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Mini Reviews

Monday, February 3, 2014

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
I love the Hundred Oaks series and it was nice to see some of the other characters pop up here and there - Parker fans are in for a treat! I like that Miranda Kenneally's novels always focus on a main character with a passion for something because it helps you become absorbed in a world you might not necessarily come across every day - and that's what reading is all about, right?

Savannah's love for everything horse related really came through loud and clear and this was the strongest aspect of the book. Even the horse had personality! However, I wasn't so keen on the romance in this one. I kind of wish it had just been more family orientated because there was so much potential with the dad's story. He was a teen dad and we don't get many stories about teen dad's, do we? I can only think of Where the Stars Still Shine off the top of my head...let me know if you can think of some others. Then again, I suppose people want their swoon so Miranda Kenneally had to write it this way. Savannah's friendship with Rory was nice and felt genuine too. Overall, this wasn't my favourite Hundred Oaks book but definitely worth a read if you enjoy the series. If you've never read a Hundred Oaks, I'd suggest starting with Stealing Parker or Things I Can't Forget

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
This seemed to be the commuter book of choice over the autumn/winter stretch, so when I felt the urge to read an 'adult' book, I quickly purchased this one. Must keep up with the Jones' after all.

I enjoyed that the novel was told from different perspectives. Each of the women's voices were distinct and it felt like they had their story to tell, which might sound obvious but this split narration style isn't always executed well. Sometimes it feels like one person's point of view is just filler. I also think this is the first Aussie 'adult' book I've ever read because I never finished The Slap. I loved Cecilia's unravelling. I don't think that's too much of a spoiler given the book title. Her character could have been extremely annoying but instead her eagerness and busy body nature was endearing and in turn made her a sympathetic character. Overall, a well written novel with a distinctive tone. I'm definitely going to get some of Liane Moriarty's other books. 

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
I LOVED this book. Such an interesting time, such an explosive couple. I didn't know anything about Zelda Fitzgerald before this book, so I feel like I learnt a lot. It was a fast read, full of life and brightness. The ending was very sad but if you know anything about the Fitzgerald's, you know what I mean. I enjoyed their encounters with other prolific artists and authors such as Cole Porter and Ernest Hemingway. The names were great too - Talu and Hadley and Scottie. After reading this one, I'm going to have to take a look at The Paris Wife and Mrs Hemingway

Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
For some reason, I just couldn't get into this one. I was disappointed because it has all the components that I usually enjoy - boarding school setting, mystery, preppy kids in fancy clothes. However, I just didn't connect with Anne or the story. I loved the names though - it was refreshing to have a main character in a YA with a traditional name. Remy and Murali were good'uns too.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
I thought I better try this one out because I see reviews and hear ravings about it around the blogosphere all the time. Although I used to get it mixed up with Shatter Me (I tried to read that one and just couldn't get past the first 20 or so pages. It was very dramatic. Should I persevere? Does it get better?) Anyway, Under the Never Sky was fine. I was quite engrossed in it until about 3/4 way through when they finally get together and it turns into a Jacob/Renesmee imprinting malarky and that's just not my thing. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying there's a romance - would you expect anything else from a YA dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi story? There was some great world building though. I'll probably read the next one during the summer.  

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