Just like last time, the books I read this month (October) with my Goodreads reviews underneath, additional comments beneath in parentheses...
2 Stars on Goodreads: I only have 2 minutes before the lib kicks me out. I just finished this. Nikki tells the story of how awful her mom was/is. But I just feel like I wish I could get her mom's side on this one. I mean, I do not want to make it sound like I think her mom was a good mom, or even not a terrible mom, but I don't know. Something about this did not sit right. Like it should be subtitled "I've Got a Bone to Pick With Mom". OK, 20 seconds left!!! Bye!
Now a day later, I think the nail in the coffin for me was Ruta's "exit interview" for her mother. I just found it so cold. If I was her mother, I would be hurt beyond repair. So I guess now they're even.
(Having gained a bit of distance from this book , I find that it's completely forgettable. Nothing has lingered. Reading my review, the only thing that comes to mind is that Ruta took a good, hard dig at her mother in an effort to be noticed as literary. I call shenanigans on this book. Ruta needs to take a little responsibility for the role she played in her own drug and alcohol abuse. Ya, her mother was not a great mother, GOT IT. But she did love you. Oh ya, and give you life. Given the choice of having dinner with Dominica or her mom, I'd pick her mom. In fact, that would probably be kind of fun. I'll treat.)
|3 Stars on Goodreads: This book was fun but the characters were completely and utterly unbelievable. I didn't care so much, though, because it was so much fun. The most unbelievable of all was the character of Lisa, the daughter. The strongest part of the book was the middle. The book started off a bit slow, then the middle was pretty good, but then the end was thoroughly ridiculous. Not a BAD ending, just a very ridiculous one. This in NOT a bad review, though, so please don't misunderstand. Just know that if you read this book, you're going to have to suspend disbelief. It's a fun read, as I've said, and I'm glad I picked it up. The writing is nicely paced. I would read another book by this author the next time I'm in the mood.|
(okay, SPOILER ALERT!!!! This book was from the POV of a psychiatrist who escaped a cult many years ago from which she was sexually abused as a teenager, only to, 25 years later, have her patient follow suit, and then her daughter (who is in her 20's...) and THEN go after the abuser, who is the Svengali-like cult leader, AND get almost (of course, almost) buried alive and all sorts of other wacky things. Totally weird and wacky, but I did have fun. Funny fun, but fun!)
|1 Star on Goodreads (because you can't give none...): I literally read this book in 7 minutes while standing in the biography section of B&N. I have never in my life read anything so ridiculous, pointless, and inane as this "book". This is what it is: "selfies" of Alexa Chung, clothed and unclothed, with the most idiotic "musings" on every few pages. Such things as, and I paraphrase, but I assure you I'm not far off: 'My favorite book is Lolita (of course it is) and here's why: blah, blah, blah. I love Natalie Portman in such-and-such a movie (of course you do) because blah, blah, blah.' It was beyond stupid. I cannot believe this woman lives in a world where she can create this pathetic self-worship, have it published, and have it purchased. Every single copy should be given to poor people in underdeveloped Baltic states to be used as kindling. It was that bad.|
(What more can I say? This monstrosity makes Snooki's book look like Dickens. WHO is this idiot and WHY do people care about her? Because she takes her shirt off? Can't be, because she barely fills an A-cup. I'm baffled. This woman is pure pop culture noise and fluff.)
4 Stars on Goodreads: This book really made me want to re-evaluate my food storage!!!! And prepare a 72 hour pack. Man, this is really survival of the fittest. Well written. I plan on reading the whole series.
(This was a re-read. Actually, a re-listen. I listened to the audio book. It's well done, but the reader does over-do the acting a tad. All-in-all, not a bad read though. I do get in a dark mood and occasionally re-visit this one. It's not my first re-read, I think it's my second. I'm sure it won't be my last. Something about this book really makes me think and go deep into my own head, and sometimes that's the only place I want to be.)
4 Stars on Goodreads: This book was very much like the previous one, but more intense. Alex is only 17 and has to take care of his two younger sisters all by himself ever since his parents died on the night of the asteroid/moon catastrophe. The book follows the same basic pattern of the first, but it didn't feel like just a rehashing. The different p.o.v. and the different circumstances were enough to make this its own story. I like this one better, in fact, and though I did really like the way the first one was written in the diary format, I don't think that would have worked for the second book. Anyone who liked Pfeffer's first will be thrilled with this one. It doesn't disappoint or hold back at all. I'll definitely read the next (and final) book in this series as soon as I can get my hands on it from the lib, the wait is kind of long...
(Since I re-listened to the first, I had to listen to this one. A different reader, and at first I found him a little stiff, but I got used to his style and came to like it. I'm not sure I'd say I liked this one better this time around. I think I actually prefer the first one. But very well done.)
3 Stars on Goodreads: This book was very much like the previous one, but more intense. Alex is only 17 and has to take care of his two younger sisters all by himself ever since his parents died on the night of the asteroid/moon catastrophe. The book follows the same basic pattern of the first, but it didn't feel like just a rehashing. The different p.o.v. and the different circumstances were enough to make this its own story. I like this one better, in fact, and though I did really like the way the first one was written in the diary format, I don't think that would have worked for the second book. Anyone who liked Pfeffer's first will be thrilled with this one. It doesn't disappoint or hold back at all. I'll definitely read the next (and final) book in this series as soon as I can get my hands on it from the lib, the wait is kind of long...
(Listened to this one on audio book as well. Read by the same gal who read the first one. Again, a bit over-acted. This time around I can definitely say I like the first two books better, but I do like this one. Having read the newest and last book, however, I can tell you that I wish the author stopped here. Read on to find out why...)
|Wait. Is this the SAME Susan Beth Pfeffer that wrote the other moon-crash books? What IS this? She took all the characters and stole away the things that made them special and replaced them with ugly, hateful character traits. Why? What was the point? I loved how the other books had the theme of love and endurance in the face of an impossible world. Now that everyone is relatively safe, at least from starvation and immediate death, everyone has abandoned their good character and instead is buying sex with pieces of soap. This book is such a disappointment. I also find the writing in this book choppy and amateurish, which is so strange since the other three books were not written this way. This was just so bad, so, so, so bad.|
(Ya, this one was SO BAD. What a shame. The first three were so good. She could have done so much more here. Really a shame.)
|There are two major themes in this memoir as far as I see it. The first is Foreignness. Anchee Min does not shield the reader from her foreignness, even when it may alienate her. I've read a lot of reviews that say they didn't like Min, how she handles her daughter, how she deals with people, her relationship with her ex-husband, her current husband, her family in China, etc. But I think don't think the point of this book was to LIKE Anchee Min. It was for Min to give us her most honest self, and that is the other theme: honesty. BRUTAL honesty: abortions, deceptions, sadness and all. When Min came to America and was trying her hardest to learn English, she would watch Mr. Roger's Neighborhood everyday, and she loved when he would say into the camera, "The greatest gift you can offer someone is your honest self". She took that to heart, and that is what Anchee Min offers us here. Her honest self is sometimes unattractive, but isn't that true of us all? I think this might be the most truthful, honest memoir I've ever read, and it did feel like a gift in it's honesty. I react when people show their humanity, and so I liked this book, and I liked Anchee Min.|
(Definitely the highlight of the month. I really looked forward to going back into Min's story each night. I took my time reading this and pondering the things she writes about. It's stuck with me. It's profound in it's simplicity, and that's just my favorite kind of book. To me, a good book is an accessible book. I like it very much.)