What I’ve Been Reading 7/25/17

It’s time for another exploration of my recent reads.  I’ve been pretty spoiled by some of the books on this list–I rarely give out five star ratings on Goodreads, but there are some titles worthy of that honor in here.

Enjoy–and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book has been on my radar for a LONG time–it was just a matter of getting to it.  Well, I’m currently listening to it on audiobook and HOLY CRAP, HOW HAVE I BEEN MISSING OUT ON THIS?  The subject matter isn’t one that immediately sucks me in (which is why it has taken so long to pick up), but dang.  Once I got past the first few chapters, I was absolutely hooked.  What strikes me about this book is the excellent characterization.  It features a variety of characters and switches points of view constantly, but each voice is distinct.  Each character is fully-realized, which makes them feel so real.  Bardugo slowly unveils their stories, giving us hints and glimpses at their pasts and their ambitions with each page.  It makes driving to work an absolute treat!  I’m already dreading reaching the end of the audiobook, but I know I’ll be moving on to Crooked Kingdom straight away.

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

Gosh, WHY do I keep reading Dickerson’s books?  I’ve read almost everything she’s published and, even though I don’t love her stories, they’re enjoyable.  I love fairytale retellings, and Dickerson’s are subtle.  After the mess that was this one, I think I might throw in the towel.  Her stories are all formulaic, but the formula is definitely wearing thin.  Dickerson’s protagonists are always beautiful, kind, compassionate, selfish, pious, and BORING.  Her side characters have zero depth.  It’s like watching paper dolls act on a puppet show stage, then fall into a puddle and crumble apart.  I’m also almost insulted by how heavy-handed Dickerson is with her representation of Christianity.  Female leads are always quoting scripture, praying, and longing to someday be rich enough to own a Bible translated into German.  It’s as if Dickerson expects that, by making her women models of Christian femininity, that makes them good characters.  Um, no.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I talked about Schwab’s first book in this series, A Darker Shade of Magic, a month ago.  While I really enjoyed that book, I fell head-over-heels in love with this one.  I think this might be because I listened to it on audiobook, which meant that my reading was slower and more deliberate.  Schwab is excellent at world building–in the first book, she establishes the different Londons.  In this book, Schwab takes a new turn.  She expands the world of Red London through a magical tournament, which reminded me a lot of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.  The tournament introduces the different empires and peoples, as well as expands on how magic functions and how each culture relates differently to it.  Schwab also continued to establish her characters, who have nestled their way deep into my heart.  Delilah Bard (who I found likable, but flighty and kind of annoying in the first book) is now making her way to my all-time favorite characters list.  I’m eagerly waiting for my hold on the third book on audio to come through at the library so I can continue.

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Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

I read Mead’s first Glistening Court book last fall and was underwhelmed.  The premise has promise–taking young women, training them to be society ladies, and taking the to a new unsettled land to marry the members of the budding aristocracy.  The new-world concept is interesting because it’s obviously parallel to the settling of America.  This book, being about spies and conspiracies and, offered more promise than the first.  The first half featuring the journey West was really interesting and I really liked Mira and Grant.  Once they got there, though, Mead tried to do too much and I lost interest.  It was definitely better than the first one, but not great.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

I really, really love that more diverse YA stories are being published.  Stories really do tie us together as fellow humans.  What I love about YA as a genre is that it’s all about growing up, discovering yourself, and figuring out how to go through life.  And those are things that we all experience, no matter your color or religion or orientation.  So, yay diversity!  I really enjoyed this book–although I read the second half really quickly and didn’t retain much.  Janna was a relatable protagonist and I enjoyed learning about her world.  I especially loved the bits about her Islamic quiz team… we had one at my Christian church growing up.  The religious texts are different, but the atmosphere to Janna’s was very familiar.  (I didn’t actually do quiz team though… I was always really bad at memorizing the Bible.)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I needed a quick audiobook to listen to a couple of weeks ago and this one was free on Overdrive…. HOLY CATS, how did I wait this long before reading this book?!  The book was narrated by the fantastic Stephen Fry and I loved every moment of it!  It was so British in tone that I was nostalgic for the time I’ve spent across the pond.  I laughed out loud so many times.

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What have you been reading recently?

Stop back in a couple of weeks for more book talk!

For more of my reading adventures, add me on Goodreads

5 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading 7/25/17

  1. Kathy @ Books & Munches July 26, 2017 / 1:03 am

    I so desperately need to start Crooked Kingdom. After Six of Crows I’ve been looking forward to it but life has been getting in my way big time.
    Still considering whether or not I’m going to read V.E. Schwab’s books.. Been hearing mixed things about it and it’s kind of putting me off, haha.

    • Amelia July 26, 2017 / 8:10 am

      I hope you’re able to get to Crooked Kingdom! At least the waiting will make it more satisfying when you finally are able to pick it up–at least, that’s what it’s like with me. I really liked V.E. Schwab’s books (though I still have to read the third one). I thought the first one was pretty good, but the second one is what hooked me. There are so many books out there that are good, though! It’s so hard to pick what to give time to. 🙂

      • Kathy @ Books & Munches July 26, 2017 / 8:12 am

        Completely true! I want to know what happens with Kaz and Inej, haha.
        Funny how lately it’s always the second book that gets people hooked or amazed, really. I’ve been seeing a lot of that phenomenon the last couple of weeks.
        It is! I barely know what to read first, or second. Or third. Haha!

  2. Katie July 26, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    I just finished Bardugo’s trilogy that comes before Six of Crows and am waiting for the duology to come in the mail before I start it. So excited! Glad to hear you like it.

    • Amelia July 26, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      I saw on Goodreads that you were reading those–I’m enjoying the duology so much that I’ll have to read them. I happened across a practically new copy of Siege and Storm at Goodwill a few weeks ago and bought it… always such a good feeling! 🙂

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