Hello bookworms!! Today’s Monday Mini’s are mini book reviews for The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson and The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black. The first two books that I read this year!! (Look at me being all on top of things…)
Mini book review: The Unexpected Everything
Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Release date: 3 May 2016
The Unexpected Everything blurb:
Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?
This was a surprise read for me. I thought it would be “ok” or “good”, but not that I would love it. I’m kind of verging on giving this book 5 stars, but at the moment it’s a 4. I guess it depends on how long I think about the story for afterwards.
I have to admit, I started crying around page 230, and then it just kept happening in these deliberately clumsy, yet poignant, moments throughout.
The characters in this, if you give them a chance, will steal into your heart in ways you aren’t expecting. It’s a character driven book — I know, something different for me — and you can tell. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plot that happens, but it’s largely (to me) anticipated based on clues that are dropped throughout. In fact, there’s not a lot that I didn’t guess that would happen. But that’s not the point of the story.
The story is about Andie, Clark, her dad, her friends, and how all of their relationships intertwine. It’s about living by someone else’s expectations and what that does to your sense of self. And to be honest, it’s one of the better coming of age stories I’ve ever read.
Mini book review: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
Title: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
Author: Holly Black
Release date: 9 February 2010
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories blurb:
Poisonous girls whose kisses will kill. A fateful eating contest with the devil. Faeries who return to Ironside, searching for love. A junior prom turned bacchanalia. In twelve short stories, eerie and brimming with suspense and unexpected humor, Holly Black twists the fantastical creatures you thought you knew in ways you’ll never expect.
— The coldest girl in Coldtown —
— A reversal of fortune —
— The boy who cried wolf —
— The night market —
— The dog king —
— Virgin —
— In vodka veritas —
— The coat of stars —
— Paper cuts scissors —
— Going Ironside —
— The land of heart’s desire —
— The poison eaters
Well. I don’t even know if I have the words for this… but let’s try.
You know when you have an author that you love, and they really excel at one type of story. Be it sci-fi adventures, enemies to lovers romances, or magic quests around a prophecy? Holly Black and her faerie stories is that for me. Most of the time. This time, I feel a little bit like she lost her way.
There are 12 short stories in this anthology book. And at least half of them are… really fucked up. I’m talking Fae living on the streets addicted to heroin. Or boys that were kidnapped to Faerie and danced in a ring for 15 years without stopping. A Latin Club turning on the whole school and spelling them all. Children poisoning parents and parents neglecting children. Black’s stories are normally dark, but this was a step extra.
The one good thing that I can say is that I really enjoyed some of the stories. They’re original, modern faerie tales about ordinary people cheating Fae and getting away with it. Sometimes by luck and sometimes by design. They’re clever and a little bit tricksy.
But my favourite could have been an epilogue to Black’s Modern Faeries Tales stories (originally published as Tithe, Valiant and Ironside). It’s a story in its own right with a moral. But it has characters that I know and love, so I connected with it more.
I’m not saying don’t read this, or that it was bad. It’s just not entirely my cup of tea. But I’m still glad she kept writing faerie tales after this.
Have you read The Unexpected Everything, or The Poison Eaters and Other Stories?