Tuesday, October 11, 2016

From the Bookshelf: Recently Read - October 2016 Edition

Lately it seems like it's taking me forever to finish books. Sometimes that happens when I don't really like a book ... I mean, if it's not really that interesting, there's nothing really pushing me to pick it up and finish it. But these days it doesn't seem to matter whether I like it or not. (Though, to be fair, two of the three books in this post were very mediocre.) I just seem to either be busy, tired, or focused on something else. (I've been rewatching the entire Gilmore Girls series, so that really eats into my reading time.)

I still managed to read a few books since the last link-up with Steph and Jana, though. (And thank goodness ... I definitely didn't want to miss out on this month's link-up since it's the two year anniversary of Show Us Your Books!)

My mom is visiting (yay!), so I'm just going to post short reviews this time around. And, even though I'll be spending most of my time hanging out with my mom for the next week, I swear it won't take me three weeks or more to respond to comments this time around!

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter - 394 pages - 4 stars

Completed on 09/20/2016

I think the thing that surprised me most about Pretty Girls is the fact that it seems to be a very popular book despite the incredibly dark and disturbing subject matter. This is very much what my mother-in-law would call a "Kristen book," yet I've seen it pop up on more blogs than I can count (and not just blogs written by people who, like me, love all things twisted).

Obviously I don't think that other people can't enjoy books like this. However, I think graphic descriptions of certain topics (snuff porn, for instance) aren't for everyone. So, like I said, it's at least a little surprising that Pretty Girls is so popular.

This was my first Karin Slaughter book, and it won't be my last. Although I thought a few parts of the story were a little too over-the-top and some things were just a little too convenient/fell into place a little too easily (one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to thrillers), overall I really enjoyed Pretty Girls.

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango - 241 pages - 2 stars

Completed on 09/27/2016

I was really looking forward to reading this book, but I found it really disappointing.

It wasn't that the main character was unlikable. (I mean, he was ... But I actually like unlikable characters sometimes. I know, I'm weird.) The problem with The Truth and Other Lies was that it was just a major letdown.

Several times throughout the novel I was hopeful that Sascha Arango was going to introduce more background information about the main character and his wife. And several times he started to do this ... But then the focus shifted, leaving me with no answers and even more questions. And, while I actually do like some ambiguity in novels because I like drawing my own conclusions, I don't like finishing the last page and feeling like I never really got to know the characters or their motivations.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - 340 pages - 2 stars

Completed on 10/07/2016

After reading Ruth Ware's debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, earlier this year, I was really looking forward to The Woman in Cabin 10.

Unfortunately, this one didn't really work for me. (Though I decided to substitute this book for the "book with a (mostly) blue cover" category in Erin's book challenge, so at least it wasn't a complete waste of time!)

I didn't hate this book, but I never really felt compelled to pick it up either. I kept hoping for an amazing twist to make it worthwhile, but I felt like the big reveal was just kind of "meh" and I'm pretty sure I actually rolled my eyes a few times over the ending.

I think the most disappointing thing about The Woman in Cabin 10, though, was the fact that it had so much potential that was never fully realized. There were a few interesting moments throughout the book, but it wasn't enough to keep me fully engaged.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mind Dump Monday: I Just Needed To Write Something

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One of the most difficult things about blogging (for me, at least) is finding the time and motivation for it. That's definitely been the case lately.

Sometimes I can't come up with anything interesting to write about. And, while that's frustrating, I can eventually come up with something. Other times (like now), I have several ideas for posts ... I just can't seem to bring myself to sit down and work on them. Then I start to feel completely overwhelmed because I allow myself to get so far behind on anything even remotely related to blogging. And then I start to hate it.

So ... That explains my absence lately. 

I keep trying to get back into some sort of routine, but things are probably going to be very feast or famine around here for the next couple of months because fall seems to be the busiest time of year for me. Between my mom's upcoming visit, my anniversary trip with Eric (I'll talk about this a little more in a future post, but we finally booked everything!), and any random fall activities, October and November are pretty packed.

I'm going to try to get a few posts written and up this week (but no promises), so I'll go into a little more detail about what's been going on with me lately at that point. For now, I just wanted to post this as kind of a "Hey, I'm still around. I know I've been a shitty blogger lately, but I'll try to eventually get back into some sort of groove." thing.

I had to start somewhere, I guess.