Year 17, Book 100

100. I Dare You to Love Me by Lori G. Matthews

This book was terrible and the only reason I even finished it was because it got me to my reading goal for the year. I guess it was supposed to be cute, sexy banter between the characters, but it just felt mean and in no way like these people would want to be together. I also hated that everyone was so obsessed with these characters getting together when it didn’t make any sense, especially when Danielle was already engaged to a man. It’s like none of them had any lives of their own. And I didn’t like the way that Danielle was cheating on her fiance who was barely a character. I’d make a hard pass on this one. I give it a 2 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 99

99. Murder in Miniature by Margaret Grace

I’m not usually one for cozy mysteries, but the title of this book reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books, The Dollhouse Murders, so I picked it up. I didn’t particularly care for it, but I’m not sure how much I can adequately review it since I don’t read a lot of books in this genre. I can’t say that I liked it that much, but it might be something that people who like cozy mysteries find enjoyable. It’s hard for me to say. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 98

98. Camp Lost and Found by Georgia Beers

I usually really like Georgia Beers’ novels, but I thought this one seemed very boring and repetitive. There’s only so many times I need to read about people putting on joggers and drinking hot chocolate. Unfortunately not a very good book in my opinion. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 97

97. These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

A really great book of essays by Ann Patchett. I definitely recommend reading if you like Ann Patchett, essays, or just good books. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 96

96. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

I absolutely adored this book. I was annoyed every time I had to put it down and go do something else. Sam and Sadie are childhood friends who lost touch for 6 years until they run into each other a T station near Harvard Square during college. They reconnect and begin a long friendship and partnership in which they design video games together. Although I’m not sure these characters are entirely believable as real people the way that they and their relationships are written feels so lived in. I loved spending time with them and in their world. I’m already sort of dreading what I think is the inevitable adaptation of this into a tv show or movie that is in no way going to capture what I loved about this book. I give it a 9 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 95

95. The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

I read A Visit From the Goon Squad a long time ago and remember loving it, but remember literally nothing about what happens in it. I did not re-read it before I read The Candy House, so I’m sure that I would have gotten more out of this book if I had been able to make the connection between the two. I do remember feeling the exact same way about that book as I do about this one in that it’s really a series of interconnected short stories rather than a true novel, but the stories were intertwined in such a way that the narrative still feels compelled forward even though you are constantly switching characters so I didn’t mind even though I’m not a huge short story fan. I felt that way for most of the book anyway. About 3/4 of the way in it sort of jumps the track to a different narrative before circling back around at the end, but by then I had sort of the lost the thread and didn’t really care that much. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 94

94. A Tale of Two Princes by Eric Geron

This entire book was preposterous from the overall premise to the individual story parts. I would have quit reading it multiple times except I’m desperately trying to get to my goal of 100 books before the end of the year and didn’t want to waste any of the pages I had already read of this dumb book. I give it a 3 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 93

93. Matrix by Lauren Groff

Matrix is a highly fictionalized story about the real 12th century author Marie de France. I didn’t really know anything about Marie de France going into this book, so I was unsure how much was based on actual events and how much was imagined. It turns out that though many of her manuscripts survive there is little actually known about who Marie de France really was. It’s mostly speculation, so pretty much this entire book is a work of fiction. In this story, she is cast out of court by Eleanor of Aquitaine and sent to live in an abbey where she eventually overcomes her disdain of religion and religious life to become the head of the abbey where she experiences visions from God. As it is alluded to many times throughout the book that Marie was in love with Eleanor, I would have liked to have gotten more glimpses of their earlier relationship, which I think would have helped round out Marie’s obsession with her. Overall, I did find it an engaging book that had interesting things to say about women, power, and religion. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 92

92. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts takes place in some sort of dystopian future after a period of violent unrest that resulted in passing of laws to keep people in line in the name of safety. The laws specifically single out Asian people and culture restricting access to any books about it and causing children to be taken from their homes when their parents are suspected of not being patriots. Bird is a 12 year old half Asian boy who lives alone with his father after his mother left the family seemingly to fight against the system years ago. Now it seems like she is trying to make contact with him and he goes on an adventure to try and find her. The book definitely felt like it could be all to real in the fact of the Asian hate and other culture war issues that are happening currently. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 91

91. What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

This book is a sequel to Munroe’s original book What If? It’s pretty much exactly the same, but looking at new hypothetical questions. He continues to illustrate the book with versions of his popular web comic xkcd. He uses real scientific principles to respond to completely inane questions. It’s fun but also educational. If you enjoyed the first one, you’ll enjoy this one too. I give it an 8 out of 10.