What I Read In September

121. The Red Book (This review is rife with spoilers, FYI. Proceed with caution.)

So here’s the thing with this book. I wanted to love it,  because it’s so my kind of thing – insidery knowledge of East Coastey things from the point of view of people who are “in” or who “aren’t”, girls in college buying shoes and kissing boys, people who have lots of money and live in nice houses, that kind of thing.  So I liked it and I kept reading it and then lo and behold, every single person in this book ends up cheating on their significant other like a MANIAC, and after awhile it got kind of weird. Like, ok, I can give you 50%, but the attitude that this is just how the world is, and everyone ends up cheating on everyone even people who really really love each other because they just can’t help it and actually it doesn’t mean anything anyway? Um, yeah, no.

122. 50 Shades of Grey. Ha ha ha. This was on the “Lucky Day” shelf at my library (insert inappropriate joke here), and you would not believe the shenanigans I had to get up to in order to not have to check it out from an actual human being. Anyway.  One of my least favorite things in the world is when people shit talk books or movies that they have not yet seen. You would think this would be IMPOSSIBLE to do, but you would be wrong.  So I wanted to read this just because people seem so divided and I wanted to know if it was THAT bad or THAT great.  Honestly, it wasn’t that bad, but it also wasn’t that great. I didn’t feel any kind of compelling urge to read the next one.  I also didn’t think it was anywhere near as SUPER DIRTY as the rest of the world has been making it out to be. I found it to be no smuttier than your average current day smutty book, so that was sort of disappointing. I was sort of hoping to be SHOCKED BLIND or something, but no such luck. Interestingly, I vastly preferred the emails they sent each other to any other parts of the book. I’d rather read emails than sex scenes. Am perhaps unfix-ably flawed.

123. We Sinners. I loved this book.  It was not about girls, shoes, or kissing boys, and I still thought it was exceptional.

Then I got sick. I have no idea what kind of stuff you like to read when you get sick, but I decided to go with smut, so then I read two dirty books on my Kindle.  However, by the time I got to the end I was pretty much at the point where I wished these two people would stop having sex all the freaking time, so I might be over my dirty book phase until my next stomach flu.

124. Something Dirty on my Kindle which I cannot remember the name of and I am too lazy to look up.

125. Unleashed, Cherie Lynn.  There were the people who seriously would not stop having sex. It got old.

126. Bright Young Things.  How the Luxe author wrote THREE more books without me noticing is beyond me.  I was so excited when I found out about this book, you don’t even know. Of course, after all that I didn’t like it that much. It was ok, I guess, but it REALLY pushed the bounds of believability with the plot lines, which is saying something if you’ve read the Luxe series, and none of the love stories really moved me like Henry and Diana. OH HENRY SCHOONMAKER YOU HAVE RUINED ME FOR ALL OTHER CHEESY TEEN PERIOD ROMANCES FOREVER.

127. The Snow Child. I’ve seen this book floating around on NetGalley and on Best of Lists for months and months, and I just assumed from the description that I’d hate it. Finally I gave in and naturally I loved it. Seriously, this is a wonderful book.  With the caveat that if you are not the type to suspend a little bit of belief and reality and sort of go with the unexplained fairy tale nature of things, this might not be for you, but seriously, this is a wonderful wonderful book. Just beautifully written and I loved it. Best book of the month, and absolutely in the top ten of the year.

128. Funny in Farsi. Maybe it was the title? I just felt like this book was trying SO HARD to be funny and it didn’t work for me. I kept picturing the author writing it and muttering under her breath “Funnier! It has to be funnier. It’s right there in the title. Must make funnies. More funnies!”

129. What Came From the Stars. This makes me sad because I LOOOOOOVE Gary D. Schmidt but this book was just too weird for me.

130. May B.  You know, for middle grade fiction written as poetry, this was not that bad, but seriously, no more with the poetry.

131. Dare Me. I thought this was really ultra super awful. Nice cover, though.

132. When It Happens to You.  I have tried and tried and tried but I just do not like short stories.

133. Shine Shine Shine.  This is going to sound weird, but I’ve noticed lately that certain fiction genres have these strange narrative voices.  Almost hard? Or shiny? I know that makes no sense, but I felt like What Alice Forgot did this, and Gone Girl did this, and then this book did this as well.  These sort of nasty superior smirky voices ran through these books and I am not sure where it comes from or if anyone else has noticed this but I do not care for it. It feels forced and gimmicky and unpleasant to me.  So that turned me off from this book right away. It just felt icky, somehow, to me.

134. The Flight of Gemma Hardy. I liked this book, actually, and I was desperate for a book that did not actively suck ass, so I appreciated that.  I think perhaps if you ‘re a Jane Eyre obsessive, this might not be for you, but if you liked Jane Eyre but can barely remember it because the last time you read it was 10 years ago, I recommend this. It wasn’t a perfect book, the main character could be really irritating, but it was a quick entertaining read.

135. The Yellow Birds.  This was an exceptional book. I don’t even know how to describe it. It was also not about girls, shoes, or kissing boys, but it was exceptional. Depressing and awful, but exceptional.  If you’re only going to read one book about war, I’d read The Things They Carried, but if you’re going to read two, I’d probably make this the other one.

My library has entered into an extreme slow down, so it’s possible that the only book I’ll actually read next month will be The Twelve, but I’ve decided that’s ok – I’d rather read fewer books and have them be books I enjoy than read a bunch of children’s fiction I don’t actually give a crap about. We’ll see.  There’s some big books coming out this fall! I’m excited.



5 Responses

  1. Bright Young Things! I was so excited when I discovered it and then it was so BLAH. No interest in reading the next one(s). What a disappointment. Glad I wasn’t the only one. I loved me some Luxe, too.

  2. “SHOCKED BLIND” wins for best phrase of the day.

    And I so agreed about Gary Schmidt’s new book. What a disappointment.

  3. That Molly Ringwald book is languishing on my nightstand. I have the same thing about short stories. I should like them, but I just don’t.

    what big books are you excited about??

  4. This feature always makes me feel extremely lazy about the two books I read per month. Also, I feel a little bit weird about the fact that you are obviously spying on me and have copied verbatim what I mutter every time I write a blog post into #128.

  5. Have you read On Beauty by Zadie Smith? I finished it awhile ago and didn’t know what to think, but if you haven’t read it and want to read it, I have a copy to give you because my mom doesn’t want it back. Let me know. And if you have read it, I’d like to know your thoughts!

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