Carrie's Vacation Reviews

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Carrie's vacation reviews! Since last year, I've been taking some time to sit down and review the books I read while on vacation, and this year is no different--though I'm sorry to say I didn't have as much time for reading as I thought I would on this vacation. I mean I certainly PACKED with the intention to read.

                                  (and this doesn't even include what I'd loaded onto my Kindle...)

I also, while unpacking, realized that my OCD had played a large part in my choices. Which is happening to me a lot lately.

                                        (I swear I didn't pack only black books on purpose...)

But all that aside, we were in Monterey and San Luis Obispo, and I ... just didn't read as much as I expected to. I was, frankly, a little busy staring at my surroundings, going to see otters in the wild, touring wineries and vineyards, going to Hurst castle (again!), hanging out in downtown San Luis Obispo, discovering and falling in love with AN OLIVE OIL BAR (seriously, we were doing shots of olive oil and it was the best thing ever), and taking drives along the coast.

 (one of my favorite reading spots, because the view)

Seriously, when you have scenery like that around you, you spend a lot of time sitting there with a book in your lap, staring at the ocean or the view instead! BUT I did manage to get into three books, and they were good ones. So here we go!

The Truth About Alice: This is a book that somehow ended up on my Kindle--I don't know how--and that I, for some reason, started reading our first night away. All completely unintentional. And it was ... absolutely phenomenal. This isn't the sort of book I normally read. I'm more of a fantasy fan myself, b/c I like my reading to be an escape--not about issues. I'm not really sure HOW I came by this book, but once I started it, I didn't want to stop. It was both painful and horrifying, but at the same time completely truthful--and a stark characterization at how easily and quickly gossip can get out of control. I found the use of different points of view to be exactly perfect in this book, and was impressed at how even the would-be villains of the story became sympathetic characters, with their own lists of issues and difficulties. In the end, I wanted the book to continue, and was very sorry to let go of the characters. Very, very well done.

Three Dark Crowns: This was a book that had been recommended to me by some people who I very much respect, so I was all over it when it first released. This was a tricky one for me, though, and I ended up not giving it a star rating at all, partially b/c I'm still carrying on a silent protest against GR for not giving us more options for half-points! This was a solid 3.5 for me, because it did some of the things I dislike the most in books that encompass a large world: It didn't spend enough time on the world itself, or on developing the characters. This is a BIG BIG CONCEPT, and I was literally drooling to understand more of the world, how it came to be that way, what the rules were, and the biggest question of all--WHY. Felt a lot like I had stumbled into the second book of a series, where the first book built the world and characters, and the second book depended on the reader coming in with that knowledge in hand. I also wanted more from the characters, who were a bit flat to me.

That said, this truly is a phenomenal world, and the concept is so dark and twisty that I can't help but love it. And the ending--wow. I did NOT see that coming, but the author did a phenomenal job of building up to it, so that once you got there, you realized that there had been ALL THE SIGNS, and you'd just missed them. So kudos on that.

Will I be buying the next book? Yes. Do I hope it does more building out of the world, and differentiation between the characters? Absolutely. B/c this is a world and a concept that deserves it.

I also started Aerie while I was gone, and it's ... predictably fantastical and confusing all at once. I'm still working on that one, though, so you'll have to wait for a review. To see all my reviews--and what I'm currently reading (probably about twenty books at any given time), check out my GR timeline at I always check my mail there, so if you have thoughts about books or want to dish about what's coming out, drop me a line! And GIVE ME BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS. I have another week off coming up at the end of December, and if there's something I absolutely have to read, I want to know about it!

Until next time, Glass Housers, happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you're all staying warm out there!

Carrie White-Parrish 
and the GH Fam 

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