Quick Review: Fun Reads

These books I read for some casual reading – no critical analysis involved!


  • Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
    • Series: The Colours of Madeleine #2
    • Rating:  ★★★ [ratings guide
    • When the first book in this trilogy came out last year, I was ecstatic to hear it described as Neil Gaiman meets John Green. Moriarty is the only other YA author I adore aside from Green, and Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, so I was excited to see what she would conjure in the fantasy realm. 
    • The first book felt to me like a prologue. The second book still feels the same way, although now I’ve finally realized that searching for the royal family is the whole plot, not just a little side story to be quickly resolved. To me, it feels like something is missing from these books. I can’t get invested in the story. The book feels too long, too drawn out. But if you like Moriarty, and you like fantasy, I think you will still enjoy this book. And if you’re like me, enticed by the idea of Gaiman+Green, do give it a shot!
    • I was a little disappointed at the typical teenager-y behaviour of the teenagers…this may sound like a silly complaint, but when compared to the teens of Moriarty’s other work, the characters in this book felt more stereotypical, less developed. I was disappointed by the bickering between Madeleine and Elliot, and the immaturity of Princess Ko (although her behavior is realistic, given that she’s lost her entire family). I don’t really think the characters are badly or unbelievably written. They’re just not what I’ve come to expect from Moriarty.
    • I love reading about the Kingdom of Cello and exploring its realms. I love how Moriarty handles magic. It feels fresh and exciting and I always wonder how it will factor into the story. The Lake of Spells was one of my favourite parts of the book.
  •  No Way to Treat a First Lady by Christopher Buckley
    • Rating: ★★★½ [ratings guide
    • Not the usual sort of book I pick up while browsing at the library, but I thought “Why not, sounds funny”.
    • Elizabeth MacMann, the titular First Lady, didn’t feel very developed. I felt distanced from her throughout the novel. I actually liked Boyce Baylor quite a bit, I found myself rooting for him!
    • The book was mostly funny and less dark than I expected it to be. I enjoyed reading the court room proceedings. 
    • I like that the reader doesn’t know who killed the President until the end.There was one point, around halfway through, where I thought “Wait, I bet this person did it!” but such thoughts didn’t distract from reading. It’s not like when I watch a crime show, always trying to deduce who did it. 
    • The book wasn’t spectacular but I did find it compelling, funny, and properly pace. This could be a good summer read if you’re interested in political, courtroom humour.

Does anyone have any recommendations of Buckley’s other works, or similar books? I could use a funny read like this now and then!