7. Hot Dog Taste Test
The thing about navel gazing is that if your audience does not find similar fluff in their belly buttons things simply don't make sense. This graphic novel is sort of a memoir-ish book dealing mostly with food and bathroom issues, with full page illustrations sprinkled throughout. This is a collection of vignettes, with some longer pieces, and while there were some humorous bits, I was underwhelmed with this one. Rating: 2 stars.
This slim graphic novel has wonderfully atmospheric art, but I didn't find the story compelling.
There's a lunar colony, but it's not the utopia once hoped for, and people are leaving and headed back to Earth. The main character is a cop, and as the moon empties out, his beat gets smaller and smaller. There is a pervading sense of melancholy, and there are some humorous moments, but this is not one that will stay with me. Rating: 2 stars.
9. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
I recently asked my nieces and nephews to recommend books they thought I must read. This was Maya's selection. She's 13 and a half, and she and her sisters love the entire series. I've had my eye on this series for a while, but didn't think I was the target audience, so hadn't picked it up. Turns out my instincts were dead on.
This is falls into the young adult/fantasy/romance genre, and it has been compared to both The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. Do not believe that hype. In my opinion this book has pedestrian writing, a weak plot, poorly developed characters, and all the usual genre tropes. Not a single bit of new ground explored here. I was quite intrigued by the premise, but Celaena Sardothien, the young assassin, seems to lose her way once she gets to court. She spends an inordinate amount of time focused on the materials of her dresses, and the two men who make up the other nodes of a love triangle. What happened to the young woman who was the most feared assassin in the land? Does it really only take a few pretty dresses and some "excessively handsome" men to make her so shallow? Given her backstory, this is one traumatized young woman with PTSD, but oh wait, pretty dresses to the rescue. There are trials/tests in this story, but they mostly happen off screen, as so much time gets taken up with dressing and swooning. Sigh.
On the plus side, this is a really quick and easy read, and I was done in a couple of sittings. Also a couple of the characters love to read, however nothing from this story will stick with me. Making the character names interesting does not cut it. There was zero exploration of any of the themes that would have made this an interesting story, and I found it too superficial for my tastes.
Look at the Goodreads reviews, and you'll see that I'm in the minority. I can certainly see why my young nieces loved it. They are currently in the beautiful dresses and "arrogantly handsome" men phase. They assure me that a way more interesting person shows up later, and several reviewers mention that the next installment is fantastic, but I've lost interest in this story and do not plan on continuing with the series. Rating: 2 stars.