As much as I enjoy summer reads, predictability tends to be one strike against them. The Honey Farm on the Hill was no exception. I saw nearly every twist coming chapters ahead of them — from Nell’s discoveries about her long lost love to the mystery of disappearing bees to the resolution. Not much about the plot surprised me. Yet, I quite liked this book for the setting, the characters and the relationships.
When I first heard of this anthology, Because You Love to Hate Me, I was extremely excited. The idea sounded so enticing and I couldn’t wait to see how the various authors would approach their prompts. With so many great people working on this, I couldn’t wait to be wowed. Needless to say, this belonged to my most anticipated reads of 2017. Sadly, I walked away with mixed feelings.
Food writer travels through Tuscany on a bulldozer — such a bizarre and hilarious image this premise painted. It sounded so ludicrous and I have to admit, it made me think of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. That set the bar of absurd humour unfairly high but I couldn’t help it. Perhaps it’s a good thing then, that My Italian Bulldozer wasn’t filled with tall tales, even if that slightly disappointed me.
Explorations of good versus evil that are firmly cemented in the grey zone often give rise to the best works of fiction. They also are the types of books I live for! So when I learnt that Marissa Meyer decided to venture there with her latest series, of course I was intrigued. Renegades has much to offer and despite some flaws that made me raise an eyebrow, is a promising start to the series.
My problem with space operas is that usually not much happens besides the characters floating through space. On that front, I felt The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet fit squarely fit that trope. Conflicts outside of the spaceship didn’t arise as often nor as intensely as I had liked, even with their unpredictable mission and the threat of war looming. The reason I enjoyed this book anyway were the characters. They were absolutely wonderful!