Nowhere But Home and Ten Tiny Breaths [thoughts: mini editions]

Nowhere But HomeNowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
Goodreads | Book Depository
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Series: nope

Why I read this: This book was getting a lot of positive reviews and it sounded fun.

What it’s about: A woman who had a hard time growing up goes back home to Smalltown, Texas and tries to find herself, more or less.

How I feel about it: It was okay. I thought parts of it were incredibly dramatic and unrealistic. There was one major scene and I think a few others (it’s been a while since I read it) where private things happened in a largely public setting. Stuff like that makes me cringe. I mean, maybe it could happen and I’m sure even the drama can be bigger in Texas, but if stuff like that does happen in real life, I never want to find out. There was also some stuff with the Queenie’s job that was kind of sketchy, I am not sure on the rules of it at all but it seemed unrealistic. Plus, her reactions to some of the events that took place were too easy. The whole book felt too easy for me. The romance was predictable. HOWEVER: Overall it was light and enjoyable. Not a bad read, just not something I loved. It had some heartfelt, warm moments involving family and moving on from the past. I liked Queenie and her family, too.

Would I read it again? No, I don’t see myself wanting to revisit this story.

Would I recommend it? If you’re looking for something that might be kind of silly but with a lot of heart!

Do I plan on reading more by the author? I would read more of her work.

 Liza Palmer‘s website and twitter

Ten Tiny BreathsTen Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Goodreads | Book Depository
Release Date: December 11th 2012
Publisher: Papoti Books
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1

Why I read this: I saw this book mentioned a lot. It seemed like an emotional New Adult book.

What it’s about: A woman and her young sister move to find a new life years after tragedy, I’m not sure how to explain this one well.

How I feel about it: I did not like this book. I didn’t even read all of it, I skimmed the end because I was curious. I feel like Kacey was written to seem so tough that she just lost her reality. She just came off as a caricature of the angry/hurt girl. I didn’t feel anything genuine from her character. The whole story also felt extremely dramatic, it felt like a fanfic. When the “twist” happened, I was just…completely turned off. I skimmed everything after that. Also, taking ten tiny breaths doesn’t seem like it would be very helpful. I don’t get it.

Would I read it again? No.

Would I recommend it? No, but if it sounds like a story you might like, go for it!

Do I plan on reading more by the author? I don’t think so, it’s not my type of writing.

K.A. Tucker‘s website and twitter

The Goldfinch and The Ocean at the End of the Lane [mini reviews]

The Goldfinch coverThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: October 22nd 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Series: none

Goodreads description: A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld

I’ve seen The Goldfinch on some best of the year lists and prominently displayed at bookstores. I wasn’t even sure what this book was about, but I decided to give it a go! As the description states, Theo survives a traumatic experience but loses his mom. Afterwards, he has to find a place to live, people to connect with, and a way to move on.

I found it easy to empathize with Theo most of the time, but sometimes I just did not understand his choices. He made mistakes, which is normal. He was going through a lot and mainly on his own. However, I could never really follow how he made some decisions, and the more he did, the less I cared. I was really close to not finishing this book, but the underlying mystery of the painting kept me going.  I know there was a message intended to go with the story, but only because it’s clearly stated in the last few pages. I can kind of see what the gist of it was, with choices and mistakes and connections, but I also feel like I did not get anything from this book on a personal level. I understand what it was trying to do, but I didn’t feel much about it.

Annoyances: Two different times (maybe more) the narrator just tells you something will happen or you’ll see a character again. The summary at the end of the book was very “here’s what this was.”

The Goldfinch didn’t really work for me, but it could very well just be me. The Goodreads average is 4.18! Have you read it? Do you plan to read it? 

 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane coverThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: June 18th 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Series: none

Goodreads description: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

I have such mixed results with Gaiman’s work. I really loved Good Omens, thought Stardust was okay, can’t get through American Gods (though I like the idea of what’s going on), and I didn’t really like The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Honestly, I found Ocean Lane boring. The concept of the other world/old world and the ocean itself were intriguing to me, but the actual story felt tired. For a fantasy, nothing really excited me or sparked my interest. I didn’t love the writing, either. It just felt like a variation of a lot of stories that have been told. The “bad guy” just felt like a caricature. I felt very detached from the whole story. I think there was a lot of deep and meaningful messages being hinted at because of the paragraph I left out of the GR description, but I couldn’t feel the message.  I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t find anything to hold onto from it.

Sadly, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was also not for me. It also seems widely loved and the GR average is 4.05. Have you read this one? Do you plan to?