Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Book Report 2015

A new year and a new monthly record of what I've read.  Maybe you'll find something to try??

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall -  This was a cute and fast YA read that I read through the kindle app on my iPad.  I loved the premise of a romance told from everyone except the boy and girl involved.  Perspectives varied from roommates, creative writing teacher, and even a bench, and weren't that long so it felt like quick reading.  Parts of it were very repetitive and it sort of lead up to the end of the book when I wish it had continued and developed the characters more.  One small peeve I had (which probably sounds really judgemental...), was that the writing the characters did for their creative writing class didn't strike me as that when other characters were having these huge reactions to what was written, I was sort of waiting for more.  But even still, this is a great choice for quick, fun, and light holiday or vacation reading.

The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson - I can't tell you how much I LOVED this one.  It was just the quirky, unexpected, weirdness I was looking for.  The title pretty much sums up the plot, but the book is structured so there is a chapter about what happens after he disappears about where he goes and what he gets up to, and then there is a chapter about what he did in his younger days. He is a fascinating old man, there's no question about that.  I found this book poignant and hilarious and important and a study of a life rather than what happened to one old man who had had enough with the old age home he ended up in.  It was a great reminder to me that everyone has a story!! 

Allegiant by Veronica Roth - I hate hate hate to admit this...but I gave up on this book!! It's been sitting unfinished for over a year, and every time I try to get back into it I just can't.....I devoured Divergent in a few hours, but this one was so repetitive and frustrating for me to read.  I hated how the information was revealed and how Four and Tris interacted.  It wasn't consistent with the characters they'd established in the previous books and I continuously wanted to yell at them while I read...soooo frustrating.  It seems to be a curse of popular series to totally bomb the third book, or maybe just for me, but I just couldn't stick with it.  This is one instance where I'm actually hoping the movie is better! Yikes.

The Martian by Andy Weir - I've been itching to get this one for weeks now, and finally did.  It's about an astronaut who gets stuck on Mars, written by someone who really knows his science.  Watney was left by accident and thought to be dead, but fortunately he's an astronaut and pretty smart, so he's able to figure out what he will have to do to stay alive, how to leave rock messages for the satellites, how to grow potatoes and modify a rover to provide life support while he travels.  It's fascinating and interesting but I found myself getting a little lost in all the scientific discussion sometimes.  The story is written through Watney's logs and then goes to tell about the NASA folks madly scrambling to save him.  I wish the whole story had been in the same tense, I felt like Watney's logs were a little too narrow for me, so I never became very emotionally invested in him.  I still enjoyed the story though.  This is being made into a movie and I think it's the kind of story that will translate really well to the big screen.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer - This is the story of a mysterious space called "Area X" where unexplainable things happen.  The first in The Southern Reach trilogy, we follow a biologist who joins an expedition into the area and discovers things that still don't make a lot of sense.  It's hard to discuss without giving away the few things the biologist learns, but things are very clearly not what they seem to be.  The writing was well done, but the plot felt elusive, and perhaps that is so readers will feel compelled to find answers in the other books? I still enjoyed it, and it was a quick one, but I'm not sure yet if I'll read the rest of the series or not.  

So my January reading was a bit scattered this time, kindof all over the place.  I'm already 1/3 through with 4 other books right now, but I always love adding to my Amazon list.  Do you have any good recommendations for me?