Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Else I'm Reading Mini-Reviews (January 2011)

Normally, I only review indie, small press, and fairly sparsely reviewed other books here on my blog. But that's not all I read. I read lots of popular books too. So I was thinking of ways of sharing those books without focusing on them too much. You know, so you guys get to know my taste in books that much better.

This is what I came up with. I'll try to make a list of all my reads for the month (those I haven't reviewed here), say a little something about them, and share my rating with you.

It's a little late for January, but I thought, why not start now. So here it is. Looks like I read mostly young adult this time around.

Matched by Ally Condie
This is a YA dystopia novel. It has somewhat of a 1984 vibe to it with the love story and a very very controlling government. I absolutely loved it!
My rating: 5/5

Behemoth by Scott Westerfield
The second book in the Leviathan trilogy. This is steampunk YA. It's an incredibly creative series that pits the "Darwinists" against the "Clankers". It takes place in an alternate WWII setting and this one is in Istanbul. It's a really fun series. I was really impressed with all the sketches this time too. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of the characters and their relationships and am eagerly awaiting the last (boo :( ) in the trilogy so I can see how it all turns out.
My rating: 4/5

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Third in the Gemma Doyle series. I enjoyed the first two but this one was just too long (819 pages). It felt really dragged out to me and the ending was unsatisfying. There were however, some really good moments which evened things out a bit.
My rating: 3/5

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer (book #6)

Artemis Fowl goes back in time to save his mother from her terminal illness. I didn't enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to but it was still an okay read for me.
My rating: 3/5

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (Graphic Novel)

I've been reading through the graphic novel version of the Artemis Fowl series as they come out. Reading this one after The Time Paradox actually worked well in my favor. The Arctic Incident is mentioned a lot in The Time Paradox. This was a good refresher and to be honest, I actually think I liked the graphic novel version better.
My rating: 3/5

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (book #7)

So basically, Artemis goes absolutely crazed in the head in this one. He develops an extreme case of OCD and multiple personality disorder. I loved this storyline. It shows kids that having screwed up morals, well...screws you up! I didn't quite care for the other storyline (Turnball Root) and actually skipped pages. Things evened out I guess.
My rating: 3/5

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1) by Jean M. Auel

This probably explains why I read so much young adult in January. This book is both long and jam packed with NO FILLER. Ms. Auel has basically recreated life in a Neanderthal cave-village here - social, religious, and daily living lessons abound. You want to know something about prehistoric peoples? Read this book. Bonus - the story is really good too!
My rating: 4.5/5

And perhaps next time I should link to the books too. Sorry, I can't do that right now.  I hope you enjoyed the mini-reviews.


  1. Hi, Erika. An upcoming book that you might miss but which I know will be great is In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard. It started out as a YA novel, but here publisher decided it might be more adult and more "literary" and so they're marketing it as adult literary. They might be selling young readers short.

    Also, my wife's story collection, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, might be something you'd like as well. Several stories with young narrators or protagonists. Her new novel, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, is also out and getting great reviews (NY Times, PW, Denver Post, Boston Globe, etc.).

    All best and thanks for your commitment to books,

    Ned S-F

  2. Hi Ned. Thank you for the comment. I will look into In Zanesville and the story collection. I actually have The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady on my Goodreads "tbr" list. This book looks great. As soon as I saw that it's supposed to be a bit like Carl Hiaasen I got really excited. He's one of my favourites :D


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