September 2014 Book Reviews

This month I'm trying something new, so here's my September book reviews by video! If you aren't a video person, my written reviews are below. Happy Reading! [youtube]

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - I enjoyed this book more than I expected because I don't consider myself a big fan of paranormal young adult books. Here's what I loved: the stunning imagery and the strong female lead. The romance was a little tropey (is that a word?), but I love the world building and the story arc this first book sets up. I can't wait to see where the author takes this series. Since I am several years behind in reading this book, I get to cruise from one to the next! 6 out of 7 stars

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief is a book that has been on my to-read list for a long time, but I put it off for an unknown reason. I saw the movie a month or so ago and finally decided to read the book (even though I don't think the movie does the book justice). I listened to the audio book version of The Book Thief, and I found myself drawn in right away. It was a refreshing change of pace from some of my recent reads. I loved Death as the narrator, and the author using Death to create an omniscient point-of-view. I loved the theme of the power of words and the questions the novel brings up about morality, war, our words, and more. The Book Thief is a worthy read for teens and adults. 6 out of 7 stars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - I always scan the reviews of a book after I finish reading, but before I write the review. This time I was surprised to see that the top reviews on Goodreads and Amazon were either 5 stars or 2 stars. Apparently this book polarizes reviewers, but I'm going straight down the middle for my review. On the positive side, I enjoyed the short choppy sentences and using language in a fresh new way, along with the fairy tale chapters. I didn't see the big twist coming, although I was a little disappointed with it. What can I say? I like happy endings. I think the book makes readers reflect on issues of materialism, socio-economic status, greed, and of course, love. On the negative side, I never really grew to love the main character Cadence. Plus, I'm not a fan of characters with amnesia-it just seems a little played out. The emotion of the story didn't hit me either, but it could be great for you. If you like twisty, contemporary stories, I'd read it. 4 out of 7 stars

The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley - The Splendour Falls is a mix of mystery, romance, and history in a beautiful setting. Emily, the main character, is on holiday in Chinon, France. She is supposed to meet up with her cousin, but he never shows. She ends up befriending others staying at her hotel. Together they discover a long lost treasure hunt and learn the history of those who lived in Chinon many years before. The story was good, albeit a bit predictable at times, so I found myself reading to finish the book, not reading because I was excited about the book. This is the first I have read by Kearsley, but I realized this was one of her early novels, written in 1996. Reviews state her most recent works have more depth and mystery to them, so I will probably try another by Kearsley to satisfy my historical fiction craving. 4 out of 7 stars


Rating System Guide

7 stars = Phenomenal book – one of the  best books I’ve read

6 stars = Great book – worth your time to read

5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up

4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story

3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.

1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.