Hey everyone and happy Tuesday! I’ve read a couple of books over these past two weeks, and I thought that it would be fun to share my thoughts with you! I’m the absolute worst at thinking of enough things to write about for a fully detailed review, so why not compile a bunch of mini reviews into one? I’ll be talking about my thoughts on Anxious People, Chain of Iron, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I do rant a bit about some of these books, and I can unintentionally sound too harsh, so don’t take me too seriously haha.
Anxious People – 4/5 Stars
This was an incredibly thoughtful book, and I’m glad I ended up picking it up, despite not usually reading this genre.
My absolute favorite part of this book were the characters. This is definitely more of a character-driven novel, with the plot actually falling a bit short. There were times where it felt a bit tedious and annoying, especially with the story centered around one event. There were a few interviews, but I felt like they dragged the whole book down with irrelevant, spiraling talk that didn’t add enough to the story.
Anyways, I really loved how the book focused on the intertwining and collision of lives between a group of seemingly unrelated “strangers.” There are so many slowly uncovered connections between them, that although do seem too convenient at times, are enjoyable to read about. However, by focusing on so many characters at once (like eight or something), it was a bit confusing towards the beginning. It took me a while to comprehend each individual character, who they were, and how their perspective and lives fit in with the overall story. I did end up really liking the end with everyone’s story wrapping up, and especially the one with Nadia. It might seem a little too “perfect” for some people, but I like happy endings
The writing style is whimsical, a little humorous at times, but reflective over everything. There are many times where the author steps back to provide commentary about overarching themes and “life observations,” which at times seem a little forced, but were thoughtful nevertheless. This book also covers a lot of heavier topics, with a lot of sad events happening to the characters. It’s more of a personal thing, but it was a little depressing for someone like me who tends to read lighter, fluffier reads. However, I don’t necessarily dislike that fact, and I think that some of these misfortunes added depth to them.
Anyways, I’d highly recommend this one if you’re interested in the genre.
Chain of Iron – 3.5/5 Stars
This was a solidly entertaining read! It definitely was not written amazingly in any way, but Cassandra Clare’s books just have that addicting quality. I’m going to keep my review spoiler-free for anyone who hasn’t read it yet! There will be spoilers for Chain of Gold though.
My biggest problem of all is that there are so many plot conveniences that make no sense. There are just these things that happen that are so “out there” that they almost seem ridiculous. It’s like Cassandra Clare desperately wanted something to happen, but couldn’t find out how to do it in a logical way, so she just made it some “newly discovered power” instead.
The characters were okay, and there was nothing wrong with them, but most of them were just a little boring. But I did very much like the Alastair & Thomas content!! Literally fueled my soul. This (!) is what we need, but we only got like a chapter of it? Why are the characters I care about the most the least relevant.
Anyways, we also get to experience James and Cordelia’s *domestic life* after being married, which I did not care for either. I know I’m saying this a billion times, but their relationship just fell flat. There wasn’t enough angst and tension or anything I guess I find thrilling in other romances. Things were boring, and even throwing in a love triangle with Grace couldn’t fix it. Cordelia also makes some rash, naive decisions through the book that I found so annoying.
I also liked Matthew in Chain of Gold, so I was excited to see him in Chain of Iron, until the very end of the book happened. Like WHY. PLEASE NO. Don’t let this happen.
We also get more perspectives from Grace, which do help you empathize a bit more with her character. I actually really enjoyed reading about her in Chain of Gold, and I found her to be an interesting character. I don’t know if something changed about her though, or if I was remembering things wrong, but she fell flat in this one for me as well. I can’t think of the right word for this, but she became a little more “pathetic”?
I know I’m ranting so hard right now, but I somehow still enjoyed the book? The main plot, disregarding all those things I talked about before, was somewhat interesting! I enjoyed reading more about James’s struggle with his grandfather, as well as this “murder mystery” that continues through the story. I also really enjoyed reading about Lucie and Grace teaming up to save Jesse.
Anyways, I thought that this was mildly enjoyable, though not a great book by any standards. I can tell that a lot of people are really going to enjoy this one (and already have!) so I hope you feel better about this book than I do. 🙂
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – 3/5 Stars
I have no idea how to rate this, and maybe I’ll change my mind later, but the book kind of fell flat.
There were so many unbelievably boring parts of the book. This book splits itself between past and future, as Addie Larue has lived for 300 years, and everything in the past is so boring. I swear, it’s literally Addie being like “I’m so tired of people forgetting me” and “I don’t want to die and sell my soul” dragged on for chapters and chapters. We also get a lot of examples of how everyone forgets her, but its so redundant. Like you don’t need to tell me 239328 instances of people who have forgotten her for me to know that she’s cursed by being forgotten by everyone she meets. Plus, we get a ton of conversations between her and Luc, and I swear, they’re saying the exact same thing every time. I guess it’s meant to “further their relationship” but it was so repetitive.
The part of the book in the present is a little better. It dives more into the relationship between Addie and Henry, and it’s fun seeing their relationship and romance develop. I mean, after all the repetition in the past, I was dying to read something new. It’s not a particularly interesting romance, but I’ll take it. I found the rest of the characters to be quite forgettable too, and I unironically don’t remember their names.
We also get a little bit of Henry’s perspectives , both in the past and the present. I don’t want to be mean, and maybe I should choose a less strong word, but he was a little pathetic. All of his sections were boring too, and I did not care for him at all.
Also, there really isn’t much of a plot. I can’t tell you a single thing that happens in this story. There are a lot of events that happen to develop the romance and to develop the idea that Addie is in fact forgettable, but none of them are substantial in any way. They’re not significant enough to hold up the plot. This is definitely a more character-driven plot, and I feel like the plot was created to work around the characters, rather than the other way around (if that makes any sense at all).
I hated that meta ending too. I just found it dumb. I almost wish the story ended prior to the scene of Henry at the bookstore.
Anyways, I know I get into the habit of badly bashing books, but I will say it wasn’t a bad read. Yes, I found myself skimming portions. But, I finished it! Like I said, the present sections weren’t bad, and I did enjoy Schwab’s writing style. It was not a bad way to pass my afternoon, but it was nothing more than that.
And we are done! Thanks to everyone who read through my reviews, and I hope you enjoyed them! I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to get to some “hyped” books on my backlist, just to see if it stands up to it. I was actually going to read Mistborn after receiving it from my library after a few months but then I suddenly wasn’t in the mood for it? I am such a bad mood reader. So, I actually decided to start The Unhoneymooners for a little light contemporary romance, and hopefully it’ll be enjoyable.
Let me know in the comments what you thought about any of these books if you’ve read them, or how your current read is!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews! – Anxious People, Chain of Iron, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue”
Allison!! Sorry for the late comment hehe. But thank you for the mini reviews – I’ve been hearing quite a bit about Fredrik Backman’s books and haven’t got the chance to pick them up yet… the whimsical writing with commentary over deep topics here and there though perhaps a little pretentious at times but still nuanced anyway reminds me of another book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – have you read that one? Anyway, I’ll be picking Anxious People up, thank you for the recommendation… lovely post as always!! ❤
I’ve actually been meaning to read The Midnight Library! A friend also recommended it to me earlier, and it sounds like an interesting read. Thank you!! Hope you enjoy Anxious People when you get to it 🙂