Weekly Wrap Up 13 – 19 April: One unexpected DNF and I FINALLY pick up an ARC

Hello readers!

This was a very interesting week reading-wise. I ended up taking a few days off work because of my antidepressants (they are making me SO tired wtf), so I caught up a bit with some of the reading I wanted to do (in the limited hours I was conscious, that is) and I’m quite pleased with the variety of books I picked up – a Brazilian one (translated), two WP books, one classic, and a DNF read.

About the latter – It really caught be my surprise. Once I heard that Andy Weir was coming up with a new book, I immediately added it to my most anticipated list. Which is funny because I did NOT enjoy Artemis a whole lot, but apparently I had blissfully forgotten that and was so happy when I received an eARC for Project Hail Mary. But in the end I had the same issues with Project Hail Mary as I had with all this other books: women characters are written so awkwardly, actually ALL characters are awkwardly and cliché-like, the author does an amazing job at research – you can tell because he never, never shuts up about all the techy tech and speculative science-y stuff. I normally LOVE books that go into detail about their tech or science, but…. gosh, it was insufferable to read. [MILD SPOILERS FOR PROJECT HAIL MARY] There was a scene where the main character brings an alien object into the ship and the FIRST thing he does is remove his helmet and be like “oh wow I could have died from that ha-ha but oh! smells like ammonia! A clue!” and the SECOND thing he does is remove his EVA and TOUCH the alien stuff with his bare hands, which nearly causes a burn (and then he was like “oh but since my reaction was a fraction of second, the temperature must have been 100 degrees Celsius! Anther science-y clue! Haha I’m so quirky and funny and dumb lmaooo but also smart!). [END OF SPOILER] I just could not do another few hundred pages of this. The narrator voice was basically The Martian’s, also the concept is very similar, it was like reading The Martian but not nearly as good and more full of clichés. I think with 2 books out of 3 being flops for me, I’m afraid this might be the last I read of Andy Weir, for the time being. I adored The Martian, but it might have been the exception rather than the rule. Sorry if this sounds mean, but I think Andy Weir might be a bit of a one-trick pony.

Ohhh I watched an adaptation of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and it was SO good. It’s the BBC 2015 mini-series adaptation, which kept the original ending (I did NOT remember it and oh my god). Each episode is an hour long and I highly highly recommend. For the record, this was a recommendation by my mom & dad, so if you watch it, let me know so I can tell them they’re totally influencers. In these pandemic times, it’s always nice to have something new to watch!

Weekly Wrap Up

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller / physical copy / 3 stars

This ended up being a bit of a disappointment. I have very mixed feelings about this book, but my biggest feeling was of relief once I was done with it.

Passing by Nella Larsen / ebook / 4 stars

I wanted to pick this up as soon as possible to do sort of a comparison with The Vanishing Half, and I enjoyed it very much! Nella Larsen’s writing style is both timeless and elegant, and it was interesting to see two different stories with a similar premise: two Black women who can pass for white choosing to live their lives in different ways; one as a Black woman and the other as a white woman. This slim mystery novel was incredibly interesting, and touched on many aspects of the lives of Black women in the US in the 1920s. The ending was a bit sudden but as I kind of saw it coming, so it was not really a disappointment, but I wish the author had chosen a different way to end the story.

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha / audiobook / ongoing

I am LOVING this. I have an ebook version of this in original Portuguese but I saw the translation available on Scribd and decided to take my chances on the translation. And it’s done really well! This is a family drama story set in Rio in the 1940s about two sisters who decide to live very different lives. This is a very fun read and I love the many narrators (of which Eurídice is the main one) which bring so much life into this book.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir / ebook galley / DNF

Do I need to say anything more? Just check my long rant above.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi / physical copy / 4 stars

I was not going to pick this up initially from the longlist for the WP this year, but a lot of bloggers I trust said this was amazing, so I, with little to no resistance, succumbed to my FOMO and picked this up. And! It’s so good! My review just went live, if you’d like to read it, I was quite proud of it.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse / ebook galley / ongoing

Ok so technically I tried to go back to reading my eARCs with Project Hail Mary but got super disappointed. THEN I tried reading The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor but found out I never downloaded it (lmao) so this is my THIRD attempt at reading an eARC this week. So far it’s a good book but not really great. I’m about a third through and lots has happened but I am not loving the writing style nor the characters. But I am LOVING the atmosphere, a mix of The Hunting Party and The Glass Castle, so I have hopes for it and it actually reads super quick, so I hope to be done soon!

What did you read this week?

6 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up 13 – 19 April: One unexpected DNF and I FINALLY pick up an ARC

  1. Ooh, I still have The Sanatorium on my TBR so I’ll be interested in your final thoughts on that one! Also SO HAPPY that you liked Transcendent Kingdom, it’s been my favorite longlister so far! (Though I still have a few to go… Passing and The Vanishing Half are getting closer to the top of my stack so I’m thrilled to see you had a good experience with those as well!) And sorry to hear about Andy Weir; I also had a good time with The Martian so it’s disappointing to see his more recent publications have been frustrating.

    Like

  2. I just finished Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb, a quick Dr Who book, and have now started Peter Hart’s book on the Somme battle in World War I. That will probably take me a while.

    Like

  3. I’m sorry to hear Project Hail Mary didn’t live up to your expectations! I loved The Martian when I read it years ago, but I haven’t picked up Artemis because I’ve heard so many mixed things. Curious to still read the latest one though. I’m planning on picking up Passing soon- glad you enjoyed! I’m also curious about The Sanatorium because I’ve seen so many people reading it lately on bookstagram/blogs.

    Like

  4. I hope your side effects even out soon.
    I was planning on picking up Project Hail Mary but maybe not now. I’m curious about The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha, I still need to read some translated fiction .

    Wishing you a great reading

    Like

  5. I’m going to look for that And Then There Were None series! I love the book. I’m kind of on the fence as to whether I should read Fuller’s new book. Have you read her previous stuff? How does it compare? I’ve liked but not loved her other books.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s