Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review of The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The beginning of this month was absolutely frigid - I mean, the kind of cold chill that makes you sprint down the block while clutching your extremely full laundry bag in the hopes that it will both warm you up and count as some sort of workout.  It came after weeks and weeks of mild (even warm) weather, and was a shock.  I found this one one night when I was feeling a bit down from the instant winter, and it was an immediate pick-me-up.  

Basic plot: (from Goodreads) "I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

On a scale from 1 to Cripplingly Depressing: Deliciously silly.

Memories from reading: This was a very quick read, over one or two nights, where I lay first on the couch and then in bed with a small light on and a huge comforter wrapped around myself.  This is the first time since maybe middle school that I actually (really) gasped and said "NO!" or "Oh my gosh!" while reading.  It was a lot of fun.

Teeth-gnashing: Only that there aren't any more books written by this pair.

Weapon of Choice: E-book, on my Kindle.

Other titles by this author: None!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review of The Girl In The Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

When Steig Larsson's books came out several years ago, I read them quickly and compulsively - the combination of mystery-thriller, wildly alive characters, and falling headfirst into Swedish winters was fantastic.  If you liked those books, I think you'll find this one nice, but a bit light.

Basic plot: (from inside cover - though this is not really how I would have described it...maybe that is to protect spoilers?) She is the girl with the dragon tattoo - a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit.  He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.  Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States.  The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker - a hacker resembling someone Blomqvist knows all too well.  The implications are staggering.  Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help.  She, as usual, has her own agenda.  The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it...

On a scale from 1 to Cripplingly Depressing: Interesting, with a spritz of grim in a few places.

Memories from reading: This was a bedtime read as I tried to get back into a routine after vacation.

Teeth-gnashing: I loved being back in the world of Millennium and Sweden, but my time reading was tinged with a feeling that something wasn't quite right.  For me, the critical characters (Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander) felt off.  Especially Lisbeth.  As I read and wondered why, it struck me how unique Stieg Larsson was in his ability to create a strong female character that wasn't necessarily likable or outwardly loving.  She felt a bit too soft for me in this book, like ice cream that was melting, and parts felt a bit cringe-y.  While most of the book was engaging, there were moments when I thought: "Haven't I read this before? Didn't this already happen in another book?"

Weapon of Choice: Hardcover from the library.

Other titles by this author: 
Lagercrantz: Fall of Man in Wilmslow, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Larsson: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

Have you read The Girl In the Spider's Web or any of Larsson's books? What did you think?

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

The Classics Club Challenge kept getting the backseat this year, and I finally decided to try again with something that seemed lighter on the list for 2016.  I went online and downloaded Watership Down by Richard Adams from the library.  So far, the tale of ragtag bunnies (written in 1972) has been exactly what I needed - a complete escape.

It has seemed like everything is completely backwards and upside down lately (even the weather), and it's been nice to sit back and escape into something completely separate.  Plus, it feels good to want to dive into one of the books on my list.

Truthfully, I haven't even looked at any blurbs - I'm too scared of finding a spoiler.  Isn't that silly? It's such a classic I just know they're out there, and I'm enjoying it too much.  Go check it out if you haven't read it already.

It's Monday - what are you reading? Have you made any headway on your Classics Club books or other 2016 reading challenges?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Favorite Book Blogs of 2015

In honor of the new year, and a little celebration in the midst of winter, I thought I'd put together a list of some of my favorite bookish blogs.  Normally I don't do these, since they're so subjective and they're only for fun anyway, but here I am.

All of these blogs are different, but what I like most about all of them is that they are unpretentious.  Is calm a bad word here? There is no fanfare and there is very little YA.  Their writing is intelligent, their recommendations solid, and it's clear they're in it because they love reading.  I'm abysmal at commenting, but I find myself going through their posts when I have spare moments.

As is usual with many internet things, I can't remember how I found their blogs, but I'm glad I did.

Take a look and let me know if you've got favorites I'm missing. Do you write a book blog?

Subway Book Review//Uli, New York City

Fourth Street Review//Rory, Colorado

Lit Nerd//Ellie, London

River City Reading//Shannon, Virginia

Brona's Books//Brona, Australia