Mini Reviews: Summer Reading

My summer reading has been very hit and miss this year. | Book reviews from NewberyandBeyond.com
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Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books that have been… mediocre. Either they’ve had forgettable plots or boring characters or just weren’t my cup of tea. So in case you’re interested in what I’ve been reading lately, here’s a stockpile of summer reading that just didn’t stack up.

Girl on the Train

The writing was good, I enjoyed the perspectives of the characters, and the story itself was interesting. But I found the plot a little predictable, to be honest… I don’t regret reading it, but I doubt I’ll ever read it again.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Yes, Chef

As a former Food Network addict and a long-time viewer of Chopped, I’m a big fan of Marcus Samuelsson. He has a super interesting story–born in Ethiopia, he was adopted as a small child into a Swedish family. As a young chef, he traveled and worked his way through Europe before ending up in the U.S., where he now owns a restaurant in Harlem. I enjoyed Samuelsson’s voice in this memoir. It is quiet and honest, recounting past mistakes, failures, and triumphs with humility. Still, I felt there was something missing–probably humor, if you look at my past celebrity memoir list.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

A Little Something Different

I found this book to be cute but entirely forgettable. The romance was predictable, the characters were often stereotypical, and we didn’t get to know the main characters very well at all. The multiple viewpoints thing was a cute device, but it wasn’t enough to save this mediocre book.

Rating: Meh

Does My Head Look Big in This?

This book was one of my favorites of the bunch. The main character is a Muslim girl living in Australia, and she decides to wear the hijab full time, even at school. Her parents caution her and warn her of the difficulties she might face, but she takes the leap anyway. It was an interesting look at a group of people I know little about (Australian Muslims), but it never goes too deep into the religious implications. The book is mostly a YA story of friends, school, fitting in, and growing up.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

The Dragon of Handale

I picked up this medieval mystery on a whim, not realizing that it’s the latest installment in a series. The protagonist is a former nun who is attempting to decide whether or not to return to the convent. She lands in a harsh convent in the middle of nowhere, and she quickly begins to realize that things are not all they seem. The mystery itself is enjoyable, and I wouldn’t be opposed to reading another in the series if it landed in my lap, but it was pretty forgettable.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

Freakin’ Fabulous

Oh, Clinton Kelly. As I’ve mentioned before, I love What Not to Wear, so I knew I needed to pick up Clinton’s first book. It’s all about style in every part of your life, from clothing to behavior to throwing a successful party. Some of the tips were quite helpful (I showed my husband how to make the first successful poached egg we’ve ever made by using this book’s tips!), but some of them were totally inapplicable. I’m interested to read the follow up, Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget, and see how that one stacks up.

Rating: Meh

Food: A Love Story

Okay, this one was actually pretty funny. I’m not a fan of comedians in general, but I do kind of like Jim Gaffigan. Reading this book is like watching an extended version of one of his comedy specials, so if you’re familiar with his work, you’ll probably recognize a fair amount of material. Still, it’s worth reading for the added jokes and exploration of all things food.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

Girl Talk

I had thought this book would be in the same vein as Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse or Never Have I Ever–that is, a funny, sometimes poignant look at Millennial life as we make our way through our twenties. Although it had some of that feeling (and the fact that it was made up of illustrations was pretty great), I found it pretty boring and totally forgettable. Save yourself some time and pick up one of the books I mentioned instead of this one.

Rating: Meh

Have you had better luck than I have recently with your reading? Leave me a comment and let me know what I should read next!

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I’m a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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