Short Book Wrap-Up #1

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Usually I do one book per blog, save for the Favorite Books of 2018 (read it here). I tend to read more than one book a week so I knew I was never going to catch up. So here we go with my first short book wrap up. I’m not going to go into much detail with these reviews like I do my other ones. If there is one you think I should give a longer talk about, let me know in the comments. So let’s not stall any longer and here we go with my first short book wrap up.
Sleight of Hand by Natasha Deen
Javvan is a young man who made a mistake. He stole a car to impress a girl. Be honest, you’ve done it too. Now he’s on parole and must find a job or else he’ll be in violation of that parole. The trouble is, no one wants to hire him. That is until he gets a stroke of luck and is hired by Kevin, a guy who does construction. The trouble is, Kevin only wanted him for one reason, to help him steal. What’s Javvan to do? Help this man steal and risk getting caught and thrown in jail? Or say no and risk Kevin’s wrath and getting thrown in jail?
I only picked this book up for one reason. If you’ve read enough of my book blogs you may be able to guess that the reason has to do with the Pop Sugar reading challenge. Anne and I were at a library book sale last year and had time to kill so we just browsed. We came across a really short YA book that just so happened to fill a challenge prompt, so we remembered it and borrowed it at home.
This is a very simple novel. The story was mostly predictable, the characters we’re about as deep as a kiddie pool, and the book was so short that I didn’t get much time to care about them. That being said, it wasn’t all bad. While the length of the book was bad because I didn’t care about any of the characters, it was also so short that I didn’t have time to get bored. Except for the final resolution, how Javvan got out of trouble, the rest was pretty predictable.
This wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t good. And the downside of that is that books are a commitment. It’s not as easy as a movie that only takes two or so hours of your life. So a meh book can banish it to your “never to be read” pile.
I think the best part of Sleight of Handit was showing the struggle of a person of color in Canada. That’s right, it’s not Americans being the judgmental ones here. Canada can do it too! So this book does have it’s upsides. It can be counted as an “own voices” book.
Should you read this? It wasn’t good enough for me to recommend. But it also wasn’t bad enough for me to warn you to never pick it up. So I’ll just give my score and leave the rest up to you.
Sleight of Hand gets a 5 out of 11
Deck Z: The Titanic. Unsinkable. Undead by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon
A scientist is on the run from his captors. People who want a biological weapon to use in a war. The doctor manages not only to escape, but find passage to America where he believes he’d get help in exchange for what he knows. The trouble is, he’s book passage on the Titanic. Not only that, but an enemy agent has made it on board and wants to get the weapon at all cost, even if it means releasing it on board.
Yup, you read that title right. This is a Historical Science Fiction book that gives us another reason why the Titanic sank. We all should have known it wasn’t an iceberg! It was zombies of course.
This book sounds like some middle schooler’s idea. Something juvenile that would come across as a cheesy cringe fest. But I’m here to tell you, it didn’t. Not at all. This wasn’t a great book, but it had something more important than greatness. It was fun.
Deck Z was not just a serious book, but it was well researched and plausible. I don’t mean plausible as in zombies being real. I mean plausible as in the characters act in a very realistic way. Captain Smith and his inner circle of officers turn into a bad ass zombie fighting crew. As the story went on I started to care for the characters and even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen, I really wanted Captain Smith and the others to survive. I cared about them.
When I started reading Deck Z I thought I was just going to read some short goofy book that would be good for a laugh and nothing more. What I ended up reading was something quick and enjoyable that while I’ll never pick it up again, I’m glad I read it. This one is easy. If anything about the premise interested you, give this book a shot. If you think it sounds stupid, then walk away.
Deck Z: The Titanic. Unsinkable. Undead gets a 7 out of 11
Goblin Fruit By S.E. Burr
People who try the drug Goblin Fruit think they can keep it under control. They think the worst won’t happen to them, but each and every one of them becomes a mindless husk. Sixteen year old Clarity’s mom is one of them. Clarity’s mom is sent to a home for people suffering from Goblin Fruit and it’s there that she meets Audrey, a girl whose brother has the same affliction. Together the two risk their lives to find a cure for this illness with only one clue to help them along their way, an old poem called Goblin Market.
This story was short and cute and had potential to be a very interesting and worthwhile series to read but it fell quite short of that mark. The book was riddled with so many grammatical errors that I wonder if an editor ever glanced at it. It may sound like a snobbish thing to say, but too many errors really does mess with the flow and enjoyment of the book.
Also, the book was poorly written. S.E. Burr favored exposition so heavily that nothing about this book flowed naturally. It felt more like Burr was an excited ten-year-old who was excited to tell a new story they thought up so they ran through it like it was an elevator pitch.
The book had promise but fell so short that I couldn’t be bothered to pick up the sequels (there are four books in the series). Goblin Fruit is a case of a good idea with poor execution that shouldn’t be read by anyone. I wouldn’t even recommend this book to a child. Kids deserve better.
Goblin Fruit by S.E. Burr gets a 2 out of 11

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