Category Archives: 3 stars

Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

In Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy deconstructs the idea that sex always empowers women. She argues that the sexualization of women sets them back in terms of equality and that they only hurt themselves by using their bodies as bargaining chips. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll divide my review into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Levy creates a compelling argument against overt female exhibitionism and sexuality. Continue reading

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A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

In an earlier review I wrote that George R. R. Martin writes in waves. Through his characters, he creates currents that culminate into a tsunami of rage and retribution. Hundreds of pages spent describing his characters’ mundane actions contribute to the development of their story arcs, and each detail adds to the climaxes of his books. However, this did not happen in A Dance with Dragons – for at least half of the book, I felt that I was knee deep in random, unidentifiable water, reading page after page of unnecessary information. Continue reading

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thomspon Walker

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

The Age of Miracles details eleven-year-old Julia’s coming of age in a California suburb amidst the decline of the earth. The planet spins slower and slower, leading to gravity sickness, shortages of energy, dead birds, and more. In the middle of the chaos Julia comes to terms with the imperfections of her parents, the pains of an awkward adolescence, and her feelings for Seth Moreno, the boy down the street.

Karen Thompson Walker does not focus so much on the science behind the earth’s slowing or the slowing’s disastrous consequences. Continue reading

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

After finishing Lauren Oliver’s Requiem and Marie Lu’s Champion, Allegiant marks the third final installment I’ve read in terms of YA trilogies as of late. While none of them inspired me as much as Suzanne Collin’s Mockingjay, each showed the writer’s growth and the development of his or her characters – though with Allegiant, I was left disappointed, more than I was with the others.

As many other reviewers have stated in passionate terms, the plot of Allegiant was its main pitfall. Continue reading

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Where You Are by J.H. Trumble

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Robert Westfall has never had it worse – his father is terminally ill, his aunts are cruel and unsupportive, and the life he always envisioned for himself seems less and less appealing every day. Only in Calculus do his fears fade, and it’s mostly because of his kind teacher, Andrew McNelis. Mr. McNelis watches Robert flail from afar and with time offers a guiding hand. But what happens when Mr. McNelis’s role in Robert’s life changes from that of a confidante, to a friend, to something more…? Continue reading

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Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3 stars.

Some books don’t deserve ratings. Not because they’re just that bad, but because a number cannot encapsulate everything found within their bindings. Dream Boy, for me, is one of those books – what I liked about it is also what prevented me from loving it fully.

First published over ten years ago at a succinct 195 pages, Dream Boy revolves around Nathan, a sophomore in high school who falls into a complex relationship with Roy, a senior. Nathan comes from a troubled home. His alcoholic father exemplifies sanctimony while his mother wisps around like a leaf. Roy gives him warmth, but at a cost – he doesn’t want Nathan to tell anyone about their relationship. Continue reading

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Winger by Andrew Smith

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Unpopular opinion of the day: Winger wasn’t that wonderful.

Seeing all the glowing, five-star reviews of this book, I wonder if it’s me who went wrong. Andrew Smith did a lot of the little things right in this in Winger. He established a consistent narrative, incorporated rugby and its rules with ease, used a boarding school as the book’s setting, and featured a nice friendship between Winger, the main character, and his best friend, Joey.

But I wanted more from this 400+ page book. Continue reading

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The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Have you ever wanted to hoard cats? Did you know that there’s a sonic hedgehog gene that can make your skin peel off? Can you fathom that pheromones could make you fall in love?

The Violinist’s Thumb contains chapters on all of these topics – it combines shocking facts with biological premises with the history of DNA discovery. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened acts as the autobiography of Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess. She writes about various anecdotes, ranging from her experience with a talking squirrel to her social anxiety issues at parties. Written in a stream-of-consciousness style, it will most likely please fans of her blog, as well as others who want a funny book to read.

While I liked Jenny Lawson’s voice and her crazy life, I myself did not find Let’s Pretend This Never Happened funny, which was the foundation of the book. Continue reading

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On the surface level, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about the death of a girl’s best friend. But, because that would be too easy, it’s much deeper. Vera Dietz, the girl in question, has spent a solid portion of her life in love with Charlie Khan – the same boy she hung out with when she was a kid. Then high school happens, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Vera comes to hate Charlie; however, when Charlie dies in a devastating way, will she be willing to clear his name?

Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn’t an easy read. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books