Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Kennedy and Somali pirates

Killing Kennedy: The End of CamelotKilling Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Audiobook, read by the author (in his unique cadence: "What he DOESN'T know is that BOBBY Kennedy has just. done. the same. thing."

This was a great summary of all the stuff you've always wanted to know about Kennedy and his assassination: his war-time heroism, the election, Cuba, Marilyn Monroe, his relationship with Jackie, mob ties, etc. It stays pretty surface-level, though. I would guess that someone who lived through this era, or someone who is even a moderate history buff, already knows everything in this book. But I certainly didn't, so yay.

Prodigy (Legend, #2)Prodigy by Marie Lu

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF. This series is dead to me. I got 25% through (as per my Kindle), and in that space of time, I encountered THREE deal-breaking moments. I let it go the first two times, but the third made me throw in the towel. But what happens in the rest of the story??? you might be asking. The answer: don't know; don't care.

SPOILERS, if you want to know the deal-breakers. [The first was when Day said "I love you" to June. Right before that happened, I thought to myself, "if he even says 'I love you,' that's IT." Then, when the scene opened with some paper clips scattered around the room, I thought to myself, "if he even made June a ring out of those paper clips, that's IT." Finally, when June started getting all reminisce-y about Thomas and Mateis, I thought to myself, "if the author even re-writes her own book's history to make one or the both of them gay, that's IT." And it turned out that that really was it.]

Also, there wasn't nearly enough talk about the clothes, like in Legend.

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)World After by Susan Ee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Until about 70% of the way through, I had almost decided that the fact that I have hardly liked any sequel this whole year (see above for one example of many) meant that it was me, not them. But turns out it probably is them, because World After is a great sequel. And it gets great right around the 70% mark (before that, it was just good).

I think the reason I like this series is because I like the characters. I think Penryn is one of the more believable and relateable heroines to have been written in YA lit in recent years. And forgive me, but I love her mother, too.

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, even if it takes another 2+ years to come out, as this one did.

Hostage ThreeHostage Three by Nick Lake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ostensibly, this is a book about a spoiled teenage girl falling in love with the Somali pirate who hijacks the yacht she is sailing around the world in. Total eye-roll, right? Just taking the "good girl fancies pirate-archetype character" plot in a very literal, lame, completely unbelievable direction, right?

Wrong. This book really affected me, against my expectations, almost against my will. Every time I thought this book was going to go "there" - "there" being some gimmicky, over-the-top place - it stopped just short. In the end, I am left with the same kind of feelings I had when I finished The Book Thief. I'm not ready to say that this book is as good as that one, but there is certainly more to it than meets the eye. (And I mean that very literally since I happen to think this book deserves a better cover.)

I can't guarantee you'll like this book as much as I did. But even if you don't, the the worst that will have happened is that you read a really haunting, beautifully written book. As far as "teenage girl sorts herself out" books go, this one is probably my favorite.

The Other Pioneer Day

Happy 42nd UAE National Day!