Though I do enjoy writing nice, long book reviews, my normal modus operandi when finishing up a title on Goodreads is to write a few quick paragraphs instead. Here are some flash reviews based on what I’ve been reading lately. (For more, you can always follow me on Goodreads!)
This was inspired by my friend Emily’s book reviews on her blog.
The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith
While I’m most definitely out of this book’s target audience – I’m female and in a relationship already – I found this book truly funny and helpful. From the point of view of the type of person on the opposite side of most of these situations, I’d agree with basically all the advice the author gives out (yes, it’s nice for the gentleman to offer to pay for the date; yes, he should accept when I tell him I’d like to pay half; no, a gentleman should NOT wear a geeked-out logo shirt on a first date.)
But the best part of The Geek’s Guide to Dating is the voice, which is incredibly funny and jam-packs the advice with geeky references (including a how-to guide on dressing like geekdom’s most debonair dudes.) Even if you’re not in need of some lady-chasing advice yourself, it’s a fun book to check out and would make a really good gift for a geeky guy in your life who’s currently looking for love.
– 4.75 out of 5 stars
The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
I love sci-fi, I love alternate history and alternate universes, and I love kickass female heroes, but The Almost Girl just didn’t do it for me. Between the dialogue – which I found a little stiff, cumbersome, and unnatural – and the let’s-make-vauge-and-ominous-allusions style of the plot, I had a hard time reading it in a single sitting, despite the fact that I can read most YA sci-fi in a very short amount of time (when engaged.)
There were some problematic things in the story – a LOT of comparisons between the heroine and other, more sexualized and consequently inherently bad female characters being my biggest annoyance – as well as the fact that I’m just NOT the reader this book is intended for. It’s much more of an action-y romance than a sci-fi story, and I think romance readers will enjoy it much more.
– 2.5 out of 5 stars
Boxers & Saints by Gene Yang
#1: Boxers – Wow. Just – wow.
I sat down to review this after finishing Boxers – directly after reading Saints – and it’s incredibly overwhelming. This historical fiction graphic novel follows Little Bao from his quiet village to the capital of China as he attempts to free China from Western military and political influence and “keep China whole.” But his journey isn’t precisely like the ones in the operas he loves so dearly, and his path wavers in places.
While I’d recommend this graphic novel to absolutely everyone, it would be best read by someone interested in learning more about world history or a particular interest in colonialism in literature.
– 5 out of 5 stars
#2: Saints – To start off, allow me to preface with the following statements: I read this book before reading Boxers, which is a longer story and seems to be intended to be read first, and I am Catholic myself.
That said, I found Saints to be an incredibly compelling historical fiction. It didn’t shy away from the ugliness of religious-based politics – in fact, almost the entire story is about religion and war – but at the same time explored why people would choose to convert to a faith when it could be so potentially deadly to do so.
I’d recommend this graphic novel for those interested in world history, especially those not well-versed in Chinese history or imperialism, and for anyone interested in colonialism or post-colonialism in literature.
– 5 out of 5 stars