Mini Reviews (Graeme Simsion, Kathleen Winter, & Patrick Ness)

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I hadn’t intended on doing mini reviews on the blog, but since I have a lot of reviews already scheduled and other posts already scheduled and other days allotted other kinds of posts, I just didn’t know where to put reviews for some of the books I’ve read this year that I still haven’t gotten to talk about. I thought about saving them for 2015, but I’m pretty adament about starting that year completely fresh with new ideas and a new outlook on blogging. So, mini reviews. Of course, “mini” means that I don’t get longwinded and we all know how well I can be with that …

the rosie projectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Genre: Contemporary
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Rating: 5/5

As you all know, I tend to shy away from any book that everyone loves because chances are, I’ll hate it. SO not the case with The Rosie Project! Actually, when I started reading it, I was still sure I wouldn’t like it because it did take a little getting used to. Now, I’m a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory, but it could be a little jarring to get inside of Sheldon Cooper’s head. That’s exactly what it was like getting into Don’s head in this book. BUT I persevered and soon I couldn’t put the  book down. It was just so charming in its own way. Of course, I couldn’t help but picture Sheldon Cooper as I read the story, which made it even more charming, like I already kind of knew the character before I even started the book. It was so fun to see Don change as the book went on, kind of like how fun it is to see Sheldon change throughout the seasons (seriously, so hard not to compare the two characters!).

I still feel so hesitant to call this book a romance because it just doesn’t fit into your typical girly romance genre, but it kind of is. Instead of having the tall, dark, and mysterious hero of the story, we have Don, who is such a real character with real idiosyncracies and quirks. And then we have Rosie, who is the complete opposite of Don, but still they compliment one another. It’s funny and charming and well worth putting a weekend aside for reading. It’s one of my favourite reads of the year so far!

annabelAnnabel by Kathleen Winter 

Genre: Contemporary (& Canadian!)
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Rating: 3/5

In my search for more Canadian literature for my bookcases, I came across Annabel while perusing the bookstore. For people like me who like to look at tables of books rather than through the actual shelves, it was nice to come across a table marked ‘Canadian Authors.’ With this book, it was the cover that caught my eye first. Being a winter girl, the snowy whiteness with the deer in the background was just beautiful. Then the synopsis is what pulled me in to buy the book right away. Usually I’d hum and haw over buying a book for full price at the bookstore but this one reminded me so much of Jeffrey Eugenides’s book Middlesex, which I loved. But when I finished this one I was kind of in the middle of the road. I did like the writing — Kathleen Winter does have quite a nice way with words — but there seemed to be a lack of conflict throughout the story. Based on what happens — deciding to raise the child as a boy — I would have expected some outrage at some point, some kind of conflict, but we really don’t get that. It’s a really gentle kind of book where everyone seems to get along with everyone else, despite what happens. I mean, yes, it’s not all fairies and unicorns throughout the whole story, but I wanted something a little more intense at some point.

Still a really great concept for a book, Annabel is still one that will remain with me, but I still think that Eugenides did a better job at conveying this kind of topic.

more than thisMore Than This by Patrick Ness

Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Gift (from Aylee!)
Rating: 3/5

After I completely fell in love with A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, I knew I had to read more of his stuff. Now, with A Monster Calls, it wasn’t just him. It was a story based on a story by another author, which Patrick Ness adapted beautifully in his illustrated story. I knew that work written solely by him might not have the same punch, but I was willing to give it a go. Actually, it was the book trailer for this one that sold me on the book. It was one of the most engaging and intriguing book trailers I had seen in a long time (since a lot of them can be so cheesy, amirite?) and I was so interested to read the book after watching it.

Unfortunately, this book didn’t quite pan out how I wanted it to. It was so, so, so intriguing after the trailer, but the book was just … long. And weird. Really, the whole “currently” part of the story was a lot less intriguing than the backstory. We’re told about Seth’s history through flashbacks and I wanted more of those instead of the actual story. And then there’s the ending. If I had known that we’d get the ending we got, I probably wouldn’t have started this book in the first place. It was just one of those endings where you were like, “Really??” This book still has me interested enough to try more stuff by Patrick Ness, but I think A Monster Calls will still remain my favourite.

Have you read these books? What are your thoughts?

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9 thoughts on “Mini Reviews (Graeme Simsion, Kathleen Winter, & Patrick Ness)

  1. I loved the first two, but haven’t read the third. The quietness of Annabel was what I liked about it. Even though Wayne had the love of his parents (even though they didn’t know what to do), he still had a big internal struggle with his identity, and with what everyone else in the outside world might think of him. I think quiet struggles are what most people are more familiar with, and can sometimes be more powerful. It’s true, though, that if you are looking for more action, you probably wouldn’t want to read this book.

    • I guess you’re right, though I didn’t sense a HUGE internal battle. I mean, I figured that Wayne would’ve been more outwardly angered towards his parents, but I guess that’s just me!

  2. Are you watching Canada Reads? I think Annabel will be a front runner, along with The Orenda. It’s kinda sorta on my TBR, and I really like the trailer Canada Reads did for it.

    I LOVED the trailer for More Than This too!

    • When is Canada Reads on? If it’s the evenings, then no … hubs gets antsy with bookish shows. Ha ha … 🙂 I think I’d enjoy watching it more if I read all the books that are on it.

  3. I’m almost reluctant to pick up The Rosie Project because I’ve never watched The Big Bang Theory. Everyone is comparing it to the show and I just don’t know. I do know what you mean about not reading books that everyone is loving. I tend to give those books a little bit of space before diving into them.

    • It’s hard once you watch the show to NOT compare the characters, but I think you might like it even if you don’t watch it. It’s just a really fun book with different kinds of characters.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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