So many books…Mini reviews because I’m lazy

I’ve read some books that don’t warrant a whole post to themselves.  Some were good, some not so much.  I didn’t have a ton to say about these that hasn’t been said already so I’m putting them all together like a teacher sticking you in a group project with people that you just don’t fit with. Like school, suck it up and push forward.

 


 

Excess All Areas: A Lighthearted Look at the Demands and Idiosyncrasies of Rock Icons on Tour
by Susan Richmond

Everyone is constantly drunk, hungry, using towels and almost always prefer Coke over Pepsi. If musicians stopped touring Jack Daniels would go bankrupt.

6 dozen towels “for slipknot only.” I don’t even want to know why you need 72 towels, fellas.

I guess I don’t get the point of this book. The lists were already made available through a magazine and there’s not commentary or anything to actually read other than the riders themselves. It seemed pointless. The illustrations were fun.

 

Paradigm (Paradigm #1)
by Ceri A. Lowe

First off, the cover is a blatant rip of Divergent. That needs to go if the powers that be expect anyone to take this seriously.

We’ve all read the YA books about the dystopian societies that focus on some rebel teenager that decides it’s time to put an end to things. Paradigm is a dual timeline, following Alice – tasked with leading the first team above ground in five years after a superstorm wipes out most of the planet and makes it uninhabitable – and Carter, 87 years later, waking up from a fifteen year cryogenic freeze to find that things aren’t the same as when he went under and that his whole community – rebels and the powers that be – are looking to him to be their new leader.  Taking a look at the birth of a dystopian society is a little less formulaic than most of the books in this subgenre.

I feel like it could’ve been edited down a little bit, some parts dragged a bit and really slowed down the story with things that probably aren’t 100% crucial to be included. There were links to the past and present that weren’t overtly spelled out and I love that Ceri Lowe trusts readers enough to do this. So many authors feel the need to hit you over the head with obvious connections or blatant foreshadowing. Lowe sneaks ’em in there with little fanfare and and I loved that about her writing.  There’s a lot of commentary on global warming, human contribution to global warming, our often overlooked effects on the environment, our misplaced priorities and refusal to do much of anything to correct the wrongs we’ve inflicted on the world.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable read with a fresh take on a well-covered topic.  It ends with a major cliffhanger so if they’re not you’re thing, be warned!

 

If I’d Known You Were Coming

by Kate Milliken

With this collection of short stories, Kate Milliken shows she has a good grasp on character development and is a literary voice that we’ll hear more from in the future.

That said, I didn’t particularly love this. It’s good, it’s well written, it’s all…fine. It’s perfectly fine. The individual stories were fine and the characters were fine and the fact that the characters popped up in other stories, intertwining the lives of each of the protagonists was a nice touch. It was all fine. There was something about it that I didn’t connect with despite great writing.

 

 

 

You Are the Music: How Music Reveals What it Means to be Human
by Victoria Williamson

 

I’m a total and complete music junky. I get cranky if I don’t get to shows on a regular basis, there’s always a song in the background. Every memory has a song and every song has a memory.  As Steve Almond wrote, “The only thing wrong with music is that you can’t eat it.”

I should have loved this book. It details various experiments and studies done in the academic world about how music effects us, how it helps us grow, learn, and shapes who we become. It’s written in layman’s terms, no need for a degree and all that fancy book learnin’ to understand the text.

It’s a dry read, it took me a while to get through since I had to be really alert to start in on it again or risk dozing off. It’s not the writer’s fault, or the book’s fault really, but there’s a reason I could never ever spend my time reading studies or even conducting them.  There are some fascinating tidbits and good takeaways but I wouldn’t call it a must read for anyone that’s not in the field of music studies.

 

 

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2)
The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)
by James Dashner

 

Alternate titles:  The Inevitable Letdown.

I loved The Maze Runner. As explained in my review, picturing Dylan O’Brien throughout didn’t hurt any. (That kid is going to be a huge star one day, you wait and see.)

The next two? Oh James Dashner, you had potential.  The Scorch Trials was reallllly bad.  The only part that was needed was the last bit. Such a letdown after the world-building and relationship-building of the first book. Here’s a tip: Don’t set yourself up for failure by putting your characters in a desert full of nothing and making them walk for half of your book.  They walk, they sleep, the walk some more, they pass out. Then guess what? More walking! More sleeping! Strap ’em to a treadmill and give them an ambien. Same result. It was all filler. I know trilogies are all the rage right now but this series should’ve been two books at the most. The third book was better than the second but still not all that great. The ending was full of poor choices by Dashner, a lot of unanswered questions (a lot, a lot) and themes that didn’t really pay off.  It left me sad, not because of the events of the books but because it had such potential.

 


 

 

 

Yes, Dean. We’re gonna read the books.


 

The required fine print: I received copies of Excess All Areas, Paradigm, If I’d Known You Were Coming and You Are The Music from Netgalley for review.

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