I cannot believe that the first month of the year is done. Can you? I will have to say that I am proud of myself and all the reading that I have done this month.
Out of the six books that I planned to read last month, I read four. I did start the fifth book, but I just did not get around to reading it. I have read 66 pages of The Storm Runner. I have also decided to DNF Match Me If You Can. That book kept annoying me, and I sadly only got to 14% of the book done. The character is annoying and I just wished to move on beyond the point of the book. Since reading is for enjoyment, I decided it was best to DNF the book. The sad part is that this was one of the books that I was really excited to be reading. In addition to that, I was also able to add two more books to the list of books that I have read last month. Let’s just say that last month was a great month for audiobooks.
As for reviews, I have decided to just focus on the books that I have not reviewed before.
Now onto the other two reviews. Let it Snow and Trapped. I am going to start with the easier and shorter of the two and that is Trapped.
Trapped, by Michael Northrop, is about six teenagers trying to survive while being trapped in their school during a massive snowstorm. I ended up giving this book three out of five stars on Goodreads.
I really loved the concept of the book. The idea of looking into survival and seeing what it takes to survive in an environment that isn’t friendly or kind. Having to deal with people that you would normally never deal with, and how six people can help contribute to everyone’s survival. I also really enjoyed the format that the book was in. Northrop wrote in first-person and you got to experience this episode of their life through their eyes. I did enjoy reading that internal dialog and the thought process that our main character was having throughout their time being trapped in the school. I also enjoyed these internal dialogs because it made me think about the legal ramifications of what these students needed to do in order to survive. It made me wonder about where does this line cross when it comes to survival and being “civilized” and not breaking and stealing things.
Even with all the good that came from the book, there are a few bad. One of the negatives is the slow start. The more I think about this and the book, the more it made sense. The storm wasn’t right away. It was a slow build up. However, I still feel as though we spent more time in the beginning with before they got trapped than the after. Another issue that I have is the believability of the teacher. In the story, this teacher is noted for going into big messy storms and helping others deal with the cleanup and the aftermath of such natural disasters. He even mentions his time dealing with the cleanup and helping out with Katrina (2005). However, for some reason, this guy thought it was okay for him to just walk right out to check out what that blinking light was all about? Really? It is set up that this coach has had the training to deal with natural disasters, and he is even complaining about the storm before it is becoming a big problem. I just cannot understand why someone with that kind of training, recognizing these signs, and even starts telling these students about it would go out there, knowing that the consequences would be deadly. I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. And speaking about problems with my head wrapping around. The other believability issue that I had is the cell phone battery life. These kids have been playing games on their phones, and one person has even used their phone as a flashlight, and you want me to believe that their cell phone batteries lasted a week? Are we for real here? Even if I have done the math correctly and assume that the story takes place around 2007 or 2008, the average life of a cell phone was two days, and that was your normal flip phone. After that, I can guarantee you that battery life just gets shorter. The major issue that I had with this book was the wish that Northrop just flushed the book out a bit. I know that our storyteller is a high schooler, but I do want more details as to what was going on while he was talking about each individual problem that they had to face. He talked about what was the best thing to burn but never talked about how they got to that conclusion. In addition, it just made the storyline feel shorter than the timeline that our main character gave from the beginning of the book. These kids were supposed to be stuck at a school for a week, but it never felt like they were there for a week. Furthermore, I wished there was more of a conclusion to the book. I will admit that there are some spoilers here. But I am glad that our main character was able to get some help, but I wanted to see more of the aftermath of their ordeal. Him having to tell his story to parents and other officials. The types of injuries and medical issues that they will face from having to be in that cold environment all week long. Having the book end the way it did, just left me unsatisfied.
As for recommending this book, I would have to say no. I will admit that the book was well written, but I was just left unsatisfied. I just wished that there was more than my thoughts about these characters and the situation that they went through. I do feel as though one should not only read for pleasure but for enjoyment and sanctification.
The other book that I read last month was Let it Snow. This book was three stories centered around the same place at the same time. It starts off with a teenage girl going down to Flordia by train in the middle of a snowstorm and the train getting stuck. You get to meet different characters and deal with their personal journies throughout each story.
I ended up giving this book three out of five stars on Goodreads. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the first two stories. There were parts that had me laughing so hard that I had to stop reading just to take a breath. However, I was just not as invested in this book as I hoped that I would be. There were too many moments while reading this book that I looked forward to finishing this book, or just wishing for it to end. In addition, I also got tired of every story mentioning this one breakup over and over again. It was annoying by the time I got to the third story and read the same breakup.
Do I hate the book? No. I can honestly say that I do not hate the book. I guess that I had such a high expectation that I was disappointed that I did not love it as much as I thought I would. For that reason, I cannot recommend this book to everyone. I would have to personally know you in order to recommend this book. I would also like to note that you do have to read the book in the order that they are in. The more I thought about it, the more I realize that the order does matter. Even though these characters are not as important in the other stories, certain events are noted and will spoil the other stories if you read them out of order.
Those are my reviews for the books that I have read in January. Now I have also made a promise about a review about an app that I was trying out, Bookly. I will say that I am enjoying using the app. I will also note that the app does work better for a physical book than an audiobook. One of the things that I have discovered is that I cannot find audiobooks on the app (they only have the physical page books), so I am left doing some quick math to figure out the percentage of the book that I have read. It is no big deal unless I have to quickly get to work and I do not have the time to do the math. What I am after is similar to what Goodreads does with different formats with books. With Goodreads, you can choose audiobooks, paperback, hardcovers, and ebooks. In all, I am enjoying the app and I am finding that it is helping me stay on track with reading. It is reminding me to read and has helped me keep track of my reading habits. I am looking forward to using this app some more.
Until next time,