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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2018-01 - Read In 2017 Reviews

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Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2830 comments Mod
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!

Let's start the year out right by posting about the books from the Read in 2017 shelf.

Remeber, to be eligible to be the shelf picker for March, you must post a Review in this thread

Enjoy your books and Happy Reading!


message 2: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3126 comments Happy New Year!

I've read Throne of Glass and gave it 4 stars. The only thing that annoyed me a bit was the love triangle. The story itself is ery good and I love the MC.


message 3: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments Happy New Year!

I read Reckless (The House of Rohan, #2) by Anne Stuart and gave it 3.5 stars. This book has been on my TBR since 2010 so I'm super happy that it's out! Definitely not for everybody - sort of an old school romance but I enjoyed it! Crazy characters but very sexy.


message 4: by Mell (new)

Mell (mellrouvray) | 145 comments I finished Blood Laws today and gave it 5 stars. I loved it. The mythology is different to anything I've read, the character and universe building was really well written. I look forward to reading the next book!


message 5: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 852 comments I read The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

I thought it took a long while to get going. I couldn't keep track of all the characters and their domestic lives for the first half, so it was hard to care. Then it got interesting and things came together in the second half. I gave it 3 stars.


message 6: by LynnB (last edited Jan 07, 2018 06:29PM) (new)

LynnB | 1662 comments Finished Beartown by Fredrik Backman and give it 4-1/2 stars. The title is simply an English translation of the Swedish title ... name of the town, no bears involved 😊

This story, though set around a teen ice hockey team, is really about families, relationships, bullying, courage and doing the right thing. In many ways it was sad and disturbing, but well worth the read.


message 7: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1409 comments I read The Invisible Library, which was recommended to me a while ago by a GR friend. I was unsure at the time whether I would like it or not - this month's shelf and a challenge in another group gave me a reason to give it a try. And I'm very glad that I did, I loved the book and gave it 4 stars. It seemed too geared towards a YA public in the beginning, but then the story sucked me in and I couldn't put the book down, so much so that I read until 1am yesterday night just to know how it all ended. It's a great fantasy book, I would recommend it, especially if you like Harry Potter and Thursday Next (I love both).


message 8: by LynnB (new)

LynnB | 1662 comments Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi *****
It seems impossible, but this author has taken several hundred years of family genealogy, set in the framework of the history of Ghana and the US, to write an unforgettable story ... and in only 300 pages.! Highly recommended!


message 9: by Karin (new)

Karin | 804 comments Found this a number of pages in on the shelf!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 4 stars

Catherine Morland, unlikely heroine (as Austen tells us, for she doesn’t meet the criteria of heroines in the novels being satirized) is taken to Bath with family friends when she is befriended first by Isabella Thorp (haven’t we all met our share of Isabellas?) and then by Eleanor Tilney. Her brother is in love, she is begun to be courted by a rather annoying young man at the same time that she becomes attracted to a very different young man.

This is a lovely work now classified as metafiction, among other things. While no Austen will be to me what Pride and Prejudice is, I did like it better rereading it than I did the first time I read it a number of years ago.


message 10: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8709 comments Mod
Lusie wrote: "Happy New Year!

I've read Throne of Glass and gave it 4 stars. The only thing that annoyed me a bit was the love triangle. The story itself is ery good and I love the MC."


I couldn't stand the love triangle & won't ever touch the rest of the series because of it, eek


message 11: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 603 comments I read A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab and enjoyed this. I give it 4 stars only because it finally started doing something towards the end of the book. The first half was slow but it was interesting. I would still read the next book.


message 12: by Mell (last edited Jan 09, 2018 10:33PM) (new)

Mell (mellrouvray) | 145 comments I finished Lost & Found today, and while it was an easy enough read, I just didn't get it. I didn't feel like it was resolved. The perspectives were interesting, but I just felt a bit lost through the whole thing. I gave it 3 stars.


message 13: by Joyce (new)

Joyce (eternity21) | 603 comments I read another off of this shelf Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus I finished this 1/11/2018
Review: I read this for high school and really didn't remember much of the book so since it is the 200th anniversary of it I decided it was time to read it again. I found I sympathized with the monster more so than Dr. Frankenstein. He treated the monster very badly. He creates him then just abandons him. So just like any other "child" he acts out when not under supervision and treated badly. I am glad I read this again.


message 14: by Karin (new)

Karin | 804 comments The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (the first book on the shelf!)

3.5 stars

This is a very strong debut novel. I can see why this has been a best seller and so many people love it, but, perhaps because I have read so many rave reviews that it was difficult to live up to the hype, it wasn’t a 5 star book for me. The best things about this novel is that Starr is a likable protagonist and it does a good job of letting readers see another side to news stories where cops kill unarmed people, particularly when there is the added factor of racism and cops protecting their own. I’ve known for most of my life that you can’t trust the news to get things as accurately as you would like, but it can be hard to separate fact from fiction in the news.

The voice of the POV was good, and many of the characters were well drawn out, but a few felt more cliché and two dimensional. A few times the dialogue felt forced in a similar way to many police dramas (not the exact same way, of course, but in police dramas you often see TV cops having dialogues that explain procedures or other things that there is no way real cops would ever talk.) Thomas avoided some of the pitfalls of Picoult’s Small Great Things by not trying to add in too many extra problems and issues to Starr’s life and thinking than could realistically fit into a novel.

Angie Thomas has talent, and I look forward to reading more novels by her as I am sure her writing will grow and develop.


message 15: by Karin (last edited Jan 14, 2018 03:57PM) (new)

Karin | 804 comments Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence (shelved this way 27 times) 3 stars

NONFICTION-Spence, Annie
—Books—Reviews

Dear Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks,

I wanted to love you, and reading about you I thought, what’s not to love? I love reading books, I’ve visited the local library at least as many times as the grocery store (but probably more) and it’s epistolary. And yet, I didn’t love you and am giving you three stars. Parts of you were laugh out loud funny and parts insightful, but not enough of them to love you. Some of your language didn’t help, either. Sure, the first word in The Martian makes complete sense, but even Weir overdid it, and outside of perhaps one or two books where that language would have been important it really detracts from my enjoyment, and not because I never cuss myself, but what’s the point of reading it? From one bookworm to another, I’m thrilled you and I both love to read, and as someone who grew up in a little place where my parents shelves had more books than the public “library") I love libraries. But as a reader, I was only moderately pleased.

So long, back to the library you go,

Karin


message 16: by LynnB (last edited Jan 12, 2018 08:39PM) (new)

LynnB | 1662 comments Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, ***
I guess this story was okay. It started out fine and I did like parts of it, though the fanfiction/fangirl aspect wasn't at all appealing to me. To be very honest, I read this as I needed a YA, author-with-same-initials, and something from the "geek" shelf for other challenges. I have read 2 of Rowell's other books which I enjoyed more.


message 17: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 1065 comments Sorry to hear you didn't like the book Lynn. I liked it. :)


message 18: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4713 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence (shelved this way 27 ..."

I really like this review. It is fun, tongue-in-cheek, and reflects both the writing style of the book and the reader's response. Very creative, Karin!


message 19: by LynnB (new)

LynnB | 1662 comments Jayme(the ghost reader) wrote: "Sorry to hear you didn't like the book Lynn. I liked it. :)"

I did like most of the basic story, it was the fanfiction that didn't appeal to me at all and there was too much of it in the book for me. Just not "my kind" of story, I guess. I can see how it works for other readers, though. I still want to read some of the Rowell books I haven't gotten to yet.


message 20: by Jayme (last edited Jan 13, 2018 10:51AM) (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 1065 comments The fan fiction didn't bother me too much. I read her "Eleanor and Park" and really liked that.


message 21: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3126 comments Jayme(the ghost reader) wrote: "The fan fiction didn't bother me too much. I read her "Eleanor and Park" and really liked that."

The only book I've read by Rainbow Rowell is Eleanor & Park. I thought it was okay, but after reading it I decided not to read another book by this author.


message 22: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3126 comments Tien wrote: "Lusie wrote: "Happy New Year!

I've read Throne of Glass and gave it 4 stars. The only thing that annoyed me a bit was the love triangle. The story itself is ery good and I love the ..."


I was so relieved the love triangle was gone in the second book Crown of Midnight. She made up her mind about which of the two she liked most. If the love triangle still had been there I'd have stopped reading. I have now read the first 4 book and am relieved to tell you the love triangle stayed away. Though the romance in this book seems to be almost the same as in her A Court of Thorns and Roses. A shame that she can only write one type of romance. But I still like it anyway.


message 23: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3126 comments Mell wrote: "I finished Blood Laws today and gave it 5 stars. I loved it. The mythology is different to anything I've read, the character and universe building was really well written. I look fo..."

I'm not 100% sure if it is for me, but I'll add it to my TBR since I might like it. Thank you for posting your review.


message 24: by Shannon SA (new)

Shannon SA The Dry by Jane Harper ***

I seldom read thriller/murder stories, but I liked this one. The characters were well-fleshed out and realistic, and the story had enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages to a satisfying ending.


message 26: by Karin (last edited Jan 14, 2018 03:59PM) (new)

Karin | 804 comments Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
3 stars
shelved Read in 2017 47 times.

This is a collection of 8 short stories and one novella (the novella is also published separately). I liked some better than others, and perhaps my favourite twist in one of them is, well I can't really say since I'd hate to spoil the surprise, since they don't all necessarily have twists.

I like these overall, but am not a huge fan of short stories (not since I was in my early twenties). The writing is fine, not too terribly predictable. In the novella, however, I find the character development a mixed bag, with some better done than others. In short stories I really don't expect as much.

None of this is heavy reading, and might make good beach reading if reading on the beach is your cup of tea.


message 27: by CluckingBell (new)

CluckingBell | 327 comments I listened to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I liked it as well as the first, or maybe a little more because there was less time spent in establishing everything and it got to the actual story more quickly. Still, Harry Potter (sans Daniel Radcliffe's innate intelligence) is just not my favorite character, and the female characters kind of got screwed in this one, so I don't think this will be one of my favorites in the series. I think I've seen the first four movies, so there aren't really any surprises yet; I'm looking forward to moving on to new-to-me plots and maturing characters in the later books.


message 28: by Charity (new)

Charity | 545 comments I read both The Sun Is Also a Star and Six of Crows this month in this category. Both of these books I gave 5 stars.

Six of Crows was a the first of a great adventure mini series (I think there is only 1 sequel book). The character development was amazing and the story kept me reading for hours. When the world is threatened by a newly created drug that enhances that power of natural magician-like humans the creator is being held in a impenetrable fortress. The right-hand man of the Dregs is called upon to form a gang that can make sure the secret recipe is doesn't fall into the wrong hands. With many twists and turns to the story even I had a hard time anticipating what was to come. I highly recommend it and look forward to Book 2.

For completely different reasons other than it was also a great read I gave 5 starts to The Sun Is Also a Star. Set in New York City the book moves among the perspectives of Daniel, a 17 year old South Korean boy trying to follow the guidance of his poor parents as to how to obtain the American Dream; Natasha, a 17 year old Jamaican girl whose family is being deported in a little over 12 hours because they have been living undocumented in the country; and the Universe, which supplies all relevant historical and scientific information related to the situations of the characters. It's a great story about the struggle between believing in love, fate, the measurability of science, and why things happen. I absolutely loved it.


message 29: by Karin (new)

Karin | 804 comments Seems like every book I've read so far this month (or most of them) has been shelved this way (but that will probably change). This one is shelved it 96 times, but it only came out in 2017.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - 4 stars

Avery Stafford meets May Crandall at a nursing home, where May confuses her for someone else. When Avery returns to retrieve her missing bracelet, she is struck by a photo May has of a group of women that look a lot like her grandmother, so she begins to search to find out who those women are. Told both in the present by POVs in Avery's and May's perspectives and the past in Avery's perspective. While this is a novel, the very real child trafficker, Georgia Tann and her Tennessee Children's Home Society play a large part in this novel where children are abducted, abused and often sold to the highest bidder for adoption and/or molestation.

The writing is solid and the protagonists people we can relate to and empathize with, but it's not brilliant. Nevertheless, this is a novel I recommend due to the subject matter and the good writing.


message 30: by Judy (new)

Judy I read two books that fit the shelf this month.

Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill ( 7 people shelved as read-in-2017)- was the pick for my nonfiction book club. I liked it. I thought it was well-written. Even though you know how it turned out, the author managed to maintain the suspense so that you wanted to keep reading. I gave it 4 stars.

I listened to the audiobook of The Collapsing Empire. (pg 14 of the list- 71 people shelved as read-in-2017) I gave it 3 stars- for some reason this book made me feel sad. It's the first book of a new series and there are a lot of separate people and stories. I'm not a fan of Wil Wheaton as narrator for the audio, but it was on sale- that may have affected my enjoyment of the book.


message 31: by Karin (new)

Karin | 804 comments The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith (shelved this 14 times)

4 stars

Precious and Grace are back, as wonderful as ever. Mr. Polopetsi comes to Precious and Grace about a wrongful termination, but while on the case Precious learns of a Mma Ramotswe she has never heard of named Mingie and is soon searching to find this woman and find out how she might be related. Also, Precious's first husband, Note, has been spotted by someone in Gabarone. Really, the description given is good and I don't want to give away anything.

It is rare to find a series that continues to be good by the 18th book, but this one most definitely is.


message 32: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I agree, Karin. I love reading any of McCall Smith's books. Saw him speak twice - a funny and engaging speaker, too.
The Story of the Lost ChildImperative to read this series in order. The "five" rating applies to the last and also to the series when considered as a whole, but this is the crowning episode where everything kind of "comes together" for the narrator and the reader.
Also loved from 2017: If you Lived here I would know your name In this memoir, Lende really nails the essence of life.


message 33: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4713 comments Mod
Yay! I am reporting a book in the month I was supposed to read it!!!

I read City of Bones and gave it 4*. What a wonderful escape story for me. It took me out of my regular world into a world of mystery, imagination, and exciting adventure. I loved this book and will definitely continue with the series.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3459 comments Mod
Bea wrote: "Yay! I am reporting a book in the month I was supposed to read it!!!

I read City of Bones and gave it 4*. What a wonderful escape story for me. It took me out of my regular world int..."


Yay! You've just stepped into a whole new world of fun reading. Not just The Mortal Instruments series, of which this is the first book. But after that, the spin-off series are also great.


message 35: by Elvenn (new)

Elvenn | 718 comments This month I read three books from this shelf that were also in my Bookopoly thread.

The one I enjoyed the most was Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (thanks Joyce and Amanda for the recommendation!), added to the shelf 33 times. I couldn't put it down. It's the third book in the Harry Dresden series and my favorite so far. In this book the wizard and paranormal investigator has to unravel a plot that comes to his attention when he discovers that something is not only messing with the local ghosts, making them unusually violent, but also tormenting them in the most inhuman ways...

Rating: 5 stars

La tumba (Harry Dresden, #3) by Jim Butcher

I also read First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (added by 43 readers). I liked this one as well and though it has less action than the one above, still many things happen to Charley Davidson in her job as private investigator and grim reaper. There aren't as many supernatural creatures involved as in the Desden series nor debates about good and evil and it seemed like she solved most of her problems by luck or accident or with supernatural help while Harry Desden usually has to work- and suffer- a little more to er, stay alive. Also, there's an epic romance in this book and sex is a major conversation topic for most of the characters.

Rating: 4 stars

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) by Darynda Jones

Finally, I read Vampire Academy (added to the shelf 71 times), a book I liked but that- when compared with the other two- felt really simple. The book is about vampires that go to high school and practice magic but the vampire part isn't much explored and probably could have been left aside without much trouble. These vampires are alive but drink blood and don't have the usual limitations repeated in the genre. If they kill someone they "die" and descend to savagery, seeking the blood of their former peers to increase their life and power (in a sort of Vampire the Masquerade diablerie). Mortal vampires have half-blood guardians that don't have magic but train to be able to protect them because as long as these vampires survive the half-bloods can reproduce. Convoluted explanation aside, not much of this is shown and one mostly witnesses teen fights over rumors everyone believes and suspenseful situations that the writer creates by either withholding information from the reader or telling the reader what to think about what's happening, labeling it terrible or forbidden or frowned upon, this thankfully! Because my brain apparently had other ideas and I would have been quite lost.
That said, the story has potential so perhaps one has to take this book as an introduction and wait for the story to really take off in the next volumes.

Rating: 3 stars

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3459 comments Mod
It turned out that almost everything I read this month was on the shelf, so I ended up reading all of the following:
Orphan Train
Turtles All the Way Down
Atonement
The Woman in Cabin 10
Quintana of Charyn

However, lots of reading means I get behind on posting reviews for what I've read, so I haven't written the reviews for most of them yet. I'd give Orphan Train and Quintana of Charyn 4 stars, the others 3. My review for
My review for Orphan Train is here .


message 37: by Karin (new)

Karin | 804 comments Cindy wrote: "I agree, Karin. I love reading any of McCall Smith's books. Saw him speak twice - a funny and engaging speaker, too.
The Story of the Lost ChildImperative to read this series in or..."


Wow, you got to see him!


message 38: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Zaccaria | 97 comments I read Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch because I wanted to read it before the mini-series came out. It was a cool story and interesting plot but honestly, the entire book was a bit underwhelming. I think it could have worked better being half as long tbh. I much preferred American Gods. That being said, I'm definitely going to check it out on screen.


message 39: by Christina (new)

Christina Byrne (cmbyrne87) | 161 comments I finally finished January's book! Three Dark Crowns.
*Mini spoiler below!*
That took way longer than it should have. The beginning druuuuuuuuuggggggg ooooooonnnnn fffffooooorrrreeeevvveeeerrrrr.......................... There are a lot of points of views and a lot of characters and a lot of introducing the sisters to their potential suitors. I didn't get quite enough of the sister that I was most fascinated with. There was a love triangle *cough*cheating jerk *cough* which (unless done super well and with purpose) makes me want to gag. That all being said, the ending was really good and had a cliff hanger that left me very interested.... I honestly don't know how I feel about this book. I do not yet know what I will do with this series yet.


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