Snark with a Side of Cheeky (silentrequiem) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Snark with a Side of Cheeky

Books #24-29

24) Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults compiled by Robert Schnakenberg (history/humor, 192 pages)
This was a quick and hilarious read. There are some true gems here. What famous people said about other famous people. 3/5

25) Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (Mainstream Fiction, 368 pages)
Utterly charming tale of two people who defy societal and familial conventions and opinions to become friends, and maybe something more. I really enjoyed this book - though I didn't much care for many of the background characters who displayed the fact they were too stupid front and center. I did appreciate that some of those characters did redeem themselves (some more than others) by the end of the book. Lovely. I'm very glad I read this one. 4/5

26) The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival by Ken Wheaton (Mainstream Fiction, 304 pages)
I like quirky books, and this one was definitely quirky (as if the priest leading a circus elephant on the cover couldn't clue you in). This was a fun book and overall I liked it. But yet... something kept me from *really* liking this book (and bumping this up to the coveted four star position). For all that the characters are complex and the story is multi-faceted, in the end, the book was still too simple. The resolution of the one-upmanship contest with the Pentacostal church was too simple and seemed almost a cop out. As was the ending of the book -- not that I had a problem with the ending, but it felt like the author took the easy way out and ended the book THERE so he wouldn't have to deal with the repercussions. But, the book made me laugh. And almost made me cry. Which, in the end, is really all I had wanted from the book. 3.5/5

27) Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White (Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy, 384 pages)
Cute idea somewhat lacking in the execution. I really really liked the concept of Flower-speaking and using that as a backdrop for a coming of age story. Overall, I liked the plot but the characterizations were very weak (and in some cases, utterly incomprehensible to me) and stereotypical (e.g., mean girl, jock, nerdy girl, etc.). What could have been a fantastic and deep YA story ended up shallow and fluffy. 3/5

28) Changing the World and Other Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey (Fantasy Anthology, 352 pages)
Overall, an enjoyable set of stories. I can't think of any that I outright *disliked* - I may even be in the minority in that I appreciated the last oddball story of an interview with a Companion. 4/5

29) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Mainstream Fiction, 512 pages)
It took a long time to read this book -- not because I didn't like it but because I didn't have a lot of reading time. But every time I picked it up, I was immediately sucked into Francie's world and it was always jarring to leave it. This was Smith's love letter to the Brooklyn that she grew up in -- poor and shabby but still very beloved. I only wish I had read this book earlier. 4/5
Tags: anthology, fantasy, fiction, short stories, urban fantasy, young adult

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