Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens / ★★★★☆

Kya knew judgment had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the players. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.

This book had its obvious imperfections, but I still found it to be a compelling, entertaining read. About Kya, the “Marsh Girl,” who was abandoned by her family at a very young age, we follow her as she grows up in isolation in a North Carolina marsh. The book opens with with the death  of Chase Matthews, former star quarterback, in the marsh.

This is a slow read, and as slow as it was I never really found myself bored, but because it’s about a girl living by herself in the marsh, it can feel a little stifling. Still, I found that worked for it. It alternates between the past as we watch Kya growing up, and the present, as investigators try to solve the mystery of Chase Matthews’ death. I thought it helped pace the book well and gave us a little reprieve from Kya’s solitary world. I found this book compelling and unique, upsetting and frustrating at times, but overall not as dark as I expected it to be. Once I finished it, I had an “I see what you did there” moment when I fully understood how the author tied all the elements she used in this book together. To say anything would be to spoil it, but while I didn’t find perhaps as shocking as it meant to be, I thought it was satisfyingly clever.

Like I said, this book did have some obvious imperfections. For as beautiful a the writing was, I found it to be inconsistent at times, especially once we crossed over into the second half of the book and the plot began to pick up. I’d gotten used to the slow prose depicting Kya’s days when suddenly parts felt cheaply summarized, or the dialogue a little tacky. The pacing, which had been fairly consistent for the first half, starts to jump all over the place. I didn’t think it was terrible, just very noticeable. And in the intermediary chapters where two officers try to uncover the cause of Chase Matthews’ death, I don’t know if it was intentional, but these guys had no personalities. I couldn’t tell one apart from the other, I don’t even remember their names, and it made it a bit hard to focus on those chapters sometimes. Fortunately, they were always short.

But while imperfect, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It’s a slow, thought-provoking read that I do recommend if you’re intrigued by all the hype around it. I would just recommend you set your expectations for something interesting and entertaining enough, but not a masterpiece.

Some Books I Read Over The Last Few Months

My reading habits in 2019 were severely inconsistent, but I just wanted to write a few mini reviews for the last several books I read this year to kickstart me into this year. I hope to read more, but I’ve been hesitant about deciding my reading goal for this year until I see how it goes for a few weeks!

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Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt / ★★★★★

Summary: Theo Decker survives a terrible accident that kills his mother, and he escapes the scene with a priceless 17th century painting that she loved. In the ensuing years, Theo bounces from  his rich friend’s house, to Las Vegas, to an antique shop in New York, the painting always in his mind. As Theo gets older, the painting, the influences around him, and his own aching heart lead him down increasingly dark paths.

But when I think of you, it’s as if you’ve gone away to sea on a ship – out in a foreign brightness where there are no paths, only stars and sky.

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Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis / ★★★★1/2

Summary: Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

Because there are others like him still. Tonight they used words they know, words that don’t bother people anymore. They said bitch. They told another girl they would put their dicks in her mouth. No one protested because this is our language now. But then I used my words, strung in phrases that cut deep, and people paid attention; people gasped. People didn’t know what to think.

My language is shocking.

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Book Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton / ★★★★☆

Summary: Louise is a broke writer trying to survive in New York City when she meets the wealthy, vivacious, larger-than-life Lavinia. Louise wants to be Lavinia’s best friend, she wants to have what she has, and she wants to be her, and the two strike up a friendship, which evolves into something all-encompassing, intoxicating, and tragic.

It didn’t matter if you weren’t special, she’d say, or even if you weren’t pretty, not even by the standards of Devonshire, New Hampshire, as long as you wanted it badly enough. The city would swoop you up and carry you skyward to all your vaulted aspirations; every single party on every single night in that whole, glistening, glaring city would make you feel like you were the only person in the world, and also the most special, and also the most loved. 

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Book Review: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer & Stephen Gilpin


Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer & Stephen Gilpin (Wires and Nerve, Volume 2) / ★★★★☆

Summary: Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★

Movie star Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the story of her life, of her rise to fame and fortune, and of her seven marriages. She chooses unknown journalist Monique Grant to do the job, and no one is more surprised than Monique herself. As Evelyn’s story unravels, however, the connection between them begins to unravel, in a story of tragedy and love.

Movie stars are movie stars are movie stars. Sure, we all fade after a while. We are human, full of flaws like anyone else. But we are the chosen ones because we are extraordinary.

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Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (Creekwood #2) / ★★★★☆

Leah Burke is in her senior year of high school, and she’s not very good with goodbyes, with interpreting the intentions of others, and dealing with her own problems most of the time. So when her friend group starts to rupture with fighting, breakups, and college decisions, Leah’s anxiety runs high. Especially when she realizes she might be in love with one of them.

It’s strange, because good-byes are a thing that I can understand intellectually, but they almost never feel real. Which makes it hard to brace for impact. I don’t know how to miss people when they’re standing right in front of me. 

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Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (Monsters of Verity #1)/ ★★★ 1/2

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters.

It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he felt human only after doing something monstrous. 

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Book Review: Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan


Rainbirds by Clarissa Geonawan / ★★ 1/2

Summary: Ren Ishida’s sister is murdered one rainy night in small town in Japan, and there are no leads. When Ren goes to conclude his sister’s affairs, he is offered her teaching job, meets those who knew her, and begins to unravel the secrets of her life.

“Remember this, Ren. Sadness alone can’t harm anyone. It’s what you do when you’re sad that can hurt you and those around you.”  

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