I've decided instead of torturing myself to write proper reviews of everything I read, therefore not reviewing anything, I'd go down the mini-review road. Much easier and less stressful for everyone.
Generation A by Douglas Coupland - I really don't know how to review this one. It's been kind of hit or miss with me and Douglas Coupland. I've read a few of his books and liked some, Eleanor Rigby in particular, was absolutely beautiful. Then others, like Microserfs, I couldn't really find my place in it and had to abandon it. I wasn't sure what I would be getting into with Generation A. I hadn't heard anything of it before I saw it in the library. I picked it up thinking that perhaps N would like to read it and instead it was me who finished it. And here we are, weeks later and I still cannot find the words. I ... liked it. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I did like it. The first half of the book is very different from the second half and that just confused me more than anything else. It felt like if Coupland had explored aspects of the storyline in different ways (a romance between two characters was started and then dropped suddenly/it started off sounding like a paranoid conspiracy theory which could have been interesting) I might have liked it better, but it was still a fun, intelligent read. It's set slightly in the future, where bees have become extinct for awhile. Then all of a sudden five people from all over the world are stung and they end up being studied by the government before being shipped to an island together. It's interesting.
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton - The first book in the Anita Blake series. As I've mentioned before I feel a little uneasy starting a series with so many books in it. I believe there are 17 books in this series right now. 17. That is too many. How are the books towards the end of that? Still as good? I don't know. I liked Guilty Pleasures, but I didn't love it. I started reading it and it just felt like I'd miss something. I had to put my book down and check the internet to see if Guilty Pleasures really was the first book in the series and not the second. Because nothing seems to be explained. We're just sort of thrown into Anita Blake's life as an animator/vampire hunter and introduced to a bunch of characters and find out very little of her back history. I was confused a great deal. I kept getting the male characters mixed-up. The people Anita works with, the stripper, the men trying to kill her, her colleague. I don't know, I found it to be a lot to take in all at once. I liked Anita as a character, she seems quite feisty. I like the premise of it all. But can I commit myself to another 16 books? I'm still undecided.
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera - I thought that The Whale Rider would be a light, fun read. And it was fun, and it's not very long, but it's so full of history and it was so interesting that I took a lot more time over it. I love reading all those stories about how the relationship between the Maoris and the whales. It was truly fascinating. The chapters alternate between the legends of the past, and the family of the descendents of The Whale Rider. As much as I loved the myths, I also adored Kahu, the sweet little girl who has such a strong connection to the whales and who loves her grumpy old grandfather Koro Apirana so entirely despite the fact that he denies her existence because she is a girl. The story is a little slow to start, but midway through to the end I was absolutely gripped by this tale. I actually sobbed in several different parts, it's so moving and beautiful. One to look out for.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin - Why has it taken me so long to read this book? It is truly wonderful. I stayed up too late reading this because I had to know what happened and then had crazy dreams about it. Le Guin's writing style feels quite sparse, but I was completely invested in the story and the characters right away. I was astounded by the detail and scale of Earthsea. I loved Sparrowhawk. I truly did. His struggle with his own pride and vanity, the self-doubt after he creates a nasty beast during a difficult spell - his coming of age journey was a magical thing to be part of. The show-down with the dragons had me almost breathless in suspense. I literally couldn't sit still from the anticipation of the final battle. I'm wondering if I will love the other books in the series as much with Sparrowhawk being only a supporting character? It doesn't matter, I have to read the other books.
And that is all! Mini-reviews of the books YOU are reading in comments? Please?