Mini Reviews: You’re Never Weird On The Internet, Station Eleven, and Just One Damned Thing After Another

Posted December 17, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Just in time for the end of the year, I’m bringing you another set of mini reviews!  This is the first year that I’ve had so many rereads of books I’ve read before and reviewed on the blog, since there was another set of mini reviews over the summer.  Sometimes, you just need to reread some books, you know?

This time, I’m checking in quickly on three books I really liked in the past, as well as one that I’d only listened to previously and now I’m reading in hardcopy.  These are all bite-sized reviews and quick impressions (similar to the types of reviews that I normally post on Goodreads).  I’ll link all my original reviews as well so y’all can see the in-depth dissections of the books in their original forms. 🙂

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You're Never Weird on the Internet

You're Never Weird on the Internet

by Felicia Day

Publisher: Gallery Books on August 11, 2015
Genre: Autobiography, Biography, Humor, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Target Age Group: Adult, New Adult, Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

The Internet isn’t all cat videos. There’s also Felicia Day—violinist, filmmaker, Internet entrepreneur, compulsive gamer, hoagie specialist, and former lonely homeschooled girl who overcame her isolated childhood to become the ruler of a new world... or at least semi-influential in the world of Internet Geeks and Goodreads book clubs.

After growing up in the south where she was "home-schooled for hippie reasons", Felicia moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and was immediately typecast as a crazy cat-lady secretary. But Felicia’s misadventures in Hollywood led her to produce her own web series, own her own production company, and become an Internet star.

Felicia’s short-ish life and her rags-to-riches rise to Internet fame launched her career as one of the most influential creators in new media. Now, Felicia’s strange world is filled with thoughts on creativity, video games, and a dash of mild feminist activism—just like her memoir.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

A year later, I still really enjoy this book.  I still think that You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is an imperfect book.  Memoirs are like that – reflections the person writing them, and we are all imperfect.  I picked up this book again because I just… adore… Felicia Day.  Her love of gaming and willingness to share her passions with the world despite her gender helped create an online space for women.  She is quickly and anxious and so relatable – reading her memoir is like sitting down and having coffee with a friend.

After my second listen of the audiobook, I still really like this one and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

I first read this book in 2019 – check out my original review here.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★

5 Star Rating

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Station Eleven

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf on September 9, 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Literary Fiction, Post-Apoctalyptic
Target Age Group: Adult, New Adult
Content Warnings: Death, Grief, Infidelity, Rape, Religious Bigotry, Suicide, Terminal Illness

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

Station Eleven is just as good as it was when I listened to the audiobook back in 2018.  I was so pleased when this popped out of my TBR jar, because what with the pandemic… I thought of this one immediately and had been itching for a reread.  So many things feel familiar, the quiet nostalgia of normality and the way some people behave… obviously the situation in Station Eleven is much more impactful and dramatic, but it was still somehow comforting in its familiarity.

I like the way this book is structured quite a bit.  I liked the connections between characters and how they rotate around one another.  That feeling of it being a small world even though the world has broken down and had to rebuild.  I like the different perspectives from different times before and after the breakdown.  I just really like this as a self-contained story in a while.  I haven’t heard much about the HBO Max miniseries in months, but I do hope it still happens.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★

5 Star Rating

Station Eleven Stays On the SHelp

Even though Station Eleven is a reread, it’s the first time I’ve read the hardcopy book, and sometimes books are just better in one format or another, you know?  Fortunately, I liked the hardcopy read of Station Eleven just as much as the audiobook listen.  If anything, I got more out of the reread because I came into the book as a slightly different person, looking for slightly different things.

I love rereads.

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Just One Damned Thing After Another

Just One Damned Thing After Another

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Chronicles of St. Mary's #1
Publisher: Accent Press on June 1, 2013
Genre: Adventure, History, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Target Age Group: New Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

ehind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.

The first thing you learn on the job at St. Mary’s is that one wrong move and history will fight back—sometimes in particularly nasty ways. But, as new recruit Madeleine Maxwell soon discovers, it’s not only history they’re often fighting.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Max and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Leon “Chief” Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea.

From eleventh-century London to World War I, from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, one thing is for sure: wherever the historians at St. Mary’s go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

This book is no less enjoyable upon reading it for a second time… though I really, really must move forward in the series.  The first time I read this, it made me laugh out loud, which was exceedingly awkward on a cruise ship full of refined patrons.  The second time, it still made me laugh out loud, because I’d legit sit just long enough that I’d forgotten some of the funny bits.

It’s a quick-paced book, but I think that is to its benefit.  There are some high highs and some low lows and it makes you run the entire gamut of emotions for Max.  I maintain that St. Mary’s is exactly the sort of career I would like.  And that this book is just fun enough to be an absolute joy and a comfort read for me.  I still wholeheartedly recommend it, and honestly, I may just go order A Symphony of Echoes because zany time travel is exactly my cup of tea.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★

5 Star Rating

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What books have you reread recently?  Did they meet or exceed your expectations?  Let me know in the comments!

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