What I Read… vol. 4

This day needs no introduction. I read 3 books since our last link-up with Steph and Jana. Three feels like a good number for me.

What_I_Read_blog

Here’s the rating cheat sheet & description…

I include a brief summary, why I picked up the book, and what I thought. Then I give my oh-so-valuable opinion on whether or not you should read it and why. Images link to their GoodReads page.

On to the books…

Heartless by Marissa Meyer | ★★★★/5
Summary: Before she was the Queen of Hearts, Lady Catherine Pinkerton was a whimsical girl who loved to bake and found heads to be much more pleasant when attached to their bodies. So what happened? | Why I Read It: Two reasons, my friends. First of all, I love Alice in Wonderland. Secondly, I love Marissa Meyer. | What I Thought: The book started just a little bit slowly and I was devastated that it would end up being predictable and obvious. I was so wrong. Catherine was perfection. From the start you can see how she might have some Red Queen qualities (*cough*temperament*cough*), but you also found yourself rooting for her and hoping that she would achieve her dreams. She was a likeable character, but her flaws were also blatantly obvious. Her decisions and reactions carried her from one mistake to another until her fate suddenly became quite apparent. (I’m proud to say I figured out the Jabberwock story line on page 284. Yes, I did actually look at the page number when the thought struck me. ) The subtle allusions to Alice in Wonderland/Lewis Carroll made me grin every single time. I also fell head-over-heels in love with Jest. I don’t know how you couldn’t. I loved the appearance of original characters, too. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything better in an AiW pre-telling. (Four stars because there were moments that were just a tiny bit slow or repetitive.)
You Should Read It Because… you’re a fan of classic retellings and/or the original Alice in Wonderland. Or because you enjoy Meyer’s writing. Or because you like fantasy and romance and adventure and female leads.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams | ★★/5
Summary: *Fair warning: It’s an odd book.* When Arthur suddenly finds himself homeless he’s forced to join his oddball friend Ford on an intergalactic journey. | Why I Read It: I typically like weird stories and it filled a requirement for the challenge. | What I Thought: Man… this was a weird story. I don’t think I was the right audience for the humor in this book. I chuckled a few times, but it was difficult for me to get through. Lots of made up places and names and histories. I found myself re-reading pages and conversations, just to make sure I caught everything. I think it was an entertaining story, but I don’t think it was the right book for me. I highly doubt I’ll be picking up the sequels.
You Should Read It Because… I’m honestly not sure. It was an entertaining story but it was nonsensical and space-y.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware | ★★★/5
Summary: Immediately following an unfortunate incident at home, Lo Blacklock is sent on an exclusive luxury cruise ship to cover a story for her employer- the travel magazine Velocity. The story she ends up uncovering turns out to be far juicier than she’d anticipated- and possibly deadly. | Why I Read It: Everyone and their mom has read it so I used it in Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: Eh, thrillers still aren’t my thing. I enjoy mysteries, but not thrillers. Maybe this was just a bad one. (I listened to Steph & Jana talk about it on The Armchair Librarians podcast.) According to them, Lo is an unreliable narrator (like Rachel from Girl On A Train? -didn’t read it). This kind of character annoys me. She drank too much (but she wasn’t an alcoholic), halfway through she started referencing her depression, and she consistently bounced back to the incident at home as the reason for her behavior and suspicions and snooping. But then when anyone mentioned those flaws/excuses/behaviors she freaked out on them and closed herself off. I also thought she was naive yet suspicious… and I don’t think you can be both. Not intelligently anyway… Again, I’m not a thriller reader but I figured out the twists long before Lo did. And there were moments I skimmed because it was just repetitive. And I really hated some of the loose ends yet neat and tidy finish. And the lack of morality at the very, very end (mainly having to do with money) was out of character IMO. I don’t know. Not my cup of tea but an OK read in that it mostly held my interest and occasionally sent a chill down my spine. *I did love the cover!
You Should Read It Because… you’re on a thriller bender or you heard good things elsewhere. I know some people liked this book & some hated it.

I have two weeks and five days to finish two books for Erin’s Challenge…

| 5 points | Freebie: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
| 10 points | Starts with the letter “W”: Winter by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Six words in the title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
| 15 points | Has a (mostly) green cover: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | A homonym in the title: The One by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | By your favorite author: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
| 25 points | Set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
| 30 points | A “Rory Gilmore” book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
| 30 points | From a genre that you’ve never read/rarely read (*thriller*): The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
| 35 points | With time travel: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I currently have 145 points out of 200. I borrowed The Last Runaway from the library and I’m already into it. Atonement is sitting on my nightstand!

Tell me, tell me. What did you read this month?

Life According to Steph

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48 thoughts on “What I Read… vol. 4

  1. I love your passion for Marisa Meyer books.
    You know I like thrillers, but I’m going to skip Cabin 10. Too many reviews from disappointed readers.
    You are SO close to finishing the challenge. I don’t want to jinx you, so I’ll shut up now.

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    1. SOOOOO close. Like, one book away and I’ve already started it-close. Ha. I’ve never been able to get past the first chapter in Atonement so it’s time to break through that hurdle!

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  2. I have read so many mixed reviews on The Woman in Cabin 10 that I think I decided that I don’t care to read it lol. You always make me want to read Marissa Meyer books! Eventually I will get around to them!

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    1. I feel unqualified to review a thriller, but it just felt kinda “meh” to me…
      Meyer definitely set the bar high with her Lunar Chronicles… Heartless doesn’t touch ’em, but it’s still pretty good!

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  3. Yay for Heartless! I actually love Hitchhiker’s Guide. I adore all the goofy pseudo-science and his writing style with asides from the narrator. I’m considering starting a book club in my area for sci-fi and fantasy and it would totally be called, “Life, the Universe and Books”. Lol! Different strokes.

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    1. I really, really wanted to like The Hitchhiker’s Guide. I actually got the huge book with all 5 stories in it in anticipation that I’d just keep going! I highly doubt I will… Just not my kind of read.

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  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 has been on my TBR list since it came out. It definitely seems like my kinda book but I went on a binge of thrillers and now I’m burnt out by them so it’ll have to stay on my TBR list until I can get back into that kinda book.

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    1. I didn’t read The Girl on the Train, but I heard the books were similar. (Unreliable narrators, was there or wasn’t there a crime, etc.) I hope you enjoy The Hitchhiker’s Guide more than I did!!

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    1. I really did! I know not everyone liked it (I’ve seen mixed reviews), but I thought Meyer did a great job creating a new story from something old and classic!

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  5. I liked the Woman in Cabin 10. Yes, we have the trope of an unreliable narrator, but I didn’t find it NEARLY as annoying as The Girl on the Train, which in that case I basically just wanted the narrator to step in front of the train so we could be done with it. lol 😉 I’m impressed you guessed the twist! I am so awful at guessing twists. It’s so weird considering how many books I’ve read and edited you’d think I’d be better about it. Oh well.

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    1. I think I prefer mysteries over thrillers. I love trying to figure it out with mysteries but I don’t like the foreboding anxiety with most thrillers. The Woman in Cabin 10 just didn’t do it for me. Ha. I’m not even going to attemped The Girl on the Train. Ha.

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  6. totally skipped your heartless review as i have not read it yet.. hopefully soon! glad to see you liked it though. bummer about the hitchhiker’s guide.. i read it years ago and remember enjoying it, but i couldn’t tell you why or what it was about now haha. i haven’t read either of ruth ware’s books yet but they are on my list. even if a lot of people are conflicted, i want to see what all the fuss is about haha.

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    1. I don’t think I shared any spoilers, but way to be safe! Ha.
      I wouldn’t really discourage anyone from reading The Woman in Cabin 10, especially since I feel underqualified to critique thrillers. But I just didn’t enjoy it. Lol
      I wish I’d have liked ‘Hitchhiker’s’!

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  7. It sincerely depresses me that I did not love Heartless because I love the Lunar Chronicles so much. Maybe because i am not an Alice in Wonderland fan it affected my enjoyment of the book. Oh well. I look forward to reading whatever Meyer writes next! I’ve seen so many mixed reviews on the Woman in Cabin 10 that I decided to start with A Dark, Dark Wood since that seems to be a little more praised.

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    1. I admit that Heartless was WAY less developed than TLC. But I did enjoy it 🙂 And I think it had a lot to do with my love of Alice in Wonderland. I’m excited to hear about her next book, too!
      I’ve heard that A Dark, Dark Wood is better!

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    1. I immediately went to read/listen to your and Steph’s thoughts on Ware’s book as soon as I was done. Ha.
      Hitchhiker’s felt like a cult-classic, if that makes any sense. I don’t think I have the humor or personality for it. Ha.

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  8. I DNF’d another book by Ruth Ware, the Dark Woods one I think? I am a little tired of the Gone Girl / Girl on the Train style books with the big twists and unreliable narrators. That said I am currently reading and really enjoying The Other Typist that you sent me! I like the 1920s setting. But I know you didn’t like it so we’ll see how it ends up. We can compare notes next month!

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    1. I heard the Woods on was better, so don’t even attempt Cabin 10! Ha!

      I think I had a bad mindset when I read The Other Typist. I hated it from the start so if you’re already enjoying it then I bet you’ll like it all the way through. Either way, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts next month!

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  9. I’m probably going to read Cabin 10 anyway because I liked Dark, Dark Wood, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I also really want to get back into trying the Lunar Chronicles again because it looks so fun. I liked Hitchiker’s Guide when I was a kid but I haven’t read it in forever. There are some books that I want to love but sometimes don’t. I think Terry Pratchett’s humor is awesome but I’ve never been super into his books, even though he was BFF’s with my favorite author, Neil Gaiman.

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    1. I hope you like Cabin 10! I know some people really did!
      Man- I so wanted to love Hitchhiker’s but I just really, really didn’t. It should’ve been a quick read but it took me forever to get through. Haha.

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  10. Alice In Wonderland isn’t my favorite, but I love Marissa Meyers. I think that’s a good enough reason to pick up Heartless, hopefully sooner rather than later!

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  11. You’re right–everyone has read the Girl in Cabin 10!! Except me. 😉 And after you’re review (because I trust your judgment and rating system and all of it) I probably won’t…I need my narrators to be reliable!!

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    1. Hahaha- I am ALWAYS the last to read trendy books. No shame there! Ha!
      I will say it kept me reading and I picked it up when I had a free moment, but I just didn’t walk away loving it or feeling anything special.

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  12. The Woman in Cabin 10 is officially off my TBR. There are just too many mixed reviews over this book. I did hear Ruth Ware’s next book is a good one. So that is going on my list. I’m sharing Heartless with my daughter who enjoys an amped up fairytale retelling. I’ve only heard good things about that book!

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    1. Aww- I hope your daughter loves it! I tend to share fantasy reads with my mom. She’s a teacher so she’s waiting for summer break to start into The Lunar Chronicles but I am on her about it. Ha.

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  13. Hahaha I chuckled at your reason for reading The Woman in Cabin 10… I quite often use that reason. Maybe I should start noting the reasons why I chose to read a book, I’m pretty sure they are usually along the lines of “because I saw it in a million places” or “it mentioned Sherlock Holmes on the back”.

    I don’t think my reading choices through that much tbh. I just finished The Fever Code (part of The Maze Runner series) and my reason for picking it up was “because I just wanted to say I finished a series lately”.

    I quite enjoyed Hitchhikers, but I listened to them rather than read them. I think that helped, I don’t think I would have enjoyed them as much if I had to read them. They definitely start to go downhill after the first book, so skip the whole series since you thought the first was pants.

    Thrillers aren’t my thing either. I rarely read them in physical format, I always opt for an audiobook of them, I find it goes by quicker and I don’t get as bored. Suspense doesn’t really do anything for me, I think half the time, it just goes over my head and I can’t actually see it in the writing. Mostly I’m frustrated because it’s all a mystery and wooo who did it, lalalala…

    It’s rare that a thriller really interests me. I hope to find an amazing one, one day. But who knows. I’ll stick with my fantasy.

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    1. I bet I’d have enjoyed Hitchhiker’s better if I’d have listened to it. I will take your advice and skip the series, though. Ha. There are a few series that I’m 2 or 3 books into and I could easily finish them. I think I will once this challenge is over.
      I’m a big fantasy lover. I don’t mind mysteries (like historical fiction ones)… although I’m not really sure how to differentiate a mystery from a thriller… Ha.

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