Archive for February 2013

Book Review: Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine

Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine I’m really torn over this book. On the one hand, I thought the writing was good and really evoked the main character and her emotional state and thought process throughout. But, on the other hand, the story, which felt like it had great potential, was not really enjoyable and was actually quite disturbing, especially with such an unpleasant main character.

Reading the summary on the book cover, I thought that the book’s premise was not only interesting but had great potential. Unfortunately, the story strayed away from that quite a bit, not long after it became clear that the main character/narrator was not quite all there. She was not only arrogant and self-focused, but pretty much delusional, and her family and friends didn’t seem to quite get that. Even when they realized something was off and tried to help her out, the approach just seemed off and the story became less enjoyable to read. Her obsession with a work of literature wasn’t the problem, it was her entire mental state.

The ending was somewhat shocking, though it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but I was disappointed with the last few pages. It just sort of let things hang, and then that was that.

Ultimately, I don’t feel like I really enjoyed reading this book, though I have to admit that I felt compelled to read it in one day, just to see what happened. I admit I have a hard time reading books with strongly unlikeable or unpleasant characters, and this book reminded me of several others I’d read and disliked for the same reasons. But I do think the author writes really well, so I’d like to read something else by her, with the hope that it might be more enjoyable.

Book Review: Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio

Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio Oh, brother… Awful!

Book Review: A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts by Sebastian Faulks

A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts by Sebastian Faulks I read the first part of this five-part novel, but I was somewhat disappointed and ended up quitting altogether. The first part (Geoffrey) started off ok, though it felt a bit flat to me; the story meandered a bit, skipping ahead in small chunks.

Then there was a big change in the story — which was both predictable and unbelievable at the same time — and we’re whisked off to a different setting. This got more intense, albeit in a rather sloppy way, with things happening without much basis or development. And then, just as things are gaining quite a bit of intensity, the plot skips ahead a few years and you’re left wondering what just happened. The story just sort of peters out after that.

I lost interest after that, and didn’t really feel like continuing to the other stories after all. It felt like the first part could have been its own novel, if only it had been a bit more developed, and not skipped ahead so much. I’d heard good things about Mr. Faulks’ book “Birdsong,” and I certainly hope that that book is better written than this one. I might give it a try, but I would not recommend this one.

Book Review: Black Flower by Young-Ha Kim

Black Flower by Young-Ha Kim Just not very good at all.