tell it’s aimed at children/young teens, but it’s definitely enjoyable for adults as well (try playing a game of “recognise all the references”).

30: Murder She Said, by Agatha Christie. 3/5 stars
This book, the second Agatha Christie book I’ve ever read, is the story of a murder without a corpse. There’s really not much more to it other than your regular Family Issues, a list of questionable characters, and of course Miss Marple, the little old lady who seems to, singlehandedly, solve more murders than the entire police force combined.

I enjoyed it, though it’s less strong than Murder at the Vicarage, which is the first Christie book I’ve read and coincidentally also the first Miss Marple.

Recommended for fans of classic crime books.

31: Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. 4/5 stars
I bought this book based on the movie I’d come across on Netflix. I love the movie, but this is one of those rare occassions where I love the movie more than the book.

The story is about Maggie, who finds out her father is capable of reading characters out of books – literally making them alive, in this world. This had its consequences, when he accidentally read some villains out of a book called Inkheart. Years later, these villains come to find him, and an adventure through Germany, Austria and Italy starts.

This book was..okay. It wasn’t super special, it was really just okay. I don’t remember much of it, and I definitely don’t remember why I gave it 4 stars. There were some very good bits in it, and if you’re a booklover (which I assume you are if you’re here, reading this) there’s some very nice quotes in the book for you. But otherwise? Just watch the movie. It has all the good bits, but it’s shorter and somehow more interesting.

32: Weight, by Jeanette Winterson. 4/5 stars
Weight is a retelling of the story of Atlas and Heracles, intertwined with insights from the author herself in her own life. Part biography, part philosophy, part Greek myth retelling, this was one of the most experimental and downright different books I’ve read this year. I think I liked it? I do know that I read it almost in one go (which is easy, it’s a very short book), and I have the next Jeanette Winterson book I’m going to read lying around here somewhere.

33: The Cuckoo`s Calling, by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. 3/5 star
The first book in a series, this is about a young, succesful model who appears to have jumped from her balcony in an act of suicide. Her brother, however, suspects foul play and hires private detective Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike, in the meantime, is going through some problems of his own, and the sudden addition of a very enthusiastic receptionist is really not helping him.

I had been wanting to read this book for a very, very long time. Roughly since the moment we found out Galbraith is actually JK Rowling. Yet somehow I never bought it until this year.

Having read it now, I’m very sorry to say that I did not really enjoy this. Sure, it was an intricate story, and sure I’m generally interested in murder mysteries, as proven by my recent interest in Agatha Christie. But was this really mindblowing? No. Did I see things coming from miles away? Absolutely. Was this book formulaic to a fault? Definitely. Would I recommend this book? Only to diehard JK Rowling fans who don’t have much experience with crime novels.

34: Kamikaze Girls, by Novala Takemoto. 2/5 stars
Again, a book I bought because I’d seen the (very fun and enjoyable) movie. And again, I’d recommend the movie over the book.

This is the story of two Japanese girls, one a Lolita, Momoko, one a Yankee, Ichiko, who, through circumstances, end up with a very strange friendship. And when Ichiko starts running into some trouble, it’s the unlikely Momoko who helps out. But does she even want to do so?

Like I said before: if you can, just watch the movie. The book irritated me, Momoko was so distant and full of disdain for everything, while Ichiko seemed like a walking/talking charicature.

35: Everything Leads to You, by Nina Lacour. 4/5 stars
Emi is a talented set designer fresh out of high school. However, while her work life seems very promising, her love life is..quite the opposite. Then, when a famous actor dies and she gets to go along to his house to pick up some of his belongings for set design, she finds a strange letter. She decides to try to deliver it belatedly, but ends up on a course for adventure and even new love.

This book is really cute and lovely. It was a quick read, and definitely not some kind of masterpiece, but it left me with all the happy, fuzzy feelings at the end. It’s also LGBT, and not about coming out, which is always a bonus in my book. I definitely recommend this if you’re just looking for a cute pick-me-up. 

36: Dust and Shadow, by Lyndsay Faye. 3/5 stars
When a string of gruesome murders shocks the city of London, Sherlock Holmes gets put on the case. Unfortunately for him, Jack the Ripper, isn’t about to let himself be caught so easily – and he’s definitely not going to let Sherlock Holmes alone. Unfortunately for Holmes, he ends up not only injured, but also the prime suspect of the case. Will he be able to solve this unsolveable mystery?

I’m always a sucker for Sherlock Holmes stories. And when they’re combined with mysteries like Jack the Ripper? Can’t really go wrong, there. I was very excited to read this book, but I have to say, it slightly disappointed me. It was a good book, I just couldn’t get into it properly. It never really dragged me in, and my memory of the book is a bit muddled.

Recommended mostly for real Sherlockians.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!

Take care, and I’ll see you guys soon 🙂

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3 Responses to Mass book review: 10 (mini)book reviews in one post

  1. Pingback: 50 Books Challenge: DONE! | Charlotte Blogs

  2. Pingback: Top 10 books of 2015 | Charlotte Blogs

  3. Pingback: Book review: Percy Jackson & the Titan’s Curse (by Rick Riordan) | Charlotte Blogs

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