Saturday, April 30, 2016

(Tri-) Weekly Review, Saturday, April 30th

Wow! I have been putting off my weekly reviews for almost 3 weeks now, which means that I have 20 books to cover. It also means that since April 10th I have finished a book a day, which seems crazy. Tomorrow is the last day of April, and before I can summarize my month, I need to get caught up on my reviews. Sorry, these will be super short!

Out of DarknessThe Naturals (The Naturals, #1)The Monsters of Templeton

1. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez - YA historical fiction about the worst school disaster in U.S. history; also racism; 4 stars.

2. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - YA nominee for Gateway Readers Award about a teenager who is recruited by the FBI to analyze cold cases but ends up in the middle of an active investigation; 3 stars.

3. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff - Adult fiction novel about a twenty-something woman who returns to her hometown of Templeton and spends the summer trying to sort out her life and figure out who her daddy is based on old letters and diary entries. 3.5 stars.

The NestInkheart (Inkworld, #1)Thousand Words

4. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney - Adult fiction novel about a group of adult siblings who were relying on getting an inheritance when the youngest sister turned 40, but find out Mom spent the money on big brother, and they are left trying to figure out how to clean up the financial messes they are in. 4 stars.

5. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - Juvenile fiction novel about a man who can read people and animals out of a book and is being hunted by an evil book villain because of it. 4 stars.

6. Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown - YA nominee for Gateway Readers Award about a girl who sends her boyfriend a naked picture of herself and ends up paying for it. 3 stars.

Ways to DisappearAlexander HamiltonAll Our Yesterdays

7. Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey - Adult fiction novel about a woman who travels to Brazil to look for the missing author whose work she translates. She meets up with the author's children and misadventures ensue. It is both thoughtful and light. 3.5 stars.

8. Alexander Hamilton (abridged) by Ron Chernow - Adult nonfiction about one of the U.S.'s founding fathers. I checked out the audiobook from the library not realizing it was abridged until I downloaded it, but in the end I think it was detailed enough for me. 4 stars.

9. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill - YA nominee for Gateway Readers Award about a girl who is trying to stop the creation of a time machine. 3.5 stars.

Gaby, Lost and FoundThe Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing, #1)Rapunzel Untangled

10. Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes - Juvenile fiction nominee for Twain Readers Award about a girl whose mom has been deported to Honduras. 3 stars.

11. The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston - YA nominee for Gateway Readers Award about a girl in the witness protection program with her family, but they won't tell her why. 3.5 stars.

12. Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett - YA nominee for Truman Readers Award about a girl who is trapped in a tower (modern retelling of Rapunzel). 2.5 stars.

The Summer Before the WarThe Queen of the Night13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

13. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson - Adult fiction novel about a woman who is trying to make her living as a latin teacher in the town of Rye, England, at the beginning of WWI. 3.5 stars.

14. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee - Adult fiction novel about an opera singer whose past has come to find her. 4 stars.

15. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad - Adult fiction novel that follows a girl who struggles with her weight into adulthood, meeting her in different stages of her life in each of 13 chapters. I thought it was a smart but uneven discussion of the body image issues that plague us. 4 stars.

All American BoysJane SteeleOne Good Turn (Jackson Brodie, #2)

16. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely - YA novel about police brutality. Very straightforward but still manages to tease out a lot of the surrounding issues. 4.5 stars.

17. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye - Adult fiction novel that re-imagines Jane Eyre as a murderess with a conscience. Not great literature, just great fun. 4.5 stars.

18. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson - Adult fiction novel in which Jackson Brodie travels to Edinburgh where he witnesses a couple crimes and encounters a lot of interesting characters. 3.5 stars.

Only Love Can Break Your HeartMargaret the First

19. Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington - Adult fiction novel in which Rocky grows up in a small Virginia town and experiences heartbreak. Also filled with interesting characters. 3.5 stars.

20. Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton - Adult fiction novel about Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), an English noblewoman during the interregnum and restoration, known for her writing and offbeat sense of style. That outfit that she wore to the theater! 3.5 stars.

Random spoilery thought: I was thinking about the book that Bea almost writes in The Nest because I knew it reminded me of something, and I finally figured it out: What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. Hustvedt is married to author Paul Auster, and What I Loved is based loosely on something that happened to/near Auster's son from his first marriage.


  1. First - how do you read a book a day?! Wow!

    And - I loved Only Love Can Break Your Heart - loved Rocky's voice - except I could've done without that last little wrap-up bit about where everyone ends up.

  2. Holy cow, you had a great reading month! I enjoyed Queen of the Night and I'm looking forward to reading Jane Steele.

    Have you read a lot of Siri Hustvedt's books? I have The Blazing World waiting to be read on my shelves.

  3. I want to read Jane Steele! I think I'm next in line at the library.

    And I love that cover of Margaret the First. Always up for historical fiction about interesting women of the past.