December 3, 2023

Half a Soul: Short & Sweet (Adult)

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

This book was really just a delight. I enjoyed the premise -- a young woman had half her soul stolen by Faeriewhen she is a girl -- the setting of Regency England, the inclusion of magic, the dynamic between Dora and the Lord Sorcier... this story is charming. I could quibble about a few issues I had () but I don't really want to, because this book had so many good things going for it and is the perfect pick-me-up sort of read. If you liked Sorcery and Cecelia, you will definitely enjoy Half a Soul.

4.5 shooting stars.

December 2, 2023

By the Book: Short & Sweet

By the Book
by Amanda 

Nothing revolutionary, but a cute YA read about a girl making friends, falling in love, and learning to own up to her mistakes, all with a literary fiction of the 1800s theme running through it.

3.5 shooting stars.

Silk: A Rambling Review (Adult)

Silk by Alessandro Baricco

2.5 stars, perhaps? This story is simply written, and if you think about it, not much happens plot-wise. It's basically about a man who travels to Japan multiple times for his silk worm business, and is immediately attracted to a woman he meets but who he never exchanges a single spoken word with. This book is... odd. The writing is sparse, simple, and detached, yet somewhat repetitive. The reader is given very few details about the man's life, or his mindset, or the historical setting, or the silk worm business. Yet the book has its own sense of the poetic at times, conveying feelings of longing and wonderings of 'what could have been.' 

There's also a twist at the end that I didn't pick up on. However, this story revolves around someone who is married and essentially cheating on his wife (if not physically, then mentally/emotionally), which is something I generally don't like to read about in my books. The reader is kept at a distance from Herve's thoughts and intentions, so I never understood why he was making the choices he was (he seemed to love his wife very much, after all). There was also an aspect of the story that was made much of but never explained ().

Plus, Herve continually refers to the woman he meets in Japan as having the "face of a girl", and as he is obviously attracted to her, this came across as kinda...icky.

2.5 shooting stars (and that's being generous).

The Dry: Short & Sweet (Adult)

The Dry by Jane Harper

A good start to my reading year! This mystery is a slow-moving one -- the murder has happened at the start of the novel, and the rest is spent with the police as they follow leads and uncover clues -- but I liked the sense of place Harper establishes (the hot, dry small-town feel of Kiewarra) as well as the characters and their relationships and history. Falk was an enjoyable protagonist to follow, as he has a good heart and really cares about others, but at the same time, seems to find it difficult to open up to them. I did find the reveal of the current-day storyline to be a little unsatisfying, but I found the past storyline to be gut-wrenching and horrifying (spoiler, highlight to read: ). I will definitely look into what else Jane Harper has published!

4 shooting stars.

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