Mini Reviews: A Monster Calls, Lethal White

I’ve been hanging onto these reviews for a while now, for no reason, really. I will say that I’ve been getting into the habit of reading books and watching movies they were based on, so I might actually start doing those, too, from time to time. I won’t with A Monster Calls and I haven’t seen anything of Strike in a while, but I have a few other book-movie-tie-ins in the works!

Anyway, A Monster Calls was a book I’ve wanted to pick up and read ever since I saw the movie and bawled my eyes out. Even as I knew how things would end, this book still made me feel all emotional. And it was so wonderful.

Every annoyance I had with Lethal White had to do with the drama around Robin and Matthew. I’m not sure why the first entire part was on Robin’s wedding, and the quicker that shmat was over, the better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about the politics and mystery of this book as I had been with some of the previous books. Still, I’d watch the show when I can.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?


Mini Reviews: A Simple Favor, The Motion of Puppets

Mari really needs to find a new system in writing her blog posts, because trying to get everything done in a weekend clearly does not work. Maybe once she stops bingeing all the seasons of Game of Thrones she might finally find a bit of normalcy…

Then again, maybe not. But at least she’s trying and that’s what counts, right?



Anyway, I slipped on my March reading a bit, but I did get a few things in before I started my nightly TV binges. I might as well tear off the bandaid now and get the books I didn’t like over with.

Honestly, I picked up A Simple Favor solely because I adore Anna Kendrick and I so wanted to see the movie the book was based on. Between Kendrick and Henry Golding and Blake mothaheffing Lively, this movie was totally going to be something I’d watch. Unfortunately, the book itself tanked for me. By the end of it, I was really wishing the whole mystery behind Emily’s disappearance was that she was formerly a hitwoman whose past finally caught up to her, and her businessman-husband knew none the wiser because he’s the perfect “I’m always busy and traveling” type of husband. Ugh. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING IF THIS WAS THE CASE. (Note: Fanfiction anyone?! I’m totally welcoming this.)

That being said, I highly recommend the movie for its dark and comedic nature. Like, seriously, I didn’t think I’d be entertained by a mom vlog until Anna Kendrick’s Stephanie made it fun. Though honestly my main takeaway from the movie–and the entire story itself–was how to make a perfect gin martini.

The next book was something my friend and I discussed as an option to read for our podcast, Fableulous Retellings (which, I know, I know, one of the things I need to get back to updating at some point, along with my life), and at the time I was really committed to reading something that was an Orpheus and Eurydice tie-in. I mean, honestly, you don’t get too many of those retellings, right?

Lord almighty, help my soul. I swear I’m not trying to hate on magical realism, but it’s really hard to find a good one that doesn’t make me cringe like most of magical realism books. I mean, come on, I do enjoy Gaiman at least. He’s magical realism, right? As is Patrick Ness for the most part, right?

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

To Prince or Not to Prince || The False Prince Review

Initial Thoughts:

I was actually very entertained by this book, and it was a quick read. I was on the fence with Sage as the main character, but the reveal that had my super suspicious from the beginning kind of explains his unbending personality and it suits him. I will have to pick up the rest of the books to know what happens next!


Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic Books, April 2012
Children’s fantasy, adventure
Rated: 4 / 5 cookies

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

I saw this trilogy sitting in my classroom last year and a half, and one of my voldies from last year had recommended it as something good to read. I finally decided to have a listen (because yay to Libby for having a copy of the first book as an audiobook!), and I honestly was quite entertained by the perspective.

We follow Sage, a sassy orphan boy who gets taken in with other orphan boys in some crazy plot to pose as the missing prince Jaron. While Sage is only one of four who fit the bill, there’s still some work to get done, and Conner–the man orchestrating this deception–has a deeper agenda of his own. Something doesn’t sit right with Sage, and he’s bound to find out what it is sooner or later.

Honestly, as entertaining as Sage’s perspective is, he does come across as a cocky little smartass sometimes, and occasionally I did want to smack him in the face. One of my big problems with him is his random and sudden attachment to the “pretty servant girl” that shows up in the middle of the book. I don’t buy it, and it bothered me, considering I really didn’t care much for Imogen (I’m also not fond of the “guy falls for pathetic and slightly helpless girl and tries to protect her” as a plot point. I hated it in The Night Angel trilogy, and I absolutely loved that series, so…).

In any case, it was an easy enough read, the pacing of the story was fast-paced, and I could have easily listened to it nonstop without a problem. I’m kind of amused at how things turn up at the end, and it does look like there’ll be more to the story now that we know what’s actually happened to the royal family. Also, I love Mott. More Mott, please!

4 out of 5 cookies! Urgh, my library needs to get the rest of the Ascendance trilogy on audiobook so I can continue listening to this.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Mini Reviews: A Wrinkle in Time, Becoming

Alright, I’ve been sitting on these mini reviews for a while now, and these were some really good ones! February was a pretty busy reading month, and some books I definitely enjoyed!

I’ve read A Wrinkle in Time several times and I adore the book. I’ve been using it as a study-book novel for my 6th grade voldies, and I realized I hadn’t read the graphic novel! I love this version, too.

Becoming had been on my holds list on Libby for weeks on end. I finally had the chance to listen to it last month, and it was great!

Have you read these books? What did you think?

Mini Reviews: Fish in a Tree, Brave New World

You couldn’t get any two books more different, but for some reason I read these two around the same time, so who knows how my mindset was.

Fish in a Tree was a book recommended by one of my fifth grade voldies, and I’d read it within the weekend. She’d been surprised, considering I’ve told her I normally read slow, and this one took her a week to finish, but there you have it.

As for Brave New World…yeah, I kept falling asleep in my college Science and Lit class whenever we talked about this book. Which is pretty bleak, considering I absolutely adored the class and I loved some of the books I’d read for it. This one–especially audiobook form–was irritating to listen to. I get that there were grand ideas of a speculative manner, but honestly, I’d needed to get into Huxley’s stash of recreational drugs to get through this one.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?