Book: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I struggle to come up with a rating system because when I look at Goodreads, 5 stars means “I loved this”, and I absolutely did love this. But then I remember reading Six of Crows and I remember how I felt finishing that and it’s just not the same. So, I’ve come to the conclusion this is a 5 star read but doesn’t make it onto my all-time-faves list, that’s only reserved for books that give you that feeling. Fangirl. The Raven Cycle. Six of Crows. I’ll Meet You There.
I was just addicted to this book, it was like crack. Tess was such a good character. I even liked how repetitive she was because it wasn’t an indication of bad writing, it was her personality and her trying to keep all the facts straight and figure out the mystery. I thought it was such a good realization that there was only so much that she could do as a 16? year old, a lot of the time I find that teenagers end up basically saving the world and I like that she had a pretty firm handle on her limitations. I loved all the supporting characters Liv, Bodie, Adam, Asher, Henry, Vivvie, even Emlia. It didn’t feel like they were added on just for the sake of adding characters in the book and I felt like they all had depth and I wanted to keep reading to figure out all their secrets. It wasn’t until about half way through the book that I realize there was no romance, and surprisingly, I didn’t even miss it! I almost hope they don’t ruin it with any kind of messy love triangle. I like both Asher and Henry as her partner in crime and begrudging friend. I actually really loved Henry, he had every reason to be mad at everyone but instead he was thoughtful and said such sweet things to Vivvie when she brought the newspaper article. This book was also so clever and left so many clues throughout the book that I felt like maybe I had it all figured out, only to realize that I didn’t! Even though I was sort of close!
I thought that this was maybe a little too similar to Scandal, so much so that I could hear Kerry Washington in my head as Ivy’s voice. Is this fixer business really a thing in Washington?
Book: The Martian by Andy Weir
5 stars = I-just-want-to-talk-to-every-one-about-this-book
This book was so good. I wasn’t expecting it to be so engaging, especially since I had already seen the movie and knew what was going to happen. I loved Mark’s voice, he had just the right sense of humor for me. I loved his terrible jokes. He was a little repetitive at times and reiterated some of the things he had already done (though I’m sure I would have appreciate that fact had I not been absolutely obsessed with this book and read it every spare chance I got.)
Oddly, I think having read An Astronaut’s Gide… before this, made me enjoy/appreciate this book more than I would have otherwise. The fact that Mark comes up with all these crazy ideas on how to stay alive on Mars is totally believable because they are trained for all kinds of situations and given how hard it is to become an astronaut to be sent to the ISS and how accomplished you have to be, imagine how much more difficult it would be to qualify for a mission to Mars! Mark’s upbeat and humorous personality can also be attributed to the personnel selection for this mission (and it is briefly mentioned in the book.)
Book: Haven by Kristi Cook
This had a lot of potential, but I just didn’t care. As I said in my last comments for The Art of Lainey, that’s fine if you don’t have an original plot, but you’d better do something to make up for that and this book had nothing else going for it. I was so bored the entire time. I didn’t really care about the characters. The whole book felt really superficial. I debated reading the rest of the series to see if it picks up, especially since I really liked Magnolia, but I just couldn’t do it.
This sums up my thoughts nicely.
Book: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
This was just as adorable the second time. This is one of those books where the plot isn’t super original but the characters and writing more than make up for it and it feels like a fresh and original book. I’m excited to read more from Paula Stokes, hopefully its just as charming!
Book: Magnolia by Kristi Cook
What a surprise this book was! I was actually expecting it to not be very good but I’ve been buried in fantasy novels lately and was dying for something lighthearted and then this book showed up at the library. I thought that Jemma’s narration was so charming, she was funny, adorable, self-aware, and so relatable. I think I have a soft spot for characters like this, who see themselves as average (see Jessica Darling in Second Helpings). I also have a soft spot for football and southern states so I guess this book was really right up my alley. I really liked that Jemma’s thought process wasn’t “oh wait, I forgot to think about Nan!” it was a much more fluid, like “I was doing all this stuff and still thinking about Nan.” Ryder was a surprisingly excellent love interest, I’m a huge fan of the guy being more invested in the relationship than the girl. There were a few parts of the story that I thought were too over dramatic – the snake bit, the dance stuff and the resulting fallout from the Patrick situation, in fact, I probably could have done without the Patrick altogether; other than adding to the jealousy at the beginning of the novel, I don’t think the rest of it was necessary for the development of the story. The imagery in this book was excellent, it kind of made me want to move to Magnolia Branch except for you know, the snakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Shout out to this review for making me want to read this book in the first place.