Book Reviews: March 2018

As promised, here is the book review post of March. It’s all fiction this month, but unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy any of them šŸ˜¦

Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome:

I was going to read this during my Cuba trip – it is a humorous travelogue about three friends (and their dog) who decide to take a boating trip down the Thames, which would make the perfect travel read. But in the end, I chose Bill Bryson’s book, so I didn’t read this until now. It’s quite enjoyable if you’re into British humor (which I am), but my problem with it is the weird inconsistency in the tone – between the humorous and sarcastic observations, there would be some horrible purple prose mixed in. At first, I thought it was supposed to be satire, but then toward the end, there is this scene in which the characters find the body of a woman who drowned herself and the narrator muses about what might have happened to her, and I don’t know if I was supposed to laugh or cry. It’s really strange. 3/5

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde:

I was offered a chance to translate this book, and as its blurb compares it to Station Eleven, which I love, I decided to check it out. It contains three interwoven stories, one set in England in 1852, one in the US in 2007, and one in a dystopian China in 2098, revolving around three characters whose lives are defined and changed by bees and beekeeping. It sounds interesting, and I could see where theĀ Station ElevenĀ comparison comes from, but this is nowhere near as captivating and touching as Station Eleven. I had a hard time identifying with any of the characters, William, the 19th-century character, downright annoys me, with his self-absorption and constant whining. This is what happened when you started out with a theme and built the story to fit it, instead of letting the story and the characters speak for themselves. (I’m still going to translate it though.) 2.5/5

Red Rising by Pierce Brown:

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, but I guess I’ve waited too long and now I’ve grown out of the whole YA dystopian genre. I wouldn’t even bother with a summary because it is just like every other YA dystopian novel – a bit of The Hunger Games, a bit of Divergent, a bit of The Maze Runner. And yes, of course it is part 1 of a trilogy. Sure, it’s set on Mars and the story is more violent than most YA novels, but it’s the same “plucky teen overthrowing tyrannical government” plot. Read one and you’ve read them all. I think that’s why I liked the Six of Crows series so much, because the plot is like a breath of fresh air compared to the usual YA stuff. 2/5

What did you guys read this month?

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3 Comments on “Book Reviews: March 2018”

  1. Kezzie says:

    I smiled at your description of Red Rising- sooo many books are of that Hunger Games ilk, I glanced at one called Reaper in a bookshop and it was basically The Hunger Games!

    • Salazar says:

      And The Hunger Games is basically Battle Royale to begin with, so you’re not doing anything new, people! I’m not swearing off YA fantasy/sci-fi altogether, but I’m going to be a lot more selective from now on.

  2. Mike says:

    I hated that I missed book reviews for March but to be honest, I haven’t finished any of the books that I’m reading yet. Too much going on…

    Ha, that last book you described sort of sounds like a book that I’m thinking about reading actually; “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer. I think it has a similar plot, or “type of storyline” if you will, to “The Hunger Games”. Four books follow after it though so I am not sure I want to stick with it for that long. I’ll have to see how the first one goes. I’m trying to branch out from my usual historical and fantasy fiction genres and try something new. But from the looks of it, it may not be too far from the fantasy genre.


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