The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Sometimes I was a bit confused about who a section was about because the author chose to write vaguely at some points before suddenly switching to specifics (occasionally randomly switching back to being vague again for no apparent reason). This really reduced the enjoyment of the book for me. What was going on and what the 5th wave actually was unfolded very well, however. It definitely kept me interested. The end was mostly satisfactory and because of that plus the fact that I didn’t love the writing style, I will not be continuing with the series.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 57
Pages Read in 2020: 16,059
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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Murder in Christmas River by Meg Muldoon

I found Murder in Christmas River to be entertaining but also very predictable. The end dragged on. I felt like it could have been wrapped up much quicker. There were quite a few minor typos throughout the book. As far as a mind vacation, like most cozy mysteries, it was very pleasant. If you really want a Christmas-themed cozy mystery, this one is good enough.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 56
Pages Read in 2020: 15,565
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Filed under Cozy Mystery, Reason: LitHub Bingo

American Trailblazers by Lisa Trusiani

American Trailblazers contains fifty short biographies of great people from US History. They are perfect for a child to read on their own or even as a jumping off point for learning more (it would make a great base for homeschooling). I personally learned a lot. Some of the people I was aware of and some I was not. I highly recommend this book for kids and their parents!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 55
Pages Read in 2020: 15,357
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Filed under Biography, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Vine Review

The Not Good Enough Mother by Sharon Lamb

Told through little vignettes of foster kids she has evaluated, The Not Good Enough Mother is a memoir considering whether the author, someone paid to decide if other mothers (and fathers) were good enough, was good enough herself. She thought she was until her son became a drug addict. Throughout the book, she questions how she raised him and how their life went and what, if anything, separates her from what she calls good enough mothers and mothers who have had their kids removed by CPS. While it is very repetitive at times, the writing is really good and the questions posed are good for anyone who wonders if they are a good enough mother.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 54
Pages Read in 2020: 15,155
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Vine Review

The North Pole Challenge by Kevin George

The North Pole Challenge is a good enough book. It’s a bit slow and is clearly mostly just build up for the rest of the series. It ends on a complete cliffhanger right down to the very end being … I do not like books that do that. I feel like the author is trying to force me to continue the series if I want to know the rest of the final thought. Some of the characters are likable and I am curious about several things, but I doubt I will continue with the series.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 53
Pages Read in 2020: 14,962
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I’m not sure just what I was expecting when I started reading Slaughterhouse-Five but it definitely wasn’t what the book is. I found the tone a bit jarring, which was good given the themes, and a bit sarcastic as well, which I enjoyed. It took a while to get used to the back and forth randomness. It’s not a style of writing I particularly enjoy, but it fit the themes as well. It’s pretty short so it reads fast. Vonnegut’s commentary on life and war and people throughout this book gives you a lot to think about. While I didn’t love it, I’m still glad I read it and do recommend others read it.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 52
Pages Read in 2020: 14,644
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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction

Dante’s Path by David Meredith

Dante’s Path is the third book in the Aaru series. It picks up right where the second one left off. There are so many storylines in this series and the author is amazing at weaving them together and not losing any of the threads. The characters, including the minor characters are very well fleshed out and I actually care about what happens to many of them. The end tied up a few things, but also set up even more. I’m looking forward to the fourth book now! If you liked the first two Aaru books, you’ll love this third one.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 51
Pages Read in 2020: 14,413
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Filed under Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series, Science Fiction

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The author does an amazing job of weaving the story of the Holy Grail into a thriller. It sucks you in with over a hundred short chapters that make you want to keep reading at the end of each one. I did not even sort of guess who The Teacher was before the big reveal. That was quite the surprise. If you like thrillers, this book reads pretty fast for the length and is a good one.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 50
Pages Read in 2020: 13,934
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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Thriller

Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos M N Eire

Born and raised in Havana, the author was still a boy when Fidel Castro came to power. He, at age 11 along with many other Cuban children, left his parents and went to the US hoping that his parents would soon follow and they would be reunited. The book is filled with his thoughts and memories of growing up. How things changed at the Revolution. How much fun and trouble little rich kids could get into. His descriptions of Havana paint a very clear picture. It’s a lot of stream of consciousness writing, bringing you right with him into his memories. If you enjoy learning about the displaced or reading memoirs, Waiting for Snow in Havana is a great choice.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 49
Pages Read in 2020: 13,438
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Recommended by a Friend

Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim by Leah Vernon

Leah Vernon lives her life authentically and is comfortable with her whole self just as she is. This wasn’t always the case. Even when talking about difficult things, she still has a trace of humor behind her storytelling. Her writing is very engaging. Her story is unusual, and quite interesting. If you like memoirs, you will enjoy Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 48
Pages Read in 2020: 13,038
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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Vine Review