PopSugar Fall Challenge (4.5 tasks)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
#3 – A book and its sequel
I liked this book more than I thought it would. It was an interesting concept with a pre-amnesiac self helping her post-amnesiac self a la Jason Bourne and X-Men. It was snarky and somewhat slow, but generally the plot moved forward. It could have lost 100 pages and been fine. The information dump letters helped flesh out the world, but at the same time they were pages worth of info dumps that bogged the story down. I liked how post-amnesiac Myfawny had to simultaneously figure out who her pre-amnesiac self was and how she worked, and create a new identity.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
#10 – Published in 1995
I know this is a well-regarded YA fantasy novel that’s been around since I was in high school, but it was mind-numbingly boring. It felt endless without a lot actually happening. It meandered. There was absolutely no romance or chemistry between Sabriel and Touchstone, and it came out of left field at the end of the book. There was no sense or progression. It felt like an afterthought. There were interesting elements – the juxtaposition of magical and modern, the rules of magic, and the recent history of the Old Kingdom, but it wasn’t enough to save me from boredom.
What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie
#13 – Pun in the title
If I hadn’t chosen this book for a reading challenge, I would have dropped it within the first 50 pages. I didn’t like how Steven Sable was shown as an incredibly intelligent surgeon, who sometimes spoke English very well, and other times botched it terribly. It wasn’t consistent. I also didn’t like how MJ corrected him all the time. The chemistry didn’t feel believable. MJ was also annoying.
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
#14 – Takes place in the fall
I had never read any of Lisa Kleypas’ books before this, but I am now a fan. I’m a sucker for smart, sassy MCs in romance novels, and Lillian fit the bill. She was opinionated, but not to the point that I wanted to throw the book across the room. Marcus was also a well done “asshole with a heart of gold”. He was cold and gruff and superior, but even in the early stages, he still looked out for Lillian’s welfare and safety. I loved how they played off of each other.
The Gentleman by Leo Forrest
#15 – Orange cover
This was a madcap adventure kicked off by Lionel losing his wife, Vivian, to the devil. The story was a bit uneven, but still fun. I liked the creativity of the premise and the writing style. Vivian and Simmons, the butler, were my favorite characters. They were the most sensible of the lot. Vivian was intelligent and devious. Simmons was the consummate, subversive British butler (Jeeves to Lionel’s Wooster). And Lionel was a bit annoying with his total self-absorption and obliviousness to reality.