Seven Mini Book Reviews

I’ve read a lot of books lately. If I posted individual reviews for each and every one of them, the next few weeks’ posts would be nothing but book reviews, and that would be boring. So I’m reusing an idea from an earlier post – mini book reviews! Enjoy!


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

My parents kept telling me how good this book was, so finally I read it. And they were right!

To me, the most memorable aspect of Unbroken is its basis in fact. This is a true story. The “main character,” Louie Zamperini, really did compete in the Olympics. And survived a plane crash into the ocean. And survived for forty-seven days on a raft. And survived months and months spent in a Japanese POW camp. (And lived for close to one hundred years. He died just a few months ago.)

It’s just stunning, how much he experienced in one lifetime.

Rating: 3.5/5


Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Rrrrgh. This book. I wish its insides were as good as its outsides: In other words, it had a gorgeous, candy-colored cover, and… not much inside. The novel is about a modern-day girl who finds herself haunted by the ghost of Marie Antoinette. Sounds interesting, right?

Er. Maybe if the characters hadn’t been so shallow. Maybe if the ending hadn’t felt so abrupt and weak. Not recommended.

Rating: 2/5


Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin by Anthony Horowitz

I’m so conflicted about this book! I loved the previous books in the Alex Rider series, but in the end I think this one was just too different from its predecessors for my taste.

All nine earlier novels told the story of Alex Rider, a teen spy. Russian Roulette told the story of Yassen Gregorovich, an assassin and one of Alex’s first enemies. I found Yassen fascinating in the earlier books and was excited to read another story about him, but… I don’t know. This book wasn’t bad, but something was missing. I think I’d been reading about Alex for so long that to read about anyone else in his universe just felt weird.

Rating: 3/5


Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

This is, as stated by the title, the history of the Harry Potter books from their beginnings in the 1990s to about 2007 – written by a woman who was really, really involved in the fandom and even created a website for it, The Leaky Cauldron.

I’m not even a huge fan of the series anymore, but… I totally understand being utterly fascinated by a story, so I enjoyed the author’s unabashed geekiness. This could be a really fun book to read at the same time as Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, which is a fictional account of the experiences of a major fan – and is actually loosely based on the Harry Potter fandom, to boot.

Rating: 4/5


I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I LOVE HER WRITING STYLE. Malala Yousafzai is extremely eloquent, but she also manages to write as if she were just casually talking to you. Not too fancy, not too chatty. I thought I would enjoy the book for its story, not for its writing. Well, I enjoyed it for both.

I really loved reading about the relationship between Malala and her father. He encouraged her so much when she was a little girl, and eventually they began doing activist work together, and it’s just really cool.

Rating: 3.5/5


This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This book is over three hundred pages long. I read it in slightly under three-quarters of an hour.

It’s a graphic novel, if you were wondering.

And it has BEAUTIFUL ART. I love the Tamaki’s artistic style, and their experimentation with different panel sizes and page lay-outs. And I really like the coloring of the pictures, too – they’re not black and white. They’re blueish-purple and white.

But what about the story? Um. Well, it’s about the friendship between two girls, and it’s sweet, but… um. I felt that it didn’t really go anywhere. There wasn’t much of a resolution. It’s nice if you like slice-of-life stories, but might fall a bit short if you don’t.

Rating: 3/5


The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy

The third book in the hilarious Skulduggery Pleasant series! As usual, the story amused me, and yet I felt there was something missing. It seemed like I was merely waiting for the next book in the series, and I wasn’t very much interested in The Faceless Ones‘ new characters.

Still, it wasn’t bad for a short read. Its writing style is ridiculously simple and I spent maybe two hours, tops, reading it – even though it’s almost four hundred pages in length.

I’m anxious to read the next books in the series, but neither of the local libraries have copies of the sequels! [Worried look] Rrrgh.

Rating: 3/5


If you’ve read any of the books listed above, what was your opinion of them? And what have you read lately?

P.S. I am currently reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Captain America: Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. After that, I plan to read Fan Art by Sarah Tregay and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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14 Responses to Seven Mini Book Reviews

  1. Ooooh you’re getting into the Winter Soldier comics. My friend blazed through them in a few days (then had to wait for the update) so I can tell you they come highly recommended even if I haven’t read them. City of Bones is the start of a fantastically silly urban fantasy series, so I’ll be interested to see what you think of it~

  2. Mo says:

    *claps* You finally read Harry: A History! I do know that you’re not as big a fan of HP anymore, but I really loved that book. It was so relatable and nerdy.

    The only other of these books that I’ve read is This One Summer and I agree with you–it was cute but the plot wasn’t really defined as to how it related to the girls. I was also secretly hoping there would be lesbians.

    What I’ve read lately was The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (girl superhero! in a practical costume! in Canada! with a little bit of satire!), The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock (the concept was way better than the actual book), and I just started The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (the writing style isn’t that great, but so far I’ve found it more engaging than The Raven Boys.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      It was amazing. 😀

      Like, the main characters mentioned lesbians enough that I thought there would actually be some? Or maybe they’d fall in love with one another? And maybe that was why the younger girl was kind of awkward around boys? But noooooooo. :/

      *adds The Adventures of Superhero Girl to her to-read list*
      I actually liked The Raven Boys better, but The Scorpio Races has a fascinating premise. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Senior Year Saturday: My First Week In Review | Musings From Neville's Navel

  4. Alexandrina Brant says:

    I should do this. I don’t have time to craft an entire review, but I like the idea of giving some sort of review.

    PS. Are you aiming to read the remaining five books before the last one comes out next month? 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      I really, really like this format. 🙂 If I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be able to review all the books I wanted to talk about…

      No, not really. I mean, it would be awesome if I could, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I just hope to avoid spoilers.
      (Also, I thought the book was already out? I follow Derek Landy on FB and from what he’s posted it seems like it was released on the 28th.)

      • Alexandrina Brant says:

        I thought it was every September and I read something last month that it would be out in September, but maybe that’s me. He might’ve got it finished early.

        FYI, on FB it says that Last Stand of Dead Men was out in August, but it was definitely out late September last year.
        *double checks*
        Okay, it’s out now. That’s good.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Maybe the release dates are different in the US? IDK, man.

  5. orphu44 says:

    The only one I’ve read here is The Faceless Ones, which I actually liked. Although as far as books that are quick reads considering the number of pages, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Skulduggery. Later you get like six hundred page books with enormous margins and enormous print and double-spacing and it’s basically like the publisher thought, ‘How can we use as much paper as humanly possible without actually increasing the length of the book?’

  6. I’ve definitely been thinking about reading I AM MALALA, so glad to hear it was a good read. And I might consider A HISTORY OF HARRY because I’m such a Potter-geek. I’d love to hear what you think of the City of Bones series. I’ve been considering reading it, but just haven’t made the commitment. Actually, I haven’t read anything in weeks. My fingers are craving the feel of a book, but I have other business to attend to until I can get back to reading for pleasure.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I recommend both of those books very highly!

      I still haven’t finished the first City of Bones book. xD It’s decent, but so far it’s… nothing super amazing? I don’t know. Maybe the story hasn’t yet grabbed my attention all the way.

  7. Pingback: Sixteen Mini Book Reviews | Musings From Neville's Navel

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