Book Reviews

I’ve thus far read 43 books (novels only, my billions of comics don’t count sadly) in 2014. My goal was 50 but whatever. Here’s a review of each of the books I’ve read (I’ve kept a journal throughout the year. In an RBC notebook, incase that was relevant):

1. Wedding Night (Sophie Kinsella) – 9/10
Hilarious, obviously. All of Kinsella’s (Whickham?? She writes under both names!) writing is hilarious. Except for that one about the lady who met guys at funerals; that one was fucked up. But this book is basically about two sisters, one is sane and one is kinda going through a midlife crisis and ends up marrying some dude she had only just met and her sister (the sane one) tries to prevent them from having sex long enough for Crazy Sister to come to her senses so they can annul the marriage without having to get a messy divorce. Have I mentioned how funny it is? It’s so funny.

2. Forrest Gump – 7.5/10
Nothing. Like. The. Movie. Like, at all. So many different things happen that it’s crazy. The book isn’t nearly as sad as the movie either… It’s most just kinda funny. And you can’t even feel bad for Forest when weird things happen (example: him getting stuck living with a chimp and an angry astronaut lady in a cannibal commune in South America).

3. The Storyteller – 10/10 (Jodi Picoult)
I read this one twice, it was that good. No regrets. This book is (as I’ve mentioned before in another post) AMAZING. About a Jewish girl who is asked by an old man to help him commit suicide. And the twist? He was an SS officer in the Second World War.

4. Love Affairs for Grown Ups – 6/10
Boring. Predictable. I read the entirety of this book in like, two hours. It’s nice if you like easy, light stuff.

5. V for Vendetta – 7/10
Super powerful graphic novel (I KNOW I said comics don’t count but go away) about anarchy and resistance and not listening to totalitarian government and distopia and just my God people, please read it. Remember remember, the fifth of November. Also: I like the movie too, but again, very different.

6. Brave New World – 7/10
Eye opening in every way. I can’t even sit through a class without thinking of conditioning now. Premise for the book: set in a future where babies are made, not born. Everyone is conditioned from birth to behave a certain way and you do not question the system. When a “savage” (normal person who likes nature and regular birth and whatever) is brought into the new age system, he goes mad.

7. Songs of Innocence and Experience – 8/10
William Blake is one of my favourite poets for this beauty:
How sweet I roam’d from field to field
And tasted all the summer’s pride,
Till I the Prince of Love beheld
Who in the sunny beams did glide!
He show’d me lilies for my hair,
And blushing roses for my brow;
He led me through his garden fair
Where all his golden pleasures grow.
With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
And Phoebus fir’d my vocal rage:
He caught me in his silken net,
And shut me in his golden cage.
He loves to sit and hear me sing,
Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
Then stretches out my golden wing,
And mocks my loss of liberty.

8. Like Water for Chocolate – 8/10
This book made me hungry. The recipes in it are very good, which is why I gave it a higher rating, but the content of the fictional piece itself was weird to say the least. No one I know eats rose petals and then rides away naked with the first person they see.

9. Lord Rakehell – 10/10
Maybe I’m biassed because my grandma wrote this book, but I still love it all the same. At the time when I read it, it really spoke to me and I connected it with a bunch of stuff I was dealing with in my life.

10. Book of Negroes – 9.5/10
If you haven’t read this book, you NEED to. Everything you ever need to know about slavery and hardship and finding peace after trial… Just read it. Please. Also, don’t be intimidated by the 100000 pages.

11. Wuthering Heights – 4/10
Don’t read this. All the main characters do is bitch and complain and make terrible, selfish mistakes. You end up hating all of them. I was wishing the book would end with them all dying in a terrible fire.

12. Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet) – 7/10
It’s technically a play, but whatever. It’s a very light and easy read and it’s difficult to understand unless you’ve seen Romeo & Juliet and Othello. By the way… Would not recommend Othello. The best character is Iago, and he’s the villain.

13. House Rules (Jodi Picoult) – 8/10
Boy with Aspergers who helps solve crime except he is actually accused of committing one. The plot twist at the end was surprisingly predictable for me (this is the ONLY Picoult novel where I saw it coming) and the story got a bit dull in the middle but I still loved it. Jodi always outdoes herself.

14. Beyond Blonde (Theresa Toten) – 8/10
I love Theresa Toten’s Blonde series to no end. It sounds like such a chick-flic book (if that makes sense?) but it really isn’t. Sophie, a Canadian immigrant, is friends with who she calls “The Blondes”, who all seem perfect but are really super fucked in the heads. One is practically addicted to sex, one is adopted and won’t tell anyone and one is a bulimic lesbian. I’m oversimplifying things but whatever. Also, the love of Sophie’s life just got married at age 18 because his girlfriend got knocked up. Did I mention this book takes place in the seventies? That’s kinda important.

15. Oryx and Crake – 8.5/10
Margaret Atwood you devil you. I want to hate her, I really do, but then she goes and writes something so incredibly raw and… REAL. This book is meant to be a dystopic version of earth as we know it, but it ends up hitting waaaaaay too close to home. She exaggerates things like cross-genetic species and artificial food products, but in the end, all the stuff she mentions is stuff we do, and she makes you realize how fucked the world is. Also the reason I never have (nor will) watch porn. So if you’re into that, don’t read this book because you won’t be afterward.

16. My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult) – 8.5/10
Have you seen the movie? Well THE ENDING LIES. (Very sad book, the ending kills me and makes me cry every time I read it).

17. The Hobbit – 9/10
The book explains why the fucking eagles are never around when you need them.

18. The Fault in Our Stars – 7/10
Overrated to say the least. The way everyone was going on about this book/ movie, I was expecting more. Hazel seems like a whiney bitch to me and Augustus is just some creep who is following her around. Oh, and they both have cancer.

19. Just Listen (Sarah Dessen) – 9/10
My all-time favourite Sarah Dessen book which I’ve read about 6 times. Annabelle is a model who hates modelling and who was raped in the summer but can’t tell anyone and… No, it’s not “Speak” but thanks for pointing out the similarities. It’s MUCH better than Speak. And funnier. Also, fun fact: a lot of Sarah Dessen’s books intertwine, so you get to meet characters (I think four or five) from some of her other books in this one).

20. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – 8/10
I FINALLY got around to reading the final in the trilogy! Lisbeth is so badass in this one that she survives a bullet to the head (I KNOW RIGHT!) and she kills a bunch more people, which is also cool. These books are great, but definitely not for people wanting an easy read. If you’re looking for adventure, this book has it.

21. Charlie St. Cloud – 4/10
Plot holes. Plot holes everywhere.

22. Rahld Dahl Short Stories – 8.5/10
He’s just so darn witty. My favourite story was the one about the guy who went around stealing umbrellas from bars and selling them to ladies in the rain for a “taxi fair”, which he then used to get himself a drink. And he did this all day on rainy days. Ha.

23. Flowers for Algernon – 8.5/10
This book will make you question everything you know about intelligence, and you will understand the meaning of the phrase “Ignorance is bliss”.

24. Eat Pray Love – 9/10
The movie is CRAP compared to this gem. Makes you want to eat, pray and… er… You know the rest. But seriously, this book makes you fall in love with travel and religion, and it helps you realize how important you are on the broader scale in life. It’s just so damn good.

25. Memoirs of a Geisha – 7.5/10
The ending will piss you off, but you will love it all the same. Also, it will make you want to live in Japan in the 30s.

26. The Book Thief – 7.5/10
Writen from the perspective of Death about a young girl who steals books (I don’t know if I’d actually say “steal” is the right word but whatever) in the Second World War. Her foster family is also hiding a Jew in their basement.

27. The Storyteller (again)
See #3.

28. Murder on the Orient Express – 8/10
Agatha Christie’s finest piece. I won’t tell you what happens, but I should. NOTE: All of the following a murder mysteries by Ms. Christie, so I won’t give anything away.

29. Poirot Loses a Client – 7/10

30. Appointment for Death – 8/10

31. Murder in Three Acts – 8/10

32. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – 6/10

33. Death in the Air – 7/10

34. Mysterious Affair at Styles – 6/10

35. Assorted Agatha Christie – 8/10
A bunch of short detective stories.

36.Television – 2/10
Read for class. Sorry Raymond Williams, but your writing is way too complicated to make sense of. I say writing but I mean ramblings.

37. Miami Vice – 4/10
I liked the pictures at least.

38. Edge of Darkness – 5/10
At least it was better than Miami Vice

39. Irish Chain – 8/10
Forever one of my favourite books. It’s about the Halifax explosion in 1917 and a young girl who loses so much in the explosion, but also gains so much. That sounds cheesy, but please trust me when I say it’s worth the read.

40. Sphinx’s Princess – 8/10
Story of Nefertiti and her life living as the betrothed to the Pharaoh’s son in ancient Egypt. It makes her out to be pretty badass.

41. Before I Wake – 8/10
VERY similar to Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith novel. The similarities are as follows: father has affair, mother is devastated, child undergoes some type of trauma, child is then given incredible and unexplainable power to heal, moth doesn’t believe it because she is very un-religious, child is branded a Saint, people flood child’s home and it’s all over the news.

42. Betrayal in Tudor Court – 6/10
Fuck this book. Cecily should have died. Cecily is too goody-two shoes for my (or anyone’s) liking if you ask me. Mirabella on the other hand was a great character. I could relate to her a lot.

43. Shopaholic to the Stars – 9/10
FUCK YOU SOPHIE KINSELLA FOR CUTTING THIS BOOK OFF AT SUCH A CRUCIAL PART. I MEAN COME ON. It would have gotten perfect otherwise! (Also, very funny. I got a lot of weird looks from people wondering why I was publicly reading this book and laughing out loud.)

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