Quickfire Reviews • Waistcoats, Perks, Symmetry, Beauty Queens, and Dark Minds

Quickfire Reviews

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Book: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Rating: 5 out of 5 teacups

It’s been a while since I finished this book but aaaaahhhhh I had so many feels! Everything was so exciting and I very much adored the girls leaving the school grounds (so to speak) and adventuring. Not sure how much I like the romantic interest bits but ughhh I just love the world that Carriger created. Plus, I really adore reading about girls being kickass. The whole secret agent thing is fabulous and I love just how much these girls care about each other, especially in this book when they’re hellbent on helping Sidheag. Ugh. SO good!

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 teacups

Alas, I wanted to like it more than I did. It wasn’t a terrible book, far from it, but I think maybe the whole coming of age bracket in the genre is just not my thing. Perks reminded me quite a bit of The Catcher in the Rye, which made me rage a lot at the time. I just have no patience for main characters like these and maybe I would’ve liked the book more had I been younger, you know? It’s not bad, it’s just not my thing and I couldn’t really identify with Charlie at all. I was just exasperated with him. Not the character’s fault, of course, I just have very little patience with these stories.

 

Her Fearful Symmetry

Book: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Rating: 3 out of 5 teacups

Niiiiiice book. Here’s the thing with Niffenegger’s books: I can’t really build up an emotional connection to them, I will not fangirl or moan about them, but I will be incredibly intrigued by them. In particular, Her Fearful Symmetry wasn’t very big on the likeable characters front, I couldn’t identify with any of them and the mystery was easy to unravel if you wanted to (I sort of called everything, and the things I didn’t call I at least sort of had an inkling about), but ohhh the story-telling was pretty neat. It kept me glued to the pages (actual pages, for once! I read a physical copy of a book, go me!) and I just had continue reading so I could find out if my suspicions were true. They were. I’m afraid the title sort of gave a bit of it away, after a while, but this book combines some of my favourite things: twins, ghosts, and being set in the UK, and I really enjoyed how it all turned out. Only three stars because it wasn’t much of a OMGWTFBBQ sort of book, but it was good and I liked the dark tone of it, the differences between the twins, the twins trying to figure out why their mother wasn’t allowed to visit with them and stuff like that. I really liked that.

 

Beauty Queens

Book: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Rating: 5 out of 5 teacups

If you do not like this book, please take your opinion out with the trash where it belongs. (I kid. You are of course welcome to dislike a book. Any book.) I loved Beauty Queens. It was G.R.E.A.T. It was hilarious and beautiful and full of sarcasm and satirical remarks on good ol’ ‘murricah and by god, I loved it so so so much. The characters, a bunch of pageant contestants, started out really shallow and dumb — just like you’d expect, but then bam! These are all smart girls who know how to do certain things and they’re winners at life on this seemingly secluded island. I loved everything about them and whether or not you think it’s silly to set up a story like this, it just made me grin from ear to ear. This is a book about kickass girls doing awesome things, quite unlike what society expects of them. I loved the inclusion of LGBT issues particularly and idk Libba Bray wrote a fabulous thing here and I am glad that Ren told me to read it.

 

The Darkest Minds

Book: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Rating: 4 out of 5 teacups

Oooh, I liked this book a lot more than I expected! Which is good because I bought a physical copy of it and I always get more upset when I dislike physical copies. The premise of kids with brainy powers is particularly fascinating and I quite like seeing it all through the eyes of Ruby, who is far from perfect. Most of the time YA protagonists are just good at everything they do and of course the hero isn’t the shy quiet kid, but I am always so much more interested in those characters. Ruby grows a lot as a person and while other readers might be frustrated with how naive she is, I understand where she comes from. The girl is sixteen, for heaven’s sake! I’m pretty sure I was worse than her at that age. The only thing that bugged me was that I didn’t really understand the implications of the “disease”, either because I didn’t get it or because it wasn’t explained very well. But there were kids dying left and right and there was no explanation for that, only that the kids who weren’t dying were ~~~evil~~~. So. I hope I can figure that out for myself before I start Never Fade.

Isa