May Book Reviews

May Book Reviews

Welcome to May book reviews, where I give you my semi-genius insight to the books I liked and didn't like this month. I don't feel like I read a lot this month, but I actually read fourteen books between last month's post and this one. Not bad.

I've been busy this month, though not in a going-lots-of-places way. Just generally busy. I've been rewriting Return to Wonderland and editing my NaNoWriMo novel. I've also been sorting and tidying my things using the KonMari method, which I'm going to write a post about later. Now, on to the book reviews!

Best Books

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?- Lemony Snicket

My Rating: 4 stars

What I Liked:

• Lemony Snicket as a character in his own book. It's not very often the author is also a character in his own book. But if anyone would do it, it's Lemony. I thought his character was amazing and full of dry sarcasm.

• Mystery on a train. The best mysteries are the ones that take place somewhere that limits whoever's solving them. In this case, it's Lemony. I won't tell you a lot about what happened, since this is the fourth book in the series, but it feels like Murder On the Orient Express.

• Backstory for Lemony. The whole of All the Wrong Questions, of which this is the last book, gives you a bit of insight to his background. Notice I said a bit. It leaves you with way more questions than answers.

• The other characters. Throughout these books, Lemony gathers quite the crew of kids to help him. Moxie, Jake, Chloe, Olivia, Pip, and Squeak. They're all awesome and have different abilities they bring to the team.

• Literary references. Lemony is constantly talking about other books, but not in a normal way. He makes it a guessing game by only vaguely mentioning them. If you know the book, it's easy to guess, but others are more obscure.

• Morals. Like in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony takes a look at what makes a person good or bad. Lemony himself makes a decision at the end that turns his friends against him, even though he did it with good in mind.

What I Didn't Like:

• Too many questions. Like I said, there are too many unanswered questions. But that's what Lemony excels at. I sometimes wonder if we'll ever know everything there is to know about Lemony Snicket.

Talons of Power- Tui T. Sutherland

My Rating: 4 stars

What I Liked:

• Turtle. He was an understandable protagonist, if not the bravest. I liked that, unlike some of the other dragonets, he wasn't always ready to go rushing headfirst into things.

• The world. The land is populated with dragons and has it's own politics. I love the way she built the world so humans are these little pests that dragons keep as pets.

• Magic system. Some of the dragons are magicians, called animus dragons. They can do whatever they want with their magic, but as a result lose part of their soul. That makes them be very cautious about what they do.

• Page turner. I love a book that doesn't let me put it down until it's done. I read this book in a little over a 24 hours. All of the books in this series have been this way.

What I Didn't Like:

• Turtle at times. He could also be a annoying when he acted like a sissy. I wanted to tell him to dragon up. But most of the time he was fine.

• Anemone, Turtle's sister. She was a little brat. Her mother made her that way, and she came through for Turtle in the end, but that didn't excuse her behavior.

Worst Books

Mind Games- Heather W. Petty

My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

What I Liked:

• Mori. She has such a great character, and a complex personality. What's even more interesting is know that she's based off of a villain, so you're waiting to see how she ends up that way. Plus, she's all about girl power.

• Mori+Lock. They are so cute together. Two psychopaths in love. What could go wrong? It's such a pity they are so great together, because you know it's all going to fall apart.

• Complex mystery. If it's based off of Sherlock Holmes, you know you have no chance of solving the mystery before the detective, but it's still fun to watch them be brilliant.

What I Didn't Like:

• Circular plot. It felt like they just kept going over the same facts again and again. There wasn't a lot of forward motion.

• Shocker twist. Normally, that's a good thing. But this one seemed unexplained. I won't say any more but I feel like it was a weird twist. I hope she explains in the net book.

The Lost Property Office- James R. Hannibal

My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

What I Liked:

• Jack. He was a fun protagonist, and he had synesthesia, which I had some problems with, as you'll see in a minute. Other than that, I thought he was smart and caring.

• Nice plot. It was one of those where the characters have a time limit to do something by, so that always adds tension. It made me want to keep reading the whole time.

• Interesting world. It took place in the real world, but with a sci-fi element. There were trackers and high tech gadgets, and lots of fun stuff.

What I Didn't Like:

• Villain. I didn't really get why he was doing what he was. I felt his motivation could have been better.

• Synesthesia. I would generally like reading about someone with such an interesting personality trait, but I thought the author, despite also having it himself, didn't do a good job keeping it consistent. It was talked about a lot in the first few chapters, but then it mostly disappeared, except when Jack was using it like a superpower.

• Gwen. She grated on me, even though I wanted to like her. I have a thing for characters named Gwen. She was spunky, willing to try anything, and adorably British. But she was also a smarty-pants and needed to be more clever than Jack. It was annoying.

• Too many elements. There was a touch of Sherlock Holmes. It felt a bit like fantasy and a bit like sci-fi. There was even a hint of steampunk. I think it could have been back down a bit, and then I would have enjoyed it a bit more.

Notable Mention

DreamWorks Dragons: The Serpent's Heir- Dean DeBlois

My Rating: 4 stars

If you're a HTTYD fan, be sure to check out this beautiful graphic novel. It takes place just after the second film and feels almost like an episode of Race to the Edge. The artwork was gorgeous and the characters sounded just like in the movies. The plot might have been simple, but it was fun.

Other Books Read

In the Afterlight- Alexandra Bracken (3 1/2 stars)
Who Could That Be At This Hour?- Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents- Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
When Did You See Her Last?- Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
Shouldn't You Be In School?- Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
Lemony Snicket's Unauthorized Autobiography- Lemony Snicket (4 stars)
The Atlantis Complex- Eoin Colfer (3 1/2 stars)
The Last Guardian- Eoin Colfer (4 stars)
Chupacabra- Roland Smith (4 stars)

Let's talk! What were your favorite and least favorite reads this month? Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Tell me in the comments.


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