March Wrap-Up (2014)

In March I had a couple of books that I finished really quickly, and then a couple of books that I struggled with longer. I also finally managed to write some separate reviews during the month itself (I’m not that experienced a review writer yet), and those are linked below for the books in question.

Rating system
1 out of 5 – I didn’t like it: badly written or just got on my nerves
2 out of 5 – It was okay: other people might enjoy it more
3 out of 5 – I liked it: a fun/enjoyable read
4 out of 5 – I really liked it: good characters & plot, maybe some theme that spoke to me
5 out of 5 – It was amazing: I consider it a favorite and will probably re-read at some point

This post is linked at “Best of the Bunch”, a monthly recap meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories.

High Fantasy of the Month

The Wise Man's Fear
The Wise-Man’s Fear

(The Kingkiller Chronicle #2)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
First published in 2011

Kvothe continues his story on the truth behind his legendary history.

I continued reading the second book of The Kingkiller Chronicle right after finishing the first one. It might have been a mistake – I hit a bit of a slump in the middle of reading it, and it took me about a month to finish. Rothfuss still writes very well; his style draws you into the story and has you turning pages, but I don’t think the story was as good as in the first book.

A lot of the book was just Kvothe learning new skills. Training to be an awesome lover, training to be a kick-ass fighter. I understand that the books are about the truth behind the legend of Kvothe, and he would have to have some real-life legendary skills for the legends to be born in the first place. But in the end, not much movement further in the plot was made in this book – it was mostly just training.

Once again, Elodin and Bast were the best parts, and I’m still left intrigued by Bast. I had hoped that this book had included his and Kvothe’s first meeting, but sadly it didn’t.
4 out of 5 stars

Speculative Fiction

All These Things I've Done Best of the Month sticker
All These Things I’ve Done
(Birthright #1)
By: Gabrielle Zevin
First published in 2011
Genre: Futuristic YA crime thriller

After the murder of her Mafia boss father, Anya’s life consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend.

Review here. 4 out of 5 stars

City of Glass
City of Glass

(The Mortal Instruments #3)
By: Cassanda Clare
First published in 2009
Genre: YA modern fantasy

Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders – or against them. Meanwhile, Jace and Clary have their own decision to make: should they pursue the love they know is forbidden?

Review here. 3 out of 5 stars

Other genres

Valkea kuin lumi
Valkea kuin lumi

(Lumikki Andersson #2)
By: Salla Simukka
First published in
Genre: Ya Crime Thriller (Finnish)

Lumikki travels to Prague where a woman who claims to be her sister gets her mixed up in a religious cult.

I continued with the Finnish Lumikki Andersson YA trilogy (you can read my thoughts on the first book in my February Wrap-Up). This book was definitely weaker than the first one. The plot isn’t as interesting; the whole religious cult thing feels pretty far-fetched. For some reason Lumikki running around in Prague wasn’t as interesting as Lumikki running around in Tampere!

The aspect of the book I was the most interested in were the flashbacks to Lumikki’s first love a couple of summers back, a relationship that was handled briefly in the first book as well. I like how the Finnish language makes it possible to not know whether Lumikki is talking about a boy- or a girlfriend in these flashbacks – although we do find that out in this second book, in the first one it was left a mystery. I will definitely be reading the third and final book, since it might focus more on Lumikki’s life, with her flashbacks being the most interesting parts of both of these previous books.
3 out of 5 stars

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

By: Robin Sloane
First published in 2012
Genre: Literary fiction, books about books

An unemployed graphic designer gets a job in a mysterious bookstore which leads him to a secret society.

This book sounded like something right up my alley. Everything was great in the beginning – the setting of the bookstore with its dangerously high shelves and mysterious rules drew me in, and I liked the added aspect of technology with the main character being a web designer and his girlfriend working at Google. The writing flowed well, and promised a fun, easy read. Also, I could relate to the unemployed graphic designer scenario, and wouldn’t say no to a job in a mysterious bookstore, myself!

At first I was pretty into it. But something happened in the middle of the book, and I got stuck. The story left the bookstore and focused on the secret society side of things, which I was disappointed to find not the least bit interesting. Everything just fell flat to me about the moment we got to New York. After that, I found it a struggle to finish the book. I would read a chapter here, a chapter there, but I never got back the interest I had in the beginning. I heard later that this book was originally a short story, and I might look it up and read it – the story might work better that way, the focus not being able to shift that much in shorter form
2 out of 5 stars


5 thoughts on “March Wrap-Up (2014)

  1. I’ve read a few reviews for the 24 hour bookstore that suggest it starts off strong and then wanes. Shame that.
    On a fickle note – because I have to – I love the cover for All These Things I’ve Done.
    Lynn :D

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