November Reads – 2017

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I read 4 books in November. I have one more month before my annual favorite books of the year listicle! Also, follow my adorable book model on Instragram @tonksreads

Finished November 3rd, 2017: Pedal Zombies: Thirteen Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories by Elly Blue (editor)


First Sentence: So far so good, people.

Considering that I got Pedal Zombies for free (I won it in a raffle package at Geek Girl Con) I was actually pleasantly surprised. The book is pretty much exactly what it says in the title: short stories that feature both bicycles and zombies. Despite the cover, it was mostly humans using bikes to flee from zombies and not enough zombies actually riding bikes, but I have to admit it was fun, creative, and kept me interested the whole time. Besides that, it was fun to read around Halloween!

Pages Read: 160

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Finished November 14, 2017: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


First Sentence: The night Effia Otcher was born into the musky heat of Fanteland a fire raged through the woods just outside her father’s compound.

Homegoing follows a ton of characters over a a period of 300 years in both Ghana and America. The book has one chapter dedicated to each protagonist starting with Effia, a Ghanian woman who is married to an Englishman, and then her half-sister Esi who is captured, put on a ship, and sold into slavery. The chapters then alternate between their ancestors over time showing how slavery impacted generations in both Ghana and America. Even with so much history and so many characters, this is a relatively small and extremely readable book. I would have liked to follow one character’s story instead of so many. Starting over each chapter sometimes felt like hard work, but I can’t deny this was a very well-written book with lots of richness, sadness, and treasure.

Pages Read: 305

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Finished November 20, 2017: Artemis by Andy Weir


First Sentence: I bounded over the gray, dusty terrain toward the huge dome of Conrad bubble.

Artemis had the same elements as Weir’s well-acclaimed and brilliant book The Martian: science + space survival + humor = fun book…but, unfortunately, he did not achieve quite the right balance of these elements in Artemis, a heist story set on the Moon. The main character, Jazz, was so immature as to be unlikable. The comedy felt forced and contrived with a few too many boob jokes for me to think that anyone other than a 15-year-old boy was writing the story. The science was often inundating and boring instead of readable. Having said all that, it was a feat of a plot and fantastic world-building. I wish the book had gone through a few more drafts because I see its potential and it didn’t get there for me.

Pages Read: 305

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Finished November 22, 2017: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


First Sentence: I love Thursday nights.

Dark Matter has unanimously gotten incredible reviews across the internet so it may come as a shock to you that I did not enjoy this book. This is a thriller and for the first 50-100 pages I got sucked in. Jason goes out one night and his family expects him back in a few short hours. But, he’s kidnapped at gunpoint, injected with weird drugs, and wakes up in a lab. He must figure out what’s happening to him before he can make it back to his family. I read about as quickly as I could at first…until I figured out what was happening. Then, it got predictable, messy, and violent, too violent for my tastes. Too many guns does not a good story make. Besides that, the writing was in clippy short sentences with no real paragraph structure. It was quick to read but lacked the substance I enjoy in a book. I rushed through it til the end but not because I was on the edge of my seat: I wanted it to be over so I could move on and read something better with less “cheap thrills”.

Pages Read: 342

My Rating: 2/5 stars


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