Friday, August 21, 2015

Mini Reviews: "Armada" by Ernest Cline and "Someday, Someday, Maybe" by Lauren Graham

"Armada" by Ernest Cline
First published in 2015
349 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5
Image from Goodreads

I pretty much knew from the first page -- on which our main character spots a flying saucer through the window of his math classroom -- that I was going to like this novel.

I read and loved "Ready Player One" back in March and I was really looking forward to Ernest Cline's sophomore effort, "Armada." It was such a fun story and -- other than being what I call "sci-fi lite" -- the plot was totally different from "RPO." It wasn't quite as creative, but the writing was a little better. Both books are awesome and you should read 'em!

Zack Lightman of "Armada" is a totally likeable high school senior who lives with his single mom (his dad died in a workplace accident when he was just a baby) and is obsessed with his favorite video game, "Armada," a flight simulator that involves fending off alien invaders. But it turns out that the weapons, the aircraft and the aliens in the game might not be so fictional after all!

Don't be put off if science fiction isn't your usual thing -- both "Ready Player One" and "Armada" are accessible to all readers. There were a couple references (like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" ) that went over my head, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. And both of these books made me feel like being a major geek is the coolest thing ever. They made me want to time-travel back to the 1980s and visit an arcade, have Atari marathons, listen to '80s rock and wear acid-wash jeans!

(P.S. Don't miss the special touch Cline added in the back of the book. Throughout the story, Zack talks about his dad's "Raid the Arcade" cassette tape full of '80s songs, which has become Zack's playlist for gaming. Cline included the list -- on a photocopied Maxwell cassette tape track list -- so readers can listen to all the awesome '80s rock themselves!)

"Someday, Someday, Maybe" by Lauren Graham
First published in 2013
Audiobook read by the author
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Image from Goodreads

"Someday, Someday, Maybe" was a cute, chick lit-y read about a 20-something aspiring actress living in New York City in 1995 (there's perhaps a little something autobiographical going on here). If you know Lauren Graham from "Gilmore Girls," you'd agree her main character Frannie Banks is exactly the type you'd expect her to write -- funny, self-deprecating, a little naive, full of gumption and kinda kooky, probably a lot like a young Lauren Graham.

I was so glad I decided to listen to the audiobook -- Graham's voice perfectly fits Frannie's character -- and I highly recommend going that route. I liked the story well enough overall, and I definitely enjoyed the 1990s setting with relics like cassette-tape answering machines, pagers, chunky Doc Martens, pantyhose and cash-everything.

However, the plot was predictable in the extreme -- from the love triangle to the fiasco of hiring an agent to the conclusion -- and the writing was alright but not great. But obviously Graham is an actress first and writer on the side, so I didn't expect to be blown away by a literary masterpiece. If I hadn't listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author herself, I would've given it 3 stars for an ok read. The extra half-star is for the personality and sense of character imbued by listening to Lauren Graham's narration.


  1. If I ever end up reading Someday, Someday Maybe I'll have to remember to check it out on audio! And Star Trek references makes me even more interested in Armanda!

  2. I'm glad to hear Armada worked out for you! I've seen lots of people end up disappointed by it.


Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...