Mini-reviews – wrapping up 2013 reading part 2

And here are the final four books I read this year and haven’t reviewed.

The LowlandThe Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri – I absolutely loved Lahiri’s short story collections and her first novel, The Namesake, so I was beyond excited for this one. The writing is just as gorgeous as I knew it would be, and she sure can tell a story about strained family dynamics. It gave me a glimpse into politics in India in the 1960’s, a place and time I know very little about. As I was reading, I felt deeply connected to the characters, to these two brothers who were so close as children but grew so far apart in adulthood. The novel is brimming with tragedies, but it never felt heavy-handed, it felt like a true family saga in which the family is struck with bad luck, bad choices, and inability to find peace. I loved The Lowland even though it didn’t quite live up to her earlier books for me – I still gave it five stars! That should tell you how much this author can do no wrong in my eyes.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Allegiant by Veronica Roth – This was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year and overall I did like it. I found the plot to be a bit meandering at times in the middle but the end was satisfying. A lot of people didn’t like the way Roth chose to end the series but I personally thought it was absolutely perfect. After closing the book, I just can’t imagine another way she could have resolved things for these characters. I’m really looking forward to the movie series now!

The Silent WifeThe Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison – This was a book club pick and one I would have read anyway because I was so compelled by the premise. I was expecting to be taken for a ride and I was not disappointed. The one thing everyone at my book club could agree on was that we hated all of the characters. They are selfish, immature, and have zero redeeming qualities to speak of. But despite that I couldn’t put this book down. I read furiously til the end, desperate to know how things would turn out for these despicable people. And the ending was a complete shock and was kind of genius actually. I really liked this one.

Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow (Marie Antoinette, #2)Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey – This is a sequel to a book I really loved (Becoming Marie Antoinette) but I have to admit that this one disappointed me. Marie Antoinette came across as incredibly selfish, spoiled, caring little for the people around her and only seeking out her own pleasure. She was so detached from the realities of life beyond Versailles that truthfully it disgusted me. I gained a bit more interest when she begun having children but overall this book was not what I was hoping for. The final book in the trilogy was recently released and honestly I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to it.

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16 thoughts on “Mini-reviews – wrapping up 2013 reading part 2

  1. Hi Heather, I am happy to read your reviews now that you have a little time to get back to your readers. I am currently reading The Namesake for my book club. I recently read Wild, which I enjoyed. It is a memoir from the author who hiked the Pacific Coast trail alone. Happy New Year!

    • I cannot wait to hear what you think of The Namesake! One of my favorite books EVER. And I’m reading Tiny Beautiful Things right now which is also by Cheryl Strayed … I want to read Wild soon too. Happy New Year. ;)

  2. I definitely want to read The Lowland in 2014 – it sounds really great! I really enjoyed Lahiri’s short stories though have not loved her novels.

  3. Lahiri’s short stories have always ended up on my top lists in the past, and I have Lowland in my sights as well. She just writes a gorgeous sentence. I totally agree with you about The Silent Wife. Hated them all but I couldn’t put the book down. I tell you, I am just really hesitant to read Insurgent or Allegiant. I really liked the first book, but it seems like most people have been disappointed with the rest.

  4. Pingback: Wrapping It Up for 2013! | Books in the Burbs

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