Show Us Your Books: 5 Mini Book Reviews

Posted October 10, 2017 by shooting in Book Review / 58 Comments


It’s been awhile since I’ve linked, but I love seeing what people are reading/recommending, so today, I’m sharing some mini book reviews for Show Us Your Books. I read all of these a little while ago, so not the last month, but I’ve never shared them on here. I’m linking up with Life According to Steph and Jana Says. 

Before you leave today, be sure to enter my Hunting Prince Dracula prize pack giveaway. It ends on October 30th; the whole prize pack is U.S. only but if you want just the book (and The Book Depository ships to your country), you can enter too! Thanks, everyone!

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton

Review by Lauren

source: library e-copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of NY, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of humans, complete with stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candour. Let Brandon Stanton and the people he’s photographed astonish you.

Review: If you don’t know the blog Humans of New York, then what it is is a collection of photographs by Brandon Stanton of people in the New York area. You get people of all different backgrounds, and a lot of the photos are very candid and allow you to see more about the person than a fully staged photograph. Along with these photographs are stories about the people in them. Sometimes it’s a sentence, or a paragraph, or a few paragraphs. Everyone has something included with their photo in Humans of New York: Stories though. It was equal parts fascinating, enjoyable, and heartbreaking. Some of these are stories of happy people, but some are stories of sad people. It really shows the various facets of humanity. I haven’t seen the first Humans of New York book, but I have read the blog before and this specific book would make a wonderful coffee table book. It’s full of conversations just waiting to happen.

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from e-library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather’s perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York’s top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather’s residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who’s sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong . . .

Review: This will be a relatively short review. Basically, I really enjoyed this one! I hadn’t read any of Cabot’s adult books before but I’ve been wanting to, so it was nice to start her Heather Wells series, where a former teen pop star ends up working at a residence hall and all sorts of mayhem occurs. Size 12 Is Not Fat is the first in the series and it involves the death of two female occupants of the residence hall. They are ruled an accident, but Heather knows in her gut that it wasn’t; she’s fairly sure it was murder. Therefore, she takes it upon herself to try and investigate as much as she can, with the somewhat help of her landlord/ex-boyfriend’s brother/current crush, Cooper. Oh, and she’s also in love with Cooper! Add in some drama with Heather’s ex who is still with the girl he cheated on Heather with, and you get one suspenseful, yet often humorous, mystery! I’ll definitely be reading the rest!

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library e-site; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): There are good moms and bad moms—and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who’s trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably.

When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the Motherhood Better boot camp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she’s always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

Review: I’m not a mother, but I know plenty of them and I have two nieces and a nephew, so I get how difficult it can be to raise a child. I was certainly empathetic toward Ashley. She’s a stay at home mom who loves her daughter, but who feels like she’s crumbling under the pressure of motherhood. She’s not a crafter, she doesn’t feed her daughter organic everything. She sleeps less than she should, wears the same clothes days in a row, and doesn’t have a group of mommy friends to fall back on for advice and companionship. In shortened terms, Ashley feels like she’s sinking. Even if you don’t have a kid, I think this book is relatable for women in general as they try so hard to juggle various responsibilities while still looking and feeling great all the time.

I found the competition in this book to be interesting, especially in terms of Emily, who runs it. She’s a mommy blogger who seemingly has a perfect life – perfect house, perfect husband, perfect kids. She’s fit, crafty, and shows it all off on social media. Ashley wants that life, at least to some degree, and she’s this competition will be the key to that. I know what it’s like to see people’s posts on social media and feel envious over their seemingly perfect life, but we all have to remember that not everyone is perfect. We all have our faults and flaws somewhere. Confessions of a Domestic Failure was not only a good read, it’s also quite humorous, and I always love a story that can make me laugh!

Show Us Your Books mini book reviews - Scythe, Mister Memory, etc. #bookreview Click To Tweet

Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library e-site; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): In Paris in the year 1899, Marcel Despres is arrested for the murder of his wife and transferred to the famous Salpetriere asylum. And there the story might have stopped. But the doctor assigned to his care soon realises this is no ordinary patient: Marcel Despres, Mister Memory, is a man who cannot forget. And the policeman assigned to his case soon realises that something else is at stake: for why else would the criminal have been hurried off to hospital, and why are his superiors so keen for the whole affair to be closed? This crime involves something bigger and stranger than a lovers’ fight – something with links to the highest and lowest establishments in France. The policeman and the doctor between them must unravel the mystery…but the answers lie inside Marcel’s head. And how can he tell what is significant when he remembers every detail of every moment of his entire life.

Review: I initially thought this book was YA, but it’s actually an adult title. Not that this matters much, as I do believe most teens could read and enjoy this book. It’s a fascinating book set in Paris, 1899, where Marcel Despres is arrested for murdering his wife. Instead of being kept in prison, he’s sent to an asylum where they realize that Marcel is indeed Mister Memory. He remembers every single detail of his life, turning a description of five minutes into an hour or longer. It soon becomes clear that while Marcel has a great memory, this is actually a burden, as he gets lost in past memories, noticing all the fine details that others would pass over. While Marcel is in the asylum, a young policeman tries to work on the case, believing that Marcel is not being punished enough for his crime. A lot more is revealed to him in his investigation though and it turns this book into a very intriguing mystery that far surpasses Marcel and the murder he committed. Definitely a book to read if you’re looking for something smart and mysterious.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library e-site; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads)A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Review: This book is fantastic. It’s one I’ve been curious about since it was released, so I’m really happy I was finally able to check it out. I very much need the sequel in my life now! I love the world that Shusterman has created, making scythes seem like a necessity so that overpopulation does not occur. Readers are given both Citra and Rowan’s point of views, which is fantastic as they are both very important to the overall story. This book might be young adult, but it can easily cross over for adults. It’s full of ideas on life and death, love and hate. It’s a fascinating book, but it’s also really easy to read! Highly recommended.

58 responses to “Show Us Your Books: 5 Mini Book Reviews

  1. Humans of New York: Stories definitely looks interesting. I’m not familiar with the blog but I like the idea. Does sound like an excellent coffee table book.

  2. I’ve always enjoyed reading people’s stories on the Humans of New York blog and looking at the beautiful photographs, but hadn’t checked out the books yet. It fascinates me how willing people are to share their experiences, even if they’re painful ones, with Brandon.

  3. I didn’t know that there was a Humans of New York book! And I’m adding Confessions of a Domestic Failure to my read list because I love Bunmi Laditan! And I think I’d enjoy Size 12 Is Not Fat too.

  4. i read the princess diaries series last year (i think?) and enjoyed it so i then bought Size 12 Is Not Fat but haven’t read it yet. Scythe sounds really interesting!

  5. The Meg Cabot book sounds like a good mystery cozy. Adding it to my TBR. Mystery is my favorite genre but lately I’m been only reading the more intense kind and need to mix it up with some lighter mystery fare. I love the cover to Mr. Memory and adding it to my TBR. I’m also curious about Scythe as it has a very interesting hook. Adding it to my TBR!

    • Thanks for commenting; I’m glad that I was able to give you some new book ideas. I love mysteries, but yes, sometimes you need a bit of a lighter one. I want to read some more cozy mysteries – good time of the year for that!

  6. Scythe sounds awesome. I am going to add that to my list. I have had the Meg Cabot series on my list, but I am hesitating because I read one of her books last winter and did not like it.

  7. I think the Humans of New York Stories sounds great! I have seen the blog and I think it’s super cool! Thanks for sharing all of these reviews!

  8. I need to check out a bunch of these when I have a chance. You always help me find books that I normally wouldn’t have known about. I also love reading the comments to see if others had enjoyed them!


  9. I’m definitely going to check out that Meg Cabot book! I love her! I want to read the Humans of New York book too. I follow on instagram and love it.

  10. I always love catching up on what people are reading. I’m fascinated by Mister Memory, but Scythe sounds intriguing as well. I may have to add these two to my list!

  11. I used to love Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries books. Thanks for writing about Size 12 Is Not Fat – I never would have guessed that it was a mystery book. I also like that it’s set on a college campus. I think I would really enjoy this series!

  12. I’ve heard good things about Scythe! Sadly I’ve not read anything by that author, though one of my blogger friends LOVES his books. I love HONY! I need to check out the book associated with the blog/Facebook account. Brandon does such amazing work. <3

    Wonderful reviews! Have a great week, Lauren. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday (#250): Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
  13. I follow Humans of New York on social media. I just love all the stories, and I really want to purchase the book which is odd for me because I’ve all but boycotted actually buying books! I’ve had Size 12 is Not Fat on my bookshelf for ages, but I kind of forgot about it- I’ll have to move it up! Scythe sounds really interesting- adding it to my TBR! Sounds like a great reading month!

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