So I still have a backlog of books that I need to review and want to write about before the year ends. Some of the books I read were kind of short, so I thought why not make mini reviews instead? So here’s my first series of Minis, which I hope to continue in the next year. :)
Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin (The Ironic Catholic News Volume 1) by The Ironic Catholic
In the style of The Onion, Stephen Colbert, and occasionally Jonathan Swift, the writer of “The Ironic Catholic” website offers mild satirical takes on the world of Catholic news, focusing on the rich vein of human foibles in living the life of faith. The fake news stories (Attendees of Flannery O’Connor Conference Meet Dire End, Tired Mother Announces ‘Come and See’ Weekend, Re-gifting Chia Pets Not Considered Lenten Sacrifice, etc.) both entertain and teach what it means to be a faithful Catholic in a confused world with a light touch.
I’ve had this book for a while now (thanks to The Ironic Catholic for the review copy!), and I meant to read it while plane hopping in Europe but other books won me over. I was at the salon two weeks ago, just finished with a women’s fiction novel and I couldn’t really jump into another one just yet, so I decided to choose a slim ebook to cleanse the reading palate before going back to the other book I had in progress.
It turned out to be a very good choice, too. I love The Ironic Catholic’s style — poking fun at the little quirks of the Catholic faith but never disrespectful and still allowing people to learn a little more about the faith than a regular, Sunday mass-going Catholic knows. The news format of the book makes it easy to digest, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s fiction because some of them felt like odd stories you read every now online. My favorite story? The World Old Day celebration, which is the senior citizens’ version of World Youth Day. It not only made me laugh, but it brought fond memories of my own experience in WYD.
I just really wish this book was a little bit longer, but then the volume number in the title probably means there will be a volume two…right?
One Crazy Summer by Ines Bautista Yao
A Recipe for Disaster?
1 college junior, fired from summer internship
1 secret crush, the cute and flirty type
1 crush’s best bud, with a secret of his own
1. In large bowl, mix together college junior and secret crush.
2. Gradually add in crush’s best bud.
3. Stir until best bud’s secret is revealed.
4. Let mixture rest in a sleepy provincial town.
5. Bake under the blazing summer sun until golden brown (be careful, batter might burn).
Tania’s summer is more than she can handle! Her cooking career comes to a screeching halt before it can even take off. Then, best friends Rob and Mateo enter the picture. Can she figure out her feelings for them, AND get the internship credits she needs to make it to senior year?
One Crazy Summer‘s story is the stuff that teen TV shows are made of, and kind of like what happens in Sarah Dessen novels with the infinite possibilities that a summer could bring. The story was cute and there was enough romance, but I never felt a connection with any of the characters. I wanted more background story with Tania and Mateo and Rob, but instead I was just presented with the facts of who likes who and I just had to accept it. I also felt that I never really got to know Tania, and all I have were hints of her personality.
It’s not that it’s a bad novel. I just felt that it lacked something. The setting was very good and I liked the description of the lazy summer town that the characters spent a lot of time in, but I wished there was just more. I wonder how the book would have fared with me if it was a little bit longer, so there was more time to flesh out the characters and dig up their back stories and relationships with one another. It’s still an okay read, and I think the book is worth keeping One Crazy Summer for the recipes that it contains (especially the one with Nutella — mmm. All these food books make it hard to go on a diet, especially with knowing some diet pill numia side effects). :)
Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews
(Kate Daniels # 5.4)
Kindle Edition, 97 pages
A dinner date after a hard day at work sounds heavenly. Of course, when that date is between the Beast Lord and Kate Daniels, things don’t go as planned. Before you know it, undead are running amok, heads are being chopped off, lawyers are deployed and used with extereme prejudice, and drunk vikings are calling people out.
Read at your own risk.
Oh Ilona Andrews, did you know how the two of you just made my Christmas so awesome? Thank you so much for this free Kate Daniels novella. :) Magic Gifts is set shortly after Magic Slays, and it starts with a dinner date between the Beast Lord Curran and Kate. Of course, the chance of normalcy is slim as some moments after their date has started, heads started to roll — literally. Soon, Kate and Curran and everyone else is fighting to save a boy’s life, running after vikings and dwarfs while ensuring that the rest of Atlanta will not fall apart with a breakdown of sorts.
General spoiler warning for those who haven’t read any Kate Daniels books yet1. Two words to describe this book: SO. GOOD. I love it, I love it. Even if it is shorter than the other Kate Daniels novels, this book is just as good. Kate and Curran are still as awesome (and romantic) as ever, and how mature their relationship seems. I love it when they spar verbally, and how Kate cares about him and how he cares for her. I also love how we see all the other characters here too besides the two of them: Doolittle, Derek, Jim, Andrea, Ascanio, even Grendel the attack poodle! And I have to say now that my favorite vampires are in Kate Daniels’ world. Or, my favorite necromancers, rather. Gasthek is such a character!
This is a must-read for all fans of the series, and the ebook is still available for download from the author’s website — and I think you only have a week to get it! If you missed it, though, this novella will be available as a bonus in Gunmetal Magic, Andrea’s story, which will be released in August 2012. :)
- And why haven’t you read any, for the love of all things awesome? [↩]