5 Mini Book Reviews

I know I did a post similar to this not so long ago, but it seemed to go down quite well with you guys, and I’ve been STEAMING through my pile of books to read, so I thought I’d drop you a few more mini book reviews, in case you’re looking for something to add to your summer reading list!

Legendary – Stephanie Garber.

You may remember Caraval, Stephanie Garber’s previous literary triumph of last year, it took instagram by storm, as well as my heart. It was my favourite read of 2017, an exciting, all encapsulating, immersive, fantasy read. Legendary is the much anticipated sequel and I have to admit, whilst I loved being back in the magical world of Caraval, this book wasn’t *quite* as good for me. It’s just as spellbinding, the magic feels just as real and exciting, but to me the plot of this book felt a little weaker. I think this book does a lot to build for the rest of the series and so perhaps isn’t quite as exciting as Caraval was. Despite this, I still loved reading the book, and I’m excited for the next instalment of the series.

My Rating: 4.5/5

In The Days Of Rain – Rebecca Stott.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll no doubt have already seen me talk about this book, because it took me SO long to get into it. This book is a memoir, written by Stott on behalf of her father, sharing their memories from their time as part of the exclusive Brethren cult in Brighton.

Whilst the story Stott has to share is fascinating, I found it slow to get into (the first third of the book is mostly a history lesson), and I felt it was lacking a little more personality, a lot of the events in the book are recounted as facts, glossing over the feelings of those involved and any deep reflection. Stott is a university professor, and I think this is perhaps where the problem with this book lies, it reads more like an essay than a compelling memoir. If you’re interested in religion, sects, or the psychology of extremists, then pick this up and give it a read, but I’d skip over it if you’re just looking for a lighthearted read.

My Rating: 3/5

The Seed Collectors – Scarlett Thomas.

This was a real I-Judged-A-Book-By-It’s-Cover situation here. I picked this up in a second hand book store without really looking into it too much, beyond skimming the blurb and thinking the cover looked cute. I’m not sure what I was expecting but what I got was a quite odd social commentary on a slightly dysfunctional and downright unlikeable middle class family. I wasn’t quite expecting to hate all the characters, or for the book to be quite so…odd. All that being said, I didn’t outright dislike this book, it was very immersive, I read it all in under two days, but I did put it down and feel pretty confused.

I like the way Thomas creates her character, and the intricate way she constructs her multi stranded narrative, but I felt like the book was cluttered with too many characters, too much pointless dialogue, and just generally unlikeable, unrelatable actions. This book is redeemed by the quality of writing, and the occasional poignant observations on human psychology. I’m kinda hoping someone else will read this book so we can dissect it!

My Rating: 4/5…I think.

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton.

I’m ready for the internet to banish me…I didn’t like this book. As seemingly the only person in the world who didn’t, I feel bad admitting it but here we are. I was promised a laugh out loud, light hearted, relatable commentary on life as a twenty something looking for love. Instead I endured the first half of the book where Alderton seemingly brags about her active sex life and rampant abuse of Class A substances, three chapters spent complaining about how her best friend got a boyfriend and then got engaged, and then a vaguely redeeming ending. This book wasn’t even slightly relatable to me, and read more as the self indulgent ramblings of a privileged millennial. It’s a shame because on her podcast, in her journalistic endeavours and online, Dolly comes across really well, but this book just left her looking jealous, self involved and immature.

My Rating: 1/5.

Rules of Civility – Amor Towles. 

This book was a different read for me, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. Set in 1930’s New York, it’s written as a reflection of protaganist Katey Kontent’s twenties in the city. Whilst the book was a slow burn for me, I think it really got into it’s stride in the second half, I loved the narrative structure and the philosophical musings smattered throughout the book. The only flaw with this book I think come from the fact we have a male author writing a female protagonist, I felt pretty ambivalent to Katy Kontent for most of the book, she just didn’t seem as fully fleshed out a character as I’d have hoped.

However, I really enjoyed this book, and I’d thoroughly recommend, especially if you’re interested in the New York social scene in the thirties!

My Rating: 4/5

So there we go, a run down of some of my latest reads! I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for what to read next!

I’m also going to start posting my reviews on Good Reads, so if you want to follow me there, you can find me here.

What was the last book you read?