Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mini Reviews: Two Books I Read Two Summers Ago

Reasons why I'm a bad reviewer- it takes me forever to write reviews for books I've read unless I'm on a deadline. I'm horrible. I've tried to get better, but my reading to writing ratios has always been unbalanced. These two books have sat in my archive to review since June 2014. I honestly planned to write an in depth review at the time, but the more I would like at these two novels the less I seemed to have to say. These aren't the type of novels that stick with me or warrant having an in depth review for. I'm trying to also get better at knowing which books I should review in depth and which I should be quick and concise about...Hopefully I'll get better! So here are two books that I've dusted off my shelves to review (surprisingly I don't own either of these books for my shelves and don't plan on it).

Letting Ana Go by Anonymous

1.5 stars

Ana is a good girl and she feels as though she’s not good enough for the perfect fa├žade her family presents to the public. The one thing Ana knows she can control is her eating. Ana is spiraling, but she’s not eating it’s the best she’s felt in a long time. I remember loving Go Ask Alice in middle school; it’s one of the books that I consider to be a part of my childhood favorites. When I saw the this was free on Simon Pulse It I jumped to read it (that’s how long ago it’s been- there isn’t even a Simon Pulse It, now it’s called Riveted) and I instantly disliked Ana. Ana is my biggest problem with this novel and that isn’t a good thing when the novel is a diary. At first, Ana is a normal girl with good, healthy eating habits- until Ana’s best friend and her “perfect” mom make a comment about Ana losing a little more weight. She starves herself because her friend said it would be FUN. This is a horrible example of eating habits and disorders to display to younger audiences. Naturally, she runs all the time even though she has no fuel in her body- goes to rehab- then collapses and dies- the typical “anonymous” storyline. I’m sorry but this a pile of crap and after two year of ruminating on this it’s one of those novels I forget about, but once I remember it I’m angry. It left a bad taste in my mouth. These type of storylines make it seem like eating disorders have no chance of recovery and overcoming the problem; using death to display tragedy after multiple failed rehabilitation or attempts at intervention is not a positive message to send to younger readers. Also Ana was a completely judgmental twat to her mom and it only fueled my dislike for her and this “novel”.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 1

Villain Scale: 2 (very disappointed with the depiction of eating disorders)

Character Scale: 1

Plotastic Scale: 1

Overall, I suggest skipping over this one. It’s a newer anonymous novel so I don’t consider it to be a classic or necessary for your angsty teen reads (there’s better stuff out there). I suggest Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson instead because it’s a beautiful novel that portrays eating disorders in a stark, gut-wrenching story that has stayed with me since my middle school years.

Cover Thoughts: Typical anonymous cover with half a face in the dark. Bleh. 
13529368Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Narrated by Emma Galvin

3 stars

Tandy’s parents are murdered Malcolm and Maud are suddenly gone and she was the last to see them alive. Tandy her three siblings are the prime suspects behind their parents’ mysterious murder and she’s not the most reliable person in the world when it comes to knowing what she has done. Malcom and Maud were perfectionists and they always asked for more, did someone in the family crack under the pressure or did something more sinister lurk behind her parents’ lives. I listened to the audiobook of this novel, which probably enhanced my overall enjoyment of the novel. Tandy is an unreliable narrator, she’s evasive and talks about how she’ll just “save that for later”, which if I had read I would’ve called her out on her BS as being an overdramatic brat, but listening to a possible psychopath narrate is incredibly entertaining. If I had read that she personally considers herself to be unreliable, I would’ve probably read on to see if she was crazy or not, but as much as I don’t like James Patterson* this formula for the novel worked. Either way I would’ve kept reading. Tandy is a very unsettling narrator and that’s one of this novels strong suits. It made listening a fun experience. I still stand by her being a psychopath and I’m going to stand by her being a female Norman Bates. I don’t plan on continuing with this series because I don’t support this propaganda in literature, but it was a fun listening experience.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

Kick-Butt Heroine: 3

The Villain- 2 (what a cop out)

Character Scale: 3

Audiobook Narrator: 3.5

Plotastic Scale: 3

Side Note: I personally don’t like James Patterson because he has turned novels into a market for cash grabbing. He’s the reason why people choose to read books not even written by the person promised. Patterson doesn’t write his own material- I picture him to be more of a business mogul showing and presenting ideas to the publishers and then someone writing those ideas for him. It’s unsettling and I personally don’t support it. I’ve never purchased a novel by Patterson and I don’t plan to. (I downloaded this for free from Sync Audibook in the summer.)

Cover Thoughts: UGLY.
What are your thoughts on in depth and mini reviews? Which do you prefer? Have you read any of these novels; if so, what were your thoughts? Let me know down below in the comments! 

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