Today is MINI BOOK REVIEW DAY!
Which is a day kind of like mini pizza day*, but, unfortunately, not as tasty in your mouth. I’m doing only mini reviews, instead of going the whole hog, because I wasn’t particularly fussed on a lot of these books. I don’t have copious thoughts about them! SO. I’ll give you the low-down and you can decide whether to eat** or not.
Thank you Scholastic, Hardie Grant Egmont, and Hot Key Books for the review-copies!
* This isn’t actually a blog thing yet, but it totally could be. I could eat pizza and then blog about it.
** It’s lunchtime as I’m writing this and I’m freakishly hungry, okay?? Food is on my brain.
Followers by Anna Davies
Firstly, the blurb is wrong for this book. So don’t read it too closely because…it just doesn’t happen in the book. Secondly, where are the police?! I believe but who knows, maybe I’m completely wrong when there are suspicious, multiple deaths, the police should look into the case. BUT NO! There is not one cop asking questions in this whole book. The attitude is “Oh, dead body? Clean up on aisle 12.” THAT IS SO VERY WRONG AND NOT EVEN LOGICAL OR REALISTIC.
Plus, after the first girl dies, no one even cares. NO ONE. They say, “Oh well, it was just her.” Like, good thing it wasn’t an important character. It made me kind of sick how complacent everyone was in the face of death. Is everyone a psychopaths? I think, yes.
This is how they talk about the dead girl:
“Andi. Yes. That was unfortunate.” (pg. 108)
Then there was Briana’s psychotic parents. I believe her mother was just supposed to be a very pushy, animated person who was eager for her daughter to be an actress. But, I’m sorry, I think the mother was psychotic. (Although this was never ever fleshed out or addressed.) There was this scene:
I felt like I did when I was a kid and learning how to swim when my mom had pushed me into the water. I remember sputtering, trying to breathe, feeling the liquid all around me. I’d finally kicked my way to the surface when I felt two strong hands underneath my armpits. “What were you doing?” Dad had yelled angrily. “She needed to get out of her head,” Mom had replied. “See, she’s fine when she doesn’t think.”(pg. 166)
Mm..yes, your daughter is fine when she’s drowning in a pool and not thinking. Should you be in a straight jacket, woman?
I was absolutely not okay with this book. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t well written. And frankly it was frustrating with contradictions and illogical events.
Again, the blurb doesn’t sum up what actually happens. That really bothers me, okay?! Blurbs aren’t supposed to lie! This one is actually grisly. Blood everywhere, style. Horrible? Yes. Scary? Not really. Most of the deaths were insanely random and unbelievable at times…and seriously gross. I wasn’t impressed, but at least it was legitimately horror.
The term “death” still doesn’t mean anything, though.
Oh someone died? Eh. Who cares?
The killer? GUESSED IT.
My deducing skills are obviously amazing. I just have this knowledge of things. That or it was super obvious and that’s a shame. I only have one question: aren’t there people moderating Wikipedia so spammy pages can’t exist? Maybe I’m wrong…but I always thought it was hard to write rubbish and not have it edited out. But what would I know? I’m a good person and wouldn’t write lies on the internet. Also, tip for future reference: if you want to make a spammy user name, probably don’t anagram your real name, okay?
If you’re looking for a creepy circus book that won’t traumatise you but will definitely make you shiver: here be it. The story was dark, but I felt the tone was quite placid and light that it could probably be an MG. (I searched for an actual age of Rosie, but couldn’t find one. She felt 13??)
It’s got all the trimmings of the freaky carnival. You know the drill…weird clowns, freaky witches, creepy children, death defying tricks. There are 3 parts. At the beginning of each is this snippet of a Polish fairy tale about Vasilia and her magical doll. I loved those bits. It felt like Cinderella, but with this magical/creepy doll doing all the work instead.
It’s an interesting book, but not very memorable. It feels like it followed the trail of any Creepy Circus Book. The Polish influences were awesome. The writing felt a little bland, and most of the side characters were actually more intriguing than the main-character, Rosie. But the cover? I LOVE IT.
This book is perfect for 10-12 year olds and is pretty educational about the Bosnia war in the 90s. I’ve read a LOT of Historical Fiction books aimed at this age category (I kind of grew up on them), so I wasn’t opposed to reading a book that was “technically” too young for me. It was written very clearly and easily.
My real problem was the narrator: Niko. The kid was 12, but he honestly felt 9 or 10 years old. What kind of 12 year old boy doesn’t know what shrapnel or snipers are??! He seemed entirely clueless about everything. He was supposed to portray innocence, I get that, but I felt (for his age) he was too clueless. He was also a victim of the whole book. Niko does nothing that affects the future, like most kids’ HF books I’ve read. (Like I Am David for instance or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. They have active roles in their books.) He was a victim of circumstance the whole time and it was uninteresting.
This was a really different book. It just took me a while to get with the flow. It’s like The Program meets The Giver meets Searching for Sky. Instead of “dystopian” it’s “utopian”…they’re trying to make a perfect world. OKAY. COOL. But since it was all so heavily based on their religion (their god is “Dot”) and weird phrases (like instead of “bad” they say “pregood”) it took me the first 50% to even feel involved.
The narrator, Wren, only ever talked about hooking up. ARGH. She literally had no other wish in life. Just happiness, swimming, and sex. I totally get what the book was doing, and I guess that definition (sex and swimming?) is happiness to some people. But I just got tired of Wren looking at every boy with two legs and thinking, “Maybe I’ll hook up with him? No…maybe him!”
But it was still a very interesting book with intensely thought-provoking concepts. How far would humans go to get happiness?
Cait feels bad for not particularly liking any of these books. She wants to like ALL THE BOOKS. But these ones particularly sunk her boat. She is currently (as you know already) thinking about lunch and sandwiches and also NaNo, which is in, like, 1 day. She is prepared, but November is looking to be a VERY busy month so…it’s concerning. Currently, she’s reading CITY OF LOST SOULS and thinks Jace needs a slap.