For Mini Reviews, I copy my reviews from Goodreads. Unlike my blog reviews, when I write a review on Goodreads, I'm not interested in summarizing the book, but just jotting down notes for myself about my personal reaction.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Thriller, 555 pages. Read in three sittings, mostly in the living room armchair. 4 stars.
I was, bizarrely, under the impression that Gone Girl was a memoir, along the lines of Glass Castle or Liar's Club. Two sentences in, I realized my mistake. Then I spent the first half of the book wondering WHY this title is so popular right now when it's just a "did he or didn't he?" mystery. Then I hit the plot twist. Yay! I'm so glad I didn't know anything (and I mean anything!) going in.
Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Fantasy, book 1 of Song of Ice and Fire series, 835 pages. Read the prologue in 2012, read the rest of the book over several days, including a few stints at the pool and skate park while the kids played. 4 stars.
A kid left this in my classroom three years ago. I picked it up, read the prologue, and thought it sounded pretty good. Still, it was so LONG, and I'm someone who likes to read books all in one gulp. Then the TV show became a big thing, and I caught a few spoilers (on Pinterest, of all things), which also kind of put me off. I finally decided to watch the show, and my husband and I sat down with Disc One. At the end of the first episode, <spoiler>Bran is pushed out of a tower,</spoiler> and near the end of the second episode, <spoiler>Ned Stark has to kill Sensa's wolf.</spoiler> My husband said, "I'm done," and left the room.
I went to the book to see if I could understand who the characters are more clearly. It helped a huge amount. I read as far as what I'd seen, and found it more palatable (Dany's wedding night isn't quite as rapey, for one thing.) I love the huge cast, the slow building of events both in the kingdom and beyond the wall. I didn't love the detailed battle scenes--yawn. After all I'd heard about George R. R. Martin's cavalier killing off of any character you grew fond of, I only was really saddened by one death. (Well, two if you count <spoiler>Lady the direwolf.</spoiler>)
I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to read anything else while I've been working on this, yet I still went to the library today to get the next book in the series. If I had no other responsibilities, I'm pretty sure I'd spend the rest of the summer reading the books and watching the shows, but given the whole parenting/dealing with the two bathrooms that were ripped apart after a leak/planning for school thing I have going on in my life, I'll stick with the books for now.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Fantasy, book one of an unpublished series, 383 pages. Stayed up late to finish it, but still only 3 stars.
I might have rated this four stars had I never read The Hunger Games. It's not that this is a rip-off of the more famous book, it's just that you can't help but to notice parallels and similarities, and thus start feeling like this is not as fresh as it could be. That being said, for a 22 year old--WOW. I will definitely keep reading her work and see how she develops.