Reading Wrap-Up #06

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

81rBVCDfrgLRating: ★★★

Genre: Science fiction

GoodReads rating:  4.00 / 5 (726,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 14/3 – 18/3

Summary: New technology have allowed mankind to resurrect dinosaurs funded by a wealthy enthusiast hoping to create an amusement park to display these magnificent creatures. However, the park falls apart when the animals act unpredictably and there is not enough man power to take back control.

Thoughts: Have you ever read a book and the movie was way better? This is the one. Although the beginning was strong, the writing didn’t match up with the excitement of the movie. Plus, the characters were kind of awful, especially the kids and Malcolm (I’m sorry, Jeff Goldblum). The kids were obnoxious (I guess the author had to make them convincing) and Malcolm was just put into the story for some fake-deep one-liners that nobody understood. Good plot, but the writing could have been better and the characters more memorable.

Other adaptations: Obviously, the 1993 movie was a massive success, with sequels still being made to this day. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies that’s absolutely timeless (pun intended).

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

51VFrzslYiLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, romance

GoodReads rating: 4.30 / 5 (73,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 1/4 – 6/4

Summary: When an amateur journalist is given the opportunity to interview an elusive old Hollywood superstar, there is one questions on everyone’s mind: what happened to the seven husbands that Evelyn Hugo outlived?

Thoughts: I thought the story was a good look into the lives of movie stars and that celebrities’ lives quite aren’t always what they seem. The different husbands represent very distinct times in Evelyn’s life and provide a good medium for the narrative. However, (start spoiler) there was quite a lot of build-up around the fact that she outlived her husbands and must have done something messed up, but only the deaths of one or two of her husbands were even mentioned in the end, and even they weren’t climactic in any way (end spoiler). Not entirely what I was expecting, but still a good read.

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff_The_Curious_Lives_of_Human_Cadavers_coverRating: ★★★★

Genre: Nonfiction, science, medical

GoodReads rating:  4.06 / 5 (150,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 1/4 – 6/4

Summary: This book delves into what happens to our bodies when we die, from times old and modern, to uses from crash test dummies to anatomy lab cadavers.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, it may be my favorite read of the year so far. I am a huge fan of Ask a Mortician (a.k.a. Caitlin Doughty) and her frankness with death and openness to questions from viewers. Like many others, her videos have really helped me ponder my own death in the future. This book was quite similar in that way; talking about death makes me more comfortable with the idea (again, hopefully decades and decades into the future). It was really interesting to hear about rituals from around the world and how cadavers have shaped modern science.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

8114K5qzHELRating: ★★★

Genre: Children’s, fiction

GoodReads rating:  4.00 / 5 (329,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 8/4 – 9/4

Summary: An enchanted peach gives lonely James a chance to escape his two wicked aunts and make new friends while travelling across the world.

Thoughts: I’ve read Matilda and am currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and loved them both. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark a bit. Perhaps there is something more relatable about Matilda and Charlie and you’re eased into their story. I might have enjoyed it more if I was a kid, but certainly appreciate other kid’s books more.

Other adaptations: The 1996 movie is widely loved, even if I never cared for it much as a kid (it scared me).

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.


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