The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

306 pages
Dates Read: May 29-June 2, 2018

rsz_the_descendants My Mini Review: The Descendants is seriously laugh out loud funny. I had to physically let out a chuckle repeatedly while reading this book. I especially enjoyed all the “stoner” jokes, they were so spot-on. Matt King, the protagonist, is hilarious in the way he describes his daughters, his thoughts, and everything that’s going on around him. Before his wife, Joanie, was in her coma Matt never really interacted with his family. He didn’t know his two daughters, Scottie and Alex, at all. Alex was away at boarding school because she didn’t get along with her mother and when Matt goes to pick her up for her mother’s last breathing days, Alex informs him that Joanie was cheating on him.

I’ve never read a book based in Hawaii before and it was fun to learn about all of the islands, the locals’ slang words, and most of all: their unique food and snacks! I enjoyed how the story was written from Matt’s POV. Though it was written through a man’s perspective, Kaui Hart Hemmings is a woman. Most of the time, Matt is very clueless and “man-like” but, there are times when you can totally tell a woman is writing for him. A man would never notice things such as, “concealer that doesn’t conceal” on a woman’s face, they would never notice the different shades in a teenage boys’ eyes, nor would they say, “I like the way men cry.” The journey that Matt and his daughter’s go on to find the man Joanie was seeing becomes more about Matt learning to become a real dad, realizing he wants to make sure his daughters grow up right and that he’s the one that has to help shape them now. I loved every single character in this book, especially Sid. He added a nice, interesting side story to the main one. Joanie was surprisingly well fleshed out, I was able to get a good sense of who she was before she was comatose even though she’s in a coma throughout the entire book. Matt describes and talks about her in a way that will force you to find it somewhere, anywhere in your heart to love her. This story is about growing up, learning important life lessons, and the love of family. It was an easy, enjoyable, well-written book with a completely satisfying ending. While this book wasn’t exactly moving or emotional, I have no complaints and no reason not to give it 5 out of 5 stars.

My Rating: 5/5 stars
Read the full synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

The Upside To Being Single by Emma Hart

306 pages
Dates Read: June 4-June 8, 2018

upside-to-being-singleMy Mini Review: This book was so emotionless, humorless, and overall just plain pointless. A complete waste of time. I don’t think the editor even read over these pages before sending it off to the publisher. There were so many typos and grammatical errors. Though, I don’t know if I blame her. It was truly a boring story. I so badly wanted to DNF it but, it was short and I kept thinking things might heat up, that the pace would pick up… but, nothing ever happened. Every single one of the characters was under-developed. Mellie’s two best friends are so annoying and I kept mixing the two up, they were apparently “so different” from each other but, they seemed the exact same to me. They were always there, gossiping with Mellie but, you don’t really get to know them. It’s weird but, you don’t even really get to know anything about the main characters: Mellie and Jake. All they do is bicker and have sexual tension. There’s nothing more to it. All Jake does is laugh and smirk at everything Mellie does. It also goes on and on about how Jake burns pasta, like seriously, page after page about this one incident. The one short chapter in Jake’s POV was a complete tease, why was it there if there weren’t going to be more? I did enjoy the little bits about Louisiana’s history, I got chills from the ghost story (even though it is just randomly plopped in there and has NOTHING to do with anything). I liked that they talk a lot about the traditional Louisiana foods, too. It made my mouth water. The numbered ‘Upsides’ in the beginning of each chapter were sometimes funny, I liked them but, Emma Hart’s writing in this novel is extremely messy. There are plenty of noticeable flaws… there is absolutely no flow to it, events and happenings smash into each other. It’s just bad.

My Rating: 1/5 stars
Read the full synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer

206 pages
Dates Read: June 8, 2018

itMy Mini Review: I figured I was the only one in the world who hadn’t read this story yet. Heck, even boyfriend has read it and he despises book learnin’. After a short time on the ‘holds’ list, I was able to read this classic. I wasn’t able to find any favorite quotes because everything was so horribly tragic. I do believe everything in this story is true, I hate that there are people out there who are doubting Dave Pelzer’s honesty. His writing style is mature yet, easy to read. It flows smoothly and it’s hard to put down. You can, and probably will, read this in one sitting. I read it in two. I feel like a cold human being because I didn’t cry like most others did, but I did feel so much agony for him. My heart dropped and snapped in half plenty of times. This is a must-read and should be on everyone’s TBR list. There’s a reason it’s so popular. I’m not tempted to read the next two books in this trilogy and I didn’t so much like the ending of this one so I had to take away one star from my rating.

My Rating: 4/5 stars
I couldn’t find any lovable quotes in this heart-wrenching book. Read the full synopsis on Goodreads, here.

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

304 pages
Dates Read:
June 10-June 21, 2018

rsz_the_vanishing_yeaMy Mini Review: It really shouldn’t have taken as long as it did for me to read this book. I blame it on a mix of too many events going on in my life but also, Kate Moretti’s overly extensive descriptive writing. She gives us a clear and detailed illustration of every character, every object, and every single setting. While I believe Kate Moretti is talented, her style is rather draggy and boring to me. Zoe, the protagonist, had no depth to her, she was ditzy and dumb. She acts like things are so much worse than they are. She’s a bit helpless and that’s never what I look for in the main character. The twist in this book, though… WHOA. I was definitely caught by surprise, which has been harder and harder to come by as I read more and more psychological thrillers. Henry, Zoe’s husband, is so interesting– from beginning to end, I wanted to know more and more about him. I’d go as far as saying that the best parts in this novel were learning about his background and his family history. I really appreciated how everything in the story was included for a reason, there was no pointless jibber jabber. Everything tied together nicely in the end and I was satisfied with the way things went for everyone.

My Rating: 3/5 stars
Read the full synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

432 pages
Dates Read: June 25- June 27, 2018

rsz_nice_tryMy Mini Review: What an interesting book! Nice Try, Jane Sinner was unique in so many ways. It was written in journal entry style but, Jane writes her conversations with other characters in play format. Her journal starts when she decides to enroll in community college. Since she was kicked out of her High School, she needs to attend this college to get her diploma. She applies to be on a student-run reality TV show that is basically a mix of Big Brother and The Challenge. The story takes place in Canada which makes it even more interesting and unique.

Jane Sinner’s personality is incredibly lovable. She is funny and sarcastic throughout the entire book, even through her dark thoughts and emotions. I felt like I really got to know her as a person– she’s one of those characters you wish you could be friends with. I thought her idiom mix-ups were hilarious, they always got a small chuckle out of me… especially because her parents got so riled up about them. (I’m smiling now just thinking about those scenes.) In the beginning, it was hard to keep up with all of the characters in Jane’s life. There are so many names and barely any appearance descriptions. We never really do get to know what any of them look like. All we ever know about the main characters: AP and Jenna are both attractive (at the very end, it is also mentioned that they are Asian), Marc is a blonde… and maybe fat? Robbie is Indian, and Bonnie is always wearing something neon. We know that Jane is probably pretty but, is one of those girls who doesn’t realize it so it makes her even prettier. I still don’t understand who Tom is– he is only briefly mentioned in the very beginning so when he pops up again, I was always confused and could never remember his significance. There was a good amount of emotion and feeling, no matter how much Jane tried to hide and deny it. I especially adored how much she loved her sister.

This novel was very, very contemporary. Obviously, just being released in January of this very year; I should have expected that but, whew… I even felt a little too old reading this with all the millennial slang and social media mentions. It was easy and enjoyable, it just didn’t take my breath away and I kind of already forgot how it ends… it also seemed that the author, Lianne Oelke, had trouble with her past and present tenses in some places.

My Rating: 4/5 stars
Read the full synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.


23 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews #3 ~ June 2018

  1. I loved The Descendants as well. Its one of the few books that has had me laughing out loud and crying in the space of a few pages. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was just such a sweet, simple, and well-written book. ❤ I barely find books that actually make laugh out loud like this one. So happy to find someone else that loved the book, too. Have you watched the film?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes 😊 I actually watched the film first and then read the book and I loved that the book could draw as much of an emotive response as the film!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading & commenting, Noriko. 🙂 The Vanishing Year was a really good story but I just got rather bored at a lot of parts… I’m sure many others would rate it higher than I did. I am glad I read it to the end instead of DNFing it. I do wish I would have DNFed that book by Emma Hart though! Lol.


    1. Lol it’s a pretty short book if you do wanna give it a shot! Maybe you’d like it? I have a feeling you’d feel the same way as me though. I’d def be super interested in hearing your thoughts!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so tempted! Because sometimes I read things so awful I want others to read it just to prove how bad it is like I’m not making it up 😂 I’m definitely going to have to read it so I can share my opinion with you!

        Liked by 1 person

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