Book Review Round-Up is a random feature where I do a few short reviews of some books I’ve read.
Today…it’s almost New Year’s, and I’ve just realized I never got around to writing some reviews for a few books I’ve read last month. I really wanted to at least mention them and give a rating for them, just so I can sort of wrap things up for the year. I definitely want to do more of a review for a few of them (all but the last one), so maybe I’ll do that in the New Year.
Book #1: The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa
My Rating: 5 stars. It’s such a good end to the Call Of The Forgotten series, and the overall Iron Fey universe. For as much as I loved it, I kind of don’t remember reading it, but I did because I have it on goodreads! November was sort of a blur, though, and maybe this year, reading during NaNo and a totally bizarre reading slump was a really bad idea. I need to re-read it.
Book #2: Winter by Marissa Meyer
My Rating: 5 stars. This is another one I absolutely loved, and I am so sad that this series is over! It’s been a long time since I’ve been this sad over a series ending. It was completely awesome and a perfect way to end the Lunar Chronicles, and next year, I am going to re-read it and give it a proper review, because it really deserves it!
Book #3: Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
My Rating: 4 stars. I don’t remember much, but I did like seeing how it connected to the Parasol Protectorate, and I wish we got a little more of that. And for some reason, I think I was surprised that this was the last one, because I vaguely remember being not super into it. Add this to the list of books that I need to re-read next year.
Book #4: What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
My Rating: 1 star. This one, I wanted to wait until I was less angry to review it. I am SO disappointed in it, especially after really liking Lies We Tell Ourselves. WWLB made me feel MORE confused about genderqueer than I was when I started the book- I finished the book with the impression that genderqueer and transgender are basically interchangeable and that if you identify as genderqueer, you’re confused about your gender identity. The closest comparison I can make is how some people assume that if you’re bi, you haven’t made up your mind about who you’re attracted to.
Toni is also a very priveleged, entitled, self-absorbed, shallow preachy person. I really felt like Toni was every negative stereotype you could think of for someone who identifies as a feminist. At one point, Toni talks about how her roommates don’t get to talk about feminism until they stop wearing bikinis. People are not less feminist than you because they wear bikinis or like fashion and beauty.
Toni refuses to acknowledge people’s preferred gender pronouns because Toni doesn’t like using gendered pronouns. Some of her friends struggled so much to be acknowledged by gendered pronouns, and Toni pretty much ignores it because Toni doesn’t like gendered pronouns. Even when they tell her why it’s hurtful and not okay, she still refuses to acknowledge what they want because she doesn’t like it. It’s okay if you don’t use them for yourself, but respect what other people want. And how Toni refused to talk to Gretchen about what was going on, but still told Gretchen that she didn’t understand what was going on in Toni’s life. How is Gretchen supposed to do that if you don’t talk to her? I felt so bad for Gretchen, who tried so hard to understand.
I also felt like anytime Toni talked, it was a massive info-dump… and in a bad way. It felt like I was reading an essay or journal article anytime Toni talked. I don’t feel like I know enough to talk about genderqueer and Talley’s portrayal of it, but I do agree with some other reviews I’ve seen that mention how genderqueer is seen as a transitional period rather than an actual identity. I definitely went on more than I thought, but I have so many issues with the book because I feel like it reinforces so many negative stereotypes.
That’s all for today, have an awesome Monday!