Reading Roundup: July 2015

A Heart Revealed by Josi Kilpack

This book is billed as a romance, which it is, but it's really more of a coming-of-age story. I enjoyed it and really liked watching the main character grow, but overall I felt like the tone and the characters didn't really feel like they fit the historical setting. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Hannah usually writes contemporary fiction, and I've read a few of her other books and thought they were a bit melodramatic for my taste. I'd heard good things about this book and wanted to see how she would do with historical fiction. It didn't really impress me--I guessed a lot of the twists in the plot before they happened, many of the characters were really just caricatures, and the little details just didn't ring true (too many scenes felt like they were based on novelizations about the war, not actual historical detail). There are many other great novels about World War 2, so there really isn't much need to read this one.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

After reading three of his books, I can already tell that it's going to be impossible for me to choose a favorite Brandon Sanderson novel. This one, however, really was delightful to read (it wasn't always 'fun'--there are dark parts--it was just a great read). I thought the characterization was a particular strength of this book, as well as the plot and the intriguing magic system. This is a book I will most definitely re-read again some day, maybe sooner rather than later.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

 I read a different book by Genova a few years ago after listening to an interview with her on NPR. She is a neurologist turned novelist--an interesting career path--and writes novels about people afflicted with particular conditions. This is her first book, and her most famous, and I mostly enjoyed it. There were a few parts that got too bogged down in jargon and explaining, but generally it was a touching book.

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

This is the kind of book that makes me wonder whether the characters have ever read a crime novel or watched a crime show before--they make dumb assumptions and totally get themselves into trouble. However, the main character in this book is fairly young and naive, and it is a coming-of-age story in many ways, so I could forgive the fact that I saw all the major twists coming. That just made the book a little more fun to read, since at a few points I was practically shouting "don't be stupid!" at the protagonist.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

So far I have loved everything I've read by McEwan and this book is no exception. The story focuses on one character, at one moment in her life, and it takes a while for all the threads to come together, but when they do, the impact is amazing.

Comments

Julie said…
Brandon Sanderson is in our ward. 😀

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