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Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas, 4/5, 432 pages
After hearing my niece rave about this book, I knew I had to read it myself :-) And she didn't steer me wrong - it only took me a few chapters to get totally hooked. I loved reading about the training and the tests (although I do wish we'd gotten to see more of the tests "on page" rather than just being told about them afterwards), and though I do understand some readers' complaints that it is rather superficial, that wasn't something I noticed myself until afterwards, so obviously it didn't bother me.

I thought it nicely self-contained, but still liked it enough, that I'll probably continue with the sequels as well.

Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy - Manjusha Pawagi, 4.5/5, 288 pages
An excellent book! I'd recommend this to anybody, no matter whether or not they've had their lives touched by cancer.

It's a very poignant and real book. Manjusha allows the reader an insight into an experience they will hopefully never have to go through themselves, and while Manjusha is undoubtedly one of the lucky ones (she survived!) it still served as a chilling reminder of how cancer effects not just the patient, but everybody around.

I find it wrong to say that I "liked" the book, but I had a very hard time putting it down, and it is one of those powerful books that stay with you for a long time after finishing it.

Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel, 5/5, 322 pages
One of those amazing reads where even though I own it as an e-book, I immediately went out and purchased it as a physical book - I want it in my library! But no wonder - it hits all of my insta-loves. An epistolary sci-fi novel with a semi-unreliable narrator (mostly because you KNOW he's not telling you everything) and a totally fascinating concept.

I spent most of the book in a constant state of "What on earth is going on? And what on earth is going to happen next?" Those questions were only half-way answered, which for once didn't frustrate me, as it fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the book. I couldn't put it down and can't wait to read the sequel.

Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel, 4.5/5, 335 pages
This book picks up 9 years after the first one left off which disappointed me a bit at first (I wanted to know what happened RIGHT after), but worked quite nicely once I got further into it.

Though obviously not as 'unique' as the first book, "Waking Gods" was every bit as good and every bit as difficult to put down. Even the (relatively) open ending didn't bother me too much, as it fit in with the rest of the plot. Still, I'll be keeping an eager eye out for the third book in the series.

I'm really fond of the writing style. It's a bit of a stretch to call it "epistolary" as a lot of it is transcripts of interviews/conversations, but there's no "narration" - everything is told through dialogue or journal entries. It adds a certain twist to the atmosphere which I really like.

Rather dark at times (Sylvain Neuvel is not afraid to "kill his darlings" - so don't expect anybody to be safe "just because") but still written with a good dose of humour. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more.

Uplink - Claus Holm, 2.5/5, 112 pages
Not nearly as polished as Claus' other books. Obviously an early work. It had potential, but in the end I didn't care much for the plot.

French Milk - Lucy Knisley*, 3.5/5, 194 pages
I love these graphic memoirs :-) This is basically just Lucy's journal entries from the 6 weeks she spent in Paris around her 22nd birthday, but it still worked for me. It's filled with anecdotes and fun facts about their rented apartment - in no way deep or intellectual, but an honest account of a sometimes-great-sometimes-not vacation. Other readers have mentioned that she complains too much, but I think to me that's part of its charm... well, not the complaining, but the honesty of it. It's her journal - it's not dressed up in any way (I don't even think it was meant for publication originally), it's just what she did and thought during this trip.

I enjoyed it, but if reading a somewhat superficial account (it does have loads of pictures of what they ate and shopped for while in Paris) isn't your cup of tea, you're probably better off picking up one of her other memoirs instead. "Relish" and "An Age of License" are my two favourites.

Displacement - Lucy Knisley*, 3.5/5, 161 pages
Not as good as Lucy Knisley's other books, and certainly the saddest of the lot, as it focuses on Lucy's experience seeing her grandparents growing older and less competent. In that regard, I thought it an incredibly true and honest account.

Unfortunately it also made me incredibly frustrated on Lucy's behalf, and infuriated at how other people treated her and her grandparents - up to and including her own family!

Fortunately, there were also some really adorable moments - like when Lucy finally got her grandparents into the pool - and all in all I rather liked the book, and definitely want to read more of Lucy Knisley's work.

The One-in-a-Million Boy - Monica Wood, 3/5, 336 pages
Very much a character-driven book and while engaging enough, I honestly couldn't tell you what I thought of it. The plot putters along slowly and is of no real consequence, but you do end up caring for the characters (Quinn and Ona especially) regardless, and while very slow-moving, I never considered giving up on it.

But still - it's not a book I'm likely to reread, and actually probably not even a book I'm likely to recommend. It most definitely had its moments, but at the end of it, I was left wondering what the fuss was all about.

Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse - Helen Dore Boylston*, 4/5, 110 pages
This used to be my favourite of the series, but I've had to downgrade the rating somewhat. I still absolutely I love reading about Sue's work in the streets of New York and how she has to be imaginative and think up solutions to problems she'd never have met at the hospital, but the older I get, the more the disagreement between her and Bill annoys me. I am completely on Sue's side and found Bill totally unreasonable, which made the end somewhat less than satisfying... especially as it's rather clear that the author is on Bill's side. A sign of the times, I guess, but annoyed me regardless.

Winter of Fire - Sherryl Jordan*, 3.5/5, 259 pages
The timing is a lot more unbalanced than I remembered. 90% is setting the scene and then everything is tied up, lickity-split, in just a chapter or two. I still enjoyed it, but it's definitely not as well-written as I originally used to think.

Sue Barton, Rural Nurse - Helen Dore Boylston*, 3.5/5, 128 pages
I wonder if something got lost between books concerning Bill's brother. We haven't heard about him at all in the earlier books, and suddenly he's in Europe and has to get electronic treatments - with no explanation as to why! Not that it's important for the book, I just found it odd.

Very much a transitional book, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next will bring.

Sue Barton, Superintendent of Nurses*, 3/5, 129 pages
The foreshadowing in this series is getting out of hand. A little is fine, but I don't need a paragraph at the start of each chapter telling me what's going to happen in the chapter.

This was a very difficult book to read. I still enjoy the stuff happening at the hospital, but it had the sad sub-plot of how a married couple can fall apart... not through harsh words and mean actions, but simply because of misunderstandings that aren't handled in time, but allowed to grow large.

Sue Barton, Neighborhood Nurse - Helen Dore Boylston*, 3/5, 135 pages
Probably the weakest of the lot, but still a good read. The further I get into this series, the less I understand why I haven't read the last 4 books in so many years. No, they're not nearly as good as the first 3, but neither are they nearly as bad as I remembered them. I'm greatly enjoying this read-through.

Sue Barton, Staff Nurse - Helen Dore Boylston*, 3.5/5, 103 pages
With the last book in the series, we return to what interests me the most - Sue's work at the hospital. This book is a lot shorter than the others, and seems more like an afterthought than anything else. That didn't stop me from enjoying it though.

Book of the Month: Sleeping Giants. I was totally fascinated and couldn't put it down.
Biggest disappointment: Uplink. Not bad as such, I just didn't care for it much.


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