It has been since February since I’ve actually reviewed a book I read. This is my attempt to catch up on reviews.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl blew my mind and I also really enjoyed Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects. So reading Dark Places was an obvious next step. I’ll be completely honest and say that I had to go to Goodreads to read the summary of the book to remember what it was even about so I’m going to direct you there for more information (pretty sure I read this in the middle of the night while feeding a newborn). I liked it enough to give it 4 stars, but I couldn’t even remember a vague outline of the plot. I recommend it if you’re a Flynn fan, but it was my least favorite (and the least memorable) of hers.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning
I loved Manning’s Unsticky, so I was eager to check out more of her adult romance novels. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is the story of Neve, who has worked hard at losing weight, in part to catch the eye of her college crush, William, who is returning to the UK from years in the US. Neve’s sister convinces Neve that she needs to get a little dating experience under her belt before trying to land “The One.” In comes Max, a coworker of Neve’s sister, who is your classic playboy. Unexpected feelings develop between Neve and Max and William turns out to be a total douche. This was not near as stellar as Unsticky, but not a bad romance novel overall. I like how Manning’s characters have actual shortcomings and fears and flaws, but Neve was a bit irritating in her lack of self-esteem and her short-sightedness when it came to William. I gave this 3.5 stars. Manning is definitely a romance author to keep an eye on and she has some YA books out, too, that I may look into one day.
The Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
I’d been hearing about this series for a while, but didn’t really think it was something I’d get into. Boy, was I wrong. The trilogy is the story of Amy, who is cryogenically frozen and put on a spaceship to travel to colonize a new planet. Amy is woken up early, before the spaceship lands on Centauri Earth, and finds that life on the spaceship, Godspeed, has changed more than she could ever expect. This is also the story of Elder, who was born on Godspeed and trained to be its leader. Elder and Amy must work together to end tyranny and rebellion on Godspeed and to uncover why Godspeed has not made its scheduled landing on Centauri Earth. In the last of the series, the two must survive an equally inhospitable environment with a past shrouded in mystery as they land and begin colonization of Centauri Earth.
I LOVED this series. It wasn’t perfect (I could do without the romance and some of the improbably convenient happenings e.g. Elder’s mission to rescue Godspeed in the last book), but the world-building was really neat– I especially enjoyed getting to see Centauri Earth. I also enjoyed reading about the politics and history of these worlds. As a history nerd, I was especially interested to see how Revis uses the manipulation of history as one of the major tools of oppression on Godspeed. I will note that I started reading this on audiobook, but that they changed narrators between books 1 and 2. That change of narrators was really jarring to me and I ended up reading the hard copy books of for the second and third installments. I’d recommend you keep to the paper on this series, unless you are less sensitive about narrators than I am.