April was a good month for reading, but specifically it was a great month for re-reads! Here’s what I read last month:
Killing Floor, by Lee Child
I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as I was hoping to, but it was still good. Jack Reacher is a solid character and I’m interested in seeing where the series goes. I wasn’t expecting first person, but Reacher makes for a decent narrator. I think the biggest thing that kept me from rating this higher was the pacing. There’s nothing I can specifically point to, but it’s never a good sign when a book feels longer than it is.
(read my ITW review here: Killing Floor)
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
I know a lot of people liked this, but I’m not one of them. It’s an interesting premise, and Ursula’s lives during the war were especially compelling, but I wish there were more of a point to it… or is the point that there is no point? (And then I feel stupid for “not getting it,” and this is the reason I don’t read more literary fiction.) The last few pages raise more questions than they answer. I very nearly put this down about halfway through, and now I’m wishing I had.
I’ve Got Your Number, by Sophie Kinsella
(originally read June 2012)
I’ve read this a few times now, and it’s just as great as always. Most chick lit I read is enjoyable enough for a diversion, but this was a much more fulfilling novel than I’d expected when I first picked it up. Sure, some parts are a little goofy, but others are pretty intense and emotional. The whole thing is just great fun.
The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
(originally read February 2011)
I seem to be in the minority, but this is my least favorite book in the trilogy. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was nearly as good as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I liked getting to know more about Lisbeth, but the main story just didn’t grab me in the same way (even though it hits a lot closer to home for the characters). Pretty much leads right into the next book, but it’s far from the worst cliffhanger I’ve ever read.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson
(originally read February 2011)
From what I understand, this wasn’t meant to be the last book, but it still makes a fitting end for the series. This one and The Girl Who Played with Fire are essentially two halves of the same story, and – to me – this is the more compelling of the two. I can’t help wondering what else Larsson had in mind, but this left me quite satisfied.
Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes
Wow. That was one of the most intense books I’ve read in a long time. I was taking frequent breaks, even though I really wanted to keep going, just because I needed to get away from it for a while. It’s a dual narrative, with the same main character during different times of her life, and it’s interesting to occasionally see glimpses of her current self in her past self, to gradually see how she became this way. It was really compelling. I’ll be looking for more by this author, for sure.
(read my full review here: Into the Darkest Corner)
The Lincoln Myth, by Steve Berry
Not the strongest Cotton Malone novel, by any means, though it starts from an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, while I found the history (both real and imagined) compelling, the rest of the story didn’t quite work for me. A lot of the usual players were acting out-of-character, and I think I would have enjoyed this more as a stand-alone political thriller than an addition to the Cotton Malone series.
Wit’ch Fire, by James Clemens
(originally read May 2009)
I don’t have much fantasy under my belt to compare to, but I found this to be quite enjoyable. I’d forgotten just how many characters there are and how much set-up there is, but overall this works well as the first book in a series – enough of a self-contained story to feel satisfying, but still left open for the adventures to come. I hope to be able to re-read the rest of the series before too much time passes.
Masquerade, by Gayle Lynds
It wasn’t until about a quarter of the way through that I really got into it, but after that, it was hard to put down. Between the international espionage and the questionable memories, it has a lot of similarities to The Bourne Identity, although it’s a completely different book. There were some great characters in this one, and I really liked the way the story came together in the end.
What was your favorite book last month?