Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September Mini-Reviews

It's time again for my monthly Mini-Reviews feature. If you haven't checked out one of these posts before, my main reason for doing them is simply because I read too many books during the month to write out full, long reviews about each one of them. Mini-reviews consist of books that have already gotten a lot of press and don't necessarily need my thoughts to boost sales, books that I didn't really enjoy, or books that I just didn't have a whole lot to say about, whether good or bad.

Ok, that being said, on to the short-but-sweet thoughts on these titles:

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo was wonderfully sweet, as I could only expect a work from her to have been. The main characters a lovely, the story magical and fantastical, and great for another read aloud. The illustrations are simple and wonderfully done by Yoko Tanaka.

DiCamillo's stories always flow so well, appealing to both child and adult, and always leaving the reader (at least this reader) with a calm sense of satisfaction when the last page is turned.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all ages. Go buy for all sorts of gifts...Christmas, birthday, etc. It's lovely, really.

The Magician's Elephant
Kate DiCamillo
208 pages
Middle Grade
September 2009

Another "magical" book, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, is an adult fantasy title that I picked up after reading so many positive reviews about it. Honestly, it's Harry Potter for adults. A magic school, magician-filled, with an infiltrator attempting to bring evil over good.

Long and at times quite wordy, I skimmed through some pages, though thought it was an overall enjoyable read.

The Magicians: A Novel
Lev Grossman
416 pages
Adult Fiction
Viking Adult
August 2009

A book I really did not enjoy this month, Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo, was a huge waste of my time. And especially so, because I listened to it on audio (and only stuck with it because I needed something to get me through the three miles every day).

Absolutely predictable from the very beginning, filled with the same charcters and plot you would find in just about any beach read mystery, except with less thrills. Do I dare compare to the latest James Patterson novels? Don't waste your time on this one. Well, I shouldn't say that, maybe you like this type of thing...goodness knows lots of people do, this book is selling like hotcakes, hence the reason I thought it would be a good read! Oh and did I mention it got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly? Maybe it really was just me.

Sworn to Silence
Linda Castillo
336 pages
Adult Fiction
Minotaur Books
June 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare was a great start to the Mortal Instruments series I've been wanting to pick up this whole year. It was a fast paced read and I can certainly see the appeal to teens.

I did feel it was too long and could have used a good 75 pages cut. I'm not entirely sure why all these middle grade/ya authors feel the need to have 500 page books, it's not a contest to see who can write the thickest volume!

This one I read for the Fill in the Gaps Challenge.

City of Bones
Cassandra Clare
512 pages
Young Adult
February 2008

Alright, that's it for mini-reviews this month! If you want more info on any title or to buy any of them and help make this unemployed lady some money, click on any of the book covers above to link to Amazon.


Jeane said...

The first two I want to read, the last two not. Sometimes mini reviews pique my interest just enough!

Kailana said...

The first one just came in the mail for me and the second one I am waiting for from the library. :)

Rena said...

Any more on Grossman's book (we aren't related!)? I have been hearing mixed reviews, but it looks really good. I have to admit that I haven't read any Harry Potter! Yes, I am ashamed, but not so much so that I am going to run out to read them.

Becky W. said...

I totally appreciate your candid comments on Sworn to Silence. It's next on my list to read (gotta get it done for LT). I'll keep in mind your thoughts and not waste my time unless I'm totally loving it. In that case, I'll let you know!

Amanda said...

I'm glad these Mini-reviews are so popular! I wasn't sure if people would really get a whole lot out of a couple of sentences, but you all seem to have taken a title or two for your TBR lists and have a bit to think about when you read the ones I didn't enjoy so much. :)

Thoughts of Joy said...

It's funny because I virtually said the same thing you did about Sworn to Silence, but I still really enjoyed it. I know I would have been better off with reading it versus listening to the audio though. The greatest draw for me was the Amish component. I look forward to more.