Tuesday, 30 December 2014

GIF Reviews: Rounding Up The Last Few Months Of Reading

I have been a terrible blogger this year. I haven't really had the time to blog and have considered just shutting it down several times. But I can never bring myself to do it. This blog has brought me a lot of joy and friendship over the past few years and I don't want to let that go. But it sits here, lonely and neglected, leaving me with an uneasy feeling of failure. I tell myself I'm just going to blog when I feel like it, but the pile of unreviewed books mounts and the task of getting back into it becomes more and more overwhelming. So, in an attempt to get past that and to start fresh in the new year - and see where that takes me - I'm cheating a little and doing the briefest reviews possible in an attempt to catch up, because I still want to log my feelings on each book but I don't want to write full reviews. So I'm going to do it in the language I'm most fluent in, other than English - GIFs, of course. Here we go...


The New World (Chaos Walking book 0.5) by Patrick Ness
In a sentence: This short story of how Viola came to the New World, and the crash that killed her parents, complements The Knife of Never Letting Go brilliantly.
In a GIF:



Rating: 3.5/5

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking book 2) by Patrick Ness
In a sentence: The stunning, action-packed sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go, that sees Todd and Viola separated and forced to make impossible choices that will leave you emotional, raw and bleeding all over the place.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 5/5

The Wide, Wide Sea (Chaos Walking book 2.5) by Patrick Ness
In a sentence: A short story that gives a little bit of background info on Mistress Coyle, Viola's mentor of sorts, and tells of the impossible love between a Spackle and a human - a beautiful, bittersweet interlude that deserves a book of its own.
In a GIF:

Rating: 4/5

When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon
In a sentence: Rugby-playing bloke's bloke Neil comes to terms with his sexuality in 1990s Dublin - at times heartbreaking, at times touching, the book is let down by several plot holes and a lack of cohesion.
In a GIF:

Rating: 3/5

Ever by Gail Carson Levine
In a sentence: Bland, simple god falls for bland, simple mortal and the bland, simple plot drags on through bland, simple writing towards a bland, simple HEA.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 2/5

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, audiobook narrated by Tom Mison
In a sentence: The classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is surprisingly funny in its original form, narrated perfectly here by the same actor who plays Crane in the new TV show.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 3.5/5

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
In a sentence: WWII nurse and awful person Claire is on a second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland when she is pulled back through time; she soon forgets her husband when she conveniently ~has to~ marry a hot Scottish guy - who is also an awful person who beats her, but that's somehow OK because they have lots of sexy sexy sex times together.
In a GIF:

Rating: 1/5

Forever by Judy Blume
In a sentence: This story of first love and first times is important and fills me with nostalgia - but upon rereading it's hard to look past the frankly bad writing and story (which feels blasphemous to say but is sadly true).
In a GIF:

Rating: 2/5

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde, audiobook performance by Roger Rees, Eric Stoltz, Joanna Going and Miriam Margolyes
In a sentence: A delightful performance of the classic play, I found it entertaining but I didn't ~love~ it as much as some of Wilde's other works I've read (a.k.a. listened to) this year.
In a GIF:

Rating: 3/5

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking book 3) by Patrick Ness
In a sentence: Edge-of-your seat, gut-wrenching conclusion to the Chaos Walking series that stays with you long after you've finished.
In a GIF:

Rating: 5/5

Snowscape (Chaos Walking book 3.5) by Patrick Ness
In a sentence: Basically an extended epilogue to Monsters of Men WHICH WAS 100% FINE WITH ME.
In a GIF:

Rating: 4/5

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
In a sentence: Rich white woman goes missing, the husband is the number one suspect - but it's so much more than that, and left me feeling very, very conflicted.
In a GIF:

Rating: 3.5/5

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
In a sentence: This was a reread-a-long, and I unfortunately didn't love the book as much on the revisit - but I still liked it.
In a GIF:

Rating: 4/5

Fawn Brown by Zoe McAuley, audiobook narrated by Katherine Kellgren
In a sentence: Fawn Brown is Snow White's overlooked half-sister, revealing the "true" story of the fairy tale. This is a short novella with an interesting take on the classic story, narrated beautifully by Kellgren.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 3.5/5

Salome by Oscar Wilde, audiobook performance by Rosalind Ayres, James Marsters et al.
In a sentence: A historical/biblical play with feminist undertones - although a little hard to follow at first, this performance really was wonderful to listen to.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 3.5/5

Language A to Z, audio lecture series by Professor John McWhorter 
In a sentence: An engaging intro into linguistics using a word for each letter of the alphabet as a clever and interesting framing device.
In a GIF: 

Rating: 3.5/5

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, audiobook narrated by Rebecca Macauley
In a sentence: I revisited this emotional and authentic story of a teen girl dealing with her mother's depression - and her own issues - via audiobook, with lovely narration by Macauley.
In a GIF:

Rating: 5/5

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta, audiobook narrated by Michael Finney
In a sentence: The heart-wrenching follow-up to Saving Francesca, this time from the perspective of Hot Mess Tom Mackee and his aunt Georgie - a revisit for me via audiobook again, with good narration from Finney.
In a GIF:

Rating: 5/5

29 comments:

  1. Excellent.

    I'd say I feel pretty much the same way about Gone Girl. I mean, I am pretty sure I made that face.

    Melina Marchetta, man. Her writing makes my heart clench.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! There were parts of Gone Girl that I thought were brilliant, but others that left a really bad taste in my mouth. I honestly don't know what to think of it.

      MM always breaks my heart and I love it.

      Delete
  2. I love your GIFs! Yeah Gone Girl left an icky taste in my mouth, I was impressed by how it translated so well to a movie though!

    Aww you didn't like Outlander? I haven't read it yet, but the first episode on STARZ caught my attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie was good - although the problems I had with the book were heightened in the movie. I'm just conflicted about the whole thing haha.

      I am sadly one of the few people who HATED Outlander. It was way too long, I didn't like any of the characters, and I could not get past the abuse. I am curious to check out the show though.

      Delete
  3. Hi Belle!
    I can totally understand how you're feeling because I've struggled with the same thing all year. 2014 wasn't the best reading wise but hopefully 2015 will be a better year for both of us. Look forward to catching up at an event soon x

    - Sunny @ A Sunny Spot Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy 2015! Yes, here's to a better year :)

      Delete
  4. I love gif reviews!!! And I also really enjoy your succinct summary with the gif. Even if that's all you ever do again - I'd be good with that.

    And Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son! such good books... :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry did you say something? All I heard/saw was Tom Hiddleston.

    I was just as conflicted as you about retiring the blog and the anxiety I felt of it not having an updated post was extreme. I still am sad, but I also felt a great deal of relief (see previous anxiety) at being able to just stop too. But I was thinking of something similar, once a month I'll review what I've read with a couple of lines for each book. Hopefully.

    But you're absolutely right, blogging is supposed to be FUN and you should do only as much or as little as makes it fun.

    ReplyDelete
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