The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
It took a while to gather my thoughts on this one, and I'm not sure I've done so sufficiently now. I enjoyed this book overall. I loved having Gravedigger's perspective, but I think those sections could have been meatier. It never got deep enough. There was just enough to begin empathizing with the elephants, but there needed to be more. I wish Gravedigger had more sections, too. There was not enough focus on him.
I also appreciated the POV's of the poacher and his brother. I cared less about the filmmakers because their story barely had anything to do with the elephants. It was more about her romance.
I think this book and this author had a lot more potential and could have been a knock-you-out amazing read. Instead it was just okay.
Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson
This story would've made a bigger impact on me if the writing wasn't mediocre at best. It took so much away from the story that it was hard to care about the characters or what the "wizard" was or was not doing to Elijah. I did not care about Nikki or Obi, the adoptive parents. There was such a disconnect for me with these characters. I should have loved them for all the social justice work Obi did and for adopting a troubled kid and for loving him automatically. I should have felt overwhelmed with sadness and anger towards what Elijah had been through before he came to Nikki and Obi. I should have felt something. The characters were written very flat, in my opinion. We were TOLD we should feel more than made to feel. On top of that there was so little about Nigerian culture (there was some but not a lot) that I feel it was incorrectly pitched to me. Disappointing.
Spinster by Kate Bolick
It was off to a stellar start, but in the end this read was just okay for me. It's half-biography, half-memoir, all looking outside of herself for answers to her questions. Which is fine, as you tend to do that when you're in your early twenties. I ended up skimming the last 1/3 of the book. I no longer cared. It was very repetitive. She did not ever seem to learn very much, and when she did it was very slow going. True to life, perhaps, but makes for a story you want to hurry up and have a point. While Bolick makes good points here and there, it wasn't enough to keep me engaged in that regard either. The writing is quite dry and Bolick is just not interesting enough to hold my attention. The more I read, the less I enjoyed it somehow. Such an important topic for so many of us who have chosen to remain unmarried, but the execution was disappointing. I feel that this is a book that needed to be written, but perhaps by someone else.