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Monday, June 6, 2011

10-Second Book Reviews

Here's what I've been reading lately!

Room: A Novel:
This is an incredibly interesting book, about a woman who is kidnapped and held by a man for years.  She has a son to the man, and the entire book is written from the perspective of this little boy.  Imagine living your entire life in a small little room and never seeing the outside or knowing anyone other than your mom.

I really enjoyed this one.  The writing was strange and difficult to get used to.  I almost didn't buy it because of this - I was hurrying through the Kindle sample before getting on an airplane, and I needed to make a decision about whether or not to buy it so that I could read it on the plane.  I'm glad I did - it was so interesting!

Best Friends Forever
Chick lit is my favorite genre, and Jennifer Weiner is my favorite chick lit author.  This one was not her best, but still worth a read.  The story is about two childhood friends, one of whom is shy and quiet and (at least thinks of herself as) ugly/fat.  The other is pretty and outgoing.  The two are best friends, but of course have a big breakup.  In the story, the girls meet again as adults, and try to resolve their troubles with each other.

While it was enjoyable, I kept feeling like I've read it before.  I mean, it was such a formula.  Yes, I love chick lit, but this really just seemed like every other chick lit and didn't really take steps to stand out or be original.  Even within Jennifer Weiner's books, In Her Shoes did a better job of doing the whole fat/ugly vs pretty/outgoing thing.

The Hunger Games
I was at a Christmas party and my friend Erika told me to read this book.  Then, she described it.  It's a young adult novel where it's the future.  The US is destroyed and divided into districts.  Each of the districts sends two children to fight in a battle to the death against the children of the other districts.

It sounded so far-fetched and weird that I wrote it off.  Then, my nephew also recommended it, only a week or two later.  Then, it showed up on sale for the Kindle.  I decided to buy it since I wouldn't be out too much money, and I started reading it on the plane from Dulles to LAX on our trip to Indonesia.  I got so into it so fast that I made sure to buy the second and third books in the series once we landed in LAX, so I'd be sure I'd have them in Indonesia.  Holy crap, great books!  I know they sound weird, and they are, but totally give them a try.  This makes up for when Erika recommended the Twilight books.  (just kidding, Erika!)

The series can be compared to Harry Potter, except darker and a lot more violent.  It can be compared to the Twilight books, except the characters are mature and make decisions that make sense.  They're making a movie series, and I can't wait to see them. I might even re-read the three books.  They were that good.  Definitely pick these up, even though they sound weird.

Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide
This is a collection of short stories told by a guide at a Safari camp in Botswana.  It's so very entertaining.  I loved every minute of it.  The stories were funny and unique, and you learn a lot about what it's like to live and work on Safari in Africa.

The real problem with this book is that it will make you want to take a trip there.  And, since I was in the middle of an expensive long vacation in Asia when I was reading it...  Well, honestly I don't know if that made me more or less likely to want to take a safari.

The Island: A Novel
Back to chick lit.  I've been reading a lot of Elin Hlderbrand lately.  Her novels all take place on the island of Nantucket, so I'm starting to get to really know the island. Her first book that I read was called The Castaways, (see my review) and I liked this one even more than that one.  Two sisters, and their mother and her sister all go to Nantucket for the summer to escape some of their problems.  Working through issues ensues.  Ok,  yeah, it's a formula chick lit, but I liked it.

If you like to read chick lit, give this author a try.  Her writing style really works and her books make excellent beach reads.  It is summer, after all.


misszippy said...

I read Room and really enjoyed it. I agree about getting used to the writing!

The Botswana one looks really cool, too. Will have to check it out.

Black Knight said...

Interesting post, I like the Botswana one too.
Going to check if there is the italian version.

Erika said...

It's all good, Kim! I admit, Hunger Games is leaps and bounds better than the Twilight Series :)

Lacey Nicole said...

YES!! these book reviews are among my favorite posts and make me wish i read enough for fun now to be able to do them, too. i love your reviews. i have a couple of these books on my list for sure!!!! i remember hearing about Room and how controverisal it was, and i have definitely been recommended the Hunger Games!!!! i am interested in the last one, too! thanks Kim!

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