Monthly Reads | February 2020

New segment alert! I absolutely love reading but too lazy to dedicate review posts for every single book I read. Also, maybe because I’m jaded from school book reports but for the life of me, I also can’t write reviews on books, lol. I figured, a monthly round up is the way to go with a few sentences regarding the book!

All links directs to Goodreads.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Rating: 5/5. Holy cow, this was a page turner for me! When I described this book to Dan, his initial thoughts were 1984 but with a bit of a twist – which really is. I found it so thrilling and intriguing that our memories are being played with in this novel. I love how the author kept things very vague as well (where are we? who are these characters?) but it works so well with the book that the characters lack in-depth descriptions and it leaves the readers to imagine the settings and characters. It started off very lighthearted but as the story progresses, it gets a bit sad, a bit shocking, and by the end of the read, you’re left there trying to think how you would feel if this ever took place in reality.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

Rating: 2/5. I’m a little late on The Mortal Instruments franchise but I got hooked onto the TV series when I got bored so I figured I’d give the books a shot since everyone was raving about them back in like the late-2000s. A colleague warned me how horrible the books were and honestly, I had to agree. It felt like a fanfiction, where the author decided to insert herself into the stories but changed the name to make it less obvious (seriously – Clarissa and Cassandra? Clary and Clare?). Also, they’re 15 years old!!! What? I mean, I know Harry Potter was 15 years old as well but it felt very weird that Clary is running around NYC. The writing is very very cringy at some points with horrible humour and overall just a plain fanfiction-style writing and dialogue.

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

Rating: 5/5. I first learned about Emmett Till back in the 8th grade when we were reading another novel revolving around racism and discrimination. Since then, the name never left me and when I finally got a chance to read this, I was very ecstatic. This book dives way deeper into Emmett Till than what the school teaches, and it goes far beyond just “a whistle”. The author gives a brief history of racism and discrimination in Mississippi; a history on Emmett Till and his family; the difference between Mississippi and Chicago, and finally leads up the events that led to Till’s death and the aftermath. It’s definitely an eye opening book with facts that you probably never learned back in school.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instrument #2) – Cassandra Clare

Rating: 1/5. I wanted to give it another shot and decided to try the 2nd installment of the franchise. Needless to say, it’s worst than the first. I didn’t think it’s possible, but I felt the writing was even more cringy than the first. I don’t know how this series got so popular or how it even has 7 installments but I’d think I’d stick to the TV series instead. I don’t even recall any mental notes I made about this book aside from the fact that it was bad.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells

Rating: 4/5. Ok, “diaries” is a bit of an odd term given the genre of this series but surprisingly the Murderbot Diaries is doing very well and popular! I borrowed it on a whim from my library and got hooked after a few chapters in (very short read). I have a soft spot for si-fi and things going wrong in outer space. It follows a security robot tasked to protect a team that is out surveying a new planet when they started to realize that they are being sabotaged and in danger. What I love about this book is the concept of robots assigned to different duties; the notion of robots and humans living together; the characters were well established and all have different personality and traits. Unfortunately, the climax fell short. It was a good build up but amounted to nothing in the end. I even got chills at some point but overall, weak ending. I’d love to read the rest of the series though!

American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer

Rating: 3/5. I love investigative journalism because they do get down to the nitty-gritty of the issue they’re investigating. I borrowed this on a whim as well and it turned out to be very insightful. It explores how how private businesses turned a profit on prisoners and “contracting” out prisoners for manual work. It also takes a look at how prisoners are treated and kept in one prison, and to explore all angles of business, the reporter also becomes an employee of the state. I can’t believe the mistreatment, and how severely underpaid jail officers are in what seems like a horrible and stressful job!

Hockey Moms: Realities from the Rink: Introducing 20 Women You Already Know by Julie Bertuzzi

Rating: 2/5. Another book borrowed on a whim! Especially since it’s written by the wife of Todd Bertuzzi. It’s very cute and gives a bit of chuckles from time to time. Ultimately, it gives you an glimpse of what being a Hockey Mom is like and 20 types of Hockey Moms you find in the rink. Maybe because I’m not a Hockey Mom, I couldn’t fully relate but overall, cute little book that you can pick up if you REALLY don’t have anything else to read.

Not bad reads in February! I think I’d limit what I borrow “on a whim” since that tends to be a hit or miss for me and sometimes, it just draaaaaags on. I’m actually really disappointed in how bad The Mortal Instruments were. I love Young Adult, and even Teens but the first 2 installments were just torturous to get through.

To read more book reviews, click here!

Have you read any of these books? Got one in mind I should try? Let me know! And, if we’re not friends on Goodreads yet… what are you waiting for?

2 thoughts on “Monthly Reads | February 2020

  1. Ooo, I’m gonna have to check out the Memory Police & I honestly don’t remember learning about Emmett Till in school but, I just watched The Help & his murder plays a big part in the film yet, isn’t talked about much. Gonna add both books to my TBR! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. 🙂


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