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May Book Reviews (2015)


I didn’t get a whole lot read in May. Work was nuts, and to be honest I was a bit brain dead most of the month. I’ll remedy that in June!

Ratings

I use the Goodreads rating scale of 1-5 stars. I know sometimes it’s hard to stick to only 5 options…lots of times we want half stars!! But, half stars make things messy. My ratings tend to be on the somewhat conservative side, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that a 3 star rating doesn’t mean a book is bad. Generally, I choose books that I expect to enjoy (don’t we all?). If I do enjoy them, then they’ve met my expectations…so I give them a 3. Anything lower than 3 didn’t live up to my expectations, and anything above 3 exceeded them. I’m generally not looking for certain writing styles or plot lines or technical aspects. If something stands out (for good or bad), I’ll comment on it, but in general technical aspects won’t be the sole influencer on my rating.

Any questions on my ratings? If so, just ask, and I’ll try to clarify!

And now, on to the books!!!

A Taste Fur Murder
4 starsI read this on the flight to Montana. To be honest, I was a little embarrassed…I mean, that’s kind of a silly cover, and an even sillier title.

OMG WHO CARES.

This book is adorable. It’s hands down one of my favorite cozy mysteries. If you like animals, cozies, graveyards, and just fun stories, pick up this book. It’s got magic. It’s got a cat on life #7. It’s got a ghost/ectoplasmic dog. It’s FUN. Seriously, pick it up.  I’ve got the second one already, so expect to see the review in June.

Murder She Barked3 stars

I was really excited about this one, and it took me forever to find. It was cute, and I’ll definitely read the next in the series (have it already too), but it paled in comparison to A Taste Fur Murder. Had I not just read that, I might have enjoyed this more. The premise here is the main character’s grandmother owns a very pet-friendly inn. Cute, but nothing special. I’ll keep reading though…..

Landline2 starsI know several people who loved this book. Sadly, I’m not one of them.

I mean….it wasn’t totally terrible. But the characters…..ugh the characters. Not one of them was likeable. Wait. I take that back. Heather was fun. The best scene in the entire book involved Heather, Pizza Guy, and the pugs.

I thought the whole “magic phone” concept wasn’t done well – it felt like an afterthought and not actually part of the story. I didn’t care whether Georgie and what’s his face got their marriage straightened out. I really didn’t. Linda said this book was realistic and maybe she’s right….which means I don’t enjoy realistic character dramas. Shrug.

Girl on the Train2 starsThis was our book club book. Or well, our primary book club book (more on that below). I was skeptical, because I HATED Gone Girl, and this book is constantly compared to it.

In some ways, I see the comparison. The characters are pretty horrible. Seriously, I wanted to drown Rachel. The rest I didn’t care about one way or the other. And the story was a little messed up. Ok, a bit messed up. Not like Gone Girl messed up, just dark and depressing.

Where it differed though, was the mystery. I guessed Gone Girl about a hundred pages in. Two thirds of the way through Girl on the Train, I still wasn’t sure. Yeah, I eventually guessed it, but much later in the story than usual. For that, I have to give the book (and the author) props. I read a ton, so if a book keeps me guessing that’s a huge plus.

Do I think this is the rave book of the year? Not hardly. Would I recommend it? Maybe? Like Gone Girl though, I am glad I read it, if nothing else to see what all the hype was about.

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans2 starsOur book club started doing a primary book and a backup book a couple of months ago. When we read Montaigne, none of us could get through it. We realized we needed and wanted a second option so if that happened again, we’d still have something to talk about. We weren’t sure how it’d go, having two books, but we decided to give it a try.

May was our second month of backup books, and Blue Jeans was the choice. We thought it’d be a light beach read. Turns out, it’s neither light nor beachy….though it is set at the beach, so I suppose that’s something.

I struggled with the rating on this. It wasn’t a hard book, and it wasn’t bad. There were times I really enjoyed it. But, the story felt cliched, and the characters felt flat. The dialogue was caustic, and I just didn’t connect with any of them. It wasn’t like other books where I hated them….I just, didn’t feel anything.

That said, there were some really beautifully written passages, and the setting was incredibly vivid. If I gave half stars, this would easily be a 2.5.

Sky12 starsNormally, this would get it’s own review. I found this book on Tomoson, and was lucky enough to snag a free copy for review. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get through it, and I feel like it fits better as part of a monthly review for that very reason.

Here’s the synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, Nick Burke has been allotted 389 square feet of living space by the government. Disease spreads quickly when people are packed together so tightly. Quarantines have been imposed in an effort to contain the spread of infection. When a quarantine is imposed on Nick’s Ground, he and his family are trapped. The only way out is to break laws that carry a penalty of death. Fearing for his life and the safety of his family, Nick joins forces with a local group to move to another Ground. But can he trust his new friends?

From the synopsis, this had a lot of potential. It’s also the first in a series of at least 5 books. I enjoy apocalyptic fiction, so was really looking forward to it. I’ve read many reviews that said you have to give it a while before it grabs you…that may very well be true. I wasn’t able to make it that far. I made it about four chapters in before I completely lost interest. Not just “meh, whatever, I guess I can read this,” but more like, “I’d actually rather go floss my teeth than read this book” lost interest. I don’t abandon books often, but this one made the list.

Because of that, I’m not able to give a fair review, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. This book has a 4.61 rating on Goodreads, which is insanely high. Yes, there are only a handful of reviews, so keep that in mind also. It may be a great story, but unfortunately, there just wasn’t anything there to grab me.

Book of the Month

This was kind of tough, because none of these were really “wow” books…but I’ve got to go with…

A Taste Fur Murder

What books did you read this month? Any keepers?