Microreview Monday – Is This Tomorrow and 3 More

Happy Monday Guys! Hope you all had a fun Halloween. I’m back today with another round of Microreview Monday. Here are 4 quick reviews for you. Enjoy!

1. Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt

Book Review of Is This Tomorrow

  • Synopsis: Lewis is a 12 year old kid living in Boston in the 1950s. His parents are divorced in a time when broken homes are a rarity, and consequently he and his mother, Ava, are ostracized by the other families in their neighborhood. Lewis’ only friends are siblings Rose and Jimmy, who are also low in the social ranking of their suburb. The unlikely trio are inseparable, until the day that Jimmy goes missing. Life changes dramatically for Rose, Lewis, and Ava after Jimmy’s disappearance. Until, years later when Jimmy is found, and they are all reunited.
  • My Review: I found this to be a really beautifully written book. When I first picked it up, I thought the story would focus on Jimmy’s disappearance. And while you do eventually find out what happened to Jimmy, it wasn’t the main part of the story. Rather, the book delved into how people are changed by the events that occur in their lives. It also dealt with the issue of divorce in a time when it was not so widely accepted.
  • Read or Refrain: Read, it’s a little slow-moving, but if you stick with it, you won’t be disappointed.

2. The Case of the Love Commandoes by Tarquin Hall

Book Review of The Case of the Love Commandos

  • Synopsis: Ram and Tulsi are in love and are determined to get married. Unfortunately, Tulsi’s father is against the match and threatens Ram. When Ram suddenly disappears, premier Indian Private Detective, Vish Puri, is called in to solve the mystery.
  • My Review: Star-crossed lovers, a disapproving father, gangsters, and a bumbling PI? This seriously could be the screenplay for a Bollywood movie. I downloaded this book on a whim as it was a Kindle Daily Deal. It doesn’t hold a candle to the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith, and there were definitely more than a few scenes that had me rolling my eyes, but it was fairly entertaining. Vish Puri has his moments as the stubborn but lovable Detective, and the mystery was definitely engaging.
  • Read or Refrain: Read – if you’re into detective mysteries, and looking for a quick and easy to digest story.

3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Book Review of The Goldfinch

 

  • Synopsis: Theo Decker is only thirteen years old when his mother is killed in a tragic accident. Theo manages to survive, and is drawn to a painting that reminds him of his mother. As he grows up, Theo moves from New York to Nevada and back to New York, and the painting remains with him. Ultimately it pulls him into the art & antiquities black market world.
  • My Review: This book got A LOT of hype, so I was eager to read it. Maybe it just wasn’t for me, but I didn’t really get it. I found it very rambling and verbose. There were a lot of characters that came and went in the narrative, and by the time I slogged through to the end of this 700+ page book, I just didn’t think there was much payoff.
  • Read or Refrain: Refrain; seems like it’s kind of an esoteric story.

4. The Circle by Dave Eggers

Book review of The Circle

 

  • Synopsis: Mae is a recent hire at The Circle, the most powerful Internet company in the world (think Google or Amazon). She quickly becomes enamored with the high-technology atmosphere, the company perks, and the charismatic leaders. Mae jumps head-first into the company tenet of “Transparency” – basically being connected always, and in all ways. But, over time, she starts to realize that transparency comes with a cost, and there may be a darker side to The Circle.
  • My Review: This was a pick for one of my Book Clubs, and I really, really enjoyed it. I work in the world of digital marketing, and the issues of constant connectivity and privacy concerns hit close to home. I did feel like the story went off on unnecessary tangents at times, but overall it was definitely a chilling story that made me think hard about being “on the grid.”
  • Read or Refrain: Read, especially if you’re curious about what our digital-driven world could look like one day.

Blog Announcements + the first Micro-review Monday!

Hi Guys! Time for some real talk. My schedule has been packed to the brim lately with work, family obligations, and extra-curriculars with friends. It’s been challenging to keep up with Every Book and Cranny and my review schedule. I’ve been trying to think of an easier way to keep up with my backlog of read books, and to ensure I’m posting new reviews at least 3x per week. So, I’ve decided to change up the format of my posts a bit:

  • Micro-review Mondays: I’ll post 4-5 short reviews of titles I’ve recently read.
  • Full Review Wednesdays will be reserved for full reviews on my absolute favorites out of my recent reads.
  • Audiobook Fridays will be for reviews on the latest audiobooks I’ve listened to.

I’m really excited for this new schedule and I think it’ll help me keep my posting more regular!

Now that the business is over, let’s get to the first Micro-review Monday! I have 4 quick reviews for you guys today:

 

1. The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene

  • Synopsis: The novel starts with the narrator, Arthur Winthrop – the headmaster of an elite prep school in Vermont, being picked up by the New York City police for wandering naked around Central Park. At the police station, Arthur begins to recount the events leading to this day to the police, and what emerges is the story of his life, his marriage, and his family.
  • My Review: What I really enjoyed about this book is that it surprised me. The first part of the book, narrated by Arthur, details his recent affair with one of his students and how it led to a semi-mental breakdown. But, there’s a big twist in part two, and suddenly the book morphs into a different story, discussing love and loss and how the two affect each other.
  • Read or Refrain: Read!

 

2. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Synopsis: This book is about the Binewski’s, a traveling carny family who have bred their own children to be sideshow freaks. Narrated by Oly, the albino dwarf daughter, the story follows her parents, Al and Lil, her siblings, Arty the Aqua Boy, Iphy and Elly the Siamese Twins, and Chick, and their dark journey across the country.

My Review: This was selected by a coworker for my Work Book Club, and was definitely a book I would never picked up on my own to read. It was different…very dark, somewhat obscene, but still entertaining. Overall, I liked it – It was firmly outside of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed the challenge of reading something out of the norm. One complaint however: I felt that it was unnecessarily long. I think the book could’ve been cut down by about half and still would have achieved the same affect.

Read or Refrain: Read, but with a caveat: this book is not for everyone. There are some very graphic parts, and if that’s not for you, then I would pass. If, however, you like reading Chuck Palahniuk or enjoy watching American Horror Story, I think you’ll dig this one.

 

3. The Crown by Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts #1)

Synopsis: Dinah is the Princess of Wonderland, and the future Queen of Hearts. She spends her days with her tutor, Harris, her best friend, Wardley, and her younger brother, Charles. Her father, the King of Hearts, seems to despise her, and she cannot figure out why. When a mysterious stranger named Vittiore arrives at the castle, Dinah begins to sense that her throne is threatened. She starts to receive clues about what’s really happening in Wonderland, and realizes that there are dangers lurking all around her.

My Review: Alice in Wonderland is one of my all-time favorite stories, so when I heard there was a book that went into the history of the Queen of Hearts, I was really excited to read it! I enjoyed the book, but it was by no means perfect. The book is part fairy tale, part fantasy, and the author has done a good job at creating the fantasy world of Wonderland. But, the writing seemed fairly amateur, and the plot didn’t always make sense. That being said, there’s a good cliffhanger at the end, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Read or Refrain: Read, but don’t expect this to be a great work of literature.

 

4. Hidden by Catherine Mckenzie

Synopsis: One day Jeff Manning is hit by a car and killed. Two women mourn him – his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. The story details the relationship Jeff has with each woman, and how his secrets have a ripple effect on their lives after his death.

My Review: I had high hopes for this one. And while it was a compelling story, I felt like it really dragged. It took forever to figure out the true relationship between Jeff and Tish. I also think there wasn’t much action in the book, just a lot of reminiscing and talking. It just got old for me.

Read or Refrain: Refrain; I don’t think it’s really worth the read.