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Review Date: 5/16/2017
My neighbor did some spray painting and the smell was something else. I grabbed a coat and left. But it was 11 pm, I live in a small town, and I hadn't brought any entertainment, so I stopped by the little free library and picked up this book, which seemed like the best bet. I think I made the wrong choice.
This book is sincerely awful. If it's supposed to be a mystery, it is lacking both suspense and resolution. If it's supposed to be a small town drama, it's missing any sort of appealing characters. If it's supposed to be a silly, relaxing read, there's a lot of (truly random) death. I cannot for the life of me think who the target audience could possibly be- all I know is that it isn't me.
NOTE: this book takes less time to read than my workshop takes to air out, and I read the whole thing, came home disappointed, and was yet more disappointed to discover that the place still smelled of paint
Review Date: 6/7/2017
Most of the stories are three star stories. There's a smattering of 2 stars, and a smattering of four stars, and even a few five and ones. Averages out to a solid three. I am subtracting a whole star though, because the illustrations that are supposed to be the thread tying this whole thing together are pretty terrible. Not even bad enough to be interesting, just.... really and truly and utterly missable. No one will remember these drawings after the book is closed
Review Date: 6/14/2017
I'm not a huge fan of mysteries, but I like a good straightforward read on occasion, and this was fitting the bill nicely until we got to the denouement. Are we allowed to do spoilers here? I'm about to do one. Stop reading if you don't want to see it. But seriously, am I to believe that there's a gem shop in Thailand producing high quality, well cut rubies, and that they cannot find buyers except by sneaking the stones in by circus? Even if one takes into account full import duties, the significantly lower price that a stone without provenance fetches means they're still losing out. I was expecting some sort of explanation for WHY anyone would be dealing in stones this way, and turned the page to find.... the book was over. Am I being pedantic? Maybe. But I feel like this mystery is a bigger one than the one solved in the book, and I'm disappointed.
Review Date: 5/18/2017
If you are the type of person who generally finds children to be charming, you will likely be utterly charmed by this book.
If however, you are like me, and find most children to be tiresome, you will find this book tiresome.
The writing really does brilliantly capture the voice of a precocious child. Points for craftsmanship.
Review Date: 6/25/2017
This is a TRULY strange book. Even in the wrold of I-tired-to-write-a-kid's-book-but-ended-up-with-postmodern-surealist-horror; this one stands out.
Review Date: 6/13/2017
You know how some young adult novels hold up and are really fun to read as adults?
This is not one of those. Clumsy storytelling and absurd melodrama. The ONLY redeeming quality is the fact that the plot is driven almost entirely by strong female characters. Unfortunately, all those characters are cliches, but a kid might not notice.
Review Date: 6/12/2017
This isn't so much a book as it is a loose conglomeration of marginally organized facebook rants. I got it as part of librarything's early review program- if I had just picked it up, I woulda given up during the part where the author, who has no understanding of archeology, tried to justify a theory that human culture wouldn't exist were it not for vultures. As is, I pushed through that, and it DID get slightly better, btu then things would go downhill for long segments.
I picked the book up because I LIKE vultures, and I wanted to learn something about them. I did lear n a few things, but mostly I got scolded for not liking vultures. There's a lot of scolding in here.
There's a long scene in which the author is driving along a road next to a windfarm, and she sets her cruise control so that she can give all her attention to watching raptors not get hit by turbine blades. She describes herself shreiking aloud in her empty car when there are near misses. She does not describe the near misses that no doubt occurred between her car and various woodchucks/squirrels/etc, because she didn't notice those- she was busy watching the vultures. She also doesn't bother mentioning the statistics for how many vultures are hit by cars while dining on roadkill.
That passage stuck in my mind most, but there's a lot of that sort of thing- very focused rants that last far too long and which are clearly responses to -something- but the something wasn't printed in the book.
The strongest parts of the book are when she introducing various scientists and their work- these people are enthusiastic, our author is enthusiastic, and while we are being told about the science, we get to actually learn things about the vultures that this book purports to be about.
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