mini awards

2022 Mini Awards #23

This week’s One Word review will be The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.

And the award for the book that didn’t quite manage to end the series on a high goes to…

firesongFiresong by William Nicholson

Reading Challenge: Booklist Queen’s 2022 Reading Challenge

Prompt: Two Books by the Same Author (Part 2)

Format: Audiobook

Time to round off the series. The Manth people are free but they have no home to go to. They only have the prophecy of Ira Hath, who tells them of a homeland far away. They have to march through snow, bandits, misfortune, hopelessness and temptation to get there and, all the while, Bowman knows that someone will call him away to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his people. He knows it’ll happen but has no idea when or how he’ll do it.

I got the feeling that the author was winging it as he was writing the book. It felt much more episodic than the previous two and more like the Manth were just drifting from one obstacle to the next. There was no sense of slowly building threat as there was in The Wind Singer. Every problem felt no better or worse than the other. The big problem with this book, however, was that the author tried to include at least some of everyone’s story. Like The Indifferent Stars Above, this sometimes ended up overloading me with information and, without a full list of characters, I found myself losing track of who was who. That said, it also tugged at your heartstrings like The Indifferent Stars Above as the Manth are confronted with tough decisions on their journey. I felt that, if the book had focussed on that or on just the Hath family instead of getting distracted with the many diversions and subplots, it would have been a much more engaging story. The ending, in particular, didn’t stick the landing for me and, after so much build-up, managed to come off as both overdone and rushed at the same time. Kestrel and Bowman both had good moments, showcasing their individual talents, but, due to the necessity to give other characters page-time, they didn’t get as much development as they should have. The world building of the Singer people could have done with more attention too. We got some little titbits and a surprising return of a previous character but not as much as there should have been. In the end, the book tried to do too much at once. It had some good moments and managed to round off the story but it’s definitely not as satisfying as the first book.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

And the award for the book that the critics were right about goes to…

one last stopOne More Stop by Casey McQuiston

Reading Challenge: Popsugar 2022 Reading Challenge

Prompt: A book set on a plane, train or cruise ship

Format: Physical book

I’ve read mixed reviews over this but I decided that this book was one of the best ones to fulfil the prompt. It follows August Landry who has recently moved to New York. August doesn’t like to lay down roots or get too attached to the people around her. She doesn’t want to be stuck chasing the past like her mother is. When she runs into a dazzling and mysterious punk rock girl on the Q subway train, however, all that changes. August has a real crush and wants to ask Jane out but there’s one problem. Jane doesn’t just look like she came from the 70s. She is from the 70s, displaced in time and unable to ever leave the Q train. August and her friends have to find a way to free her but will that mean losing Jane forever?

A lot of the reviews I read about this book is that it’s slow going and takes a while to really get underway. I’m sorry to say that they’re right. This book moves at a plodding pace. It could have lost about a third of its scenes without sacrificing too much of the story. It was the characters that kept me going. The book feels like a love letter to New York counterculture. There’s the loud, abrasive but loyal and dependable staff at the 24-hour diner August works at and her very artistic and eccentric roommates who are part of a very colourful community. There’s also seances, drag shows and lots of history on the gay community in the 70s. There’s lots of colour in this book but not a lot of movement. August herself has an interesting backstory as her uncle went missing decades ago and her life has been full of her mother’s seemingly fruitless search for him. Naturally, August has become rather sick of it and wants to strike out on her own. That little mystery is constantly on the backburner and leads to a rather surprising revelation. Jane is a good love interest too with more than enough charisma to get the reader anxious for another scene with her. Though they made a nice couple, the slow pacing dragged the romance down to a crawl and I thought the sex scenes were rather unnecessary. The supernatural element was rather a surprise to me (though that might of been because I didn’t read the summaries properly) and I think it could have been explored more. The book might have been going for a magical realism angle but, to me, it felt too vague and confusing. The characters were great. It’s just a shame that they were stuck in a story that took too long to get to its destination.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I hope to see you again very soon.

Cool Text - Laura 319874629599889

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