Caught up in four sentences or less

Oh my, what a summer I’ve had.  Between preparing for a cross-country move, driving about two thousand miles for a wedding and a vacation, moving 1700 miles away to the East Coast, frantically unpacking and getting ready for school to start, writing reviews of books has been so low on my list it nearly fell off.  But I’m back!  I’m ready to get caught up and dive into reviews!  Instead of declaring review bankruptcy, which my husband suggested and I very nearly did, I’m just going to force myself to write four or less sentences about each book.  I stole the idea from Caren, who used her 5 reviews in 5 minutes rule to get caught up.  Unfortunately, I have more than five reviews, so I have to come up with my own catchy idea.

Honestly, each of these books deserve their own review, but for my peace of mind, this is my solution to a backlogged pile of reviews.  I will also give each book a thumbs up or down and that’s my recommendation on whether or not you should read it.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore and Neil Kaplan.  If you’ve seen the movie or at least the trailer you’ll already know pretty much the entire plot of this book.  If you like the sci-fi fantasy YA genre, this would be a thumbs up, especially since it’s pretty action-packed and got some cool ideas in it.  I got tired of some of the same tactics you see in other novels in this genre, but it was still a page-turner.  I’ll read the other ones when they come out, most likely.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.  Um, if you love Percy Jackson then this is a no-brainer.  The Lost Hero is told from a different viewpoint, just a few years after the end of the original series.  Feels a bit like Riordan is pumping the same overflowing well of cash, but I can’t seem to care enough to be jaded about it.  Thumbs up for kids and Percy-lovers ’round the globe.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  A first person narrative of a college professor who finds out she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, this was a book I would never have read if my book group hadn’t chosen it.  Having watched my grandmother slowly die from that terrible disease, I was in no hurry to re-visit this emotional torment, but I can’t say don’t read this book.  It was beautifully written and gripping from beginning to end, but I warned my mother never to pick it up.  I can give this book a reluctant thumbs up, but only if you’re stout of heart.

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond.  Who hasn’t heard of The Pioneer Woman, with her delicious cookbooks, beautiful photography, and cattle ranchin’ stories on her popular website?  The story of how she and her husband met and fell in love could easily have been told during a dinner party to friends, so I couldn’t help think, “Sheesh, everybody’s love story is magical.”  She does get points for making this the most chaste romance novel of all time, but there are plenty of heaving bosoms.   I give it a thumbs down so you’ll read something else instead and put this on the back burner until you’ve got a lazy afternoon to waste.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein.  I have four daughters, all of which are fairy and princess obsessed, so this seemed relevant.  Orenstein fired up my latent attitude about the frilliness infesting my house, but since she had made some of the same choices I had over the years, she wasn’t making me feel bad about the Disney Princess Encyclopedia I let my six-year-old buy.  Fascinating stuff for moms of girls, so definitely thumbs up, even if I don’t agree with everything she has to say on the topic.

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher.  These two books were awesome, full of steam punk, sci-fi goodness.  Incarceron is a prison for all the bad elements of the world while the outside has been frozen in time, thanks to the ruling class’ desire to keep control on the population.  Strong characters, exciting twists and turns, unexpected and fun made these books a big thumbs up.

Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins.  This is a collection of poems by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, whom I’d heard good things about.  Sure enough, it’s excellent in a humorous, wry kind of way.  I’m all for poetry that anyone can read and enjoy or what’s the point of writing it?  A big thumbs up, since it kept me laughing and awake way past my bedtime.

The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull.  It’s Brandon Mull, so of course it’s good.  Fablehaven starts out pretty innocently and works up to the really scary stuff, but The Beyonders dives right in.  We were absolutely captivated the entire duration, so definitely thumbs up.  Why can’t all his books be stand-alone novels so we don’t have to wait for the next installment?

Hey, not too bad!  I managed to stick to my rule.  Now, if I can stick to my new rule of not procrastinating, I can get some decent reviews done in the next few weeks.  And maybe a co-review!  How ’bout that, Caren?  Shall we read something together?


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4 responses to "Caught up in four sentences or less". Comments are closed for this post.
  • Beth says:

    You know, I kind of like this quick-and-easy review style! When I’ve already read the book, I usually read every word of your reviews (as though I need some “discussion” time on it), but when I’m looking for something new to read I almost prefer your four-sentence approach. It’s just long enough so that I can figure out if I’m interested.

    I read the Pioneer Woman’s book and was not terribly impressed, either. I mean, it was fun, but it was just waaaaay too much. And M.M. as a character is unbelievably flat and one-dimensional. That works on a blog, I guess, but it the book it was just lame.

    I put Incarceron and Beyonders on hold for my husband and Still Alice on hold for me (let’s see how I do with it). Thanks for the recommendations! Glad you are back on the blog and settling in to your new home! (How’s the library system out there??)

  • Rachel says:

    I haven’t read any of these but I will say that I LOVE Billy Collins. Every so often I will come across a poem that really speaks to me in a very clever and funny way and it is almost always a Billy Collins poem.

  • Jenny says:

    I’m glad you liked the reviews, Beth! I was worried that I was wimping out by not writing more, but it looks like it worked for you, so it’ll probably work for other people too!

    The library system is pretty good, but nothing compared to Douglas County. I mean, how could you get any better than that, anyway? It’s the best I’ve ever seen. But here is still good!

  • Caren says:

    Hmm, I felt like my 5 Reviews in 5 Minutes was verging on cop-out, but you’ve just taken it to a whole new level! I have so many more books that I haven’t reviewed yet because even 5 minutes takes too much time. (Sigh.) But I agree with Beth, this format still got the point across. I might have to go with this abbreviated approach myself!