Mini-reviews: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery; Incurable by John Marsden; and Black Heart by Holly Black

Title: Anne of the Island
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Puffin Classics
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Susan O’Malley
Audiobook length: 7 hours, 49 minutes
First line: “Harvest is ended and summer is gone,” quoted Anne Shirley, gazing across the shorn fields dreamily.

This third book in the “Anne-with-an-e” series is very close to as good as the first. Anne is away at college, and struggling to understand her feelings for Gilbert. I loved the friendship between Anne and the girls she shares a home with, and I was rooting for Gilbert the whole time. I’m not even minding that I have listened to three of the books in the series all narrated by different people. Each narrator has done a decent job, and they’ve blended together in my head.

Title: Incurable
Author: John Marsden
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: When the cockies spread their wings and float from one branch to another they hang for a moment, like they’re caught in an eddy of air.

After the way I adored Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began series, this second book in the Ellie Chronicles was a disappointment. I’ll know more after I finish the third, and final, book, but I’m beginning to think that these three books would have made more sense as a single, longer volume. Even though I like the character of young Gavin, I wanted more of Ellie and her trying to get on with things – and that’s not what Marsden wrote.

Title: Black Heart
Author: Holly Black
Genre: YA speculative fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Jesse Eisenberg
Audiobook length: 6 hours, 33 minutes
First line: My brother Barron sits next to me, sucking the last dregs of milk tea slush noisily through a wide yellow straw.

I loved this third book in Black’s Curse Workers trilogy – it ended the series on just the right note. This series is part magic, part mafia, and I love the world she has created. I hope there will be further books set in the world, even if they don’t follow Cassel and his family. Jesse Eisenberg was a wonderful narrator, bringing Cassel’s first-person narration to life, and was very consistent throughout the entire series. This is definitely a YA series that you won’t want to miss, and if you do audio, that’s the way to go.

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11 Responses to Mini-reviews: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery; Incurable by John Marsden; and Black Heart by Holly Black

  1. I’ve never got to grips with audio-books – I always prefer the written word, but then I listen to plays, and book readings on Radio 4, and always enjoy them, so maybe I should try.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Christine – you should try again! Listening to audiobooks has more than doubled the time I have for reading. 🙂

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I listened to White Cat, the first book in that series, and liked it well enough (kids weren’t all that thrilled). I loved Eisenberg as the narrator. If I run out of things to listen to (ha) or need that kind of a fix, I may chase down books two and three.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Sandy – I really hope she does more books set in that world – I enjoyed it.

  3. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I really need to get back to Anne – I loved the first book and haven’t pursued the rest of the series.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I hope you do continue it – not every book is as wonderful as the first, but on the whole, it’s one of my favorite series.

  4. Michelle says:

    Aw, Ann with an E is my favorite heroine of all time. I think Anne of the Island is my favorite of the series, if only because she FINALLY realizes that she does love Gilbert after all.

    I really need to get to the final book in the Curse Workers series. I loved the first two so much!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Michelle – I’m reading Anne of Windy Poplars in print right now – it’s actually not available on audio, for some weird reason.

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