Book Review: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

Snapshot 1 (9-20-2018 9-56 AM)

 

Summary: After a plague there are few survivors. One of them is the unnamed midwife. She dresses as a man to protect herself in a world that becomes increasingly dangerous to women. The midwife is on a mission. Give birth control to whatever women will accept it to try and prevent further deaths in a world where childbirth is almost always a death sentence for both mother and child.

 

My rating 2.5/5

For me, this book was a 2.5 out of 5 stars. I don’t normally give books less than a three unless they have structural issues. I felt like this one did but it wasn’t unreadable because of them. Just less enjoyable.

Let me start off with what I did like.

There was an interesting world. I was fascinated by the post apocalyptic world and thought it would have made a good backdrop for a movie or TV series.

I also liked that the book dealt with issues such as access to birth control and treatment of women in general. This book had the potential to be something I really enjoyed. It was the story telling that killed it for me. Not the world. Not the controversial content (well, kinda).

What didn’t work.

I am gonna be very careful here not to give away any major spoilers but there may be a few minor ones.

First off, I didn’t like the way the story was written. The story is told in first person through journals, third person limited through the unnamed midwife’s perspective, and then also in omniscient. This was jarring. I hated the omniscient bits which were mostly wrap ups of what happened to secondary characters after they left the midwife. And, in case you were wondering, most of them didn’t get to ride off into the sunset and have happily ever afters.

The next thing that bothered me is that I felt like certain groups were not well represented. I don’t mean that negative stereotypes were used as much as I just felt like it wasn’t accurate. One group in particular that got unfair treatment were Mormons. If you are Mormon this book is probably best skipped. I also felt like men in general were poorly represented. Men are pretty much the villains in this book. An argument can be made that “nice” and weak men would be killed off and only the cut throat jerk men would survive. But, yeah, I just couldn’t get behind the way men were portrayed as just vile evil creatures all around. There are terrible men, even in our own world, who abuse women. But, they are not the norm. At least, not the ones I know. Most men I have met are good people who treat women with the utmost respect. I have noticed that especially millennial men tend to be very concerned about the treatment of women and how their actions might be regarded as inappropriate. I am part of a writers group. I sat at a table with four men last night talking books. I’m sorry but I can’t believe any one of those men would become the monsters portrayed in this book. Nor my father. Or brother. Or boyfriend. I just thought there was too much evil men and it was a poor representation of men in general. I get that was kinda the point of the story. But, it bothered me.

Another huge issue I had with the story was that the main character was unlikable. I really hated the unnamed midwife. I can’t really tell you much about why without spoilers but I felt like she wasn’t a good person. I hated the choices she made and honestly just kinda hated her. There can be arguments made that she was just trying to survive in a cruel world but sorry, some of her choices went beyond that. Some simply showed a lack of integrity and a lot of selfishness.

Just, no!

I can’t really recommend this book to anyone. It is the worst one I have read this year.

 

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Book Review: Me Before You

Snapshot 1 (9-13-2018 11-47 AM)

 

Book Summary: Me Before you is about a young woman named Lou. She has just lost her job and is struggling to find a new one. Despite having no caregiver experience she is hired to be the companion of a man in a wheelchair named Will.

 

My rating: 4/5

I had really mixed feelings about this book but it is hard to say much about it without spoilers.

I loved the characters and found the overall plot interesting. It was really nice to see the challenges faced by a character in a wheelchair and I don’t think there are enough characters with mobility limitations in the media. I love reading books about characters who are differently-able.

The first 3/4 of this book were awesome. Will and Lou have great chemistry and Lou has a rich backstory that I enjoyed. I really loved her family and the changes that happen to her as she grows. Lou is fairly sheltered (this is by choice) and Will has seen the world. They are very different but both are able to teach the other.

I really hated the ending. I won’t spoil it for anyone but I will just say it didn’t go the way I hoped. I respect how it ended and I didn’t feel cheated by the author or anything like that. I just was not happy about the choices made by the characters and I felt like I would have chosen to do things differently.

This book has controversial topics in it and so may not be a good read for many readers.

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Book Review: How to Find Success Selling eBooks

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Summary: A non fiction book about creating eBooks that sell.

My rating: 3.5/5

This book was really hard for me to rate. I feel like a beginner writer would find it a 4/5 while I personally, as someone who has been writing a while found it closer to 3.5/5.

This book has a lot of good information for someone who is just starting out. If you are just starting to write eBooks this gives many of the basics you will need. It is well written by someone who knows her stuff.

My only issue with the book was it is much more surface level information than I expected. I really wanted more for those of us who have been writing and researching writing for a while. I am 5 yrs in as a writer though my sales remain modest.

All the things talked about in this book I have heard covered again and again. Usually, in books like this I find one gem. One thing that really hits me. One thing I really learn from it.

For me, that didn’t happen in this book.

It was info I knew already. No real gems.

I recommend this book if you are a new writer. If you have been writing and publishing a while you probably won’t benefit much from this book.

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Book Review: Death of a Bachelorette

Summary: Janie Austen has been hired to write for reality t.v.

She and her precious cat, Prozac, are flown to a tropical island so they can be on site for the production. Naturally, things aren’t what they seem and soon one of the cast members is murdered. It is up to Janie to solve the island so she and Prozac can get home before she becomes the unwilling wife of the island king.

My rating: 3/5

death of a bachlorette

 

 

What I loved:

As always, this book is hilarious. It was super entertaining to read. Janie gets in the craziest situations and I love her character.

What I didn’t love:

This book was too zany for me. The situations were pretty over the top. The mystery was only so-so. I had no idea who the killer was and when it was revealed I felt pretty disappointed.

Also, Janie’s best friend, Lance, is a real jerk in this book. He’s always been a bit tough to be friends with but in the past I always could shrug it off or it came off funny. That wasn’t at all the case this time. I was pretty annoyed with Lance in this one to the point I wanted Janie to break off the friendship.

This wasn’t one of the better books in the series and I was pretty disappointed. I do plan to continue reading the series because I do love the characters and the humor in them.

I would recommend this book if you like crazy zany comedy and aren’t too interested in the actual mystery.

 

I also reviewed this book on my YouTube channel. Warning! Review may contain spoilers.

 

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Book Review: An Ice Cold Grave

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Summary: Harper has a unusual gift. She can sense dead bodies. She also can see the moment of their death. Several boys are missing and law enforcement hopes Harper can shed some light on what happened to them.

My rating:

3/5

This book was better than the first one in the series. The mystery was actually really good and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed the way it ended and many of the secondary characters in the book were well developed.

As a mystery, I would say the book is closer to a 4/5.

I liked Harper better in this book though her relationship with her step-brother is still pretty creepy. She is a little less whiny, dependent, and phobic than in the last book.

I still don’t like her step-brother very much. Not sure why but he rubs me the wrong way though less so in this book than in the first one I read.

I thought this book was pretty good. If the premise of this series interests you I recommend starting with this book over book 1. It was better and you didn’t miss anything super important from the first book. There are a couple odds and ends that make more sense if you read both but they aren’t such a big deal that you should read the books in order. Especially because I barely managed to get through book 1.

This book has a neat concept. If you like things like Medium and Ghostwhisperer I would give it a try.

 

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Book Review: Grave Sight

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Summary: Harper can sense bodies and so law enforcement agencies frequently hire her when they have a missing person who they presume is dead. In this book, first in the series, Harper is called to a small town to assist in the investigation of the death of two young lovers.

My Rating:

3/5

I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris and I honestly love this concept. Harper has an amazing gift and this series has quite a lot of potential.

Unfortunately, this book was really hard for me to get through. I started out strong and then somewhere along the way I got bored. I almost didn’t finish. It didn’t help that there were a bunch of secondary characters to keep track of. Also, Harper’s relationship with her step-brother is more than a little bit creepy.  They clearly have feelings for each other beyond what siblings should. I know they aren’t really related but still a bit ick.

I also felt the character’s were hard to relate to. Harper is really strange. She is super dependent on her brother and has anxiety about almost everything.

I can’t really recommend this book to others though I plan to read another book from the series to see if things improve.

 

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Book Review: What’s a Ghoul to Do?

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Summary: M.J. and her partner Gilley are ghost hunters hired by a rich doctor to find his dead grandpa and prove that he was murdered.

My rating:

4/5

I loved how fun and new this book felt. M.J. is interesting and her job as a ghost buster is really very cool. I also love Victoria Laurie’s tone. She is fun and a general joy to read. I am also reading her psychic eye series and would recommend both to lovers of the paranormal (though I think I like the psychic eye just a bit more than this series so far).

Gilley and the other secondary characters are hilarious and many of the situations M.J. finds herself in are hilarious as well.

This is a nice cozy beach read.

Now, while I enjoyed this book there were some things I wasn’t nuts about. The mystery itself was a bit weak or maybe it was the resolution didn’t work for me. I’m not sure. Either way, the mystery itself wasn’t my favorite part of the book. I also had some mixed feelings about M.J.’s love interest. I hope I can adjust to him a the books progress.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Ghost Whisperer or Medium but also reads chick lit. It had content that reminded me of the named shows but it’s tone was light like chick lit.

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