I’m Back with Three Mini Reviews!

Hello everyone!  I’m back to blogging!  I had a lot going on this month, so I had to set posting aside for a bit, but I sure hope that the disaster of the month of June is over. I’m ready for July!  So here are three mini reviews featuring strong women! How wonderful!

TheWinnersCrimeCoverThe Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy #2): I didn’t enjoy this entry in The Winner’s Trilogy as much as I enjoyed book one, The Winner’s CurseThe Winner’s Crime really dragged for me, and I almost stopped reading it because nothing was happening. I will say that I was going through some heavy personal stuff at the time I was reading this, so that might’ve had something to do with the fact that I didn’t connect to the first 2/3rds of this book. However, the ending was really good and sets up book three nicely. I wasn’t sure I would continue on, but after the wonderful ending I’m eagerly waiting for book three. Unfortunately, the great ending doesn’t make up for the slog to get there, so this one just gets a 3 star rating from me. My Goodreads rating: 3 stars (out of 5). My favorite quote: hmmm … I don’t have one! You know I didn’t love the book when I can’t even find a suitable quote to use!  Read my review of The Winner’s Curse here.

AnneOfTheIslandCoverAnne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables #3): This was another enjoyable entry in the Anne of Green Gables series. Anne is now 18 years old (this book takes her from ages 18-20), and she is going off to college, joining friends Priscilla Grant and Gilbert Blythe. Anne makes a new friend, Philippa “Phil” Gordon, a wealthy, pretty girl stuck deciding between two men, Alec and Alonzo. (We should all be so lucky). The scenes between Anne and her friends were a lot of fun, but one in particular was absolutely shocking to me. There is a point in the book where a cat comes round their house, and the girls don’t want a cat, so they decide to try and kill it. This short scene made me drop the book down a star on Goodreads. It was the strangest scene and didn’t seem to fit at all. But, the book was published in 1915, so perhaps this is just a product of its time. I’m concerned, because in the previous book, we had a random swearing parrot and a bizarre storm that felt out of place, and in this book we have an attempted murder of a cat. What will the next book have in store?? At least Anne of the Island ended well, with a gorgeous classic Anne scene. My Goodreads rating: 4 stars (out of 5).  Favorite Quote: “I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you.”

BrittMarieWasHereCoverBritt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman: This is a cute, powerful book by the author of A Man Called Ove. Britt-Marie has left her cheating husband, and needs a job. She takes a temporary position at a recreation center in Borg, a dried up little town where the majority of people are out of work or have moved away. Britt-Marie unwillingly becomes the coach of a soccer team, filled with lovable misfits. I didn’t know anything about this book going in, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book does deal with difficult topics (grief and family breakdowns), so parts of it are extremely sad. Britt-Marie Was Here made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me want to play soccer. A beautiful story with an ambiguous ending, Britt-Marie Was Here is a wonderful story about a woman who learns how to live, and the unforgettable people who help her. My Goodreads rating: 5 stars (out of 5).   Favorite Quote: “A year turned into several years, and several years turned into all the years. One morning you wake up with more life behind you than in front of you, not being able to understand how it’s happened.”

Have you read any of these three books? What did you think?

 


22 thoughts on “I’m Back with Three Mini Reviews!

  1. So I’m reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time and am absolutely LOVING it. I haven’t decided if I’ll continue the series, though. Trying to kill a cat sounds SUPER bizarre and I agree very un-Anne-like. I wouldn’t like that either. 😦

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    1. Anne of Green Gables is such a lovely book! I think so far it’s my favorite book I’ve read this year. I would definitely continue on with the series – there is just a bit of oddness in places, but some scenes are so beautiful. And the writing is truly marvelous.

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  2. Welcome back to blogdom! I have missed reading your reviews. I think the reason that the cat scene in Anne of the Island never stood out to me is because that was common in those days. People would drown kittens (I can’t imagine!) and just not give pets the same status we do today. Does’t fit with how we like to think of Anne though… I will need to look for the Britt-Marie book!

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    1. Yeah, I kind of agree about it being a product of its time. I was startled by the scene because I think I was looking at this series as a kind of escape from the realities of the world, and it seemed out of place to my modern self. I think the scene was supposed to be seen as humorous, but it just fell flat to me!
      Britt-Marie is so, so good. Enjoyable from start to finish with memorable characters.

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  3. Yay! You’re back! 🤗 The Winner’s Curse series seems to be a real hit or miss. Huh? I still haven’t read the book from last month. Most of the Hype or Like group did not like it. And I heard about it from them early on. I’m such a fair weather reader. Maybe next month you’ll have a strong men post since we’re reading The Song of Achilles. I have a feeling that’s going to be one of my favorite books.

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    1. I started book three of the Winner’s Trilogy last night and only got 2 pages in before I had to set it down… It doesn’t seem very promising! But I’m determined to finish it!
      I just ordered my copy of The Song of Achilles, it should arrive tomorrow. I know nothing about The Iliad, so I’m really looking forward to reading the book! And it will be interesting to see if my thoughts on The Song of Achilles would be the same as yours, since you love The Iliad so much. But I’ve got to finish Raven Boys before starting that one. I really liked Raven Boys at the beginning, but I’m about halfway through now and have lost interest in it.

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      1. I give you some serious credit. I know if I don’t like a book I usually never pick it back up. There’s even some books I really liked and still haven’t read the rest of the books in the series. Oh, that’s awesome! I have a few books I’m half finished with and then I’m going to start Achilles. I should probably stop reading 3-4 books at a time. The Iliad is amazing! You will love the characters. This is a different version, loosely based on The Iliad, with a lot of differences, but from what I understand, the same ending. Knowing how it ends and knowing that Patroclus is the narrator, makes this story so much more interesting for me. I won’t say any more about it. I don’t want to spoil anything. I’m still at chapter 5 of The Raven Boys. I wasn’t thrilled with it from the start. Blue is kind of boring and I feel so disconnected from the boys with it being in third person. This book isn’t working for me in third person. I think it should’ve been alternating first person POV with Blue and Gainey.

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        1. I used to give up on books more than I do now. I think blogging has helped me finish the books – I feel that I need to at least finish the book in order to write a review of it. And I’ve also read several excellent books that I love that only came together at the end. I don’t think the Winner’s Trilogy is going to be like that however, but I will still finish it! 🙂
          Good to know Achilles is loosely based on The Iliad. I hope to read The Iliad afterwards and it will be interesting to compare the two books.
          I can see how alternating first w/ Blue & Gansey would work better. I’m not sure which characters I should care about and which are the bad characters, and I have zero idea why they are searching for Glendower and why I should care if they ever find him. So far it all seems mysterious and a lot of buildup with scenes taking forever to get to.

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  4. So glad you are back! Love the quote you included from Britt-Marie! Oh, my gosh, it is SO true. And quite sad really. (Good heavens, I only just found the “like” “button”. I have wished there was one before . . . Sometimes I amaze even myself!)
    I am so glad I don’t remember that cat part of Anne of the Island. I always wanted to cry when my dad or grandfather would mention that back on the farm in Kansas they occasionally had to “get rid of the kittens” and I knew what that meant.

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    1. Thanks 🙂 Britt-Marie is such a great book! Yes, that quote is quite sad, but helps put things into perspective as we realize life is so short and there is no time like the present! Ha! As I do the same old same old year after year…
      Aww, that sounds so sad to listen to about the kittens. I want to be one of those cat ladies with a million kittens around (all well behaved and litter box trained of course). So I was really upset by the cat scene – it was so strange, but as you say, that really was something that people did way back when.

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  5. From reading a bunch of Montgomery books, I get the distinct impression that killing cats was a completely normal part of life at the time. Protesting killing an unwanted kitten seemed to be like Fern protesting Wilbur’s death in Charlotte’s Web; you’re a bit silly and sentimental if you care, and only a child would think of doing such a thing. I believe it was just a kind of horrible “necessity” of the time. Without easy access to spaying and neutering or animal shelters as we have today, I imagine there were an overabundance of cats and perhaps not much else to be done with them. Several of her books mention the dozens of “barn cats” that some of her characters have and their worries that things are getting a bit out of control. However, I do get the sense from reading Montgomery’s books that she really loved cats and was not a fan of killing them either. Most of the cats who almost get killed in her books get quite conveniently saved at the last minute. 🙂

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    1. Yes, I do think that the cat killing was definitely a product of the time. My issue with this particular scene is that it wasn’t because of an over-abundance of cats, it was just the cat was coming around their house and they were annoyed by it, so they tried to kill it. With the cat killing being a part of life back then, this was accepted behavior, but this particular scene just felt unnecessary. But then they fail in their attempt and Joseph becomes a part of their life, so there is that. I do think it was intended to be a humorous scene, I just didn’t find it funny. But I do think that is my modern mind, and if I had read this book back when it was first published, what would I think? Who knows. Interesting to ponder. I do have a definite soft spot in my heart for kittens and cats. All animals really.
      I did find it interesting to look at it from a modern perspective and note that the girls thought it was perfectly acceptable, and they even knew of humane ways to go about it. If this particular scene were to be in a book set in today’s time period, the conversation would be drastically different.
      I think I went into the Anne series with a bit of a misconception. I was thinking they’d be all happy and carefree, but there is a lot of sadness and seriousness in these books. In book one, you’ve got Matthew, and one of the best sections on grief I’ve read in a very long time. I’ve seen the miniseries, and have been obsessed with the Avonlea television series for years, so I’m not unfamiliar with the world, but I think I always thought the books were “fluff”, but there is so much more to this series than I ever expected.
      Sorry for the delay in responding, I was away from my computer for several days.

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