Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon… People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.(Goodreads)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought I knew how this book would turn out as soon as I read its blurb. It was obviously going to be just a retelling of the Christmas Carol except instead of ghosts there would be a nosy family. But a quarter through I already knew I was wrong and that I was going to like it.
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BOOK REVIEW: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist.(Goodreads)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Considering how high this book’s rating is in Goodreads, I feel like giving three stars is going to raise some eyebrows and roll some eyes. Thing is, I understand why this book has gotten high reviews. First, it has a diverse set of characters that aren’t flat and have interesting relationships. Second, the plot has twists and turns and unexpected corners. Finally, the worldbuilding wasn’t complicated so it was easy to follow the characters through their adventure and to understand why things happened as they did.

Here are what I didn’t like about it:

First, although the characters weren’t flat, they weren’t exactly not stereotypes. I liked Inej and Jesper because they had layers. They had valid fears and unexpected strengths, and they had thoughts and made decisions that sounded human. Sadly, the rest were nothing more than stereotypes; mannequins with shiny accessories and fancy dresses.Read More »

BOOK REVIEW: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1)The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…(Goodreads)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here’s what happens to my brain during a reading slump: it forgets words and how to string them together. So when I started to read The Colour of Magic I was wondering why it was so complicated and when it would end.

But I plodded on and eventually my brain remembered how stories are told, and I reached the top of the hill where I got a view of the Discworld. It was a great view. It was magical, hilarious, exciting, and unpredictable with two unlikely heroes (and an unforgettable Luggage) right in the middle of it.

It takes some effort to understand the Discworld, and the myriad of characters, monsters, and creatures can be confusing, but who cares. This book took me out of my reading slump and that deserves credit.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler.(J.R.R. Tolkien)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was 12 when I read The Fellowship of the Ring and I remember I was very disappointed because I thought it was difficult and, peculiarly, I couldn’t appreciate the son of father of grandfather that kept popping throughout the book. I finally gave up on it when Frodo’s party reached Rivendell. Since then, I’ve had a poor impression of The Lord of the Rings novels although I loved the movie adaptations.

After I saw The Hobbit I decided to give this book a chance but, admittedly, I kept delaying because I couldn’t forget the experience I had from my first J.R.R. Tolkien book. Luckily, The Hobbit is in my 2016 Reading Challenge. Like Bilbo who was drawn out from his comfortable hobbit-hole with the promise of a great adventure, I was forced out of my comfort zone with the promise of getting something good out of one of the best-selling books ever.Read More »

BOOK REVIEW: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.(Goodreads)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I gave up on this book years ago because I couldn’t stand Jacob, but my sister convinced me that it isn’t that bad so I decided to pick it up again. Since I was forcing myself to read a book I could only read until Chapter 2, I decided to go with the audio book in the hope that it would change my mind.

Tadah! I was able to finish the book this time. Read More »