“Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith

Career_of_Evil_Oct_2015Ok, in this one J.K. Rowling might have been a little too good for herself. The scenes were described so well that I imagined I was standing right beside the character the whole time. The only problem was this character was a serial killer and he is super insane.

I am actually very proud of myself because I figured out who the killer was (ok, more of a guess based on the process of elimination) a few chapters before it was revealed. But I also know that it’s written in a way to mislead the reader. You think that it’s obvious, it must be XYZ character who did the bad thing. And then you find out there’s no way it could have been them and it was actually ABC character.

One thing that I really like about this book is the relationships. When you find out that it’s a book about a woman who’s engaged to the same guy she’s been dating for 9 years and a man who recently ended his on-again-off-again relationship with the crazy woman he picked up in college becoming partners, you worry that it will turn into one of those books where the two main characters end up together just because they’re the two main characters.

There were certainly questions if that would happen, but I’m glad that it wasn’t stereotypical like that.

I went through these books faster than I thought I would and now I’m stuck with a somewhat cliffhanger because Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling is a genius like that.

Last thing, Robin Ellacott is my role model.

Later,
Maegan

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith

18214414I finished this one a couple days ago. It’s amazing how J.K. Rowling is able to spin these intricate mysteries of murder with all of these characters interlocked and how she keeps you guessing up until she’s ready to reveal who the bad guy is. She teases you because you think you have it figured out and then she just flips the whole thing and you had no idea it was coming.

One thing about having so many characters is that sometimes it’s a little hard to keep track of theĀ ones on the fringe. The main character has so many friends and acquaintances and some of them have some not very common names.

Plus, I’ve been listening on audiobook, so I have to file it in my mind after it’s been spoken to me by a guy with a British accent.

But anyway, this is a good book, even though it does have a few grotesque parts. Namely, the description of the murder is gross and I was listening to it while I was cooking dinner one night, which was a big mistake.

I’ve started on “Career of Evil” and there’s already plenty to keep you guessing at. I love how we get to see a little more into the personal life of the main characters a little more each book, but there’s still so much you don’t know. That’s how the stories are created.

More on that later,
Maegan

“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

63be691d88d7134ce67fa02b36e9ac35Or is it “Th1rteen R3asons Why”?

Obviously I only read this book because I watched the Netflix series. But in my defense, I have read it before when I was in high school. I remembered the concept when I watched the show, which I was enraptured by, but I didn’t remember all the details. I think it’s for the best that I didn’t reread this book right before I watched the show or else I would have just been noticing all the differences because that’s how I live my life.

I know there’s a lot of talk going on right now about this story and I can see both sides of it. My thinking is that it’s awful what Hannah went through, but at the same time, she’s bringing down all of these other people that she knows, too. Is it necessary? I’m sure they hurt enough and already felt guilty before this box of tapes arrived on their front step.

I think it’s an interesting story, and I remember being fascinated with it when I read it years ago because suicide is like a taboo subject that people just don’t talk or write about. Even so, I don’t think this book was as good as I remembered, and the characters really just aren’t likeable. Even Clay, who is perceived as this total nice guy loses a little for how hung up on Hannah he was, because she didn’t seem that approachable to me at all.

Anyway, next on the list is “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith because J.K. Rowling.

See ya,
Maegan

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith

51m4P63APoL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_I have been wanting to read this one for a while and I’m glad I finally did. Obviously I was only interested because Robert Galbraith is just the pen name for J.K. Rowling and I love me some J.K. Rowling books, but this book definitely stands on its own. It doesn’t seem even remotely possible that the genius who created the Harry Potter world and the genius who created this murder mystery could be the same person. I mean, they’re both fantastic, but they are quite different.

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” is definitely British. I probably didn’t understand a quarter of the terms used because they were so British. Some of them I guessed at, honestly. It was almost like parts of the book were written in another language, even though it was still in English. I think it’s interesting how the Harry Potter series is considered a children’s series, but J.K. Rowling’s idea of a child’s level is closer to an adult level from the standard of anyone else.

Anywho, my favorite thing about this book is that the title is based off of one detail that probably only took up about 3 inches of space in the entire novel. It’s fascinating to me. I also noticed that nearly every one of these characters smoke and they all curse like a sailor. Except Robin. Probably why she’s my favorite character.

The whole premise of this book is that a famous model dies after falling from her balcony. Her brother hires the main character, Cormoran Strike, a private investigator, to find out whether she was murdered or not. So the whole time, you know someone did something bad. And the whole time, you’re trying to figure out who and why but the pieces don’t come together until the very end. At the reveal my only thoughts were “OMG NO WAY” because it was kinda a surprise, but the surprise was more in the details that have been there the whole time but you just didn’t notice because you’re not Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling.

I definitely want to read the rest of the series. And see the BBC show, because that’s going to be a thing too.

Next up, though, is “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. It’s a short one, so hopefully I will get through it quick. Then I need to finish the other books I’ve been neglecting and start chipping away at my “To Read” list.

Wish me luck,
Maegan

“See Me” by Nicholas Sparks

201608-See-Me-TR-680x1020Let me preface this by saying that I’ve read virtually every book that this man has written. Every now and then, I like to read a good romance, and sometimes there’s even some suspense thrown in.

This book. It started out interesting, but by the end, I was gritting my teeth just to get through it.

Yes, there’s a love interest story line, but there’s no drama to it really. It’s a super typically timeline, with meet, meet again, meet a third time unintentionally, dating, etc. I think the author tried to spice things up by giving the main character a past, but it doesn’t do much for anything.

Fast forward to a big surprise, someone in the book is a criminal. There is so much potential for this plot. Instead, you just get stuck in a runaround where you’re not actually sure who the bad guy is. First it’s A, then it’s definitely A, then it’s B, but no because it’s definitely A, then it’s A and B, then it’s A again, then it’s A and C, but a very predictable C.

I don’t know, something about it just started bothering me. Like the story was trying so hard to be interesting that it just started being annoying.

In addition, the dialogue in this book is so formal. It’s unnatural, and off-putting, honestly. If you’re going to write a book in which your characters talk to each other, they should speak as they actually would in real life. Don’t try to fancy it up because it just makes them seem stiff and like you can’t relate to them.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Started out all right, but by the end I wanted to throw this book across the room. Probably won’t stop me from still reading Nicholas Sparks’s other new book, “Two by Two.” Don’t even really know what that one’s about but I’ll probably still read it.

I’m also still reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” by Jenny Lawson (have made literally zero progress since my last post), and I just started the audiobook of “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, because she/he is the queen of books.

Until next time,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling

dh-us-jacket-artI wrapped this book up a few days ago and have been meaning to post about it. It took a little shy of two years, but I reread the series! It definitely sped up near the end when I started utilizing my access to audiobooks though. Plus there was a pretty sizeable gap near “Prisoner of Azkaban” where I just didn’t touch these books.

I forgot how in this book most of the action happens in the second half. Then again, it’s more than 750 pages, so half the book is like a regular book elsewhere. But when I was reading I kept thinking of all the things that I knew were going to happen but hadn’t happened yet and it made me realize, this book is LONG.

Just so you know, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is not a good airplane read. I tried it and my hands started aching from trying to hold it up. So stick to your paperbacks and make sure they’re less than 750+ pages.

As always, I’m amazed at J.K. Rowling and her ability to create this world and all the things and people in it. It just comes off as effortless. I’ve ready way too many books where the author tries to force characters into relationships or gives them dialogue that just seems super forced and rushed for where that character is in the story. There’s none of that here. This book could be a biography for the way it flows and the depth of character it brings. I just love Harry Potter and I just love J.K. Rowling.

Side note. I went on a cruise to the Bahamas a couple weeks ago and I very nearly won Harry Potter trivia. I got 19/20 questions correct and had to go head-to-head against four other Harry Potter nerds. Unfortunately I was bested because someone else was able to answer what James Potter’s wand was made of, but it was truly a highlight of the trip.

Anyway, I just started “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson. I got this book for Christmas and I have been looking forward to reading it. I’m only about three chapters in, but it is hilarious. I am excited about this book.

I also started the audiobook of “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” by W. Bruce Cameron because I saw the movie and it was adorable, but I just don’t know if I can get into this book. I’m on chapter three or four and it just feels like it’s dragging. Maybe it’s the person reading the audiobook, or maybe it’s the book. Either way, I’m just not sure I’ll make it through this book. Even though I want to because the dog in the movie was beautiful and I want to keep him forever.

Until next time,
Maegan

“The Crown” by Kiera Cass

The_Crown_CoverI finished this one a couple days ago while I was on vacation. Mind you, it’s not a very great beach read. But it did the trick.

I was super excited to read this book and the one before, “The Heir,” because I had never read them and they rounded out the Selection series. Lo and behold, I started losing interest.

You know the whole book is about the princess/future queen and her search for a husband that she initially didn’t even want to have. In the end she picks someone she’s had probably one and a half conversations with. So clearly it is true love.

And there’s just something about this character. Her people think she’s a horrible person but her many suitors disagree. Still, there’s nothing really that proves that she’s not a horrible person. It just seems like every time she tries to be nice and the author tries to show that she’s genuine, she comes off as fake and it just really doesn’t seem sincere.

But at least I finished it. So now I am trying to finish “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which is a giant book when you’re trying to read on a plane. But I am also back to listening to the audiobook, which is much more mobile. Next I am planning on reading “A Dog’s Purpose,” by W. Bruce Cameron. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and I thought it was the sweetest thing so of course now I have to read it.

More later,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

hbp-us-jacket-artI thought it was going to take me much longer to finish this book, but I got through it surprisingly quick, considering that I pretty much only listen to it when I’m driving to and from work.

I’m just really excited now that I get to read “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” because that is clearly the most superior book in the series.

At this point, Harry Potter is 16 years old and has had more near death experiences that probably my entire family will face in all our lifetimes. And yet, he perseveres in the quest to end Lord Voldemort’s life. It feels like this is about the spot where J.K. Rowling decided that 16 year olds were old enough to experience some really messed up moral stuff and that is how Horcruxes came to be. I really wonder if the Horcruxes were something she had been thinking about all along or if they just came to here in this book. So many questions for J.K. and I’m sure exactly zero will be answered.

Not only do we get to read about good vs. evil and the links one man/monster will go to for immortality, but we also get to see some awkward teen romance, which just does everything for the characters. The one thing that kinda bothers me there is that Harry has just decided he likes Ginny, even though she’s been pining for him for years. She is too good for him, imo.

I want to start “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” but I am also juggling three different series right now and I’m trying to wrap at least one of them up first. Probably “The 100” series. I can’t wait for that blog post, because I sure do have some thoughts on those books now. I’m also still working on “The Heir,” which is part of “The Selection” series. Eventually I also want to get to “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” In due time, I believe.

That’s all for now,
Maegan

“Day 21” by Kass Morgan

20454076Day 21, meaning we’re only 21 days into this series and a crapton of things have happened already. Namely lots of tension, some name-calling, casual partner swapping, the usual.

This book is the second in the “The 100” series and it picks back right where “The 100” left off. There are a couple things that are mentioned as explanation in “Day 21,” but other than that it is pretty seamless, which I like.

So yeah, by this book these juvenile delinquents have only been on Earth for a few weeks (21 days because that’s when people start showing signs of radiation poisoning and the whole reason [supposedly] that these kids were sent to Earth was to find out if it was livable or if they would all die from radiation) and they are getting pretty good at setting up shop and figuring things out. Which is amazing because literally no one alive during their lives ever set foot on Earth and the only things they know are a few tidbits that a couple of the kids picked up in the old Earth books on the spaceship. Like this one kid, Bellamy, starts successfully hunting animals with a bow and arrow just because he read about it some. I don’t think it works like that.

Anyway, it’s more of the same (kind of) where all these kids are just navigating their new Earth lives and speculating about when the space people will be coming down to join then because by now shouldn’t they know it’s safe, I mean aren’t they looking at the data from these bracelet transmitter things that have never been adequately explained? Meanwhile in space, one character did a dumb thing and now everyone is in jeopardy and that’s a struggle for them all.

Eventually a lot of the colonists, a.k.a. the space people, end up on Earth and they are all basically useless and have to have all these kids who have been on the planet for a month to care for them and provide food.

The biggest thing about this book that gets me is that one character discovers that THERE IS A TRAITOR IN THE CAMP WHO IS DOING EVIL THINGS AND IS LITERALLY UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO BE CONCERNED, IT WOULD BE THEN.

I feel better getting that out. Now I am satisfied. I already started reading/listening to “Homecoming,” which is the third book in the series. I am simultaneously listening to “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and reading “The Heir,” which is the next book in “The Selection” series. And I’m about to go on vacation so I will probably find another read for the trip.

It’s a busy book world and we’re all just living in it,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling

ootp-us-jacket-artI feel like I’ve been working on this one for a while but IDK… Eh, kinda. I just checked and it’s been about three weeks. Of course I have all these books in both paperback and hardback, but I mostly listened to this one as an audiobook during my commute. It’s the weirdest thing but I have discovered that listening to audiobooks on the drive actually makes me feel calm. No irritation at traffic or that it’s taking me an hour to drive 14 miles. It’s incredible.

Anyway, Harry’s story continues and he is forever connected to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and just writing that once makes me wonder at how J.K. could stand it. But I’m sure she just typed it as “Voldy” or something like that and then did a massive find and replace. That is definitely something I would ask if I ever had the chance to meet her. So Harry is now 15 years old and in addition to being sought out by the Dark Lord he is also tortured by the most horrible person ever, Dolores Umbridge. Like this woman literally made him write lines in detention with a quill that uses his blood instead of ink. She dark as the Dark Lord.

Book Dumbledore (because there’s a difference between book Dumbledore and movie Dumbledore) ignores Harry a lot and then it turns out he’s kept an awful lot of information from him, but don’t you worry because it all comes out in the end. Lots of twisty turny stuff going on, but I love it.

Now I’m waiting on the audiobook for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which is on hold at my public library website. But at least there are two copies, so hopefully I will get it sooner rather than later because my commute this morning was much more dull without the antics of pre-teens getting themselves into trouble with grown men and women who are trying to kill them.

Bye bye for now,
Maegan