Top Ten Tuesday – Reviewless

October is full of Top Ten Tuesday topics I’m not really interested in. It’s not that I don’t want to put in the time to come up with answer. I’m just really, really not attracted to any of these book concepts. This week’s topic is dream author duos. I don’t lean towards reading these books, so… Instead, I get to spend a month making up a whole bunch of my own topics. It’s slightly exciting.

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been doing a lot of reviewing lately. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, just not reviewing. I seem to have hit several books this year that I’m not interested in reviewing. I was talking about it with a friend recently, and that got me thinking. Why do some books compel me to write reviews and others are a struggle or I know long before I’m finished that I’m not going to review them? So, this week I’m going to talk about some of these books and touch on why I chose not to write a full length review for them.

None of these books were truly bad. Some were actually quite fun. But none of them spurred deeper thought or longer consideration.


Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Had potential to open up depression from a teen male protagonist but was mostly predictable.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year’s Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nutjobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff’s perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they’ve got problems. But a funny thing happens as his forty-five-day sentence drags on: the crazies start to seem less crazy.


Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

The only book written in verse I’ve ever gotten all the way through.

Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.


The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

This was the best of the series. I liked it quite a bit. I’d forgotten too much about the second book to write a supportable review.

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose, he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of grey magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Netherlands, and buried secrets, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.


14 by Peter Clines

Super duper fun. But hard to review without giving things away.

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything…

adler olsen

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

This book made me angry. I loved the first book in this series so much. And this one was such a disappointment. I had to move on to the next one and just pretend this one didn’t exist.

Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier, and one of the suspects—part of a group of privileged boarding-school students—confessed and was convicted. But once Mørck reopens the files, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Looking into the supposedly solved case leads him to Kimmie, a woman living on the streets, stealing to survive. Kimmie has mastered evading the police, but now they aren’t the only ones looking for her. Because Kimmie has secrets that certain influential individuals would kill to keep buried . . . as well as one of her own that could turn everything on its head.


Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

So completely meh. Nothing offensive. Nothing stand out. An easy way to kill some summer hours. Or for a plane ride. This is good plane reading.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Conversion by Katherine Howe

I want to talk to someone about this book instead of reviewing it. I want to know if I’m missing something. This book had an interesting idea but it wandered away from the point pretty much immediately.

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.


Little Girls by Ronald Malfi

I barely remember this book. Like at all. And I only read it a couple months ago. There was a total asshole husband. That’s what I remember.

When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods…


I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

I’m surprised I didn’t write a review for this one. I thought I would. But then I didn’t. I didn’t like this one as much as Kuehnert’s other book though. And I wanted to love it.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. Punk rock is in Emily Black’s blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily’s all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn’t it lead her right back to Emily?


The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Another in a long line of mediocre you’ll-like-this-if-you-liked-Gone-Girl. Not worth talking about again.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life. When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.


3 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Reviewless

  1. I haven’t been liking the Top Ten Tuesdays this month either, so I think its great that you’re making up your own topics! Some books and definitely easier to review than others.
    I’ve been really interested in the premise of ‘Conversion’, I think the Salem Witch Trials are a super interesting backdrop, but I heard that the book doesn’t really end up being about that. Would you agree?

    • The premise of Conversion is what drew me to it. But what you’ve heard is right. It’s not really what it ends up being about. But it’s also not really about anything else. It’s quite disjointed and the thread that should have woven the modern and historic worlds together never really solidifies. It’s two almost stories that never come together.
      If you’re desperate for something to read and don’t mind some mindless, over the top, teen drama, there are worse things you could read.

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