Summers Read Part 2

I’m backed up. Not…not in the bowel department. I don’t know why I feel like I needed to clarify that when you’ll see in a minute that I mean book reviews.

Either way. Here we are.

In The Woods–Tana French

This book was total trickery. 

In that I didn’t realize it was a series. I only read the first one, but now I need to read the rest to find out what the shit happened. 

This is about how kids were in the playing in the back woods in a Dublin suburb in 1984, and they only found one kid.

A parents worse nightmare. Two kids went missing and one was found covered in blood gripping a tree trunk and unable to remember what happened. 

20 years later the boy is a detective and he’s on the case of a 12 year old girl who was murdered in the same woods his friends went missing. 

He uncovers piece by piece what happened not just to the girl, but to his friends. 

Sort of. I remember being like ‘Wait WHAT.’ When it ended because it wasn’t finished and then I looked it up online and found out that it was part of a series. 

And then not committing to find the others and never solving the mystery. 

Not like me. 

But oh well. Someday i’ll finish that series because after rereading its synopsis I’m intrigued again! 

…Actually upon reflection that totally is like me. I stopped reading Game of Thrones three books in, I stopped reading Outlander after two books, I even stopped reading those Sweep books and had to return to them to finish them. 

My best friend is laughing at my previous statement of “Not like me.” haha. (She gets all the texts when I pick the series back up of “Hey…who’s dead and what happened???” 

Her memory is better then mine. 

Anywho: This book was interesting, maybe if I stumble upon the second book somewhere I’ll get back to it and solve that dang mystery!

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Weird Sisters–Eleanor Brown

This book was very enjoyable. Reminded me of me and my sisters. Only in that we are weird and so different from each other, and yet so similar. Really, if one of us didn’t have a sense of humour our family dynamics would be VERY different. 

Instead of making each other laugh, someone would’ve been stabbed a long time ago. 

Anyway, this book is about three sisters who find themselves back at home to help with their ailing mother. Their dad named them after three of Shakespeares leading ladies and only really speaks to them in verse. 

Which I would find infuriating, but also fun. I love Shakespeare. But I would’ve slapped my dad. 

Good book, well written, interesting story. Definitely read it. 

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I Know I Am, But What Are You?–Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee is (was, maybe?) the Most Senior Correspondent on the The Daily Show (In the Jon Stewart era) and is pretty damn funny.

This was a good summer book. Clever, well spoken, and had fun stories in there but not overwhelmingly political or heavy. But she also didn’t dumb anything down. It was lovely. 

I liked reading about her life and where she ended up. Despite the fact that people have always flashed her at weird intervals in her life. 

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child–J.K. Rowling, John Thorne, Jack Tiffany

I wish I had seen this in play form. This was so interesting and cool! Even though JK Rowling didn’t write the play itself, she did approve of this and it’s based on a short story she wrote.

I missed my people. This is the only universe that’s ever felt completely like home to me.

Including this one we currently live in. Being a human is so boring sometimes.

So to be able to revisit it and see old characters, and see all our kids grown up and having an adventure was really fun, even if it was super heartbreaking at points.

This is about Harry as an adult and what’s going on with his children, as the synopsis concludes: Past and present collide and things get really super bananas.

Okay. They didn’t say that word for word, but here we are.

I really enjoyed this, for obvious reasons. It was quick to read given that the format is in that of a play and it’s for the characters to learn their lines.

I genuinely hope they make this into a mini series or something, that would be so cool.

Constant vigilance!

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Mr. Pip–Lloyd Jones

This. This book. Woof.

This was a case of judging a book by it’s cover and then not getting what I thought.

The cover is a fun looking mosaic of flowers, really colour popping look to it.

The actual story is beautiful and colourful and genuine and heart breaking.

Not to mention a fantastic story. This book sort of broke me for other books for awhile.

It’s a tale of thirteen year old Matilda who lives on an island in Papua New Guinea torn apart by war, and is constantly harassed by soldiers and rebels alike. Her only family member left is her mother, who is a God fearing and preaching type woman who accepts nothing but the utmost respect from all around her.

Their school is non-exist after so many people left the island. Then one day a man (Mr. Watts) helps the kids clear out the school of plants and trash and begins reading Great Expectations to the children who are allowed to come.

Matilda relates to Pip (the lead character in ‘Great Expectations’) in such a deep way. Soon the soldiers (or the rebels, I can’t remember) begin to try to find this Mr. Pip after so many kids are enamoured by the stories and talk about him as if he’s a real person.

This book came out of nowhere on my bookshelf, I just picked it up to read it and I loved it. It actually led to my reading Great Expectations again soon after.

Great book, must read!

Constant vigilance!

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Through the Storm–Lynne Spears

You read that right. I read Britney Spears’ moms book.

The funny thing about that is: 1) I could care less about anything Lynne Spears has to say.
and 2) I found this book in a thrift store (surprise surprise) and found a ticket stub for a flight somewhere with a girls name on it from high school! And it turns out it was her book for real.

Tiny world.

Anyway, this book was the autobiographical musings of Lynne Spears and on Britney’s life and what exactly went down in 2007 when Brit Brit lost her shit shit.

It was actually really nice to read a book from her moms perspective and even though I’ll never know the truth of anything because I don’t actually know this family, it was nice to think that this was all the truth and that her mom was really trying to tell her side.

Overall: good beach book, semi-interesting excerpts from Britney’s life (if you’re a fan that is.), and Mama Spears doesn’t pull any punches. I wouldn’t recommend it outright, but I wouldn’t tell you NOT to read it if you were in the mood for something like it.

You know?

Constant vigilance.

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Ballroom Blitz

I’ve been pretty busy these last few mon–years. Things have gotten out of control and I’m only JUST starting to patch things together to make them workable.

One of those things being writing “reviews”, which at this point they are more or less just blurbs on like “Read it if you feel like it” and “HOLY HELL THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING”. Either way, things have gotten pretty laissez-faire around here. Which was my whole life until I realized that I needed to pull myself together because I’m reviewing books from last summer and I have no clue what to write about them.

Which is why I labelled this segment: Ballroom Blitz.

Because I’m going to throw a bunch of tentatively labelled “reviews” at you.

Bunheads–Sophie Flack

‘Bunheads’ was on my summer reading list last year it was a nice beach book for sure.

Not intense in content, but still a decent story and plot. It’s about ballerinas, one in particular, and you follow their story of competitiveness, heartbreak, life, and their need to dance.

It was really well written (unlike these reviews), and I look forward to finding something else of hers in the future.

Definitely take this on a trip with you.

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The Invisible Ones–Stef Penney

This book was pretty decent given that I didn’t know what I was walking into. The plot centres around gypsies and their lifestyle, but only because one of them goes missing and a cop is trying to suss out what happened.

It was well written and I look forward to reading some of the authors others books.

I liked reading about gypsies, and I enjoyed the characters and the plot twists.

Definitely a good mystery for anyone looking for one.

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The Night We Said Yes–Lauren Gibaldi 

This book was sent in one of my OwlCrate boxes, I was interested in reading it since it was all about how these people spent a night (you guessed it) saying ‘Yes’ to everything.

It was a silly story and definitely more for teens than even Young Adults. I’m neither, but still, it should’ve had a little more juice to it. It barely had any meat on its bones, and it was the first book from OwlCrate that I was really really disappointed in.

Handed it off to head to a thrift store. Hopefully some tween will enjoy it more than I did.

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Next week will focus solely on Roald Dahl’s works.

Constant vigilance!

 

sTori Telling–Tori Spelling

Okay look…I can’t explain why I picked this one up. I had zero interest in Tori Spelling, her career, or anything that’s ever happened to her. I bought this at a thrift store because I like to read incredibly random biographies now. And this took the cake on random because I had never really given Tori Spelling a second thought.

BUT…I’m glad I read this.

I genuinely enjoyed this autobiography!

She was funny, self deprecating, and (felt like) completely honest about her love life, career, and relationship with her parents. She totally realized that she was a product of nepotism in her career and tried to steer away from it and work on her own without the help of her dad. (An exception would be 90210, but she auditioned and worked hard to get that role.)

I’m looking forward to reading more of her work because she’s actually incredibly funny.

This was a great summer read, it was quick, light, and made me feel like she was talking directly to me over a glass of mojitos.

And I don’t even drink mojitos.

–Constant vigilance.

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Roald Dahl

The Giraffe, The Pelly, and Me—Roald Dahl

This book was short and sweet and so will this review be:

This was about a little boy who was introduced to his new neighbours: a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey. They had just moved in and were renovating a house to be their business. They were opening a window cleaning business and the boy shows them a house that really needs it since there are several hundred windows and they all live happily ever after cleaning these windows.

It was short, which was good since there was zero plot for this kids book, and I liked it. It was cute and Daryl liked the bits about the animals.

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James and the Giant Peach—Roald Dahl

Again, being a kid of the 90s I watched the movie version of this first and I believe I thought it was super creepy.

The book however was quite sweet. The story is, of course, that James’ parents die, he moves in with his terrible aunts, they mistreat him, magic makes a peach grow alongside a bunch of bugs in the area, and adventure begins as the aunts are bowled over by the oversized peach.

I really liked this one, it had funny jokes, wordplay, and I learned some interesting information on bugs.

Definitely a good book for any age child.

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The Witches—Roald Dahl

Hey there, here’s another for the list of things not to read to children.

Firstly, I don’t know why the hell I thought Roald Dahl WASN’T going to be a big creep. The descriptions alone should’ve made me turn away from reading these to a two year old.

I mean, the book is called “The Witches”. I should’ve known.

But hey. Live and learn, right?

Short, creepy, and full of witches, mice, and mayhem, this book is about a kid who discovers real witches and learns from his grandmother how to fight them off.

The problem is: Witches look like any normal person.

In the beginning of the book Dahl goes on to give you a list of people who are likely witches, they are always women and could be anyone from your teacher to your mother to the person reading the book right now. And then goes on to describe how you can tell who is a witch and who isn’t.

The only saving grace I had working with this book was that Daryl would fall asleep pretty easily during it. And that I would use a witch hand to tickle him so that it wasn’t so terrifying.

Good for older kids I suppose.

If you hate them and want to give them nightmares.

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