Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! Since I have a huge pile of backlog reviews of the books I read during my break, I will be featuring an extra book in my shorties posts until I’ve caught up. This time around a MG fantasy that wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, a supernatural thriller that I did enjoy and a romance read that ended up being another unpopular opinion.

Title: How To Train Your Dragon
(How To Train Your Dragon #1)
Author: Cressida Cowell

Genre: MG, Fantasy, Adventure
First published: 2003
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: December 15th 2021
Pages: 224

“Being frightened is not the same as being a coward.”


I needed a book about dragons to help complete the BTB Bingo challenge last year… Since I enjoyed the movies, I thought How To Train Your Dragon was going to be a quick and fun choice. What I didn’t expect was just how different this story is from the movie! In fact, it shows that the adaptation only used a few minor details from the book and invented a whole different plot instead… And in this case, I think I like the movie version a lot more. I’m not sure what it is about this first book of a middle grade series that didn’t work for me, but it partly had to do with the writing style, tone and plot itself. I also had a hard time separating the book from the movie, which might have had something do to with the lesser rating. All in all it’s not a bad read and it will probably work a lot better for a younger audience (unless they expect something similar to the movies that is).

Title: The Dead Zone
Author: Stephen King

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Supernatural
First published: August 30th 1979
Publisher: Hodder
Finished reading: December 18th 2021
Pages: 595

“We all do what we can, and it has to be good enough, and if it isn’t good enough, it has to do.”


I first tried reading The Dead Zone quite some years ago (2014) and just couldn’t get into it, but I left it on hold hoping that one day it would work better for me… When I needed a book for the ‘second chance’ prompt of the BTB Bingo challenge last year, I immediately thought of this story. It took me a bit longer than expected to actually pick it up, but I’m happy to say that it worked so much better for me this time around. I do have to say that it took me some time to properly get into it, as there are so many different POVs and characters to keep track of and things can get a bit confusing initially. Once I was able to place everyone, I was hooked though. There is a lot of suspense built in and I liked how all the different POVs slowly started coming together… Was it overlong? Yes, but that wasn’t really a surprise as a lot of his books tend to be that way. All in all I’m glad I didn’t discard The Dead Zone after my first try as I had a great time with it the second time around.

Title: Eight Perfect Hours
Author: Lia Louis

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: September 21st 2021
Publisher: Atria
Finished reading: December 19th 2021
Pages: 336

“Life was easier when we weren’t all so available and easy to interrupt, right?”


I kept hearing great things about this Christmas themed new release, and I couldn’t resist picking it up as part of my holiday reading… Sadly, this turned out to be yet another unpopular opinion review instead. Somehow Eight Perfect Hours didn’t work for me at all and it wasn’t the fun and uplifting Christmas romance I was hoping it would be. Part of the problem was that I didn’t like most of the characters, as they felt one-dimensional and quite cliche. Sam was ok, but Noelle was SO frustrating and both Dilly and Ed extremely annoying. I never like a love triangle in my stories, and there was definitely a lot of focus on that in Eight Perfect Hours… Add the cheating, and it was a major letdown for me. The sheer amount of ‘chance meetings’ between Sam and Noelle crossed the line to ridiculous and unbelievable as well, and the ending felt super rushed compared to the slowgoing and repetitive rest of the plot. I was hoping to find something uplifting to get me in the holiday spirit, but unfortunately Eight Perfect Hours ended up being a total dud for me.

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