This month, I've listed the books in the order I liked them (favorites come first) rather than the order I finished them:
(A) Dark Places - In Gone Girl, I thought that Gillian Flynn, who wrote both books, made Amy start as a likable character and then revealed who she really was. In this book, Flynn paints her main character as a total jerk from the beginning. As I was reading, I loved to hate her. I thought the twist ending was a good surprise and loved that teeny tiny clues were placed throughout that I realized at the end. In the audiobook, the female voice (voices?) were fantastic but the male voice was terrible and sounded like he should narrate a science video or something.
Wonder - Though it was a YA choice, the cover sucked me in. I liked that this story was told from different perspectives. The incredibly short chapters made it hard to put down and I flew though it. Great reading for a middle schooler with a good lesson on kindness, tolerance, and bullying, but I don't think it's a must-read for an adult. The characters were likable, though, so it got four stars from me.
The Rosie Effect - This book was very sitcom-y. Whereas The Rosie Project introduced us to Don and made his quirks somewhat endearing, this book made him look like a buffoon who learned nothing from his previous experiences. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, and while I don't expect a book like this to be grounded in reality, the complete idiocy of so many of the characters was ridiculous. Plus, part of the fun of the first book was the interaction between Rosie and Don, which was almost completely gone this time around.
(A) About Alice - This was a super short audiobook (less than two hours!) that started out as a piece in The New Yorker. It was written and read by Alice's husband, who was also a writer. He apparently gave readers a sense of who Alice was through his works. Had I read something of his previously, I would have likely felt a strong connection and loved this peek behind the scenes at their real lives. Since I was unfamiliar with them, I found this an interesting reflection on a long marriage. One could hope to be remembered for such simple things so fondly after they've passed away.
Girl in Translation - I breezed through this book in a night because I thought I had another book at the library waiting for me. It was meant for a younger audience, which isn't always my favorite. It was an interesting perspective - told from the POV of a teenage Chinese immigrant living with her mother in deplorable conditions and spending all of her free time working in a factory. I thought the part of the story that could have been the most interesting - the high school years - were completely glossed over and the character became flat, boring, and typical. The end was interesting... I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, either. I gave it three stars on Goodreads, but the more I think about it, the more I kind of think it should have been 2.5.
Fangirl - I don't know why I trudged through this book because I kind of hated it. The fan fiction and excerpts from the book series that the main character was obsessed with was completely pointless. Once I realized that, I skipped those parts. The story was pretty weak; many of the main character's problems could have been solved by doing what she knew was right and actually talking to people when she had a problem. Perhaps others live life like that, but I just can't relate to knowing how to fix something and not trying to fix it. I'm also not a fan of chick-lit-esque, idealized men who are total doormats who just pine away after some woman. Maybe I've been in the real world for too long, but that's neither attractive nor something to look for in a partner. Should I bother with the other Rainbow Rowell books on my list?
The Happiness Project - It was my turn with this book when Bauer was at the peak of his face-laying, so I didn't get to finish it before my time expired! I thought a few of the points were interesting - at work, how do you strike a balance between striving for more (which makes you unhappy since you aren't where you want to be) versus accepting where you are (which can make you feel like settling)? The author was a seemingly upper-middle class woman so I was often wondering what she had to work on being happier for - her life seemed pretty good. I don't think I'll bother waiting for another turn with this one.
I'm currently listening to The Art of Fielding, which I mostly love- the narrator for the audiobook is fantastic. I have Stolen ready to go, which someone recommended in last month's link-up. I really like seeing what other people are reading, and even if I don't comment, I definitely add people on goodreads and add some of their favorites to my list.
Many thanks to Steph and Jana for hosting...