Book Review, #3: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda (Becky Albertalli)
Two stars from me does not mean this is a two-star book for everyone. Clearly geared towards younger audiences, I had been told this was a “warm hug” of a book. It was not. The main plot involved a closeted high school student being blackmailed. Maybe I’m just old now but I couldn’t get over how exhausting and dramatic the relationships were.
Book Review, #2: The Shadow Land (Elizabeth Kostova)
The Historian is one of my favorite novels. I wouldn’t choose it for a desert island, but it makes a thrilling and gripping read your first (or even second) time through. I vividly remember a family vacation when my two sisters and I were all reading the book at the same time, grabbing it whenever another put it down. The Shadow Land caught my eye at the library one afternoon before a cold freeze (or bomb cyclone) set in. It is a much worse novel than the Historian. It tries to emulate the same plot twists and intrigue but the content just isn’t there. The most incredible scenes take place inside a forced labor camp, which wasn’t where I hoped (or wanted) the book to bring me on a cozy weekend.
Book Review, #1: Geisha: a life (Mineko Iwasaki and Rande Brown)
Geisha: a life is a book that will leave you pretty sure that the author of Memoirs of a Geisha plagiarized his book. So many elements of this book (an actual memoir by a famous Geisha in Gion, Kyoto (though I suspect it is ghostwritten)) are almost exactly the same. Maybe that’s because Memoirs is that historically accurate, but I doubt it. Overall, this book was poorly written and either provided too much or not enough context. Not worth the read unless you are insanely into Geisha.