August Reads

                I really pushed the line this month on getting my four books read. One of the books took too long to read and I had to finish up during the last week. But I still managed it, so that’s something.

The Four Before Me by E. H. Night

                I was intrigued from the start. Following the story to find out what happened to the missing girls was easy. It wasn’t exactly a nail biter, but it held my interest.

                The book had a very simple style that, while easy to follow, kind of left you wanting more. I feel like there were parts that could have been deeper and some pictures that could have been painted better, but the overall point came across well. The timeline became harder to follow towards the end with the flashbacks dumped on us. I feel like these could have been told a little differently. The information was necessary to the plot, but the way it was told didn’t sit right with me.

                The characters were pretty well written. Occasionally they would fall a little flat, but not every time. The false leads were nice and did well to distract the reader from who actually killed the women.

                I like that everything was tied up at the end. I didn’t feel cheated. Overall it was a nice time killer, it just wasn’t particularly thrilling.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

                I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this last installment. It was interesting and everything came to a close, questions being answered and all that. But I just feel like I missed the point.

                Characters are supposed to change throughout a story, but I didn’t like, understand, or accept some of the changes. Lyra became a follower, and that really bugged me. She was such a “save the day at all costs” type of girl in the beginning that I just don’t see how she became the “I’ll do it if you think we should” girl. And Mrs. Coulter turned nice? She loved Lyra after all? Enough to sacrifice herself? I don’t know about all that either.

                Then there were the subplots and tangents I couldn’t really get behind. Father whats-his-name (so unimportant I couldn’t remember) was pointless. His entire storyline could have been left out and the book would have played out the same. There were a few other points that made me ask “but why does this matter?” I found myself skimming the last hundred or so pages.

                The plot did get tied up in the end. The battle was fought, Dust will continue to be, the good guy won etc. etc. But mostly this last book of the trilogy felt like a chore to read and it was a little bit of a let-down after the build-up of the other two.  

The Accident By Diane Hoh

                This was a fun little read. I was one book away from my goal and with only a few days left so I needed something quick and enjoyable. This book really did the trick. 90’s horror is so cheesy and fun that I breezed through this book.

                The setting really came to life. Every time she mentioned the heat or the fact that there was no AC, I felt like I was sweating along with the characters. That might have also had something to do with the fact that I live in Texas and it’s summer time, ha.

                I wish the supporting characters had been a little more filled out, but I was still satisfied. Megan is so naïve and innocent, like a classic victim of any horror story. Juliet played the deceit so well. Even if the reader could tell something bad was going to happen, poor little Megan was oblivious.

                And even though I knew Juliet had a cruel plan up her sleeve, there were still parts to the ending I wasn’t able to guess.

                Overall, loved it. Thrilling little tale of suspense.

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass

                This workbook seems really great. Each chapter had an exercise to go with it so you can practice each concept. There were tips on how to write better characters, improve your descriptions, and dive deeper into a setting. I really can’t wait to use some of the exercises while revising my work in progress.

                What about you? What have you been reading? My “to be read” pile is getting a little low, and I could use some recommendations 😊