Atalanta (lothy) wrote in bookish,

Book reviews

Although I've been watching this community for a while, I've never posted here before so I thought I should! I've got quite a lot of reviews stacked up at my book recommendations journal, mayitbe_books (where I only review books I actually liked), so rather than spam everyone's friends list with copies of every single review, I'll just highlight a random few from different genres here and if you want more just search through the tags for the types of books you like.


Double Exposure by Susan Ford and Laura Hayden
One of the authors, Susan Ford, was once herself a First Daughter, the child of President Gerald R. Ford, and so she provides an insider's view of what it's like to live in the White House and have Secret Service protection. I doubt, however, that she ever found a body in the Rose Garden... More >>

Political Drama

The Race by Richard North Patterson
This is political drama at its best, with a main character so likeable that I'd almost vote for him myself despite being personally left of even the US Democrats let alone Republicans. His determination to stick to his conscience and do the right thing, even if it is at odds with the rest of his party and might lose him the race, makes him the kind of figure that we all wish was prevalent in real life politics. More >>

Science Fiction

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
This was reviewed in the latest issue of SFX magazine, and it sounded so interesting that I immediately bought the book. I'm really glad I did - I absolutely loved it. It's the best new book I've read in quite a while. More >>


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Strangely, despite the fact that I've never had the slightest interest in fairies, I've found myself reading a number of different novels featuring them over the last few months. They seem to be in fashion - along with vampires, werewolves and other such beings, none of which I am any more interested in than fairies. Despite the irritating mythical creatures, though, a lot of these books actually have very interesting plots so I now have quite a few on my bookshelf. More >>


Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
I knew I would cry before I even started reading this book, and I did, quite a bit. The novel is about a sixteen-year-old girl whose life is defined by something that happened when she was just thirteen; being found having sex with a boy. Her father still blames her, and most of the people in her small town know what happened - or rather, have heard a variation on what happened. Despite the fact that she's only ever been with one boy in her life, she has a reputation as a slut, and receives all kinds of crap because of it. There's also the added complication that her older brother got his girlfriend pregnant, and they and their baby daughter now live in the basement of her house. More >>


Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
This book reminded me a lot of E. Nesbit's or Enid Blyton's classic children's novels, and that's no bad thing. The premise of the book is pure children's fantasy, in both senses of the word, and I really do love tales of treasure maps and hidden rooms. I also quite enjoy stories with references to King Arthur. The children are interesting, Great Uncle Merry is a great, fun and mysterious mentor figure, and there are some good villians too. More >>


The Sons of Destiny series by Jean Johnson
Despite the somewhat corny premise (eight brothers are all prophecied to fall in love and marry, in order from eldest to youngest no less, bringing disaster along with their brides) this is a gripping series which is every bit as enjoyable for its plot and worldbuilding as for the romances. More >>

General Fiction / Other

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The brilliant thing about this heartbreaking story is the way that the author shows sympathy for every viewpoint and character, showing every aspect of the ethical dilemma which is at the core of the novel. Is it right to conceive a child with the intent to use her to save her elder sister's life? Is it then right to continue using her throughout her childhood, even to the point of organ donation? Is sanctity of life more important than quality of life? More >>

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
This book surprised me greatly by what it is not. It's not the story of a political campaign, it's not a novel about the day-to-day life of a First Lady. Indeed, about five-sixths of the book are set before Alice's husband even becomes an elected official. Instead, it's about how Alice becomes the person she does, becomes a person who would support her husband through his presidency even though she disagrees with most of his political beliefs and many of his actions. More >>

Non Fiction

Watching the English by Kate Fox
This is a well-researched anthropology book, written for normal people. Fox is English herself, and happy to laugh at herself - which, as the book shows, is in fact one of the defining characteristics of Englishness. More >>

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