Brief Thoughts: The Riddles of the Hobbit and Bone Gap

Another quick review post already? Hrm, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve read a book I could really sink into. My dad and sister’s visit disrupted my habit, and now things are starting to get hectic around here since I’ve only got a couple months left before I move back home! I’m cramming my weekends full with trips and my weekdays full with planning those trips πŸ˜› I’ve been reading, but obviously not blogging much so I’m trying to clear out some backlog with these quick review brief thoughts posts (re-naming theses posts because I think ‘brief thoughts’ is a better descriptor).

  • The Riddles of The Hobbit by Adam Roberts
    • Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜… [ratings guide]
    • There are some solidly interesting points in Roberts’ book that could have made for a nic essay. As it stands, I found there was too much rambling and wandering from the topic of ‘riddles in The Hobbit‘. I often found myself thinking, β€œWhat does this have to do with anything?” I do enjoy an interesting tangent, even if only semi-related, but this was pushing it for me. 
    • Some of Robert’s arguments are extremely stretched beyond what’s really conceivable, but that’s part of the fun. You can really disprove anything he says, so why not come at it from a creative angle? 
    • Final evaluation – some parts of value, some parts of fluff. Difficult to recommend one way or the other.
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
    • Rating: β˜…β˜…Β½ [ratings guide]
    • Another book I accidentally read in an evening!
    • This one fell short of the hype for me, in a similar manner that Salt & Storm did (though I found this book more ‘blah’) – I was hoping for a more mystical, surreal tale. The touches of magical realism that were there weren’t enough to feed my appetite for the stuff. There are some interesting components, but Roza’s story fell flat for me, and that’s the central part of the book.

Quick Review: Breezy Summer Reads

I read each of these books – one young adult and one middle grade – in one sitting. 

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    • Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜… [ratings guide
    • The second book I ever purchased solely due to hype
    • I really liked the narrative style – without it, this would have been a one or two star book.
      • Some people don’t like broken lines in their prose novels. To me it’s either annoying if done intrusively, or it creates a rhythm that suits certain characters’ personalities. I think the use of broken lines suits Candace’s dramatic, whimsical personality, and I don’t think they’re overused.
    • Not sure how I feel about the characters. I guess they felt realistic but they didn’t really compel me.
      • I was not expecting this book to be so much about racism or inter-generational family conflicts.
      • But really it’s all about rich people problems so if you’re not into that, stay away.
    • The big twist was something of a disappointment (as it pretty much was bound to be after all the hype), but especially because it was very similar to what I had just read in another book.
        • SPOILERS (highlight to see):
        • I thought there would still be more after the fire reveal, about when she hit her head…but then it just turned out to be she was so traumatized she blacked everything out. I thought maybe the big twist

        • I wonder how the twist would stand up on a re-read, i.e. how obvious the clues would be. The fact that her friends were dead was not a huge shocker, but the fire and how it came about was interesting (if I hadn’t read that ending in another book just a few weeks earlier, I might have enjoyed the twist a lot more.
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black
    • Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜… [ratings guide
    • This is a good story about growing up but a not-so-good creepy adventure story. The three kids read as tweens, not as teens or adults in small bodies. I was expecting something akin to Coraline and was greatly disappointed in that area. However, there were some really poignant moments (such as when Alice reveals why she’s so adverse to Poppy’s ghost hunt). I think this book would have been much stronger without the doll story line, which admittedly is the main focus and probably what draws kids to the book.