I clearly still haven't had much time for blogging, but I've been pretty active over at Goodreads lately (probably because it fills that blogging void) and have done some reviews. I thought I'd share them over here, just in case you're looking for something to read.
The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a sweet love story that gets bonus points for creative presentation. I bought it on a whim because the book has accordion pages. On one side is the story from the woman's point of view; on the other, the story is told from the man's point of view. That little gimmick was enough to justify the purchase, especially since I found it at my favorite indie bookshop and I never feel guilty about plunking down money there. It was a much quicker read than I anticipated, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. There is nothing mind-blowing in these pages, and though it is well written, it definitely relies on some cliches, but as a writer myself, I can appreciate the task of telling the same story from different points of view and admire Ms. Goss for doing so. I should mention that I started with Brendan's story and after reading both, I highly recommend starting with him. I feel that Evelyn's story is the far more revealing of the two, and I wonder if I would have been as motivated to keep reading if I had read hers first. Of course with it being such a short read, I am sure I would have read Brendan's as well, but I do feel that it was the mystery revealed toward the end of his story that had me reading Evenlyn's immediately instead of waiting for another night. Definitely worth a read and makes great pre-bedtime reading material. It also make a lovely addition to my bookshelf as it is a very aesthetically pleasing book.
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Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This fulfilled my need for a mindless escape read to give my brain a break from academic reading, but I can't help but feel I've read this same story over and over and over again. I didn't really believe the romance and the ending was pretty forced. The characters were rather cardboard. I did finish it, however, but like I said, I was grateful for a break from academic reading. I think if I had read this over the summer when I first picked it up (the cover was lovely and the description does have a good hook to it) I probably would have rated it a star lower and would have been highly annoyed by all the explaining that Condie had her characters do at the end rather than have explanations revealed through action. "Show don't tell" is Writing 101, but as the writing level felt very amateur to me, I'm not surprised she failed that one. If grad school continues to be stressful, I may look for the second book at the library just to see if Condie improves with practice, but I'm definitely not going to buy it. I don't care how pretty the cover is.
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