Tuesday, April 21, 2009

4 Mini-Reviews in 4 Sentences

Since I finished 5 books in the read-a-thon, I am now really behind on my reviews. I have been having a difficult time keeping up with my reviews in the past several months, so I'm going to be VERY brief--I'm going to try to do each review in only 4 sentences. We'll see how this goes!! (I am going to write a "normal" review for My Antonia since I only read part of it during the read-a-thon, and it is one of my books for the Classics Challenge).

Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

Julian Wainwright is an aspiring writer who falls in love in college. As he matures into a full-fledged adult, his life does not take the path he imagined, but he learns the value of love, trust, friendship and family.

As many people have mentioned in their reviews, this was definitely a character-driven novel, which I really like. The story is fairly slow-paced, but an enjoyable read.
Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky

Silvio is an older man who lives in a small French village, and is most content when he is completely alone in his small house with a bottle of wine. He tries not to remember the love from his youth, and what secrets surround that love--secrets only known to himself and one other.

I was disappointed in this novel, but maybe because I was reading it quickly during the read-a-thon. I felt no connection with any of the characters and though I was surprised to read the unexpected ending, I was a bit glad the novel was over.


The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

A very short tale about how the Queen of England accidentally checks out a book from a travelling library and her life and habits change dramatically. Her advisers don't know what has gotten into her, and they don't think it's a good idea for the Queen to always have her nose in a book.

Though there are many great bookish quotes, I was also a bit disappointed in this book as well. Though I love reading myself, so I can understand what it is like to want to do nothing else but read, I did not really find this book to be amusing or thought-provoking. (Sorry)

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Tristran Thorn is a young man who will do anything to capture the heart of the beautiful Victoria Forester. When he and Victoria see a falling star one evening, Tristran makes a daring promise that he will go through the forbidden gap in the Wall to find the fallen star and bring it back, if Victoria in turn will give him a kiss and her hand.

Stardust has a bit of everything that makes a story fun to read and memorable--adventure, magic, betrayal, a hero and love. This is my first Gaiman book, and it will not be my last!

Whew--I did it! It is hard to be so brief because I have a lot more to say about several of these books. I think most of them have been reviewed about a million times though, so I probably don't have anything new to say!

All four books completed April 18-19, 2009
Number of pages: Matrimony-291; Fire in the Blood-138; The Uncommon Reader-120; Stardust-333


Trish said...

Yay Laura!!! I didn't even have to harrass you tomorrow at work. :P I actually really like the mini-reviews and felt like you made everything really clear. Although you know I'm a summary skipper anyway...

I'm so sad you didn't like Uncommon Reader but really excited you liked Stardust. Now you have to see the movie!

Lisa said...

I want to read Stardust, but never remember it when I go to the library.

Anna said...

Thanks for the honest reviews. I have Matrimony but haven't read it yet. I like character-driven novels, so I'm looking forward to it. I finished Coraline during the read-a-thon, and I'm looking for another Gaiman book. I'll have to check out Stardust.

Diary of an Eccentric

Literary Feline said...

I think you did a great job with your mini reviews. :-) I really enjoyed Stardust too. Neil Gaiman has a huge range when it comes to his writing.

I haven't yet read the Uncommon Reader, but I do want to.

Heather J. said...

I loved these mini reviews - quick and to the point is always good. :)

Laura said...

Trish-I'm really sad about The Uncommon Reader as well. I should probably re-read it at a much slower pace, and I would most likely appreciate it more. Four down...2 to go! :)

Lisa-It's perfect for a read-a-thon. Maybe you should put it on a list for October!!

Anna-I didn't LOVE Matrimony, but I liked it. I need to go back and re-read some of Joshua Henkin's guest posts and interviews--I think I would appreciate the novel on a deeper level.

Wendy-I think I'm the only one who hadn't read anything by Gaiman. I generally don't read anything from the fantasy-ish genre, but I'm glad I did! I bet you would enjoy The Uncommon Reader. In every other review I've read, the person really loved it.

Heather-Mini-reviews are so great to get caught up from being behind. I'm trying not to be so wordy in my regular reviews as well.

Bookfool said...

I loved Stardust, too. Your mini reviews were all wonderful! I wish I could be more brief. I rattle on way too much.

Tiffany Norris said...

Mini-reviews! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi I found your blog googling The Pact by Jodi Piccoult. I was wondering if you could guide me in the right direction for some of these read-a-thons and book review groups you are participating in. I am an avid reader and it sounds like a lot of fun! I thought maybe I could add a reading page to my blog (actually I have one but when I changed blog templates it doesn't show up anymore.) Thanks!

Tiffany Norris said...

I've been missing your posts!

Jeane said...

Hi. I just gave you a blog award!. Come see.

Meredith said...

Holy cow--I just perused your blog and read all about your 24-hour read-a-thon. That is INTENSE. (Congrats, by the way...)

Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas! Thanks again for being so great these first few weeks, I've really appreciated it. :)

Laura said...
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