Mini Reviews (16) – Beach Vacation Edition

 Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackarey
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Well, that only took 3 years to finally finish! Thackeray’s bloated and overblown “masterpiece” made a better mini-series than it did a book. The two main female characters seem like less likeable versions of Scarlett and Melanie (I’ve heard that Margaret Mitchell denied reading VF before writing GWTW, but dang!). John Castle’s excellent narration accounts for the 3rd star.

The Hollow by Agatha Christie
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2
It’s not often that I rate an Agatha Christie less than 4 stars, especially a Poirot. The mystery itself is certainly worthy of 5 stars. The Angkatell family are some of the creepiest characters I’ve read. I think, had this been a stand alone AC, like Crooked House, I would have actually enjoyed it much more. Poirot seemed tacked on, an afterthought, instead of at the center of everything (where he deserves to be, dammit!). So, 3.5 stars for its lack of Poirot.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
When my beach book was a bust I turned to an old, beat up paperback of Jurassic Park as my backup. I became so enthralled in my re-read that I ended up ditching my ebook in favor of an ebook of Jurassic Park as well (I didn’t want to bring the sandy beach book into my bed, haha). Even 26 years later, Crighton’s sci-fi thriller holds up remarkably well. The pseudo science is just plausible enough, the dinosaurs are terrifying, and Lex is way less annoying than the film version. I don’t remember if I had children yet the last time I read this. If so, they were tiny. This time around, my son is 10 and my daughter is 7, so I kept imagining them as Tim and Lex. This was highly disturbing. :/

Starflight by Melissa Landers
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I was skeptical about this book – YA sci-fi romance could be great, or it could suck. But, I read a review that said this one would scratch the Firefly itch, so I gave it a shot. I’m so glad I did!
The story reads like a season of a TV show – rather episodic, with an overarching story, and definitely set up for a sequel. The characters are fun, the romance is a slow burn (so much better than instalove), and the plot, though episodic, is engaging.
Now I have to wait a year for the sequel. 😦

Death of a Poison Pen by M. C. Beaton
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The perfect length for the car ride home from the beach. 🙂 Fairly typical Hamish mystery, which means it was fun, light-ish, and jam packed with eccentric characters. I figured out whodunnit just a bit before Hamish, which is as it should be. 😉


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