Book Review: We Were Liars

For the beach, for a plane, for something to read while sitting in the hammock sipping a diet coke… yes. This book isn’t going to change your life or be on any best-of lists. But it does exactly what a short summer read should do: tell a simple engaging story quickly and with very little fuss or muss

Book Review: It’s Not All Downhill From Here

An easy light read tailor-made for the beach with the obvious happy ending, but it took too long to get to the resolutions, relied too much on clunky dialogue, and did more telling than showing. Still, enjoyable for what it is: an easy light read tailor-made for the beach.

Book Review: Once There Were Wolves

This beautifully written novel is about what is wild and what we should fear. In the hands of a less skilled author, the connective tissue between the multiple plot lines would have been stretched too thin or been too tenuous to hold together. McConaghy, however, does a wonderful job of bringing her themes through all the various plot points and builds connections around them. What is wild vs civilized? How does the struggle between the two inform and reflect in our sense of family, community, fear of the unknown, and the question of how far we will go to protect what we hold dear?

Book Review: Fire and Hemlock

I found it disjointed, long, confusing, and a bit cringe. The story is interesting but it gets really lost in the weeds. The devices of the double past and the withholding of information from the protagonist/audience wear really thin. The resolution is not quite worthy of the build-up.

Book Review: All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries 1)

This is a very short tightly written hard sci-fi genre novella that is totally worth your time.

Book Review: Half Sick of Shadows

A feminist retelling of the Arthurian legend from the Elaine (Elaine the Mad or The Lady of Shalott) this book is dark, beautiful, surprising, and wonderful.

Book Review: The Perishing

It’s speculative fiction but the rules of the “speculation” part are never clearly stated or understood by the characters. Very frustrating. I really liked the concept and I really wanted to love this book. And yet.

Book Review: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

Biff is an asshat, a self-serving narcissist who exemplifies low-brow adolescent bro behavior. He finds himself endlessly amusing and the “jokes” are a mile a minute with only a few passages that aren’t over the top or played for humor. As schticks go, this one wore very thin very fast.