The Bottom Line, or 30 Second Book Reviews

I read a lot. But I don’t always have enough time to write a full review. Or, I’ll be honest, the inclination to write a full review. That doesn’t mean the book was good or bad. It just means I’m busy being mom with limited time and energy, and I don’t always have a ton to praise or complain about. Hence, 30 second book reviews.

Danger In Cat World by Nina Post

3.5 stars

As a cat lover I couldn’t pass up this book. It was a light mystery featuring countless cats and parallel universes with humor sprinkled throughout. Our detective, Shawn Danger, is realistically flawed with family problems, but is devoted to his job. Unfortunately, the family bit wasn’t a perfect fit, feeling forced, especially at the end. I did love, though, how adorably awkward he was with Sarah and pleased that this light romance fit well, added to the humor, and didn’t take away from the mystery. My three complaints are that the parallel universes and the physics behind them were poorly explained, Shawn’s poor cat spent way too much time in his carrier, and there were a lot of loose ends like the unexplained car damage (or did I miss something?). Overall, the cats were great, the mystery was intriguing, the characters were unique and interesting, and the premise was interesting, but poorly explained.

The Ninth Step by Barbara Taylor Sissel

3 stars (well-written with consistent characters and story, but I am ambivalent about this book)

When I first started reading, I wasn’t sure of where the title came from. The more I read on about how alcohol affected almost all of the characters and AA meetings and sponsers, the more it dawned on me that the title dealt with the ninth step, having to do with making amends. As someone who has had maybe an inch of alcohol ever, much of this book’s meaning was lost on me. For one thing, almost every character drank to varying degrees, but only one has to make amends for the effects of his drinking. I did like, though, that the characters were thoughtfully crafted and stayed true to themselves. A bit of a heavy subject, it was well-written, but did not leave me wondering at the end.

The Baker’s Man by Jennifer Moorman

3.75 stars

A contemporary romance with a dash of magical realism, it reminded me of Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells, but not as masterfully carried off. I couldn’t pass this one up since I love to bake. While the idea of creating a man from scratch isn’t new, I liked that the man in question was allowed to develop into a real person. However, especially at the beginning, the magical realism bit felt forced and was a little confusing about how it fit the story. By the end of the book, though, Moorman had hit her stride and managed to bake up a delightful story with interesting characters, great relationships, and a cute romance. An easy read with charming characters and a dash of magic, it kept me awake enough at night when I was up with my daughter.

The Opposite Of Everything by David Kalish

4 stars

This is one book I wish I had more motivation to write a full review for, especially since the main character is a cancer patient and I am married to a cancer researcher. Lyrical and well-written, this is the story of journalist Daniel Plotnick, who receives a cancer diagnosis and resolves to do the opposite of what he normally would. This leads him to unwittingly jump off a bridge, marry a woman he has only recently met, and try to move to Mexico for his career. Though I enjoyed the story, I found his revelation to do the opposite of everything to be somewhat lost within the prose. Daniel also practically disappears during the second half, where much of the focus is on his newly pregnant wife, who is more focused on her pregnancy ailments than her cancer-stricken husband. This was a well-written story, but not terribly thought-provoking, and evoked little emotion from me.

Thanks for spending 2 minutes with me!

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