It’s been a while since I’ve talked about all the things I’ve been reading. Some of these, I finished almost a month ago! Holy cats, does time fly! I’m glad I take notes on each book I finish, otherwise I wouldn’t remember what I thought about them.
Here are the books I’ll be discussing today:
Let me know what you’ve read lately in the comments!
If I had to pick a word for this book, it would be: epic. Picking up where A Gathering of Shadows left off, the source of Black London’s demise has invaded Red London. Our heroes (Kell, Lila, Rhy, Alucard, Holland) must join forces to defeat an impossible enemy at great personal cost. It’s pace is extremely fast–bounding from one sequence to the net. While the story is plot-centered, there are some really wonderful character moments. I especially loved watching Rhy assume greater responsibility and come into his own. My favorite parts were when the characters got out of London and took to the seas to locate the pirate market. I’ve read quite a few pirate books this year and they’ve all left me wanting. Schwab, however, NAILS IT. This book is dark, brutal, and a satisfying conclusion to a dazzling series.
This was a really sweet YA novel. It’s about a teenage girl named Desi who, due to her mother dying when young, feels compelled to control everything about her life. In order to do this with her messy, awkward attempts at a love life, she turns to Korean dramas. By applying the formula to her own life, she hopes to finally get the guy. The K-dramas plot was really endearing and I loved the glimpse into culture. There was surprising depth in this book that revealed itself in small moments. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up owning this someday.
I read all three of Bardugo’s Grisha books (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising) back to back. I’d explain the Grisha universe and basics of the plot, but Katie has already done so in an excellent post on her blog. I suggest checking it out! I liked this series less than Six of Crows, but it was still enjoyable. Bardugo’s books are filled with extremely rich characters. The world is also dazzling–all the different countries and their cultures are so well developed. My feelings toward Alina, the protagonist, are lukewarm. She’s a prickly character that I found it difficult to connect with, but her journey throughout the series sucked me in. Through her, Bardugo explores the idea of sainthood, which I found fascinating. The most interesting character, for me, was Nikolai. He’s so snarky and delightful. I adored his adaptability in the various roles he plays, from pirate captain to prince. I wouldn’t mind a spin-off book that centers on him. Overall, I could tell that this is Bardugo’s first series. Her writing is stronger in the Six of Crows duology, but there’s still a lot to love here.
I absolutely adored this book. I’m going to keep tabs on it and buy my own copy when it eventually comes out in paperback. It’s the story of two young adults whose lives constantly cross, but they never actually meet. It begins in Florence when Gus and Rachel eighteen and follows their journeys into adulthood. I’m a huge sucker for coming-of-age/early adulthood stories set in the UK. The characters were so well written and I loved them so very, very much. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a single day.
This story was quirky, funny, and delightfully mindless. It was exactly what I needed to balance out my first week of grad school. What’s unique about this book is that it’s not a narrative. The story plays out through a series of emails, notes, transcripts, and voice mails in which the characters interact. This is interesting because you really get a sense of each character’s distinct voice and personality. What I didn’t like is that we never actually got to SEE the interactions happen–just hear people talk to each other about them. The constantly changing format was also jarring at times.
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