Another edition of mini-reviews!

Sorry I’ve been so absent from the blog, folks.  My husband’s grandmother was visiting us from Chicago over the Thanksgiving weekend, and while we did enjoy an absolutely delicious dinner at my in-laws, it was a long day (they live almost 2 hours away) and I had to work the rest of the weekend.  Sunday is normally my blogging day, but we took Grandma to Sea World instead (she LOVED it, btw).  So, I continue to have a backlog of books to review, and in an attempt to cull that number I figured I’d throw out some more minis!

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott was an impulse library audiobook grab, mainly because I’d been meaning to read Lamott for years and I’d heard good things about her latest novel.  The novel brings to life seventeen-year-old Rosie Ferguson and her parents, Elizabeth and James.  Rosie is a typical teen, dealing with high school, crushes, and best friends, while at the same time a full-on addict who has never met a drug she didn’t like. Imperfect Birds chronicles Elizabeth and James’ struggles to help Rosie get sober, and Rosie’s complete refusal to do so.  I ended up enjoying this book, Lamott’s writing is clear and beautiful, I absolutely took to her style and can see myself enjoying many more of her books.  I did feel the plot of the novel was a bit redundant, it just seemed like nothing changed for a long, long part of the book – I was beginning to get a little bored.  However, it picked up and I did find myself anxious to find out how everything would end up for this family.  The book is heavily character-driven, so if you enjoy those types of books, I’d recommend Imperfect Birds.

The Sister by Poppy Adams is one of those books I’d been meaning to read forever, and finally forced myself to do so.  I was somewhat disappointed in this one as I was expecting a lot – it’s about two elderly sisters, Ginny and Vivien, who haven’t seen one another in 50 years and finally reunite in the house they grew up in – but it didn’t quite measure up to what I was hoping for.  It had a gothic, spooky feel to it, and it was clear that Ginny, the sister who told the story, was an unreliable narrator, but that was about all I liked about it.  Ginny studied moths for a living, and all the moth-talk got extremely boring very fast, to the point where I’d skip pages to get back to the “real” story.  The story of how the sisters grew up and all the family drama was interesting, and the ending had a nice twist to it, but overall I didn’t enjoy this one too much.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series, and while I was lukewarm about the first book, I definitely liked this one.  I still don’t think that I’ll ever rank these books as a favorite series, but I was definitely more entertained by this book than the first one.  Probably because I got to know the characters more, but whatever the reason, I liked it.  Clary continues to be a character I enjoy and root for, and the dynamics of this world continue to surprise and entertain me.  I’m definitely excited for the third book in the series, which I have sitting on my shelf right now, just waiting for me!

I’ve been on an Emily Giffin kick lately, so when I picked up Baby Proof I was hoping my streak of enjoying her books would continue – which it did!  Thirty-five-year-old Claudia and her husband Ben made a deal when they got married:  no kids.  But when Ben suddenly changes his mind about this, three blissful years into their marriage, Claudia must decide how to handle it – what do you do when everything you’ve known about your life is suddenly turned on its head?  I enjoyed this one just as much as Giffin’s first two novels, if not more even because I could actually relate to the narrator.  I’m not a “no kids” person, but I am a “maybe kids” person; as in my husband and I haven’t yet made up our minds on the subject.  But I could completely understand where Claudia was coming from – in fact, I could relate because before we got married my husband and I had many serious discussions about this very issue.  We both agreed to be open to the idea and to see where life (and God, as we both believe He has a plan for us, but that’s a whole other discussion) takes us.  If we had decided one way or the other, and my husband backed out of the deal, I would be absolutely furious.  So I could totally relate to Claudia, I put myself in her shoes immediately, and consequently I loved the book.  It delivered everything I’ve come to expect from Giffin and the experience of reading it made me very happy. 🙂

Finally, I just finished Room by Emma Donoghue and I am here to tell you that everything you’ve heard about this book is true:  it really is THAT good.  If you haven’t heard about the book, it’s about a little boy, Jack, who has lived in an eleven-foot by eleven-foot room his entire five years with his mother, Ma.  Ma was kidnapped by their captor, Old Nick, when she was nineteen (she is now twenty-six) and has suffered isolation and nightly rapes, one of which resulted in Jack, for the past seven years.  What’s beautiful about this book is that it is told from Jack’s point of view.  And since Jack has never known a world outside of Room, he is just so innocent and reading his story is absolutely riveting.  Another thing that kept me glued to the book is that I kept putting myself in Ma’s shoes – I am also twenty-six – and I could not even begin to imagine the horror she had experienced, and how she had found the strength within her to raise Jack as best as she possibly could.  I’m telling you, this book is fantastic and I very, very highly recommend it.  It is quite the experience.

That’s all for now – I’ll probably be absent until Sunday, as I have a ton of stuff going on this week (as usual).  Have a good week, everyone!


25 thoughts on “Another edition of mini-reviews!”

    1. Yeah I was kind of on the fence about Imperfect Birds until the end – that’s when I started to realize I actually did enjoy the book, overall.

  1. Completely agree about Room. I was so, so resistant to reading it, because of how scary I thought it was going to be, but it really wasn’t at all. Ma was such a great character. (Whereas I started reading the Elizabeth Smart trial transcripts and I had to stop after only a few questions. Horrible.)

    1. Yes! It was so not scary, I was surprised by that too. I don’t think I would even try to read the Elizabeth Smart transcripts… too terrifying.

  2. I finished reading “Room” last weekend. It’s one of those rare books that stays with you, that you continue to think about long after you’ve read it. So well written with great characters, and seeing it unfold through Jack’s eyes was an inspired choice.

  3. The Sister is known as The Behaviour of Moths here, and I didn’t enjoy it much. It had an interesting premise but I didn’t find the writing all that absorbing. Plus, with the narrator being so unreliable, it was hard to feel involved or care, since things may or may not have happened that way at all. And yes, too much moth stuff. And I hated the ending.

    Room is on my list and I can’t wait to read it!

  4. I really think you’d love Anne Lamott’s non fiction more than her fiction. Start with Bird by Bird go from there. Travelling Mercies, Faith (Eventually) and Plan B are all wonderful and i think your quest for Christian books might just be answered with Annie. (She’s VERY different from the kinds of christians you have had trouble reading..)

  5. […] Room by Emma Donoghue – This one really is as good as everyone says.  It’s stunning, amazing, unforgettable, and completely unputdownable.  Literally – I read it on Thanksgiving Day and had to be dragged away to socialize with my in-laws.  I cannot more highly recommend this book. […]

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I picked up and put “Room” down again. My mistake. Based on your recommendation, next time … I buy it! Great review, by the way!

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